Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Qing 2005 - The Solo Quiz


Correction: Quiz was set and conducted by Gaurav and Sarika


Won by Major Brijesh. Other finalists: Sanket, Salil, Shamanth, Satyen, Sudarshan, Kunal and Ramanand (the last two and Brijesh breaking the hegemony of the S-quizzers).

Date - 31st December
Proposed Time - 10 a.m.
To be conducted by Gaurav
Venue - COEP Boat Club

There will be written elims, so don't forget to get pens/pencils. If there are any changes in timing, I will try to update this blog as soon as possible. If possible, please call any of the BC quizzers known to you for confirmation, or check the inquizitive egroup for updates.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A history of the BC quiz club - V

Sancho joins in our series of articles on BC quizzing through the years with some reminiscences from '93 to '98. The previous articles on the topic are at: 1, 2, 3(All by Shrirang), 4 (Vishal Dalal)

I joined COEP in October 93. Ours was the year there was a series of court cases which meant that college started very late. Admissions happened on 27th sep and we started off on october 4th.

For my first three sems there seemed to be no quizzing going on for practical purposes. I know today that COEP was active in quizzing circles at that time with people like Srirang, Maya, Karve, Vishal, etc but i as a new comer simply did not know that they existed. I had quizzed a bit in school but had stopped totally in the 11th and 12th. i got to know first of quizzing when Akshaya, my batchmate, mentioned in passing that he had gone to AFMC for a quiz (he probably heard from Maya, his elder sister). At that time quizzing was, i guess, a very small clique which no one,outside of the clique had any real idea about. So, i missed out on a year to a year and a half of quizzing.

The first awareness of quizzing came in my fourth sem when Vishal Dalal put up a notice that there would be a quiz on the BC lawns, sometime in jan 95 on saturday at 12.30. I had just dropped into BC for my customary "special chai" after the day was over (college being from 8 to 12 on saturdays). I saw the notice and went over. Since i hadn't quizzed for almost four years i was not very sure how good i would be. I teamed up with akshaya and sat for the quiz which Vishal and Anand Arvindanan had set. We managed to come second, so i thought not too bad. It was also my first meeting with people like Shrirang and Karve.

The important thing was that at the end of the quiz, after the usual round of good shows, somebody suggested that someone should do the quiz for the next week. Akshaya volunteered and i said that i would help him out.That was really the first time i was to be conducting a quiz, BC or otherwise, and would be the QM. On hindsight, not really :) The original plan was for us to share the questions 40: 60 between us. I had formed my set of questions and handed it over to Akshaya on thursday or friday ( i don't remember why, probably because i was, at that time, not sure if i would make it on saturday). Now Akshaya realized that a number of my questions were actually questions already asked in intercollege quizzes the last year. So, he, quite rightly, got rid of a number of them. Since those were the days before cell phones, he couldn't let me know of that. So, when i turned up on saturday it was more like 15:85 than 40:60. So,he asked all the questions and i kept score. However, importantly, I think this was the first time I met Niranjan, who was down in India, on chutti from his MS At the end of that quiz, if i remember correctly, Anand agreed to do the quiz the next week and after that it was more or less a weekly affair for sure.

On the inter collegiate front - well, with so many people from COEP and with a general restriction on two teams from a college, those days, i didn't get through to any finals that year. Still, i was yet a novice in those days, i guess. I remember a BJMC quiz which i had gone to with Vishal- it was my first intercollegiate quiz. The first team in the elims was at 14, the second at 13 and we were third at 12.5. Just our luck that the other two teams were also from COEP (Maya- Shrirang and Karve-Anand if i remember... or was it Karve- Akshaya). Vishal had quite an argument with the organizers because we believed that we should have got at least 15. While i still believe that we were distinctly unfortunate there - well, the QM's decision is final. I remember Vishal was so pained that he left without watching the finals. It was also the first time i went to shyambhatt (which was always on feb 26th those days, i don't know why it changed. Can anyone clue me in on that) and got introduced to infinite rebound. Though it seems to be the standard nowadays, it was the first time i had come across it. Initially, for the first couple of rounds, it seemed vague but soon caught on to it. It's by far the best way i have come across of conducting a quiz. Srirang, Maya and Aniruddha came in second there, with i think an AFMc team winning.

While i didn't do great at intercollegiate quizzes that year, i did okay within college. There was a "gathering" quiz on film and entertainment which JV had organized and Maya and i managed to win that for E&TC. The quiz was a strong reminder of how the person who sets the questions should also conduct the quiz. Also on the value of the good handwriting :) We almost lost out, wrongly, because of that. Basically JV and a friend (i forget the name - Nagaraj, i think. Let's stick to that for now) had set the quiz - JV doing more of the hindi film bits and Nagaraj doing more of the english film bits. The elims (written) and the finals were on different days - i don't know why. However, between the two, JV fell ill (chicken pox, was it?). So, for the finals Nagaraj used JV's handwritten q and a's. The quiz was conducted in the evening after classes, so it carried on to almost 8 or 9 pm, and was on the steps, not on the lawns. Now there was a direct q to us on which was LP's first film and the year. I knew the film and also knew that LP's second film was Dosti for which they won the filmfare award for 1964. So i gave the answer "Parasmani" and guessed 1963. It was passed and people started guessing, Parasmani, 64- Parasmani, 65 - Parasmani 61 and so on. Thankfully, it passed off without a right answer and we got half marks. The answer given was Parasmani '69. As QM's decision is final that was that. At the end of the quiz we ended up tied (with mechanical, if i remember) and it went to tie break. I don't remember the q but Maya got it and we won. As was normal we adjourned for some chai. It was then when Nagaraj came back to the seating area in the BC that he saw JV's handwriting in better light and realized that it was 63 and not 69. Thankfully, we had won so neither Maya nor i got very worked up. Still, almost a miscarriage of justice :) However, probably the most memorable incident that year was Aniruddha being told of his admission in the US in the mid of one of the Saturday quizzes. I remember, right in the middle of a question, he went whooping and jumping in the middle of the air and some of us thought he had gone mad. Of course, bhajji and chai after that for that afternoon were on him.

In my third year, we decided to start the boat club quizzes in the first sem itself. Srirang, Maya and Karve had left to IIMB, IIT and the USofA respectively. But Niranjan was back after his stint in the USofA. And George and Kunal had joined fresh. I conducted the first quiz of the year and things carried on from there. The coming of George meant that I had someone to ask star trek questions. There are certain pet topics which lend themselves to tremendous trivia. Sherlock holmes is one such thing. Pink floyd is another. I always believed that Star trek - specifically the original tv series- was another such topic. But till George came there was no one to ask these questions to or no one to ask me such questions. That was a major plus, personally (george , q for you- spock's court martial in the menagerie would not be a valid court martial. why?)

Also george's presence and the return of Niranjan meant that there were other people who were good at hindi film and music- especially the old type. I remember i conducted a hindi film quiz in my sixth sem- which may well have been the first time audio clues were asked in a saturday afternoon boat club quiz. It was also the first time, after Nagaraj's quiz I think, that we moved from the lawns to the steps in spite of no rains- mainly because we needed a plug point for the tape recorder (i think that location is the standard nowadays, nahin?) . I had borrowed Anand ramesh's tape recorder from the hostel-he was himself quite disgusted to hear about a "hindi" film and music quiz but i think he had gamely turned up for the quiz. On Niranjan's insistence i had tried to put in a few q's on classical music while keeping it related to hindi film music. Sure enough, Niranjan was the only one who managed to answer those.

On the inter college front - Vishal was in his last year and decided that he had to win things he hadn't won before- so he won both silhouettes and shyam bhat-along with Akshaya and George. While i don't remember other names he generally won any other inter college stuff he went to. He also won a few of the within college quizzes. It was really his year and he quizzed with complete passion, his motto seemingly being "second is nothing". And he generally lived up to it. I made my first final at shyambhat, though i didn't place. But I managed to come in second at silhouettes

Quizzing continued in my fourth year. That year was probably one of the better performances COEP has put up in intercollegiate quizzing. We won just about everything- Shyambhatt, Verve, silhouettes, you name it- some combination of Akshaya, me, George and Kunal managed to win, if we were represented. And if there were two people teams we often ended up with a one-two finish. The high point for me was Shyambhat. For some reason, Akshaya couldn't make it but George, Kunal and I finally won. That felt good- after all , if i remember correctly,even Shrirang had not managed to win Shyambhat, though he had more final appearances than me. I still have the photo of me with the trophy.

Probably the low point of that year's quizing was Verve which was held in COEP that year. Now, people may not know much about quizzing in general but they know of Verve. Also it gets reported in the Indian Express. So people's benchmark of one's quizzing ability is based on how one does in verve. Not that that was a problem. Akshaya and George won and Kunal and I came in second. But to be judged by the population on the basis of such a benchmark is sad. It was a weird quiz with six teams in the final wherein a question would be asked direct for 10 points to a team, say team A. If incorrect, it would be passed to B for 5 points. If still incorrect, the QM would step in very kindly and tell us all the answer (wouldn't want everyone in suspense for so long a time as it would take for six teams to try and answer, would you. There might be people with weak hearts in the audience, after all).Basically, that meant that for every question there were only two teams listening. The others just signed off or talked to each other or whatever. Very weird.

The year was also important because, if i am not mistaken it was the first year when an person outside of COEP started to come regularly -Anand Sivashankar (i except Niranjan). He had, I think come a few times during my TE. But it was in my BE that he became a full fledged regular member and even conducted quizzes at the BC. I guess it was the start of the bcqc becoming more widespread. I think it was also the year that AIT started being more regular on the quizzing circuit - I think Kapil Dahiya had started quizzing that year along with a couple of other guys We had also, i remember, invited the AFMC guys to come over to the BC but they couldn't really make it on saturday afternoons regularly. Still, AFMC was always a force to reckon with in inter college quizzes. I wonder, do they make it nowadays to the BC, with things so much more widespread now.

