Monday, August 05, 2013

The August 2013 Open Quiz - Report

Date: 4 Aug 2013

Set and Conducted by: B V Harish Kumar

Flavour: General

Teams of 3 for prelims. ~20 teams participated. 2 rounds of Infinite Rebounds (20 qns each) + 1 written round. A "DRS" pounce system. Prelims cut-off: 4.5, prelims highest: 15.5

1st: Team F - Ranajeet Soman, Samrat Sengupta, J Ramanand (125)

2nd: Team A - Ayush Agrawal, Samridh Kapur, and Aditya Pawar (55)

3rd: Team B - Abhishek Upadhya, Arnold D'Souza (briefly substituted by Avaneendra), and Maitreyi Gupta (50)

4th: Team D - Ajachi, Suraj, Abhinav (45)

5th: Team C - Lakshmy, Roshith, Venkat (drafted in as a 3rd)(30)

6th: Team E - Abhinav, Saikat, and Kshitij (20)

Venue sponsored by Extentia (many thanks especially to Vcat for organising the place!)

The last time Harish conducted a quiz was six years ago, a time when there was no such thing as an infinite pounce (except in the minds of some lewd quizzers) and Amit Varma (remember him?) was still a quizzer. To some of the younger quizzers at the quiz, the selection of topics and their framing into questions must have felt like a throwback to an older era.

The low scores in the prelims may have been because of time constraints (people like me who went for a late lunch returned even later and had about 10 minutes remaining on the clock), but also because the questions were on topics that weren't a lot of people's strengths. Politics, Sports, and India has traditionally been Harish's forte and that showed in the choice of topics. The framing was minimal, which made the clues easier to spot, but only if you trusted the 'bounce' (a finite one).

The finals carried on from the prelims - the answers to most of them were not too obscure, but most teams did struggle to score. Harish had his own version of the pounce, the aim of which was not necessarily to counter sitters, but to provide teams with the ability to compete with those that were close to them in the scoring. Based on their current scores, teams were paired for the pounce every five questions and they could only pounce when a question was presented to the team paired with them. Interesting, but I'm still unconvinced (discussion in the comments, if anyone's interested.) The pairing was a little subjective in the end, but fortunately, it wasn't too complicated to pull off for Harish.

We built up a good lead right from the first question, but as the scores will show, the rest of the teams were bunched up together, and it was a very tight finish that may have looked differently given another 10 questions.

Uncomplicated (except for the pounce system) quizzing - that was the order of the day.

Got something to say? Please leave your opinions in the comments section.


Debs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Samrat said...

Thanks JR for putting a link to BVHKs quiz 6 years ago ! Pleased to see that I won then also :). Also proves that quizmaster's style/question content don't diverge significantly over time too. Salil and I are fond of/strong in the areas of Sports,India and Politics, as are you. So the results also show.

Elim scores were a bit of shocker, maybe the less time most teams had , the unfamiliar framing etc. But I am sure, if people do read the questions again and put their thinking caps on,most of them could get a few more easily. As it happened with me also.

Loved the questions in elims and finals though. Nostalgia definitely being a big factor :) . Good spread of questions. Other teams also warmed up gradually and we did see some brisk scoring.

Thanks Harish for the "Blast from the Past" :) . Looking forward to your next one..

Ranajeet said...

I was scared that I might not get any questions in the Open anticipating a strong politics and India flavour. But the questions were well framed and I was able to get a few and aid JR and Sammy sir a little at least to coast to victory. I thought the pounce was a little confusing but Harish kept good track of it. The quiz was definitely politics heavy which was to the 'young' crowd's disadvantage I felt. It had some excellent questions and no WTF ones which made the quiz very enjoyable. COuld not have asked for a better Open as a send-off.

BVHK said...

Thanks, Samrat Sir and Ranjeet. The members of the winning team have got something nice to say about the quiz :-)
I enjoyed setting and conducting the quiz. I must admit I had a much wider range the last time round when I attempted questions on topics like headbanging and made a mess of a question on Clapton. The important thing for me was that I tried. :-)
One thing I have noticed in all my quizzes is that participants feel the questions are deceptively tough - this was the line used by Gaurav at an Open I did at the BC (well, it was a formal quiz with elims et al otherwise nowhere similar to the Opens of the Persistent era). I definitely don't set out to make questions tough. I wouldn't mind if they go unanswered but participants enjoy them. We should have an instant feedback mechanism for our Open quizzes (as simple as a tweet). Not many people take the time out to post f/b on this blog.

Kunal said...

I only got to see the first half of the quiz, and it was quite enjoyable to watch. Framing was excellent (if different), as were the fundas. All in all, a very refreshing change from the quizeitgeist.

Coming to the scoring system, I propose that it be known as the Centaurian Pounce ;) .

The idea was interesting, but I had a bunch of issues with the execution - e.g. if teams 1 and 2 are pouncing on each others questions, then effectively team 2 gets to pounce on a lot more questions than team 1 does. Might be interesting to test out alternate versions at the BC, provided we ever get enough people at a session (paging BDFL!).

Ramanand J said...

As I had mentioned in a comment on the last Open's report, I am planning to try out "one-finite pounce" the next time I do a quiz. I only use the pounce to cover against potential sitters (and have done so in the past) and I think this proposed system should be good enough. I'm yet to be convinced of 'strategy' pounces, and feel that if the questions are such that all care is taken, in theory, to avoid sitters, that should suffice.

Aniket Khasgiwale said...

Will the quiz be uploaded on the BCQC Quizzes blog? I'm looking forward to seeing the quiz after all the good feedback that it has received.

BVHK said...

Aniket, Planning to do the quiz at BQC - with the pounce round. Currently ordering requisite protective gear against projectiles.