Friday, December 29, 2006

BCQC January Open Quizzing
Supported by Landmark

Landmark Books We kick off 2007 with an early bout of serious quizzing, this time with a College quiz and the other regular features. Here are the details:

Common Details
Date and Time: 7 January 2007, Sunday
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, "Bhageerath", Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd., Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
(nearest landmarks: the building is behind Domino's Pizza; this is the same road as the main Symbiosis college, ICC Trade Towers; ~5 kms from Pune railway station; 2 kms from Pune University Circle)
Contact for info: 98810 00957 (Shamanth), 93244 45248 (Ramanand), contact-at-bcqc-dot-org
Fees: none - just show up and you can take part.
Registration: on the spot.
Prizes: courtesy Landmark, Pune.

Quiz 1: Open quiz for College Students:

Organised by: Akhil and Apurva

Flavour: General
Team Size: Upto three per team
Restrictions: none; unlimited number of teams per college, mixed teams allowed
Reporting time: 8:45 am. (The quiz will be from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm)
(Definition of college student: student from 11th standard onwards. School students welcome to take part if interested. Impersonators will be impounded :-))
Registration: call/email. On the spot entries also welcome.
Eight teams in the final

Quiz 2: Open quiz

Organised by: Gaurav Sabnis
Flavour: General
Team Size: Two per team
Reporting time: 1:30 pm. (The quiz will likely last upto to ~6 pm)

Quiz 3: Audience theme quiz
Theme: "Assassinations" + "India at the Olympics"
Organised by: Ramanand
When: In the break between elims and finals
* We'll be as strict with the timings as we can, so please show up on time
* Prizes for both main quizzes
* Everyone's invited!
* If you don't have a partner, don't worry - just show up and you should be able to find someone like you who needs to pair up. At worst, you can take the elims solo.
KQA's "Go Ogle" online quiz

(Message from KQA's Arul Mani)

The KQA will hold Go Ogle, its annual online quiz on 1st January 2007. The quiz is set by Arul Mani.The rules are given below.

Rules: Open to all solo contestants, irrespective of age or location.

Prior registration is required. Please email us (kqaquizzes at your name, age, address and other contact details by 30th December 2006.

The quiz will be posted at our blog http://community. livejournal. com/kqaquizzes

The quiz will be available for access from 1700hrs IST on 1st Jan and will be taken off at 2100hrs IST.

Participants will attempt the quiz at the blog. Those who do not have a livejournal account may post reponses anonymously. Such entrants must however leave their name (and email i.d used while registering) at the bottom of the entry. Unsigned anonymous entries will not be considered.

No participant is allowed more than one attempt at the quiz. Attempts at skulduggery will result in disqualification. The results and answers will be announced on 2 January 2007 at the blog. Two prizes will be given out, to winner and runner-up respectively. The prizes will be named in a day or two.

For some idea of what last year's quiz was like, go to http://community. livejournal. com/kqaquizzes/ 3634.html

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Mod Mod Infinite Rebounds

Ages ago, I'd written a post on Infinite Rebounds as part of a series discussing scoring formats in quizzes. That post has a couple of errors which came to notice in time, and is slightly obsolete now. This current post aims to correct those errors and record the current set of conventions that are followed in IR (at least in the BC circles). This post is also partly aimed at perhaps reaching a consensus on how we should run this method here - it is after all the most popular form of conducting a quiz in these parts - so as to avoid the usual raised eyebrows just before the finals of a quiz begin when the quizmaster announces his nth variation.

Infinite Rebounds a.k.a. Infinite Bounds (IR) is one of the algorithms to answer the timeless quizzing question of "who gets the next question?". One answer is in these commonly agreed conventions is IR:

(Some terms and abbreviations:
* Q{n-1} : the previous question which has been completed
* Q{n} : the next question which is to be asked
* S: the team that successfully answered Q{n-1}
* P: the team that started Q{n-1}
* Normal passing direction: The usual passing order that a quiz begins with i.e. A->B->...->F->A...
* Reverse: F->E->...->A->F...
* S-1(P-1): the team seated "before" S(P) in the Normal passing direction
* S+1(P+1): the team seated "after" S(P) in the Normal passing direction

Rule 1. Q{n} after Q{n-1} was correctly answered: The choice of the team to receive Q{n} depends on how Q{n-1} was answered. If Q{n-1} was answered correctly by a team S, Q{n} goes to S+1.