Of course, after that year i passed out in jun 97. But before that I attended a quiz, somewhere in Symbi. I finally did not participate because GEorge and Kunal had registered as TE students, so technically, i was deemed to have passed out though i hadn't got my marksheet yet. I remember very little of that quiz except for the fact that the elims had some seventy five q's but the final rounds had some thirty odd. I found that really strange which is why i still remember something about it.

But that didn't immediately close my links with pune quizzing. I had been quite exasperated with the verve quiz. One of my batchmates in e&Tc (Sundeep) was fairly high up in eyf those days. I had told him what a horrible quiz they had done and that if they couldn't get anyone better they should get old coepians to do the quiz - i had suggested niranjan's name at that time ( i was still in coep those days, remember). Some sense must have prevailed and they asked me to do the quiz for 98. They were also probably happy that they were getting someone to do it free :)

However, everything can't be that smooth with Verve. I had sent across the questions to them and had also provided material for the audio and video questions. i landed up in Pune only on the day of the elims. I found that the audio and video questions had been completely changed. Why? Well they had lost some of the stuff i had given (What rankles most was the loss of a full recording of "spectre of the gun" an episode of star trek about the gunfight at ok corrall- awesome episode). From what was left they felt there was too much hindi stuff (bound to be; when you lose the english stuff) so they decided to change all of it. Not just add English stuff to my hindi q's but change all of it.

They also refused to let me conduct the quiz. For some reason they wanted one of their people to conduct it. i didn't want to fight too much so i agreed. Then they did not want to have infinite rebounds (this on the morning of the finals, after the elims were over) and wanted a simple direct pass system ("easier for people to understand and for audience to follow, no, Sancho") I had a heated argument on this. I think finally I told them effectively " listen boss, i know a bit of quizzing you don't. it's your quiz- do it the way you want but if you want a good quiz which both audience and teams will enjoy, go for infinite rebound. Otherwise it's your call." Luckily, Sundeep was on my side so he managed to convince the others in EYF to listen to me.

I had asked for some buzzers to be arranged for the quiz- to be used for the triads. Now, the girl who was conducting the quiz, on seeing the buzzers, quite fairly, assumed that there would need to be some type of conventional buzzer round, which she could not find in the questions. So she asked me about it and I explained it to her. Clearly, if she was not comfortable with infinite rebound, triads were not going to be easy- especially the negative marking. Still, she said ok. Before the quiz actually started, just before the teams were to be seated, she asked me to sit along with her at the quizmaster's table. She asked all the q's (and did a fairly decent job, i thought. At times I had to correct her on the infinite rebound but for someone exposed to it for the first time, it was quite a creditable job, i thought). Then we finally came to the triads. She announced the round and then turned to me and said - "why don't you explain this?" After the explanation, she was quite happy for me to keep asking the questions. So, in spite of EYF's discomfort, i did end up conducting at least part of the quiz. I enjoyed it. Hopefully the participants also did. For the record, I think George and Kunal won the quiz (don't remember the third person) with Anand S and team coming in second.

In 1998, I joined IIMA and went of to Ahmedabad. That effectively ended regular contact with the boatclub. I have come back a few times and met Shrirang, Niranjan, George, Kunal again. Also met people like Ramanand. I have met Anand S a few times in Bombay... but it all seems so far away now. I have always maintained that the two high points of my four years in COEP were the punt formation in FE and the study tour in TE. The BCQC never had that sort of bursts of highs in it. But for sheer sustained involvement I don't think it could be matched.

I guess that rounds off my memories of active quizzing at the BC. I cannot claim 100 per cent accuracy in all that i have writen above - it has after all been a long time since i passed out. Many people have been mentioned above and many of them might remember things slightly differently from me. Please do feel free to correct me, if required. If i feel it was not required I shall certainly respond :-) The memories have at times become a little personal also- so it might be more a "Sancho at BCQC" rather than a "BCQC from 93 to 97". My apologies- i hope it will still give others a flavour of what went on during those four years.

Here's to keeping the flame alive
:: Sancho

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hayekian Quizzing

Quizzers familiar with my "imaginative" connects can breathe easy. I am not about to ask a connect related to Salma Hayek. Instead I want to speak a bit about the ideas of Friedrich von Hayek and the concept of Spontaneous Order.

I, like all strong believers in the virtue of the free market system, swear by the concept of spontaneous order. Spontaneous order means emergence of an order out of what are seemingly chaotic or disorderly circumstances, and oput of a natural process. It is believed that things that benefit society the most are the product of spontaneous forces that are beyond the direct control of a single man. It is this principle that is used to argue in favour of a laisse-faire capitalist system sans any top-down "regulation" as against a state-led/state-controlled/state-regulated economy.

Though Hayek's ideas are used mainly in the field of economics (he got the Economics Nobel in 1974), they can apply to any situation or scenario which involves a number of human beings interacting with each other, and having some kind of activity in common. In economics, it is transaction. For us, it can even be quizzing.

The Boat Club Quiz Club is an excellent example of spontaneous order in a non-economic domain. It illustrates the "invisible hand" principle at work. The BCQC started off as a spontaneous "organisation" when a few COEPians interested in quizzing decided to meet every saturday. Since then, for over a decade, the BCQC has evolved only "spontaneously" rather than through any constitution/order/authority. What's more, there hasn't been a serious effort to "take charge" or impose some sort of a hierarchy. Yet, at any given time there are 2-3 members of the BCQC whom the others look up to for leadership/guidance/inspiration. That's leadership which has evolved naturally rather than being straitjacketed "constitutionally".

COEP has over a dozen student clubs for various purposes. Almost each and every one has a set "process" and a set "hierarchy" in place. There are elections or selections and then a leader is foisted on the club. Quizzing, thanks to a happy accident, has been out of these "processes". There is a Debating secretary who is supposed to be in charge of quizzing too. He leaves us alone and we leave him alone.

Over the years BCQC has evolved rapidly. First there was a norm of two people getting a large number of questions, it moved to one person. Earlier it used to be an exclusively COEP affair. Over the years though, "membership" of the BCQC has been very diverse, with people from other colleges and even other cities becoming part of it. There are no set rules at the BC.

Now people with a rudimentary understanding of socio-economic ideals might feel I am praising and advocating a communist-like ideal.


Actually I am advocating the diagonally opposite idea of maximum freedom and minimum authority. That precisely is the beauty of this club. Rules and norms evolve naturally. There is no malice towards anyone, neither is there any "bleeding heart" compassion. Like some clubs, we don't go out of our way to attract members and retain them. At the same time, we are not exclusive and reclusive. We like to quiz, we come to quiz, and we go back happy.

In addition to the immense fun I have at every BCQC session, there are two things that make it such a successful example of spontaneous order.

One, the diversity in its membership, as I said earlier. People from different colleges, companies, cities, backgrounds, come together, quiz, and go back. It's like a free market which has no artificial entry barriers, and no artificial sops. Second, the fact that even after existing for more than a decade, there hasn't been even the slightest whiff of "politicking" or factionalism.

BCQC will keep evolving naturally. Yes, there will be ups and downs. But overall, like the statistical trend line of a growing entity, it will keep going higher and higher.

With due apologies to the MTV liftman, what sort of a club is this? There is no building. No secretary. No bearer. No soft drink even!!! I WANT TO BE MEMBER OF THIS CLUB!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Shyam Bhat Quiz 2005

(a.k.a Pune's Oldest Quiz) Date : 12th Nov.
Venue : Dewang Mehta Aud, PSPL.
Conducted by: Major Brijesh Nair

Results :

1. Major Shankar, Sudarshan Purohit (SuperSub : Niranjan Pedanekar)
2. Vasukeshav Sharma and Chandrakant Nair
3. Ganesh Hegde and Ashish Chauhan
4. Anand Shivashankar and Meghashyam Shirodkar
5. Aditya Udas and Anupam Akolkar
6. Safal Mohammad & Vivek Philip
7. Siddharth Dani and Abhishek Nagaraj (a.k.a Dhoni ko kaun Taal sakta hai ? )

Smart Ass Comments:

Niranjan added another feather to an already burgeoning cap by becoming the first ever substitute in (pune?)quizzing. Thus becoming the superest sub since the super one, replacing Major Shankar midway through the quiz. Please contact the partners-in-crime for exact details of the time, nakshatra and positions of planets when this happened, for future reference.

This quiz saw the forging of a new 'harlem globetrotters' in quizzing. Herald the age of the ANNAarchists.

And yes - Brijesh Sir, did a great job - toughest elims in a long time (cutoff 6/50), lots of new topics (photography, architecture, travel journals) and and also some stuff which I may call arbit, some may not.

PS : Pls. comment as to the quiz - I'm sure there is lots more to be said.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Niranjan's thoughts on Nupur's post

Context: Read this

This [the post] is an excellent summarization of what went on at the BCQC from the perspective of the 'oppressed' ;)) Bravo! I do think that these things matter to some extent. But yet, I do not fully agree with the main theme of Nupur's post, and would like to convey my personal point of view in this matter. I know that Nupur has been seriously interested in quizzing and a fairly regular quizzer. Therefore, whatever I want to say may not apply to her in specific, but to the issues she has mentioned in general.

I remember the first few encounters of Shrirang, George, Ramanand, et al (and even me ;)) at the BCQC. These could not easily be termed as friendly. I clearly remember Ramanand being scoffed at in his first quiz, I don't know whether 'even' he remembers it ;)) George has mostly been an adamant rogue, but an object of ridicule at times ;)) But yet, these guys continued. I think that was because quizzing happened to be one of their first loves. The quality quizzing at BCQC that we can boast about these days, is primarily becasue of a bunch of people for whom quizzing has been very dear. The minor deterrents such as the ones mentioned in Nupur's article have not bothered them to that extent, mainly because their priorities were clear.

