Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Microsoft Redmond Quiz Club

Guest post by Ajay Bhat on "The Microsoft Redmond Quiz Club". Ajay is an alumnus of COEP, where he graduated along with some of us. The club also has another old BC hand - Satyen Kale, who used to drop by the BC occasionally.

When: Every other week – usually on Wednesdays 6 PM.

Where: Microsoft Building 50, Redmond, WA.

Who: Mostly Microsoft employees (of Indian origin) and associates (vendors who work on-site here, spouses.). Non-Microsoft employees are welcome – drop me a line at ajayvb[a t]gmail{d o t}com if you are in the Seattle area and are interested in coming to our quizzes.


There had been idle talk more than once about having a quiz club in Microsoft Redmond - a number of people here missed the quizzing action from their college days. AID (Association for India’s Development) in Seattle organized an India quiz in August ’07, which got an overwhelming response with around 35 teams of two registering.

This prompted a small number of people to start the quiz club as it was apparent that there was enough interest. Since the first quiz with six participants, the quiz club has hosted a quiz every other week continuously. Now 20-25 people on an average show up for every quiz. We’ve mostly had general quizzes, but we have the occasional theme quiz. The ones on cricket and a specialty A/V quiz were raging successes. We also have a Bollywood quiz lined up next week.

Format & Organization

Typically the format is written solo elims followed by finals in teams of two. The top five elims qualifiers get paired up with the next five in a random drawing. The quiz is non-competitive (in that there are no prizes) and the format means you pair with different people every time – which is a lot of fun as you pair up with quizzers with different strengths making for interesting results. All quizzes are IR or modified IR depending on the quizmaster’s discretion.

People volunteer to prepare quizzes and the QM pipeline’s been full so far – there is a lot of enthusiasm and interest among the quizzers who show up. The club itself is fairly informal with no office-bearers etc. We have an internal mailing list for announcements and an intranet site for sharing quizzes and other information.

Other desii-videsii guest posts: Anantha on the US College Bowl, Nupur on quizzing at GaTech.

1 comment:

anantha said...

Nice! I was there this past weekend on my way to Portland and would have been there last night (wednesday) if not for work related delays. So it's all moot now, I guess.

Good to see things happening there.

Over the summer last year, we tried to start one in New Jersey, when a old friend from my undergrad quizzing days visited. We had one session, but with me getting caught up with work related travel, interest fizzled out i think. The first session we had like 15 odd people. And no one enquired about it afterward :(