(Report by Arnold D'Souza)
The July Open was held on Sunday the 26th of July, 2015 at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC). The even consisted of two quizzes—one general and one themed.
Saraswat Chatterjee and Rohan Setlur
14 teams of 2 – (6 qualify for finals) – no draft picks.
1st – Anurakshat Gupta + Madhusadan (120)
2nd – Debanjan Bose + Suraj Prabhu (115)
3rd – Arnold D'Souza + Anjali Jospeh (95)
4th – Samrat Sengupta + Aniketh Rallabhandi (85)
5th – Shantanu + Shantanu (60)
6th – Gokul (25)
The elims were an interesting change from the standard written format. There were 15 questions all of which were only on a pounce for +10/-5 each. In effect, this was like a written elims where you got -5 for a wrong answer but had the option to leave a question blank without any loss. However, since the live scores were being kept on the blackboard, this meant that one could strategically decide on each question toward the end whether one needed to risk going for an answer or not. At least this is what we did (after screwing up a couple of optimistic pounces toward the beginning) and just about managed to qualified 5th or 6th.
One downside of this issue is that it discourages guessing to an extent—but I don't think this is a significant problem. One can always guess and keep the answer to oneself if not sure. The joy of realizing that you managed to successfully work out/cleverly guess an answer shouldn't be diluted just because of the fact that it wasn't down in front of an audience. Moreover, the format encourages teams to take risks and I like that.
There were no draft picks—something that I am personally okay with—but I know a lot of other quizzers (especially college students) who feel that draft picks are important, so that was possibly one downside to the quiz.
The finals consisted of two sets of 10 questions each on IR. The initial plan by the quiz-masters was to keep +10 for direct and +5 for passed questions, but we convinced them that this is not a good idea in an IR and they willingly agreed to keep a +10 all round.
There were 3 pounces available per team for each half of the quizzes with a -5 if you got the pounce wrong.
The 20 questions were followed by a final Long #PuneStylz (LPS) written round with 10 variables in it (A-J). Each variable was worth 5 points, plus another 25 for getting all 10 correct. I quite enjoyed this round and I thought it was pretty well set. Two things need to considered in an LPS—how much knowing the previous variable helps one get the next as well as independent clues thrown in which can help someone solve a variable in the middle on their own. The latter is important because I've often seen LPS questions where if someone misses (or has no idea about) one of the first few variables, it's almost impossible for them to get any of the following ones at all and this can really skew the scores badly.
Our quiz-setters for the day had done an excellent job of finding a suitable balance between the two types of clues—forward and independent.
The LPS was rather lit/ent biased and one noteworthy highlight of it was Debanjan and Prabhu—in first place at the time—getting so overly excited about the easiness of ent questions that they somehow managed to write Peter Sellers as having acted in Lawrence of Arabia instead of Peter O'Toole. This ended up costing them not only the 5 points for the variable but also the 25 point bonus and they ended up in second.
Enjoyable quiz overall and quite a good show by the quiz-masters who may not be as experienced as some of the others we've had at the opens. There were a few peter-questions but certainly no more than can be expected.
P.O.R.N. QUIZ—PUBLICATIONS, OBJECTS, ROCK MUSIC & NATURE:
Roughly the same number as the first quiz (2 per team)
Written (24 questions)
1st – Arnold D'Souza + Anjali Joseph (117.5)
2nd – Anurakshat Gupta + Suraj Prabhu (82.5)
3rd – Aniketh Rallabhandi + Anmol (80)
This was a written quiz with 10 points per question—some of them had part points (including one with 4 parts for 2.5 each). Although I generally dislike questions with multiple parts in an IR, they're completely fine in a written quiz so no complaints there.
The quiz was originally supposed to be a 35 question set, but apparently time issues meant that only 25 questions were set—well 24 actually since Q24 was mysteriously absent. It's hard to tell whether this was merely carelessness or a cleverly disguised tribute to the comically haphazard July Open “Earth, Space and Beyond” quiz set by Vcat.
The framing of some of the questions could have done with some improvement in terms of clarity—the quiz-master ended up having to explain some of them as they were being read out. This was slightly disappointing because I thoroughly enjoyed the fundae in the quiz.
The quizzes were also the debut for my partner Anjali—who performed quite splendidly despite nursing a hangover throughout. At one stage toward the end of the written quiz, she would put her head down on the table, listen the quiz, sit up, say “This is so-and-so” and promptly go back to sleep until the next question.
To sum up, I quite liked the quiz—apart from the couple of gripes mentioned above—and this was not just because we ended up winning quite convincingly.
I look forward to conducting the written quiz at the next open (August).