Monday, March 22, 2010

Reading Between The Lines... (BCQC March Open Morning Quiz) - Results

Date: 21 Mar 2010

Set and Conducted by: Anand Sivashankar

Teams of 2. 8 teams in finals
30 questions written elims
3 written themes (only 2 were conducted due to shortage of time) and 75-odd questions IR

1st: Team C - Anannya Deb and S. Balakrishnan - 207.5pts
2nd: Team D - Amit Garde and Meghashyam Shirodkar - 157.5pts
3rd: Team E - J. Ramanand and Suraj Menon - 120pts
4th: Team G - Rashmi Machado and Bharat - 77.5pts
5th: Team A - Shaibal Chakravarty and Ritwik - 47.5pts
6th: Team F - Salil Bijur and Sameer Deshpande - 42.5pts
7th: Team H - Yash Marathe and Vinay N. - 30pts
8th: Team B - Saransh Verma and Avanindra Bhargav - 25pts

QM's notes:
A turnout of 17 teams for the 30 question elims with 8 teams on stage meant that most participants had a fair chance of qualifying. Most of the questions were answered with facile ease and since the purpose was to broaden mass coverage and encourage working out, that lofty objective was achieved albeit with some mild-mannered carping from the regulars on the wildly populist nature of some answers.

The teams did very well using the clues provided with Amit & Meghashyam topping with a stratospheric 26 followed by an equally impressive 24 from Ramanand & Suraj. With the cut-off falling to 13, Niranjan & Vikram must have missed out on the sudden death rule though garnering the Best College team prize.

Beginning with a vanilla opening round on Opening Lines, most teams did get into their groove gradually. Till about half-way into the 37q first round, most newcomers had more than held their own with some fine inferences and educated guesses. Amidst all this, the eventual winners, Bala & Anannya had kept lapping up a fair share of great answers aided by a fairly high Lit Quotient. A Statistically-Improbable-Phrases round again saw some newcomers upstage other veterans although not altering position status overmuch! Amit & Meghashyam got in some crackers and for some time, I was lured into thinking that they'd caught up. The second round was protractedly long and overwhelming for some teams and the performance levels dipped markedly again signalling an inordinately stretched final. Ramamand & Suraj did well too to claim third, and Bharath & Rashmi could not really make it count in the anti-clockwise round slipping to fourth though not without some neat gets earlier.

And so it goes.. While the endeavour (Morse?) was to cover geographies and genres, a lot of mentionables didn't find their way. Two framing glitches and some which could have been articulated better as questions too! The audience was conspicuously silent for most of the quiz and some members of the audience told me that the level was pegged unattainably high. Point taken!

Please leave your opinions in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

This quiz was so loooong that if you ever want to go to a literature quiz just read all the questions and answers from this quiz and your ready to win the literature quiz! :-)

Ramanand said...

Yes, the quiz was very very long, and the QM could have been more aware of the futility of continuing beyond breaking point. (yes, it's tough to stop after having worked hard on a set of qns, but one must eventually put the interests of the participants above that - something I've learnt the hard way myself!)

I personally liked the finals - was varied in geography, genre, knowledge, level of literariness, and provided different types of people with something 'up their alleys'. There was much to learn, and very few fell in my quadrant of obscurity.

Theme quizzes, esp. for something as intimidating to people as Lit, are often doomed to be unwelcome. It is a pity that, IMO, many of the current lot of Pune quizzers are not readers of literature. Nor do they think it worthwhile to learn about the area and go off to explore them. I suppose each year, you only have a handful of people interested in the topic, but in comparison to other venues, we are quite low in lit-awareness. Movies, Sports, Biz - these are the themes that 'sell'. But we must continue to promote such themes even if we only have the proverbial dog in the audience.

We had a commendable 15 odd teams with not-so great publicity. The prelims were distinctly-unAnand like, being consciously designed to be more audience-friendly. As someone whose qns have been found to be 'over the head', I thought Anand did a great job in choosing his qns. Some were very well framed such as the ones on the figure of speech (elims) or the one with the table of words with 3 missing ones. The finalists also rose to the occasion (team 10^6 Shyam and Amit in particular).

I also thought the SIP round was a good idea and apt for the quiz.

In conclusion, let me remind people who found the going tough that if it hadn't been for H1N1, quizzers would had to face Anand's Lit Quiz in the morning-afternoon followed by my Questionable Intelligence. A fate worse than Swine Flu? Crisis averted.

SURAJ said...

i agree with most of ramanand's comments..... and just to point out ... very few things fall into your quadrant of obscurity because you know too damn much

as far as the quiz is concerned like ramanand said... good overall quality of questions... with a genre like Lit it becomes very difficult to cover everything and anything but i thought all said and done Anand did a good job...

there was a fair amount of innovation ala The SIP round... good stuff...

did have a major problem with time though... too long and the resultant mental exhaustion dint do ppl much good... secondly a lot of ppl who came in for the 2nd quiz had to wait for ages so that this quiz could end ... IMHO avoidable... i think with experience we all know just how long it takes for a quiz that is ' X ' questions long... and u need to set questions according to the time assigned to you

Anannya said...

We at the BQC had been waiting for Anand's quiz since last August. Anand is due to do this at the BQC and one had not considered the trip to Pune. However, gentle persuasion from Bala proved to be turning point.

Coming from conducting the Lit Quiz at Kalaghoda in February 1 month back(where Anand and Meghashyam were present), I must say, I did have a slight advantage - in terms of authors, genre, geography, etc there was about 60-70% overlap (not repeats mind you). This definitely helped me as many of the names, titles, fundas were still fresh in the mind.

My biggest grouse in quizzing these days is the framing of questions - the typical lazy practice is to paste voluminous text from wikipedia and then ask "Put fundaes". This was not so from Anand. They were very well structured questions (in proper sentence form which is rare these days) which had the right amount of triggers (even the seemingly looking typos were actually not typos) for working out as well as right level of depth in the subject.

On the topic of length of the quiz, given the schedule, it was a lot. But I have done 100 question quizzes. The trick is to break up into many rounds so that there is lesser monotony.

I have a few favourite questions from the quiz but won't put it here in case any BQC guys are reading this.