* IR attempts to keep things "fair" for all teams by keeping the number of attempts on questions as equal as possible. "Equality" not only over the entire length of a quiz, but also over short windows of time. In IR, this means that at any point, no team will have an unfairly greater number of attempts at questions than any other team.
* We know that the fairest possible system is for all teams to simultaneously attempt all questions. But this is not possible for all questions in a stage-final-format, and so every algorithm needs to address where a question starts and how it passes. Here 'fairness' means for teams to at least attempt almost, if not exactly, the same number of questions. For this, one needs to also convince oneself that theoretically there is no difference between attempting a question on the direct or on a pass.
* In earlier systems like Direct-and-Pass, some teams could enjoy several more attempts than others in a single round. Perhaps over the length of the quiz, the teams may have similar number of attempts, but in a local window, this will not be true.
* A Team is not penalised for sitting next to a "good" team that gobbles up all questions before they can get to it.
* IR always increments the next question marker, ensuring that no team can get an attempt again unless all teams after it have had one attempt since.
* We can state the fundamental principle of IR as: "keep the number of attempts equal". Earlier, we thought it would make sense to re-start next to the team that last got points. But on reflection, this is not quite correct.

Rule 2. Q{n} after Q{n-1} was not correctly answered:
(Before modification) If Q{n-1} went through unanswered, Q{n} will go to P+1 i.e. the team next to the one that started the previous question.
(Modification 1) If Q{n-1} went unanswered, Q{n} goes back to P i.e. the same team with which the previous question started.

* Earlier, it was felt that no team should start a question twice in a row. However, if we want to keep the number of attempts equal, then here the old rule violated the principle. This is because the team that started the last question is now pushed to the end of the new cycle. Unless the question is unanswered by the rest, this team loses an attempt while the others gain one.
* Applying the modification ensures that at any given point in the quiz, no team can have more than 1 additional attempts over any other team in the final. (Having "1 more" means that the other teams will attempt questions to square the count before this team can increment its count.) In the previous system, this could not be ensured. In fact, data shows that a difference of 2 or more is often seen with the older system.
* This modification is as simple to run, and more importantly, it does not penalise a team just because the quiz-setter asked a tough question that none of the teams could answer.
Rule 3. Next question after partial points:
(Before modification) Sometimes a question is made up of multiple sub-answers. Suppose such a question Q{n-1} is attempted by all teams, some of which who give partial correct answers. At the end, the quiz-master awards partial points to those teams with correct contributions. In this case, who gets Q{n}? Previously, the question would be awarded to the team next in passing order to the last team to get points.
(Modification 2) Here, since all teams have attempted the previous question, the question heads back again to P.
(There is no consensus on this point)

* Again, the previous system believed in re-starting next to the team that last got points. Instead, if we appeal to the spirit of the principle of equal attempts, Q{n} should go back to P, as everyone's had an attempt on the previous question.
Rule 4. Next question after round reversal: A question is asked and completed. The order of passing now reverses. Who gets the next question? If modification #1 is implemented and if the last question was unanswered, then Q{n} goes back to P. This is a trivial case. In all the other cases, there have been several variations here and no consensus has really emerged. The variations:

* Q{n} is given to S-1 (or P+1 in case no modification is applied) and the passing is in Reverse
* Q{n} is given to S+1 and the passing then Reverses
* Breaking with IR here, Q{n} starts at the other extreme i.e. Team F (assuming the previous half started with Team A)

* It seems to me that each of the above rules have their pros and cons, and hence their respective advocates. None of these seem to be able to give any firm guarantees, so I think this much dissimilarity in number of attempts can be tolerated. Perhaps the best way is to toss a coin and pick the starting team in each segment randomly. Random is better than Bad :-)

The rest of the 'philosophical' aspects can be read in the previous posts. I hope to bring out the emphasis on the "equality in number of attempts" to help guide all minor quibbles. Of course, there is no intention of imposing some kind of standard, but perhaps leading to a convention that say most open quizzes in Pune and even Bombay can adopt. My personal basket of conventions would be to include both the modifications on points 2 and 3. Hopefully, quizmasters will think clearly about the options available to them instead of making an arbitrary and dogmatic choice. Of course, there are those who say IR is dogma :-), but it's the best we've got at the moment, is it not?