Nupur says that "Looks like the effects of the first 2 points have reflected in the fact that there are hardly any students from COEP itself in the QC. Most are from other colleges." It perhaps makes my point more clear. People who are really interested come to BCQC from as far as VIT, AFMC, AIT. Whereas traditionally, many casual quizzers from COEP want to pass some time, since they have nothing to do at the hostel, or have some more time to spare after their Saturday lectures. I think, the idea behind the BCQC is participation of those who are interested, and not proliferation by extending courtsey to part-time enagagers in the hope that they may turn into die-hard quizzers one day.

The in-jokes, ridicule, rushing people are (however abominable ;)), a part of the game. It happens because it comes naturally to people. I don't think, people do it on purpose. I don't think the BCQC world conspires against freshers, as raggers do (which I do object to). What fun is a joke if it has to be explained to a bunch of people? For example, most of the stuff I say, I feel compelled to say because I find it funny. Ususally, only a couple of people understand it, mainly because the others are not used to that kind of humour, and/or are not familiar with certain references. But I don't think that this should keep me away from making such jokes and losing my own incentive in attending the BCQC sessions, where I know that I find some people who are on the same wavelength as me when it comes to humour. I would lose all the incentive behind the spontaneity, if I keep on explaining the jokes.

Extra efforts in terms of making a particular species comfortable are not needed, IMO, if one wants to keep an informal atmosphere. Ideally, in a scenario like the BCQC where creativity/intellect/sharpness are most important, people are best off as individuals. Group dynamics and formalities take a back-seat in such a scenario. Their taking a back-seat is what prevents notorius incidents such as the misfired Chakravyuha from happening. Ideally, no one is helped out and no one is specially cared for. People do what they want to do, they express what they want to express, they discuss quizzing paradigms openly, and even agree to disagree. If they do not like what is going around them, they either be more assertive or get the best out of it or leave the scenario. This is very natural, and to me, it means the survival of the 'dedicatest'. And this dedication is to the pursuit of personal quizzing interests and not to any collective cause.

I am not saying that casual participation is not welcome. In fact, it is more than welcome. I am merely saying that no special attempts need to be made for induction of people to increase the mass and prevent people from getting turned off. In my personal opinion, the BCQC need not be viewed as an institution that is meant to last the tests of time. We assume and hope that the BCQC needs to continue standing with the same vigour at all times. But, I think there always are ups and downs, when you look at such collectives. At times, the enthusiasm is more than what is required, even accompanied by shades of mediocrity ;) There are times when the only member that turns up on the boat-club for the Saturday session is the one-eyed cat. This would vary from batch-to-batch, people-to-people, year-to-year. IMO, this is very natural.

In fact in retrospection, IMO, it has helped to have some people 'survive the factual harrassment' at the BCQC. That's why today we have quizzers, who make trips from Mumbai on weekends to attend quizzes at the boat club. And we have some like me, who spend office time in writing long pointless articles, even if they are watching the death of a deadline in the system clock ;)))
:: Niranjan

Thursday, November 10, 2005

November (League) Quiz

Date: 5th November 2005.

Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium.

Organised by: Abhishek Nagraj, Kapeesh Saraf, Aniket Khasgiwale (I hope I spelled that right) & Gaurav Singh.

Main Quiz Results:

1st: Shamanth Rao + Kunal Sawardekar.

2nd: Anand Shivshankar + Meghashyam Shirodkar.

3rd: Maj. Brijesh Nair + Manish Manke.

Also: Gaurav Sabnis + D. Dharmendra; Niranjan Pedanekar + Sudarshan Purohit; Shivaji Marella + Ganesh Hegde

Picture Quiz Results:

1st: Niranjan Pedanekar.

2nd: Ganesh Hegde.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The BCQC: Its downfall and rise

The following is by a now expat member of the group, Nupur, who was at COEP a few years ago. This also reminds me that the story of the BC quizzing scene was last told until the mid 90s. We need someone to push it till '97 as there are many of us who can take the story ahead from there :-). This post is a little provocative for members of that era, so comments are more than invited.

I think the Boat Club Quiz Club was strategically flawed.

These are my views on what I had experienced 2 years ago at the BCQC and I think I kind of understand why there was a major dip in the QC population (and popularity?), in the year 2002. These are my views on what I think was going wrong. I do not know how true it is now.

Explaining the answers: I think this was the #1 reason why many people lost enthusiasm to attend the QC.

Lets take an example.

(I recall this one clearly)

The question was: "What comes in 6 'flavours'. Top, Bottom, Up, Down, Charm and Strange".

The answer was 'Quarks'.

Now this was a 2-3 times repeated question. So the seniors knew it. And they waved it off even before the answer was given . "Ya ya, chalo next question", they said.
I looked around and at the new students, and saw a bewildered, lost and helpless look on their faces. They, obviously, had no idea what was going on! I turned to the QM immediately and said "Please explain it to these guys!!", but it went unheard in the conversations around me.

This is an oft repeated mistake the QC did. The QC was so in-itself, everyone expected the new students to 'pull themselves up to the seniors'. No help was offered, though.

This led to a lot of people losing enthusiasm to come for the QC. I think that the QC could be more sensitive to the new comers and gather a larger crowd. One could argue with the Quality over Quantity issue, but then, the more the merrier right? And once the answer is explained, if someone still doesn't get it, then they will filter out automatically. But one must make it a point to get the answer out AND explain it if possible. I have been, many times, put off completely because some answers (like connect questions) were not explained.

: Newcomers or "kaccha players" were made to team up with the really really good Quizzers, with the view that they will learn something.
In fact the effect was the opposite.
The amateur quizzer never gets a chance to think, since the experienced quizzer has already got the answer even before he finished reading the question. Also, suggestions/attempts made by the newbie, get shot or go unheard by the better quizzer (and this leads to a lowering of self confidence while attempting questions..... its actually a vicious circle, get it?).

: I have NEVER won a prize. I am not a good quizzer, just really enthusiastic. But now when I look back at the way some BCQC quizzes were conducted, I feel that I should have protested. No its not the money obviously, it's the principles. The participants had to put in Rs 10 per head or so (I remember Swapnils quiz had Rs 50 per head). The top 3 teams got all the money.
Now I know where I stand. I am never going to win a quiz. Never.
So why should I pay when I know the money is going to someone else? and more often it goes to the people who decide to keep a fees for the quiz! So if I was a regular quiz winner, what difference does it make to me if I put in a couple of tenners? I will get it all back (and more) sometime or the other! Of course, this reason is not a crowd deterrent, but yes, I have felt disdain sometimes, over a period of 4 years.

Here I feel compelled to insert a comment (which was sent to Nupur earlier): "I would like to dispel (and I think you would agree) any notion readers may hold that money was involved on a regular basis. The purpose was merely to make occasional sessions at the BC more competitive and most importantly, provide people with a chance to set first-rate quizzes, because that was the time only collegians got to organise official events. I rather think that met its purpose and lifted an otherwise moribund time to more purposeful pursuits. We haven't done it in a long time now, mainly because now there are many more quizzes being organised which take care of that. As you may recall, participating was totally voluntary, and the amount won was usually and promptly spent on refreshments for the participants. It was just a token issue and nothing was really intended there. People who haven't been to the BC may not quite get the setting. (And I'm not mistaken, the fee at Swap's wasn't as high as that - I don't think any quiz in Pune then would have charged that much, let alone a poor, amateur grouping :-) " :: Ramanand

    Not including everyone: In the jokes. However trivial this sounds, it definitely had an impact. In fact most of the jokes cracked at the QC were ones you could understand only if you knew the person well and/or existed at a particular place/time. No effort was taken to explain the joke. The attitude was "You did not understand, you're dumb". This evidently, alienated a lot of people.

    Female repellent: The less said the better. It took me 2 whole years to get friendly with the QC. First 2 years, no one made any effort to mix around with the few girls (read me) who used to attend. And yes, if a girl answers the question, all heads turn "huh! she got it right??!!". But that's more male mentality than QC. So forgiven (temporarily).
    But I must mention that I never felt that any extra effort was taken to make the girls feel comfortable. In case someone at the QC is reading this, and feels that they did try, do let me know.

    Politics: Frankly and thankfully, there wasn't much of this at the QC, because we all wanted the QC to stand through all the storms, and thought of it above and beyond ourselves. Yes, we do have the occasional story's a couple of guys had cooked up for the chakravyuh (yes, you two, if you're reading this, I knew it all along :-) )

      Looks like the effects of the first 2 points have reflected in the fact that there are hardly any students from COEP itself in the QC. Most are from other colleges.
      I believe that the QC could have been more assertive than aggressive. They were aggressive towards the learners (what I was all along); its just that I persisted because nothing else in COEP was even close to as value adding as the BCQC, I felt. But I also saw a lot of talent move away because of the attitude of the QC.

      And no, I don't have anyone in mind while writing this. :-).

      If you were at the BCQC and feel differently, please feel free to email me at nupurgtATgmailDOTcom

      :: Nupur

      Nupur also wrote in to add a comment sent to her by one of the BCQC seniors: "This is what I feel should be done : [The post] revealed the disadvantages of not having a structure to the BCQC. We are failing to realize in our quest to keep the BCQC informal, that it is very important to document facts and information (that's why the notesandstones blog has finally come up). We need to keep a database of who all attend the QC, who all took a quiz, when, how, where, Who won? etc. If not all this, we should AT LEAST have a database of people who have attended the BCQC in the past."
      Shyam Bhatt Memorial Quiz 2005

      Shyam Bhatt Memorial Quiz 2005, the annual quiz organized by the students of Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune will be held this weekend.

      Date : 12th October, 2005, Saturday
      Time : 5pm
      Venue : Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Bhageerath building, Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd. Behind Domino's Pizza, Senapati Bapat Road
      Participation: Open quiz. Teams of max two members.
      Entry Fee: Rs 40/- per team.
      Cash prizes to be won.
      Contact: Major Brijesh Nair - 93120-62615

      Saturday, November 05, 2005


      Sanjeev "Sancho" Chandran, one of the old stalwarts of the BC during his engineering days at COEP from 1993-97 wrote in w.r.t the posts on Connections to mention something known as triads. Here's what he had to say on it:

      I seem to remember we used to run a version of connexions called triads which did not find mention in your post. i don't know if it still exists - it was never very widely done because it was a little complicated (especially to explain in a mail, as you will see below) but good fun when done in practice.

