Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BCQC August Open Quizzes - report

Date: 9 Aug 2009

It was a fairly doomed Sunday to hold a quiz, with H1N1 flu casualties swirling around (and draining participant courage), an auto strike, prize shortfall due to logistics and so on. Our thanks to the 70 odd people who participated in one or the other quiz last Sunday.
We will provide finalists with their remaining prizes as soon as we have managed to arrange for them from Landmark. Thanks are in order to Blaft Publications & Landmark for prizes, and especially to Persistent for use of their auditorium, especially on a day like that.

The 'Emergency' Quiz

Set & Conducted by:: Suraj Menon

1st: Yasho+Siddharth, 2nd: Angad+Yash M, 3rd: Harish+Dharmendra; (finalists) Keyur+Saransh, Vikram+Gaurav, Shubhodeep+Sridip

Circumstances forced us into drastic changes reminiscent of Ashes Tests at Edgbaston or Headingley. The Literature quiz had to be postponed (will happen in the next cycle), and so became a General quiz. Luckily, Suraj stepped into the breach and considering that he had half a night to put together a set of elims & finals, he did an excellent job.

Despite the health conditions of the city, about 20 teams arrived to take part in the prelims (our thanks to them) and the finals saw a very fresh lineup. Suraj had about 50 questions and a 'Amul ads' written round. Most of the questions were interesting and Suraj's peculiar brand of histrionics were on show. One day, we'll get him to do an entire Kerala quiz.

'Questionable Intelligence'

Set & Conducted by:: J. Ramanand

Results (corrected standings)
1st: Yasho+Yash M, 2nd: Suraj+Siddharth, 3rd: Salil+Aniket; (finalists) Harish+Dharmendra, Kaustubh+Mohit, Keyur+Saransh

The term 'Questionable Intelligence' was perhaps an accurate reflection (once again) of the quiz-master's tendencies to tie everyone into unnecessary knots with his format-mongering. Since the same person is writing this report (sort of like Genghis Khan pillaging the hapless and then reporting on the scene for Amnesty International), he prefers to let participants comment on the content, while he offers to depose in front of the enquiry commissions.

The quiz consisted of three 'sets' (the last only for the top 3 after two rounds), with normalised scoring. This resulted in teams not necessarily winning based on most questions answered across the quiz, but with relative performances in each set. The problem was that the division of questions among sets was largely artificial. This system worked better in a previous quiz, where each set was based on a different theme.

So essentially teams were being judged for attempting a similar number of questions, and could be penalised for doing badly in one set. The first two sets had 14+2 connects each across 6 teams, while the last had 10 across 3. I still think these are similar attempt-wise. But another ill-advised option to see more than one question at a time in the final only served to confuse matters more. Teams found the last round tough and scored very little, leading to a lot of confusion.

For which this QM asks forgiveness and is thankful that people were polite enough not to complain too much. Some of these ultra-experiments were tried because the audience was a lot more familiar and likely to be considerably more tolerant, of which rather undue advantage was taken :-). This QM/reporter has been a vocal critic of several untried experiments and confusing quizzes, so will await brickbats/raps on knuckles/egg showers if flung!

Would like to thank Aditya Gadre & George (and a couple of nameless others) for kindly offering comments on questions. Aditya's input, in particular, helped shape the elims - this was at least one improvement on this QM's last strange elims adventure.

Please do let us know what you thought of both quizzes by leaving comments below.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Important: Updates to our August Open Quizzes

Updates to our August Open Quizzes:

1. Tomorrow's Literature Quiz replaced by a morning General Quiz:

We will have a general quiz tomorrow morning in place of the Literature quiz. The timings will be the same (starts at 10:00 am). The quiz format may change a bit. The Lit quiz will take place at the next Open Quiz Day (possibly September).

There is no change to the afternoon general quiz, which starts at 2:30 pm.

2. On the schedules being affected by Pune's H1N1 situation

We have received some enquiries as to whether there will be any change in tomorrow's programmes considering the recent news items about H1N1 cases in Pune. As of now, we have decided to go ahead with both quizzes tomorrow. We understand if there are reservations about participating in public events at this time, so please do make your own considered judgement on the matter.

You are welcome to confirm the status of the programme by calling Ramanand (97642 58560) before either of the quizzes tomorrow.

Wishing everyone good health!

See this link for the rest of the logistical details