Kindly comment on issues.

P.S.: I remarked that "theoretically, there is no difference between attempting a question on the direct or on a pass". This is not quite true. In fact, practically, there is a difference between all teams when they attempt. The earlier you attempt a question, you have less to work with from answers previously given, but you also benefit from lack of "Forward Bias" (example embedded in this post). But overall, does it matter? I think not.

P.P.S: Apologies for the use of short-forms etc. etc. - all in the name of brevity (esp. if you consider the size of this post!).

P.^3.S: Special mention of Arnold D'Souza (as promised) for independently re-discovering modification #1 in Pune circles :-)

Monday, December 18, 2006

November 2006 BC Regular Open Quiz - QM's (Samrat's) views

A tightly contested quiz, decided on the last few questions. I was surprised seeing that only 3 out of 60 Qs were left unanswered. Though I believe in setting workable and not too difficult questions, but this was a superb performance by the teams by any standards. Hats off to the quality of the teams. Plus it helped that there were 3 member teams. It definitely improves the chances of getting the answers right.

Anand and Vibhendu were somewhat disadvantaged by losing their partner in the middle. It didn't strike me at that time, or we could have arranged a replacement from the 10th-11th team in qualifying, as those guys missed out by only 1 point and they were also newcomers to BCQC.

The differential point system was not appreciated by the teams in general. My rationale for having it was that it is not possible to set questions of equal difficulty level. And in quizzes I have seen people crib that the other team got a sitter and they after getting a toughie also get same points. So I decided to put Qs in buckets of 4 pointers or 6 pointers and try it out. But after the experience of this quiz I also feel that there isn't much merit in continuing with that in future quizzes. As simple and difficult levels are so subjective, and especially in a eclectic and polymath gathering as these Pune Open quizzes are. It is simply not possible for any QM to get it right. So just mix "your" simple and difficult questions, have equal points and hope that the randomness of IR will neutralize the effects.

There were some issues regarding the distribution of points for the connect. Teams felt there was some arbitrariness in awarding of points. In my opinion I did it to the best of my understanding. Teams felt that the break-up should be specified in advance, but in most of the connects it is not possible to be so clear, plus saying that sometimes dilutes the question. So I feel teams should just give it their best shot and leave the rest to the judgement of the QM. And as standard practice QM should not give clues midway, and not comment on part right answers.

The first two teams performed superbly, answering some good ones directly as well as on passes, and deserved their positions, though it could easily have been reversed. The rest of the teams were also at their heels all the time and had their moments.

We had more people in the finals this time, but the purpose was not served exactly, we wanted more new people, but it was just a re-hash of the old hands. It seemed to be an extended BC and BQC gathering. The 10th-11th team if they had qualified would have brought some new blood, missed out narrowly. Hope their time will also come.

Overall it was an enjoyable quiz for me, seeing the enthusiastic and lively teams battling it out in the right spirit, with a decent and supportive audience.

:: Samrat

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Appy Fizz - Champions of the World quiz by ESPN Star Sports

Preliminary Round - Mumbai
Date: 7th Dec. 2006
Venue: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai.

1st - Symbiosis Law (Suvajit Chakravarti + 1(pls to put hand up))
2nd: Aniket Khasgiwale and Abhishek Nagaraj (in supporting role)
3rd: NMIMS, Mumbai.

The thing that peeved/flabbergasted me most about this quiz was the fact that ESPN Star (and the whole wonderful troupe that comes along) had decided to conduct a nation-wide college only (under-25) quiz on the extremely narrow theme of 'World Cup Cricket'. Now, the rights for the WC, as everyone knows, are not with ESPN-Star and the timing of this event could be only to co-incide with West Indies 07.

Anyway, after the journey to Mumbai, we turned up at the venue to find a surprisingly low number of teams who had turned up (about 25). Considering that we had come to know about it only the day before, it appears that the standard publicity machinery had not been exploited to its full extent by the organizers (perhaps deliberately?) other than Harsha Bhogle doing a Mahaan-of-sorts in the TV advt.