      The basic funda is as follows. there are three distinct clues for something say 10122, 79, 34 or pc barua, saigal, dilip kumar (these might not be very good q's - i am quite rusty).

      let's say the q is to be asked to team A.

      Normally the teams are first told what the answer is expected to be (a person, an event, a place, a book etc). this is however optional and the QM may choose to give this or not depending on his feeling of how difficult the q is.

      They are told the clues one by one. they are given a chance to answer after each clue with points reducing after each clue (say 10,8,6)
      A has two choices, say "next clue" or answer.
      if they answer and it is correct they get the points.
      If they answer and it is wrong it passes to B who has the same choices. if it goes all the way through without a correct answer the next clue is given to team A.
      A can of course, upfront say "next clue"
      Whenever a team asks for the next clue, any other team can say "overrule". (in a bigger quiz you could actually have a buzzer for this)
      e.g in the above case say after pc barua, A says next clue. Everyone is quiet. So, then the clue saigal is given. A again says "next clue". however, team D might think they know the answer, so they say "overrule".
      Once any team says overrule, Team A is obligated to answer.
      If they answer correctly they get the 8 points or else it passes to B. Since there is an overrule, B too is obligated to answer for the 8 points.

      This continues till a correct answer is given or it reaches the team which called the overrule (D). Now, if D answers correctly they get the 8 points on offer plus a bonus 8 points. The next triad is, as per infinite rebound, asked to E

      If D answers incorrectly, they get no points and lose 8 points (which were on offer) as a negative. the question passes to E. E can now ask for the next clue or choose to answer for 8 points (in some variants once an overrule was in place all six teams had to attempt before the next clue could be given)

      If all clues are given and all teams cannot answer then the QM provides the answer and as per infinite rebound the next triad is asked to team B.

      It does sound a bit complicated but i used to find it good fun. People like Anand S, George, Kunal Vaed might remember this format. you could also ask them.

      :: Sancho

      Friday, October 28, 2005

      League Quiz - November Edition Update

      Watch this space for more details about the November round.

      Until then check out the teaser here.

      Update 1 :

      The date is 5th Nov. I will confirm the timings soon. Please check out the full details, sample questions and contact info here.

      You can contact me at : cheerfulguy(AT)gmail(DOT)com

      Update Deux : The final details are as follows :

      1. Scope : General / Trivia
      2. Date : 5th November, 2005
      3. Day : Saturday
      4. Place : Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd.,
      Senapati Bapat Rd. Pune.
      5. Time : 4 : 30 PM
      6. Teams of 2 / open for all

      Contact no : +91-20-25468688 Cheers,

      Wednesday, October 19, 2005

      Wikipedia Article on India Quizzing

      I've started a Wikipedia article on Indian Quizzing here. As of now, it is woefully incomplete, and a lot of the stuff I've written is crap. But the important thing is that there IS a page on it, and I've tried to give it some semblance of a structure. I'd like to request quizzers who feel they have information that needs to go into the article to please contribute in filling it out. Right now, work is needed on almost evry section, including the Quizzing by City section, Types of Quizzes section and Quizzing by Topic section.

      Sunday, October 16, 2005

      The Maruti Suzuki FACT (Free A Child Today) Quiz


      - Pune Leg
      - Saturday, 15th Oct. @ Nehru Memorial Hall.
      - organized by CRY
      - Corporate General Quiz
      - QM : Gautam Bhimani

      1. MBT - Ankit, Pawan
      2. Honeywell - Nilesh, Anand
      3. Tata Motors - Saurav + 1
      4. Tata Tech - Krishna, Vasant
      5. Infosys - Harish + Manish
      6. Aviva - Exl : Sudeep, Sanjay

      Comments :
      (+) Special Word for Gautam Bhimani, a really nice QM
      (+) Extremely nice A/V questions. Not often do you get that.
      (+) A Majority of the questions were very good, and lots of new areas not talked about here.
      (+) Nice organization, flexible rules and coordial hosts made it a pleasure to be there.
      (-) The scoring system was the major grudge, the first and last rounds has a lot of points, and the 10+5 system didn't help.
      (-) The fewer number of teams for such a big quiz surprised me, but this might be because it was the 1st year in Pune.
      Notes :
      * Shamanth + 1(kanbay), Tata Tech and one more team(IIRC Tata Systems) had a long tie-breaker for the final place in the finals.
      * CRY didn't overbear themselves on the quiz, wrt the social conciousness factor, but they got across their point. This report would not be complete w/o a mention for the work that CRY does. Find out more here.

      Monday, October 10, 2005

      The September/October 2005 Open Quiz - Results

      Sudarshan conducted our latest Open Quiz - an Entertainment Quiz - last Saturday. I've seldom seen such good theme quizzes, and especially since this was Sud's debut effort at conducting a quiz, it was quite a good effort. I got a peek into many new themes I never knew much about.


      1st: Kunal Sawardekar and Niranjan Pedanekar
      2nd: Amit Varma and Leslie Mathew
      3rd: Gaurav Sabnis and Anand Sivashankar
      Other Finalists: Amit Garde & Brajesh, Shamanth Rao and J. Ramanand, Meghashyam Shirodkar and Aditya Udas

      Despite the slight snafu of the sponsors not turning up, we do have prizes for the finalists (we think :-) ). Finalists: Kindly send an email with your postal address to Sudarshan (email address: sudarshan (dought) purohit (at) gmail (dought) com) or leave them behind on the comments for this post. Sud will make all necessary arrangements.

      Any reviews? Use the comments please.

      Tuesday, October 04, 2005

      Quizzing Vocab

      Harish unearthed this very interesting link to do about quizzing vocabulary. Bet you didn't know much about the Cricket Pitch Question, Multivia and Buzzer Rock.

      Sunday, October 02, 2005

      Engima 2K5 Concepts
      held at Bharti Vidyapeeth Deemed University College of Engineering (BVDUCOE)

      Date: 1st Oct 2005

      1st: Salil Bijur & Arnab Pal (VIT)
      2nd: Ashim Tiwari & Suvajit Chakraborty (Symbiosis)
      3rd: Anupam Akolkar & Siddharth Joshi (VIT)
      4th: Abhishek Nagaraj & Aniket Khasgiwale (COEP)
      5th: Shyamal Kishore & Amit Kumar (BVDUCOE)
      6th: Sumant Singh & Abhigya Reshu (BVDUCOE)

      Set by: Debashish Roy

      Enigma 2K5 was general quiz with a heavy tilt towards biz questions. D&P and a faulty seating arrangement (descending order of elims scored from A-F) ensured an imbalance in the no. of attempts per team. However the questions in the later rounds helped us make a comeback.

      Rounds: After a general round (with many biz questions), there was an exclusive business round, a rapid fire round (with many biz questions) and a mixed bag round (with many biz questions). The questions in the take-your-pick round were too less (only 2) and rather obscure. Audio round was the last one where we had to identify the song and the artiste from the first few seconds of the song. The selection was rather obscure as there was not much scoring here.

      Major Crib: One could not hear the answers of other teams. Worse was, they weren't allowed to know them either.

      It seems to be the first time that the organisers have done the quiz so considering that it was a decent effort.

      Thursday, September 29, 2005

      Vedaant 2005

      Date: 28th Sep 2005

      1st: Safal Mohammad & Vivek Philip (AFMC)
      2nd: Salil Bijur & Arnab Pal (VIT)
      3rd: Shreekant Awchar & R. Shyam Krishnan (BJMC)
      4th: Philip Mathew & Neelabh Nayan (AFMC)

      Set By: L.A. Committee of Vedaant 2005

      First a few flashbacks to BJMC quizzes by Gaurav and by Kunal S. As compared to last time, the questions this time were worse. Alongwith school quiz and Manorama type trivia, there were also some like "In which city did the Boston Tea Party take place?" or "In which city is the Leaning Tower of Pisa?".

      The elims were multiple choice with negative marking. After 2 semifinals, there were 5 rounds in the finals like 2 rounds of D&P, Fastest Finger First, an "interesting" Who Am I?, Crossword and Rapid Fire.

      After experiences from last year, this time there were professional security guards for controlling the audience. A few paper planes did make it to the stage though. On a side note, I feel more quizzes should be held at BJMC. Never have I seen such a passionate or enthusiastic audience for a quiz ever before!

      Wednesday, September 28, 2005

      The September Open Quiz '05

      {'twas the September Quiz, but happening in October}

      Announcing a speciality quiz on Arts and Entertainment

      Date : 8th October, 2005, Saturday
      Time : The Elims start at 5 pm. Finals expected to start by 6, and end by 9 pm. There is no registration required. Please arrive by 4:45 pm
      Venue : Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Bhageerath building, Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd. Behind Domino's Pizza, Senapati Bapat Road
      Teams : Two member teams. Anyone and everyone is allowed (except George Thomas, who will be the non-present chief guest)
      Prizes : sponsored by Foliage Outdoors. Merchandise, CDs, and whatever other cool stuff they come up with.
      Theme : Arts, movies, music, books, comics, pop culture, and anything else related to these.

      Contact : Sudarshan [sudarshan (dought) purohit (at) gmail (dought) com]. Or call (020) 27290002 before 10 am or after 8 pm.

      Sunday's Open Sports quiz

      From Harish's comment - looks like it's not only that sports is a young person's game, but that sports quizzes too. Was it too ESPN Sports Quizzer friendly?

      Shamanth and his partner won this one. They were the oldest team on stage with finalists/winners of the ESPN Star school quiz making the rest of the fray. Abhishek and Aniket from COEP were leading initially but the lack of IR and the buzzer set-up did them in.Shamanth's team did well to win this one. Great to see lot of young blood on stage - a team from Abhinav had two boys in their Class X putting up a good show.

