Thursday, April 03, 2008

Abhimanyu 2008

Abhimanyu is the annual intra-COEP solo quizzing event. This year's edition featured eight finalists, was conducted by Niranjan Pedanekar and others, and featured question sets from BC quizzers in and outside the country, making it quite a globalised quiz. A report:

Date: 21 Feb, 2008
Organized by: Aniket Khasgiwale

Eight finalists qualified through a written elims. The final started with a 20 question GK round set by Meghashyam. This was followed by each participant taking questions on a chosen topic of interest. The result was a very tight quiz, which was decided on the very last question of the event.

The Standings (participant, year, score, topic, topic setter)

Winner: Abhishek Nagaraj - BE - (17) - XKCD comics - Kunal Thakar
Runner-Up: Aditya Gadre - TE - (16) - World Cup Football - Yash Marathe
3rd: Kaustubh Bhat (15) - TE - Iron Maiden - Kunal Sawardekar
4th: Yash Tamaskar (14) - TE - The "Yes Minister/Prime Minister" series - Gaurav Sabnis
5th: Mohit Karve(13) - SE - Formula One - Siddharth Dani
6th: Avnish Dhondge - TE - The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov - Kunal Sawardekar
7th: Aditya Bhedasgaonkar - TE - The career of Michael Schumacher - Siddharth Dani
8th: Aadinath Harihar - FE - Tintin comics - Kunal Sawardekar

Since Aditya Gadre had one more point than Abhishek from the GK round, he began the last round knowing exactly how much he needed to win (no one quite knew what to do in case of a tie :-), with a toss up between sharing the prize and giving it to Aditya since he had a better GK - common round - score). It came down to the last question and Gadre missed it, giving Abhishek his much deserved (and much cherished, it seemed) win.

Also see this report by Aditya Bhedasgaonkar.

(In passing, this blogger would like to mention that he has several gripes about the way the event is organised and conducted in general, with how the topics are allotted and how the question sets can be very diverse in content and difficulty levels.)

List of winners
2001 - Rahul Srinivas - Asterix comics
2002 - Sumeet Kulkarni - Formula-One
2003 - Siddharth Natarajan - Archie comics
2005 - Akshay Palve - The Mahabharata
2006 - Gaurav Singh - The Harry Potter series
2007 - Aniket Khasgiwale - World Cup Cricket
2008 - Abhishek Nagaraj - XKCD Comics
(I don't quite remember if the event did not happpen in 2004 - it probably was related to that bad day Chakravyuuh had that year)


Salil said...

What I dont like about this event is that the same old topics get repeated every year. It would be interesting see more varied and 'hatke' topics - not the kinds that you'd answer if you've mugged up a few books.

Kunal said...

The topics look trite and overused. Maybe there should be a condition to select a more specific area of speciality. Then again, a very specific topic will be boring to the audience.

Therefore, the format is intrinsically flawed.

Harish Kumar said...

Solution: members of QUIP decide on and make questions on 15 "non-trite; interesting" topics and give the finalists the choice on the day. No prep.

Yash Marathe said...

The problem with that system is that the topics will be too general and probably won't be like XKCD or The Foundation Series which IIRC were the highest scoring ones. And then if you do at specific topics there will be "accusations" of "favoring" certain contestants....

Salil said...

Harish: Abhimanyu being an internal COEP event, shouldnt it be kept separate from BCQC?

Abhishek said...

@salil : Abhimanyu as an event is a quiz for COEP students "organised by" the BCQC. This is a sort of free commitment the BC has, which can be discontinued at anytime. Currently a sort of obligational contract lies with the BC. Hence the reference to Quip.

As for the topics, there was a rule about not repeating topics ever.(or for atl east 3 years) I don't know why this is never followed. I did my job of telling people that this had been done, but it is the job of the people in charge to enforce the role.

The organisational and planning responsibilities have rested with previous winners. IMHO none of them have done a decent job of doing it. And by this I'm not passing any judgment on the questions, but other basic "event management" things.

For next year, there are a variety of things that have to improve.

And I think a part of a winning strategy is to choose the right topic. I like that element to Abhimanyu, and would hate it if Quip/BCQC hijacked the topic choosing process. I would be fine as long as a topic is not repeated.

Salil said...

@abhishek: Correct me if i'm wrong, I always thought Abhimanyu was "organised by" the Chakravyuh organisers with the help of ex-COEPians.
Being an active BCQC attendee, I dont see any obligation on my part to either make questions or impose ideas on the format. At most i can rant or dole out unsolicited advice. My cribs are from the point of view of a member of the audience because much as I like participating in or setting a quiz, I like to also watch a good quiz. And what I dont like to watch is the same old questions being asked for the same old topics every year.

Aniket said...

I agree with Abhishek. Winning Abhimanyu needs a good strategy which means selecting the right topic. Random allotment of topics is definitely not the way ahead. And as for the cribs about the topics being repetitive, please notice that there were new topics like XKCD & Foundation series. And as for the topics being boring, its really nobody's fault. You cant ask the participants to take an interesting topic and screw their chances of winning just because some chap in the audience is getting a tad bored. They will obviously stick to what they know. And as for topics being predictable , Aadinath had initially taken up Tour De France but he found nobody to set questions so he had to switch to TinTin. What should be realised is that people want to set questions only on standard topics and there are not enough people to cover a wide range of topics.
I also agree with Kunal when he says that the format is intrinsically flawed. But then we have normal workable quizzes all around the year. So why not let Abhimanyu be as it is? It has a certain charm of its own which shouldn't be lost. And if it's that big a load on the BCQC, Abhimanyu can be kept during non-session hours. That shall ensure less cribbing as not many will be around to witness it. Because as long as there are enough people, there will be cribs.

Harish Kumar said...

Salil - mentioned QUIP only because most of the q setters are from QUIP. Anyways, I think Abhimanyu was started because we thought we should have an exclusive event for COEPians as all the quizzers in 2001 were involved in Chakravyuuh. Now we don't have the two events on the same day..most of the C-view finalists feature in Abhimanyu as well. So a re-look may be in order.
But that's the pre-reg of the organizers from COEP.

Ramanand said...

Let's not get into a quip vs BC vs COEP territory at all, shall we? Enough said that we shall try to do as much to help college quizzers anyway and if similar help is needed in VIT or FC or wherever, we shall try to do so.

IMO, what is usually wrong each year: timing of event, intimation to participants and quiz setters, lack of guidelines to quiz setters, unnecessary repetition of topics.

What was good this time: common written GK round (nice qs from MS as well), some new topics from abhishek and avnish.

what we can do by next time: have at least 2-3 weeks between topic selection and finals; come with a simple set of guidelines (sample e.g.: 2 line qs, medium level of difficulty, etc. etc., some moderator verifies qns etc.), disallow certain generic topics for a period of time. Make it fair and interesting for all involved.

I don't think that the format is so intrinsically flawed that it should be shelved. Plus topics that interest at least 2/3rds of those present can be chosen - last time's infest-you-us is proof enough for me.