The round itself was a 30Q written-only style, with ESPN School Quiz type factual World Cup questions. Vinod Kambli was present to lend the now-mandatory celebrity quotient (and duly forgot who was the highest wicket-taker at the 96 WC, one in which he was an integral part if the team.)Suvajit and co. cracked it getting all 30 right, while we and the team from NMIMS got 28. The organizers told us that the top 6 are likely to go through, thus putting cut-off margins at about 22/23.

This is going to be held in 4 cities (Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata being the others) with the top 24 going through. The top 3 from each centre go through immediately, with the others are chosen at the discretion of the organizers. The finals, we are told, is to be held in Delhi sometime in January.

Appeal to fellow BC Quizzers:The writer is in the hunt for DVDs/VCDs/Books dealing exclusively with any of the cricket WCs. Esp. on the wanted list are DVDs containing all the matches/highlights from a particular WC. You can email me at : abhishek AT bcqc DOT org if you can help us out in this regard.

Sample Qs: (wording might not be exact) (Answers in comments)

1. He participated in the first 3 world cup finals in 75,79 and 83 and retired from International cricket in the year 1996. Name him.
2. Name the man of the series of the 92 world cup.(hint: His team did not reach the finals)
3. Name the only player in India's 83 squad who did not get even a single game.

November 2006 BC Regular Open Quiz - Report

Date: 3 Dec, 2006 (Sunday)
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, PSPL
Set and Conducted by: Samrat Sengupta

Quiz Final Results
(60 questions)
1st: Shamanth Rao, Kunal Sawardekar, Meghashyam Shirodkar (E): 62
2nd: Rishi Iyengar, Sumant Srivathsan, B.V.Harishkumar (A): 56
3rd: Amit Varma, Ravi Venkatesh, Kunal Thakar (B): 50
4th: Anand Sivashankar, Vibhendu Tiwari, Siddharth Natarajan (F): 41
5th: J. Ramanand, Abhishek Nagaraj, Salil Bijur (C): 35
6th: Shivaji Marella, Ganesh Hegde, D. Dharmendra (D): 25

(3 out of 60 questions went unanswered)

Quiz Elim Results (out of 32 questions)
First 6 Teams cutoff: 14.5
(in order) Shamanth-Kunal S (20.5), Rishi-Sumant (20), Ramanand-Abhishek (19.5), Anand-Vibhendu(17.5), Amit-Ravi (16.5), Shivaji-Ganesh (14.5)
next 3 cutoff: 13.5
(in order) Meghashyam-Siddharth N (14), Harish-Salil (13.5), Dharmendra-Kunal T (13.5), (just missed out: Biju + Chandan, Akhil + Apurva, both 12.5)

BC Theme Attic Quiz: "Tintin and Asterix" by J.Ramanand


* A very good elims set was provided. The finals were quite enjoyable too.
* Some of the questions in the finals were a tad too easy; I personally didn't like the division into sets of 4 and 6 pointers as these distinctions are v. subjective and not easy to pull off. Some of the 6 pointers tended to be "either you know it or you don't" which made them tougher and hence possibly worthy of a larger value, but in some cases, it wasn't appropriate IMO. Anyway, this is just my opinion and the quiz setter should not need to conform to standard thinking!
* Appropriately for a Samrat quiz, the non-"U-rated" questions were in full flow, and it helped a lot of the on-stage commentary :-) - was a lot of fun. The routine Samrat-isms helped too.
* The split of points in connects was a little ad-hoc; suggestion to Samrat is to try and figure out the exact split required while setting the question and explaining it to the teams beforehand.
* A look at the elims and finals scores above will show that while 2-member teams wrote the elims, 3-member teams sat in the finals. The explanation is as follows: we wanted to try and get more participants on stage. However, the usual method of having 8 teams or inviting 3-member teams at the outset was not preferred (the former because of concerns on the time that could be spent in passing questions; the latter because we wanted to avoid polarisation into a few very strong teams). Instead, the top 6 teams after the elims made it to the final, with each the 6 members of the next 3 teams in the elims randomly assigned to one of the first six. This way, we had a 3 member final. (This system, BTW, was proposed by Samrat.)
* Great performances by all teams, esp. the winners, who got some tough ones. We also had quite a decent turnout (27 teams), including some of the school kids (5 school teams) who stayed back.