      Tuesday, September 27, 2005

      Inquizzition - VI

      Date: 24 Sep 2005


      1st: Amit Garde & Trilok Khairnar
      2nd: Shivaji Marella and Ganesh Hegde
      3rd: Gaurav Sabnis and Sarika Chuni
      Other finalists: B.V.Harishkumar and J.Ramanand, Amit Varma and Leslie Mathew, Niranjan Pedanekar and Sudarshan Purohit

      Set by: Quest - FC Quizzing Circle

      Conducted by: Kunal Sawardekar

      Reviews: (Please leave them in the comments - I'll try and add them here)

      Sunday, September 25, 2005

      Bheja Fry at Techstasy 2005

      Bheja Fry, the quiz at Techstasy, the annual event organised by Comp-IT dept. of VIT was held on 22nd Sep.

      Organised by: Harsh Ketkar, Anay Kulkarni, Chinmay Borkar

      1st: Kunal Sawardekar & Ulka Athalye (FC)
      2nd: Siddharth Dani & Arnold D'Souza (VIT)
      3rd: Akshay Jog & Maitreyi Gupta (VIT)
      4th: Abhishek Nagaraj & Kapeesh Saraf (COEP)
      5th: Anupam Akolkar & Anand Ayyadurai (VIT)
      6th: Udbhav Bhatnagar & Kartik Shah (COEP)

      Friday, September 23, 2005

      Quizzy Logic '05
      part of AISSMS' annual fest Silicon Fusion

      Date : Wed, 21st Sep. 05
      Results :

      1. Siddharth Dani and Abhishek Nagaraj (VIT, COEP)
      2. Anupam Akolkar and Rahul Bhat (VIT)
      3. Aniket Khasgiwale and Vineet Bhatawadekar(COEP)
      4. +1 AISSMS Team


      Ill managed esp. in terms of time. 3 hrs between elims and finals
      The questions could be said to be 'tough' bordering on 'obsure'.
      Negative marking/ Half IR Half D&P didn't help.
      However atleast the questions were original and this quiz was definitely a step in the right direction.

      PS :

      There was the old 'chestnut' about the Warner Bros. only this time it was printed as : Jack + William + Robert + John = ? later modified to, Jack + Harry + Albert + Sam = ?

      Thursday, September 22, 2005

      Open Sports quiz - Rotary Club

      An Open Sports quiz is being organized by Rotary Club.
      Date :Sunday, 25th September.
      Time : 1430
      Teams of two
      Venue: Gandhi Bhavan Hall,
      Near Girls Blind School,
      Behind Cummins India,

      Monday, September 19, 2005

      Inquizzition 2005

      Inquizzition 2005: An Open Quiz organised by Fergusson College, Pune.


      • Open Trivia Quiz (Not restricted to college teams).
      • Two member teams.
      • Cross-college and cross-institutional teams allowed.
      • Venue: Fergusson College Amphitheater.
      • Date: Saturday, 24th September 2005.
      • Time: Registrations from 11:30 am. Elims begin 12:30 pm, Finals begin 2:30 pm.
      • Prizes worth over Rs. 15000.
      • Audience Prizes and prizes for all finalists.
      • Contact: Kunal [#9850160475, kunalns(at)gmail(dot)com], Puranjay [#9370191718, puranjay(underscore)p(at)rediffmail(dot)com].

      Sunday, September 18, 2005

      Upcoming College Quizzes

      Bheja Fry, Techstasy 2005
      22nd Sep
      Venue: Vishwakarma Inst. of Technology, Pune
      Time: Elims at 9.30 am
      Contact: Harsh 9881379417 for more details.

      Inquizitive, Vedaant 2005
      23rd Sep
      Venue: B.J. Medical College
      Time: 11.30 am for more details.

      Saturday, September 03, 2005


      Part of Abhivyakti, MIT.

      Organized by : Akshad Vishwanathan, Kedar Toraskar.


      1st : Kunal Sawardekar & Ulka Athale (FC)
      2nd : Salil Bijur(VIT) & Janice D'Sa (PICT)
      3rd : Abhishek Nagaraj & Aniket Khasgiwale (COEP)
      4th : Kunal Thakar & Arnold D'Souza (VIT)
      5th : Vasukeshav Sharma & Chandrakant Nair(AFMC)
      6th : Rahul Phadnis & Viraj Phanse (MIT)

      Report :

      The 'English' Quiz at MIT was doing its first round at 'Abhivyakti' - basically a public speaking event. The management was excellent and on the whole everything seemed to be well run. There were no technical snags (with a VB based presentation) and 'live' scores. There was a slight glitch in the elims scoring with Dani & Anupam having to give up their place for Salil's team. Apart from that most things seemed OK. Coming to the questions, they were the usual mix of recycled, chestnuts and some really nice ones. Overall the effort was excellent and there seemed to be a lot of thought and preparation into the whole thing. However as happens often the luck of the draw did play some part in the final outcome. Also, somehow there was this feeling of 8 rounds finishing too quickly - probably because a lot of the easy questions were answered on the direct. Also the audio round could have been better.

      Note 1 : Live scoring did not eliminate the 'suspense' as many of us might have feared. It just made things a lot clearer.Something that should be considered in quizzes henceforth.

      Note 2: There was a tie-breaker between us and Kunal's team for the 3rd place.


      Wednesday, August 31, 2005

      Telecom GrandMasters Quiz

      Harsh Ketkar and Arnab Pal of VIT won the Telecom GrandMasters Quiz organised by Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management on 5th Aug 2005. Here's what Harsh has to say:

      Telecom GrandMasters Quiz was a national level Business quiz, with over 600 participants taking part, corporates and students alike, in the written eliminations round. Five teams were selected; two corporate teams and three student teams. The corporate teams were from Computer Associates, Bangalore; and from Avaya Software, Pune. The other student teams were ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad; and Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Pune. Our team from VIT was the only undergraduate and engineering college team.

      The questions were mostly easy. Some were repeated, but the easy nature was compensated for by the buzzer and rapid-fire rounds. I'd give it a 6/10 on the toughness level. Plus there was a crossword round, and a gambling round, where you had to play for 10 or 20 points, and lose 5 or 10 for the wrong answer. At least two rounds had negative marking. We fared a bit badly in the logo round, and the B-school blokes were good at that. But the others were okay. We managed to lead all the way through, in the end the difference between us and the number two team narrowed down to 25 points, from a peak of around 50 points.

      One more thing: those SITM guys pamper you like as if you are competing for a gold medal at the Olympics. We were kept in a VIP room just before the quiz, served water, and a volunteer took care of our baggage. On stage, there was a bottle of Aquafina, two glasses, and a bowl full of toffees. After the quiz, they had arranged for snacks; chicken sandwiches, pastries (Pineapple and Black Forest), coffee, tea, wafers and cheese sandwiches. One hell of an ego massage!

      Harsh Ketkar

      Monday, August 29, 2005

      SCOE Pinnacle Quiz

      Organised by: SCOE Electronics Department.


      1st: Puranjay Parchure and Kunal Sawardekar (Fergusson)

      2nd: Siddharth Dani and Kunal Thakar (VIT)

      3rd: Anupam Akolkar and Abhishek Nagraj (VIT & COEP/PIET)

      Also: Kapeesh Saraf and Vineet Bhatawadekar (COEP/PIET), Unknown Team (VIT)


      - The quiz was quite decent, more so because it was a fiirst effort for all those involved. However, any goodwill the new SCOE junta might have earned today wassquandered by all the delays and technical snags.

      - The finals questions were ok, but the scoring system made it unnecessarily arbit. They had a weird funda that the first two rounds had forty mark questions, the next two sixty mark questions, the next two eighty markers, and the last four had one hundred mark questions. However, the difficulty level never really varied, and we got some real sitters direct in the seventh and eighth rounds, which was chiefly responsible for our victory. Oh, and they had D&P, so you had X per direct answered, and 1/2 X per passed question. The scorers really had a good time inthis quiz.

      - There was a wall of secrecy around the elims answers, and they have not yet been disclosed.

      - The quiz followed the usual SCOE Electronics Department tradition of having an acrostic for the answers on the elim sheets. However, since the acrostic was the name of Richie Benaud's autobiography, it helped no one.

      Thursday, August 11, 2005

      Resonance 2005, MESCOE Sports & Entertainment Quiz

      11th Aug 2005

      1st: Siddharth Dani & Salil Bijur (VIT)
      2nd: Arvind Iyengar & Nitin Satyamurthi (MESCOE)
      3rd: Anupam Akolkar & Anand Ayyadurai (VIT)
      4th: Abhishek Nagaraj & Kapeesh Saraf (COEP)
      Joint 5th: Anirudh Kasbekar & Arnab Pal (VIT), Rahul Phadnis & Mihir Kulkarni (MIT)

      Quiz setters: Karan Oberoi

      Report: Resonance '05 was the IEEE organised event in MESCOE where the quiz was one of the sub-events. The quiz was a purely 'Sports & Entertainment'. The elims were rather long, with 50 questions, mostly from western entertainment. The elims questions were decent: many original, some were recycled, some lifted straight away, some really obscure.

      The finals began with 2 separate infinite rebounds rounds of entertainment and sports each. Anand & Anupam took a lead in the Ent round when Arvind and Nitin caught up in the Sports round. Siddharth and I scored in the connect the pictures round that followed next. The connects were extremely trivial eg. Connect pictures of Austin Powers, a martini, the logo of Aston Martin (with the words) and Timothy Dalton. Ans: James Bond. There were some (Da Vinci Code, Schindler's List) where the answer appeared clearly in the picture clues. For all of them, though the connect could be obtained by 2 clues, the explanation of the other details were given points. The next round was the audio round with buzzers (rather, banging of desks) and the clips being mostly dialogues from movies or voices of sportsmen (Ian Smith, Pat Symcox). The last round was called 'Cryptic', something like the one in Chakravyuh, where a team got to answer subsequent questions on a topic (for increasing points) after the first answer they got.