* If you want a copy of the elims and finals, please send me an email or leave a message in the comments. The ppts are rather large and it will take some time for them to be collated and sent out.
* If you have any comments on the contents/conduct of the quiz, please leave a comment behind. Newcomers especially, please let us know what you thought of the quiz and if there's anything we can do to encourage your presence in these quizzes.
* We'd be interested in knowing opinions about the 12+6 system of finalists. This can work easily for these kind of open quizzes where there's not much at stake and where the aim is to enable more participation and finalists. More formal quizzes with prizes etc. may not be able to implement this, for finalists may not feel inclined to share space with a relative stranger.
* I couldn't note down the elims scores, so if anyone remembers, let me know.
* Thanks are again due to PSPL, especially the security and auditorium staff for the great support provided throughout the day!

Sample Elims questions:
1. This medical condition takes its name from the Greek word for "Waterfall". Which one?
2. Which company had the tagline 'Geography is History'? (Unfortunately they became history)
3. If Jeux de la Francophonie is French then what is the English counterpart?

Update: Samrat's views on proceedings.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

November 2006 BC Open Schools Quiz - Report

Date: 3 Dec, 2006
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, PSPL

Schools Quiz
Set and Conducted by: Shamanth Rao

Quiz Final Results
(42 questions)
1st: Ruchik, Shantanu, Siddharth - Muktangan Eng. School. - 75.5
Joint 2nd: Aadim, Sarvesh, Omkar - SPM - 75
Joint 2nd: Samrat, Satyajit, Mayuresh - Muktangan Eng. School - 75
Other Finalists: SPM English, SPM English, Abhinava

Quiz Elims Results
Cutoff: 20/30
(Further details to be updated later)


* The quiz was attended by about 17 teams (about 50 kids). The number was a little lower than expected (especially in comparison to the workshops) given the lack of restrictions, but this can be attributed to it being a Sunday and not being an event pushed too much by schools who would issue fatwas for more competitive events. However, about half the teams were appearing in a BC quiz for the first time and as some of the top teams from the previous school quiz were not there (mostly Tenth students), a lot of new faces got a chance to shine.
* The finals were very tight, with the last question deciding the fate of quiz leading to a win by the merest of margins, 0.5 points.
* The response was positive and there were enquiries about the next quiz, so enough incentive to keep going on. There were certificates for all finalists and prizes for the top 3.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Day after exam labours ...

The day after led me to working non-stop on the Website for Chakravyuh. Please go and see it - and more importantly, do come. Cheers,

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

BCQC November Open Quiz

Time for the next set of open quizzes (which just spills over to December despite its name). This time, we have a bunch of quizzes, and here are the details:

Common Details
Date and Time: 3 December, Sunday
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, "Bhageerath", Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd., Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
(nearest landmarks: the building is behind Domino's Pizza; this is the same road as the main Symbiosis college, ICC Trade Towers; ~5 kms from Pune railway station; 2 kms from Pune University Circle)
Contact for info: 98810 00957 (Shamanth), 93244 45248 (Ramanand), contact-at-bcqc-dot-org
Fees: none - just show up and you can take part.
Registration: on the spot.

Quiz 1: Open quiz for schoolchildren:

Organised by: Shamanth
Flavour: General
Team Size: Upto three per team
Restrictions: none; unlimited number of teams per school
Reporting time: 9 am. (The quiz will be from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm)

Quiz 2: Open quiz

Organised by: Samrat Sengupta
Flavour: General
Team Size: Two per team
Reporting time: 1:30 pm. (The quiz will likely last upto to ~6 pm)

Quiz 3: Audience theme quiz
Theme: Tintin and Asterix
Organised by: Ramanand
When: In the break between elims and finals
* We'll be as strict with the timings as we can, so please show up on time
* Prizes for both main quizzes
* Everyone's invited!
* If you don't have a partner, don't worry - just show up and you should be able to find someone like you who needs to pair up. At worst, you can take the elims solo.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

BCQC Schools Workshop I

Facilitator: Shamanth Rao
De-facilitators: Abhishek and Salil
Venue: Symbiosis Library.

The workshop was attended by around 40 kids. This is because the 20 from Abhinava did not turn up for some reason. So we had 20+20 from Symbiosis and Muktangan.

The workshop itself went exceedingly well. We found that most(80%) kids really enjoyed themselves, and as usual Shamanth's questions were quite perfect for the occasion.

Points to self would be, ensure that the furniture at workshop location is not a hindrance rather than being useful. Need to ensure that there is enough space for people to huddle around etc. Need to inform schools about this in future. Another thing we need to do is to tell schools that when we say we expect nothing in return, we mean 'nothing'. Therefore, I and Shamanth walked out bearing two handsomely decorated potted plants, which though were wonderful, we quite hard to carry back home for us poor motorcyclists.

Looking forward to the session next Saturday (Salil being incharge). It would be nice if anyone else could drop by to help him - myself will most probably be busy. Ideally we need two people to be at each workshop. That helps immensely.

Also this would be a good place to add, that if any school would like the BCQC to conduct a workshop please get in touch with us at :

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Trivius - An online trivia game

Play Trivius, an online trivia game from the School of Management in IIT, Bombay. The content was created by us at the BCQC. Read the rules on that site and get clues at the Avenues blog.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Inquizzition 2006, FC

Date: 30 Sept, 2006
Venue: Fergusson College, Pune
Set by: Quest, FC Quiz Society
Conducted by: Ulka Athale, Veda Aggarwal

Quiz Final Results
(60 questions)
1st: Aadisht Khanna and Rishi Iyengar: 105
Jt. 2nd: Kunal Sawardekar and J.Ramanand: 100
Jt. 2nd: Anand Sivashankar and Vibhendu Tiwari: 100
Jt. 4th: B.V.Harishkumar and Arka Bhattacharya: 60
Jt. 4th: Amit Varma and Leslie: 60
6th: Shivaji Marella and Ganesh Hegde: 50

(11 out of 60 questions went unanswered)

Quiz Elim Results (in descending order - IIRC)
Cutoff: 18/35
Aadisht-Rishi, Shivaji-Ganesh, Ramanand-Kunal, Amit-Leslie, Harish-Arka, Anand-Vibhendu

Individual Quiz winner: Suvajit C.