      Some cribs as usual: Improper distribution of half-points is always a volatile issue, and there were plenty of disputes where half-answers and scoring was concerned. The topics in the Cryptic round could have been better. Some of them were Apoorva Agnihotri and pool/billiards championships. There were plenty of Pg. 3 type questions in the entire quiz that required knowledge of ex-girlfriends and love interests of singers, actors and sportsmen. Now this may be a fair topic for some and 1-2 in a quiz are OK. About 10-12 of such questions? I don't think so.

      Wednesday, August 03, 2005

      My first Parnab Quiz

      (Mirrored on my personal blog.

      Parnab Mukherjee (you can see a picture here). That one name is guaranteed to make any serious quizzers blood boil. In his many years of conducting quizzes, he has chalked up a reputation for many things. He's been accused of embellishing his resume, lying about his education, unfairly influencing the outcome of quizzes and having a 6-year old alter ego. In fact, as the saying in quizzing circles goes, the "b" in his name (pronounced "Por-nob" in Bengali) should be left out, because his quizzes are so obscene. But all that is hearsay. I am now in a position to give you the dope on Parnabda first hand because today, I have had the infinite pleasure of actually attending a genuine 24-karat Parnab quiz.

      When Salil told me that Parnab was conducting the SCIT Business Quiz, I knew I just had to go. Yes, the quiz was in a remote corner of Pune, and that the organisers were charging an obscene 100 bucks per participant*, but how often do you get to see India's best bad quizmaster perform? I found me an equally enthusiastic partner, and after spending a lot of money on petrol and the exorbitant entry fee, we were there. The quiz, as usual started late (I suspect this was Parnab's fault more than the organisers'). Almost an hour after the indicated time, in walked the great man himself. He then proceeded to conduct the elimination round without referring to any notes whatsoever. In fact, the questions were so off-the-top-of-his-head that he asked a volunteer to write them down so that they would remember them when it was time to check the answers. In theory, such paperless quizzing is what makes him (theoretically) great quizmaster. In theory. Communism works, in theory. But I digress. The elims were extremely so-so. Many of the questions were only tenuously related to business. We didn't do very well at all. We calculated we scored 6 out of 25, and there were many teams who said they'd scored 7s and 8s. We reconciled ourselves to watching the finals fromthe audience seats, and partook of a (really good) repast at the SCIT cafeteria.

      We got back to the auditorium 15 mintes late, when they were just announcing the qualifiers, and we found that Ganesh and Salil had qualified for the finals. To our great surprise, so had we. We took our seats on stage, and the long (and allegedly false) introduction of the quizmaster began. This time, they left out the bit about him attending Penn State and Princeton (where he studied Econometrics under John Nash, no less). This may be because of the aforementioned schools' unreasonable reluctance to acknowledge their association with Mr. Mukherjee, but we'll let that pass for now. We will let the fact that several other unsubstantiated claims were made pass. We will even let the fact that Parnabda has really long, scary fingernails pass, and get on to the point of this article, the quiz.

      The quiz was, in a word, weird. The questions, as in the elims, were asked without reference to any notes. The answers, too, were given without reference to notes. This rather unfortunate coincidence has led to uncomfortable questions about some of Parnabda's facts. However, since many of the questions were on topics that no one present had ever heard of, we were not in a position of actually challenging the great man. The only complaint I have to make about his four normal rounds is that they were either extremely arbitrary or extremely easy.

      The two Parnab Special rounds, of course, were a different story. I call them "Parnab Special"s because I am sure no other quizmaster in the world has either the pizaz or the maaz to attempt them. The first of these Parnab Specials was the newspaper round. The gist of the newspaper round is that you get a newspaper, you choose you a page, and Parnab asks you a question that appears on the page. We chose the front page of the newspaper assigned to us (the 9th July issue of The Hindu). Parnab agreed, and began giving us a lot of gas about couriers, Meghdhoot and the Indian Postal Department. Then, changing subjects with aplomb (and leaving us wondering about the necessity of the aforementioned gas) he asked us the name of the two leading characters in Whatchamacallit, a book by Kalidas. Confused by the explanation of the round given us by Parnab, we mumbled some answer. Parnab smiled and told us that the correct anwer, Shiva and someone else. And how did he link it to our assigned newspaper? Very simple. In a obscure corner of our page, was a tiny 2 sq cm ad for Neelkanth Jewellers. And Neelkanth, as any idiot knows, is one of Lord Shiva's names. Simple, no? The outsatnding brilliance of this question left me stunned, and I didn't really listen to the questions asked the others, but my partner assured me that they were equally astounding.

      But the showcase round, as in any other Parnab quiz, was the speciality round. Speciality rounds feature in many Indian quizzes, but the twist in Parnab's version is that you can choose a topic of your choice, off the top of your head, and he asks you a question off the top of his. Your topic can be as obscure as you wish, in fact, he encourages obscurity. However, having been warned that Parnab punishes obscurity, I chose the most general topic I could think of, History. On being prodded to narrow my speciality, I chose Western History. He smiled, and asked me the British Prime Minister who preceded Margaret Thatcher. He gave several clues, saying that the man in question was a Tory, an ex-businessman, and a founder of the New Labour tradition that Tony Blair belongs to. I answered James Callaghan, because although his biodata did not correspond with what Parnab gave in his clues (he was a Labour Party member who used to be a civil servant), he was Thatcher's predecessor**, and that was the question. Parnab disagreed, and said that the answer was Edward Heath. Now Heath, although a Tory, was not Thatcher's predecessor as PM. Nor was he ever a businessman. But such is Parnab's amazing stage presence, his supreme self-confidence, and his extreme pig-headedness that I did not attempt to dispute the answer. He went to the other teams, who had chosen such amazing topics as Heinz and Campbell Soup. Parnab rose to the occaison and asked superlative question, which of course we were unable to answer. Afetr this round, the quiz finished (to the great relief of all involved) and to our greta surprise, we finished third. Due to extreme mental anguish, I fail to recall the names of the winners and runners up, but they did well, and I do not grudge them their extra prize money. I was just glad that the ordeal was over, and ran home.

      Thus ended my first Parnab quiz. Will I ever attend another, given the opportunity? Of course I will! This was the most entertaining quiz I ever went to. Parnab truly lives up to his reputation of being overconfident, obnoxious, and the best bad quizmaster in India. What a guy!

      PS: I have an idea about an interesting meme. I have included links to every previous anti-Parab article I could find. How about, every time anyopne writes about Parnab, they include links to all the previous articles, so that we have all the relevant opinions and evidence in one place? The next person to write about Parnab, please try it out.

      * Before I get any hate mail form SCIT junta, I'll just clarify this. The fee was for all ten-twelve events in the fest, and so wasn't all that exorbitant. We felt it was bad because we had to fork out that much for just one event. I'm sure the guys who took part in multiple events found it reasonable.

      ** See the list of British PMs here.

      Tuesday, July 12, 2005

      Season Opener 2005-06 aka the July Open Quiz


      1st: Niranjan Pedanekar & J. Ramanand
      2nd: Gaurav Sabnis & Sudarshan Purohit
      3rd: Manish Manke & Nishad Manerikar
      4th: Amit Varma & Leslie
      5th: Salil Bijur and Anupam Akolkar
      6th: Siddharth Natarajan & Siddharth Dani
      7th: names not recalled

      Not sure if I've got the 5th and 6th places right, and can't recall the names of the team in 7th place - Please let me know if anyone remembers

      Organised & Conducted by: B.V. Harish Kumar


      Before beginning the report, we must record that Harish had just about 3 weeks to put this quiz together, so it was quite a commendable effort in the circumstances. A 25 question elims (a little too short) was quite tight, with most teams answering the same questions and not being able to differentiate themselves too much. The result was a 4-way tie for the last 3 spots, which could be split using the inbuild elim tie-breaker but still left us with 2 teams for the last place. An oral round failed to help, so we ended with a 7 team final.

      Amit & Leslie began the 40-odd question final with 10 points and the Sids with 5 points, courtesy topping the elims. The first few questions went through with no team being able to take the shine off the ball, so scores were pretty close at the first score-break. It continued that way with a couple of near misses for teams and probably the large number of teams in the finals had a telling effect. With a couple of audio questions going our way, Niranjan and I were able to pull slightly ahead. Leaders till then, Gaurav & Sudarshan stayed in the hunt. Manish & Nishad made a late surge moving ahead of Leslie and Amit who uncharacteristically missed some of the questions. It stayed pretty much that way till the end.

      I was happy with the quality of questions - the range was better than at previous quizzes by Harish and some of the trivia was new. There were a couple of bloopers and some whose framing could have been improved. But we give him the benefit of the doubt realising the short notice for preparations :-)

      A special note must be made of the Bhamidipati family for sponsoring the prizes and even taking the 7th team addition into their budget. They needn't have but they did - and thanks to them for that. Harish's wife Sirisha is yet another quizzing wife adding the job of keeping scores to her domestic chores, and joins a list of long-suffering spouses/companions of BC quizzers in having to put up with all this nonsense ;-)

      We had about 25 teams on Saturday which is good news for the viability of these open quizzes. Sudarshan plans to the next Open quiz (in September) with a more specific theme of "ATES" - All That Entertains Sudarshan.

      The previous Open quiz - 2004-05 season ending quiz

      Wednesday, July 06, 2005

      The July Open Quiz


      * Open quiz.
      * Flavour : General
      * Teams of 2
      * No Registration fee
      * Date : 9th July (Saturday)
      * Time : 1630 hrs
      * Venue : Bhageerath,PSPL - behind Domino's Pizza on Senapati Bapat Road
      * Conducted by: Harish

      Please assemble at the venue by 1630 hrs so that we can start the elims at 1700 hrs.

      :: Harish

      Monday, June 13, 2005

      Maha!Quizzer - Bombay Round

      Venue : Sophiya College,Mumbai
      Date : 12th June, Sunday.
      Time : 10 to 11:30 am
      Organizers : Karnataka Quizzing Association (KQA)

      Maha!Quizzer was a unique format consisting of 150 written questions to be answered in 1.5 hours at the same time at 5 locations around the country(Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Trivandrum and Mumbai). There were prizes for local winners and the title of Mahaquizzer was to be bestowed upon the person with the highest score in all 5 cities.

      The only problem was that when a quiz is conducted across geographical boundaries care needs to be taken about the scope being truly fair to people from all the places involved. There were many questions which were very south-centric - for eg. we were asked about a certain mountain range you pass while going from trivandrum to bangalore or something like that. Another complaint was the sport. All the questions involved niche sports and their rules. There were no cricket-nostalgia questions or sport questions that did more than scratch the surface. Most questions were like - "this sport involves an arena of 2 x 15 m and is governed by ...."

      The high point of the 'quiz' were the hindi film questions. They were really well set. Also lots of questions on literature-arts-architecture-language. Some of these questions were really good but some however bordered on the arbit. Overall a written 'exam' is never fun and KQA needs to come up with a better format if they really want their Mahaquizzer. Maybe take some tips from Siddharth Basu and Co. at UC.

      (Also KQA seems to be getting afflicted with the problems of big associations. When you hear the words 'it's a policy decision not to hand out empty elims sheets' you know that something is wrong)

      Friday, June 03, 2005

      Anand & Vibhendu's Elims classifications

      Anand and Vibhendu did some preliminary classification of *Elimination* rounds from four quizzes: Chakravyuuh 2005, JBIMS, PiQue 2005 and Quiz-O-Mania 2005.

      After some application of MS Excel pivot chart magic (thus recouping their MBA investments), they have the following graphs to show. The base data is available with me in case anyone's interested. Each image has been preceded by a small note from A & V on how they arrived at those classifications.


      [Anand]: Simple [classes], we used a school subject kinda classification consciously trying to nail everything: less on Misc. etc, Social Sc includes History, Geo, Politics, Eco etc and hence appears to have more weightage. (No entry for Yoga, SUPW (Ramanand's note: SUPW stands for "Socially Useful Productive Work" (and has other variations too)))
      [Vibhendu]:Mythology, etymology are clubbed under Lit for most cases.

      CategoryPosted by Hello


      [Anand]: Sadly, this is divided into India & Western only--we have left out further subdivisions as that domain belongs to Llosa, Jospin, Chomsky etc--so a Home or Away format.

      ProvenancePosted by Hello


      [Anand]: The criterion used is if we feel it has appeared before in the same form (i.e. worded the same circa John Sutter), or is a basic regurgitation of a standalone fact that has appeared in the same form ( as in the q), or is derived from a fact/incident well chronicled.( This is for Banality)( Like also Lara Croft's stats.) Originality - anything that we felt required the QM to drill down on facts, contort incidents, derives from a reworking of known or even unknown events, and we felt was essentially framed by QM solely for the purposes of asking.( i e the SRT Clapham q, chimes )

      QualityPosted by Hello Summary

      [Vibhendu]: The classification was done in less than ideal conditions, some of it on our way back from Pune. Hence most of it was done on-the-fly and has not been revisited even once. The exercise is mostly exploratory in nature and was never intended to be a critique of the quizzes, hence no classification on the lines of good, not so good and bad etc. Provenance & category classification was again done to detect any mojor trends in the present day quizzes, can be improved with certain sub-topics institutionalised as independent categories by themselves;-) As for the contentious issue of originality-banality classification, the criterion is here the thought process followed by the question solver rather than the qn-setter. Chestnuts are classified as banal straightaway. Awell known fact making a quizzing debut may still run the risk of being dubbed as banal. e.g, north eastern capitals, new jalpaiguri & Geeta Dutt. Noble intentions behind incorporating quiz-virgin topics, notwithstanding ;-) Again, if the question solver is aided by an existing thread/chestnut, the qn could have been branded banal. e.g. A connect qn on last Male Singles Grand slam winners from the host nations finding an echo in a Ladies singles winners connect.

      SummaryPosted by Hello

      Regular disclaimers of errors in judgement, subjectivity and lack of consistency follow. Surely, there is enough scope for refining.The reason behind bringing it up was that it can be used as a template/suplement when you do a classification exercise of your own.
      :: Anand and Vibhendu

      Wednesday, June 01, 2005

      On Fairness - Hirak's Blade

      After the recent series of posts on the maddening methods, one of our old prabhaaris (the man who almost had the Inquizzition quiz named after him and the orator of the lost Mood-I monologue) Hirak has this to say: (Hirak, pardon me for the usual digs and for including the note before your actual "post" - I included it because I found it relevant)

      I was reading the latest series of posts and I think that this discussion is in serious need of Occam's razor. I posted a rather long comment and I have removed it and I request you to post it on my behalf.

      You had started a thread about what question setting is all about and that discussion has got subverted on the way. It seems to me that this discussion on systems is quite futile and even if someone does simulate them, the core assumption is that ALL questions will be fair and equal.

      Such an assumption can never be made so every simulation suffers from a serious flaw. I, like you, hold a good question very close to my heart and I wish we talk about that more. I also hope that people on notesandstones still believe that quizzing is about fun and learning and not about showing how much you know.

      I am currently in stuck in a Third World country (when it comes to quizzing), where quizzing is a rare sport. I am quite jealous of the fact that you guys have enough quizzes to discuss the best quizzing method. Filled with nostalgia here are my two paisa thoughts and a few axioms which which do not seem to be universally agreed anymore.

      The discussions have been interesting and the different ideas were refreshingly original. Still, no method has, bar IR, has been tested or simulated. With each correction for unfairness there is an increase in complexity, and hence the chances of adoption of that method decrease.

      My hypothesis is: The simplest and best method for fairness will converge to a written final.
      It has 'ALL' the elements of a good system:

      1) All teams get the same number of attempts.
      2) Teams get to attempt every possible question set by the QM.
      3) Points in direct proportion to what each team knew.
      4) Also takes care of PMQ's and other artifacts of question-framing since everybody is on the same ground.

      Of course, despite its technical strengths it is universally rejected because it fails in one vital respect which is 'lack of drama'.

      As Kunal noted and which I rephrase as: Quiz Axiom 1: "Quizzes are slightly unfair competitions."

      IR is not fair but slightly unfair. A really good system should have the slight unfairness. It is that slight unfairness or element of chance that adds drama and allows a slightly weaker team to win. I still am a proponent of a few buzzer rounds and joker rounds in quizzes.

      Quiz Axiom 2: "Quizzing is more about fun than mere regurgitation of facts."

      However, fun should not be at the expense of complete unfairness. Most will agree that in essence unfairness has less to do with the 'system' than the kind of questions, and how they are framed. Quizzing should be about the questions and not about the system.

      Quiz Axiom 3a: "Quizzers are cribbers"

      My chief grouse about quizzes that I lost was there wasn't a balance of topics and some questions were really vague and had no 'Ahaa' value. (Quiz Axiom 3b: You don't complain when you win)

      I hope you all agree that we need to talk about content rather than method.

      I also believe, that given a reasonably balanced quiz, a good team, regardless of the system, will more often than not finish in the top 3.

      Quiz Axiom 4: If you are good, you are good.
      You can't fool all the people all the time.

      :: Hirak

      Friday, May 27, 2005

      On Fairness

      Quizzes are unfair competitions. In a running race, for example, all the athletes run on the same track, and the fastest among them wins. In golf, all the competitors play on the same course under the same conditions, and the most skilled of them wins. In a quiz, however, each team of finalists is asked a different question each time that other teams may or may not get to answer. Hence, many factors such as the seating of teams, the passing format, bias in question setting, etc skew the outcome in a way that may not reflect the ability of the teams.

      Okay, so all of that is old news. Today, stuff like Infinite Rebounds as a passing format and drawing lots for seating are pretty standard in quizzes. However, this is not enough. More is needed. Althought the combination of IR and drawing lots has made quizzes more fair than before, it is felt that we should go further to ensure fairness. So the questions is, what more can be done?

      The Centaurian System

      The Centaurian System is a passing format derived from Infinite Rebounds which is, IMO based on the assumption that equalising the number of Direct question to each team is essential for fairness. Although I have never really understood how it works, anyone wanting to do so should read this excellent description by it's creator, "Centaurian" Abhishek Nagraj. To the best of my knowledge, no quiz has ever been conducted on the Centaurian system, so no data is available

      Criticism: The main Criticism of the Centaurian System is that few accept its central assumption, that the number of directs per team really matter.

      Drawing lots for Questions

      This method seems to be prevalent outside Pune (correct me if I'm wrong). It basically consists of making chits with every question number on them, and having the teams draw them. The teams are asked the question corresponding the number they pick. The beauty of this systyem is that teams have no one but themselves to blame for the questions they are asked.

      Criticism: If your quiz is on Infinite Rebounds and teams draw lots for seating, this procedure is basically redundant. You can draw lots either for seating or for questions, but the quantum of fairness is the same (provided the order of questions is fixed). Its just that drawing lots for seating is easier and takes far less time.

      Choice of Seating by Qualfying Order

      This method is championed by VIT quizzers since it was first used in Quiz-o-mania '05 the SCIT Software Quiz. The finalists are asked to choose their position in the order of qualification. This means that the team qualifying first will get first pick of seats, the second team will get second and so on. The rationale is that the seating arrangement, while suitably random, allows teams to carry forward to the finals the advantage of their performance in the qualifying round. In other quizzes, teams once in the finals are on an equal footing irrespective of their performance in the elims.

      Criticism: This method does not really give the first qualifiers an advantage because they have no say in the seating of other teams. Subsequent teams engage in a competitive game, as all teams jockey to get a favourable position. Even so, the middle teams are likely to get the greatest advantage.

      Choice of seating by First Qualifiers

      This method calls for the team qualifying first to decide the seating order for all teams. The rationale is the same as the previous method.

      Criticism: This method gives an advantage only to the first qualifiers, all other teams being on an equal footing. It also relies on the first qualifiers knowing the capbilities of the other teams. A team from another city, for example would not be able to fully take advantage of it.

      Round Reversals

      As Abhishek has coverd this in great detail in a previous article, I shall not go into it again. Suffice to say, there should be 0>R>N round reversals, R being the no. of Round Reversals and N being the number of questions (with R preferably being far close to 0 than N).

      Post Scipt

      I have only ennumerated here the techniques that I have come across. If I missed any, please feel free to point them out.

      Monday, May 23, 2005

      Round Reversals - Are they really that effective?

      I was reading JR's anniversary article archives written in a seemingly alternately illegible hand and experienced firsthand Gaurav's pole-position & 4 quarter system at the S.E.Q. This post is a result of these two things.

      The point is this, whatever may be the fallacies in a particular system of scoring these are ironed out due to round reversal. I.e. if a certain team is getting large number of directs due to another team sitting before them, this advantage is immediately transferred to the team on the otherside of that team. So seemingly all is well.

      Then comes Quiz-O-mania '05, which witnessed super Vibhendu-Anand first half performance followed by an amazing catch-up in the second half by The Moops. (ala CSKA Moscow). Reason? It was surmised that the first half of questions had a concentration of Hindi-film questions and due to these questions being absent and/or due to round reversal Gaurav's team getting to answer before them they could perform better. So it is like the quiz being in two parts. Two absolutely different styled halves (?) thereby making round reversal ineffective.

      So Gaurav decides that we'll go one step further and reverse 3 times. Now as his quiz was mostly done by him and JR (70-30 as he put it) and probably due to dispersion of JR's questions throughout the quiz this didn't have any major difference. I think the result would have been pretty similar had the normal system been adopted.

      So does the 'success' of Gaurav's idea as many have claimed mean that the more we reverse the better it is. Actually a good way of testing a particular method is to take it to the hilt and then test it's effectiveness. Funnily it turns out that such a system would effectively result into an 'ox-cart'/Boustrophedon system which JR linked to recently. That is we go along in a particular order and then reverse once the cycle for a question is over.

      So consider a particular case.

      A - B -C -D. D gets it right. Now it is C's turn by this system. So we go C - B - A - F. F gets it right. Fair enough?

      Now consider the following :

      Team A : 2 attempts 0 points
      Team B : 2 attempts 0 points
      Team C : 2 attempts 10 points
      Team D : 1 attempts 10 points
      Team E : 0 attempts 0 points
      Team F : 1 attempts 10 points

      Now looking here you would say that logically the next question should be to E. But - as F got it right the next question will go back to A and so on. Those teams, which are around the leading teams, will get maximum number of attempts due to continuos reversals. Now this is an extreme case - but whenever we reverse in a quiz the team that was supposed to get the next question but don't is extremely hard done by. This is like omitting them from the current cycle of questions much like being a lap behind in F1. So whenever we reverse we are heavily discriminating against such teams. Now that I think about it, this happened to us at least once at SEQ. So consider a snapshot of the passing during a reversal: D-E-F-A-F and so on. How unfair to B!

      Ideally as most agree 'fair'ness in a system is characterized by equal number of directs and more importantly attempts. So playing around with IR doesn't naturally imply a better system. More importantly I wanted to point out that 'reversal' is not necessarily the answer to all problems. I am not saying that reversals should be done away with - maybe one would be okay. I think next time someone is cataloguing a quiz he could note when the rounds reverse and so on. BTW did anyone manage to track SEQ statistically? That would be very interesting. Pls. post stats if available.

      ! gnizziuq yppah neht lliT

      ~ Abhishek

      Sunday, May 15, 2005

      The Pune Season Ender Quiz 2004-05 14th May 2005


      1st: Niranjan Pednekar (TRDDC) & Sudarshan Purohit (PSPL)
      2nd: Amit Varma and Leslie (Wisden Cricifo)
      3rd: Rachit Lahoti (GSSL) and Abhinav Sharma (IIM Lucknow)
      Joint 4th : Aditya Udas (MESCOE) & Meghashyam Shirodkar, Ganesh Hegde (VIT) & Shivaji Marella (BJMC)
      6th: Vivek Venkataramani (BJMC) and Abhishek Nagaraj (COEP)

      Organised by: Gaurav Sabnis, J. Ramanand & B.V. Harish Kumar

      QM: Gaurav Sabnis


      The Season Ender Quiz (thats the official name) had all what everyone desires in a perfect quiz. The elims had fine audio questions spanning a variety of music genre. The finals were formatted as a basketball game with 4 quarters with a round reversal after each (with no change in positions). The scoring was 2 points for a correct answer and 1 for half, doing away with the usual multiple of 10s scoring pattern. This made the final scores rather close: 20 for the 1st upto 9 for the 6th. A new 'pole position' system was introduced where the 3 toppers top of the elims were rewarded with 3,2,1 points to start.

      The top 2 teams that won led the quiz neck-to-neck upto the 1st half of the quiz. Amit & Leslie maintained their lead till the 3rd quarter capitalising on all the cricket questions. Finally in the last quarter, Niranjan & Sudarshan managed a stunning breakthrough by cracking the visual connects on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Savarkar. The unique 'Kekule' connect (with APJ Abdul Kalam at the root node and 5 audio pieces) was particularly the highlight of the quiz. And yes, Gaurav did ask a football related question.

      The Pune Quizzing Season of 2004-05 has ended dramatically with one one of the best quizzes we have seen so far. We hope to have a similar great year coming up.

      Tuesday, May 03, 2005

      Defending quizzing

      Samrat's quizzing partner at IIM-L, Tadatmya Vaishnav, has written a couple of posts on the usual arguments against quizzers & quizzing. Here they are:

      * In defence of quizzing - I
      * In defence of quizzing - II

      Friday, April 29, 2005

      Pune Quizzing League - Do we have a framework?

      [Post by Abhishek]

      This is a reworked article about the long simmering idea for a Quizzing League system. I thought I would get the discussion started by putting up a preliminary framework.

      Points System

      This is the most important part. Points to be considered are:

      1. Are points to be given for Elims performances? (even to non-finalists)
      2. If yes, then how will they compare to finals points?
      3. Generally accepted idea that points scored in finals directly added to total. (?)
      4. Are bonus points to be given for 1st 2nd 3rd in Finals/Elims?
      5. Resolution of ties?

      Following are my suggestions:

      1. Elims marks will be considered for all those who have half the cut-off marks. Points = Elims score/Topper x 50. i.e. elims toppers get 50 points.
      2. Points in Finals directly added via a percentile system. i.e. winning team gets 100. Rest get score/topper X 100.
      3. Since the points are via a percentile system I don't think a bonus giving system is necessary.
      4. Finally same points will be given for team members with records being maintained for individuals.

      Basic Duties

      Following points will have to be taken care of:

      1. Drawing up a list of participating quizzes, ensuring their standard, dates etc (one time)
      2. Collecting individual scores of participants (repeated)
      3. Tabulating scores and documenting results. (repeated)
      4. Rating quizzes / Deciding best quiz / Best Quizmaster (necessary?) (repeated)

      Points to be considered : 1. Is it necessary to have a regulatory body?
      2. If yes then how many members, their roles, their number ?
      3. If no, then solution to solve the problems of performing 'basic duties' ?

      My suggestions:

      1. I think it is necessary to have a regulatory body. No of members - 3.
      2. Roles -1 Scorer,1 Assessment In-charge. 1 Internet Co-ordinator.

      Scorer - Ensuring collection of all the points of the members, Deciding final scoring patterns and settling disputes
      Assessment In-charge - Rating quizzes, Ensuring quality etc./ backup for other two
      Internet in-charge - Running message board, publicizing monthly updates, sending notices etc.

      3. For deciding the best Quiz, QM there will be a general vote at the end of the season whose details can be discussed at a later time.

      Other Ideas to Consider

      1. A system of relegation of 1 quiz due to low standard and elevation of 1 due to good effort
      2. A season ending BCQC organized Quizzing Extravaganza. Maybe a daylong quiz event.
      3. Maybe making 'InFest' an official BCQC quiz event, with prizes and teams from other cities.

      1. Is membership free ?
      2. Are there monetary rewards for Best Quiz, Best QM , Best Quizzer?
      3. Do participating quizzes make any monetary contribution ?
      4. If no, then what about finances for season ending quiz and prizes?

      My suggestion:

      Membership will have a nominal fee of say Rs:50 to discourage floaters. Also participating quizzes will have to give a certain participating fee say 500 Rs. This will ensure some prize money for the 3 prizes. Also for the issue of BCQC quizzing event will have to be organized like any other normal event with funding from sponsors.

      In all weaving existing quizzes in to a framework is not as difficult as it seems. It just the cohesive efforts of a group and i think BCQC should take up the mantle of taking Pune Quizzing forward.

      :: Abhishek Nagaraj

      Tuesday, April 12, 2005

      PiQue 2005

      I guess most of the day's participants are busy preparing for their exams, so it falls on me to record the results and leave the floor open for reviews.


      1st: Kunal Sawardekar & Ganesh Hegde
      2nd: Anand Sivashankar & Vibhendu Tiwari
      3rd: Niranjan Pedanekar + 1
      Also: Salil Bijur & Siddharth Dani, Gaurav Sabnis & Sarika Chuni and Sudarshan Purohit & Srihari Suthamally

      Organised by J. Ramanand & other Persistent quizzers


      Got some feedback from Niranjan, Gaurav, Sud, Sarika & Harish. If you have any comments, please use the commenting boxes.

      From my part, the disappointing feature was the abbreviated nature of the finals, with barely more questions than in the elims. Also, a few repeats in the elims. Only 4 out of the 44 qns were unanswered with all teams putting on a good show and providing great answers.