* It's only fair to say that if you made a list of things that could go wrong at a quiz, a lot of them could be ticked off as having happened at FC on Saturday. This post is going to be a lot about it, I'm afraid. I'm not sure there was really much to salvage from the day.
* Wasting so many people's time, especially if they are from out of town, is unacceptable. The elims started 90 minutes behind what was announced, and everything from then on was too late to make many of us fans of the organisers' sense of chronology. (This goes for some of the BC open quizzes too - everybody has a tendency to waltz in whenever they like.) And its even worse when the quiz itself wasn't much to commend. Late availability of rooms/auditoria and equipment cannot be used as an excuse - if that was going to be the case, you must schedule your quizzes appropriately. Apologies don't help.
* The less said about the conditions on stage, the better. But we must. The projection, the seating arrangements were exceedingly painful, clearly revealing a total lack of preparation w.r.t. production. The event management was not even of basic quality standards.
* IMS was the main sponsor, but unlike in earlier years, we did not have a customary presentation of their wares. Instead, we were "treated" to some questions thrown by a resident random IMS guy, who unfortunately had got along his own questions. It didn't augur well when he started by calling it "a game" and "you must answer with speed, wot say!". We soon had our first genuine contender for a "Most Hon. Rev Bobby John" award-winning questioner on our hands with such gems such as "What is India's share in %age of world's economy?" (a call for students of economics at this question had certain people on stage retreating into small invisible pockets - the answer being 0.67%) and "Who is the highest producer of zinc and uranium?". No question had its answer as IMS, much to my disappointment. Hilarious laughs and catcalls later, it was confirmed that the points earned during these questions would count!
* Finally, coming to the questions. They were not really that great, given that many of them were repeats or way too easy to have any "survivability" in the passing. In fact, 30 out of the 49 correct answers were answered on the direct. There were a couple of nice questions (such as the Beatles qn, the 1920s pulp series and the Dickens book), but really, they were almost as infrequent as one-day final wins for India.
* On the positive side, thanks are in order to the organisers for the on-stage hospitality and the prizes. However, knowing what I do of the participants on-stage and off it, we would have gladly traded it in for a much better quiz.
* Knowing what I do of the organisers, I think their heart is in the right place and they would definitely have aimed to do a good quiz and try to improve next time. However, nobility of spirit isn't enough (especially with carpers like us around :-)) and so here are a few suggestions:
- If you want to get the questions right, then you're going to have to attend a lot more quizzes and figure out which are the questions that have now become standard lore. For instance, questions like the one on the Presidency of Israel or Fabian Society are just too easy to be asked anymore. Undoubtedly, that's a nice piece of info, but if your audience is going to consist of "experienced" quizzers, then this is not going to work out.
- This aspect of "experienced" quizzers is a major factor, actually. Perhaps FC needs to make this a college-only event again. There was nothing much to be learnt by attending this quiz for the veteran quizzer and organising a quiz that satisfies these participants may be a tough call for rookie quiz-setters. I'm not trying to be condescending towards anyone, but do consider whether the level of these quiz-setters would be more suited towards up-and-coming college quizzers than these people who have been around for 4 years and more, and have heard most of it before.
- The organising fiasco is a lot more unpardonable, especially if you want people to return next year. I personally have decided not to participate next year if I remain eligible - I might come to watch, but definitely not take part, for sure. It's too much effort for not much value.
- Also consider the extent to which you want your sponsors to be "involved". You need to take a call as to whether you really want: a large amount of participation (strangely, participation was way below par this time - it used to easily be the biggest college organised quiz), participation by the regular quizzers, to be able to attract participation with big prize money etc. You need to decide whether you are ok with your sponsors making the event look silly or whether you want to retain the respect of your participants who will in most cases settle for very little or no prize money and a good quiz.
- Also, quiz-hosting irritants such as providing hints while the question is "live" need to be avoided; however IMO these only come with experience. But how to gain that experience? You need to set and participate in more quizzes along the way before trusting yourself on the big stage. We rarely see any of the FC quizzers in the rest of the events around the place, and no wonder, it shows.
- I hate to say this again and again on this blog for it seems as if we are snooty holders of the keys to setting a good quiz, but some of us have thought, written and discussed a lot about organising quizzes on these pages, and perhaps a perusal is merited if quality (an intangible goal at best, but v. easy to spot when it stinks) is an ambition.
- I am a firm supporter of college quizzers conducting their own quizzes instead of outsourcing to alumni or others, except if you do not possess the ability to do a half-decent quiz. I don't think the FC quizzers lack that overall ability, but a lot needs to be done, for the standards have slipped badly. It got to a point where Kunal and I seriously contemplated the need for a SPCQQ agent to leap onto stage, and shut down proceedings, Monty Python style, by saying things had become too absurd and "now for something completely different".

(And I'd definitely like to know why not "thumb rule" and why only "rule of thumb"?)

September 2006 BC Open Quiz

Date: 24 Sept, 2006
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, PSPL
Set and Conducted by: Kunal Sawardekar and Kunal Thakar

Quiz Final Results
(46 questions)
1st: Ganesh Hegde and Shivaji Marella: 80
Jt. 2nd: Shamanth Rao and Salil Bijur: 60
Jt. 2nd: Samrat Sengupta and J. Ramanand: 60
4th: Akhil and Apurva: 40
5th: Meghashyam Shirodkar and Aditya Udas: 35
6th: Harsh Ketkar and Rashmi Vadnagare: 20

(15 out of 46 questions went unanswered)

Quiz Elim Results
Cutoff: 8/21
Shamanth+Salil topped the elims

Newbie quiz by: Abhishek Nagaraj and Salil Bijur


* Despite suspicions (;-)) of a quiz filled with hard rock quiz and a Bart-Homer jugal-bandii, the questions were quite interesting, and as should be, reflective of the different interests of the quiz-setters. So we did have questions on rock music and Bart Simpson, but we also had questions on politics, dynasties, tech trivia, literature, India and etymology. Though perhaps not a quiz that covered "everything", I personally learnt a lot of new things and found it enjoyable. In some sense, it had the effect of a Major Brijesh quiz.
* Only complaint was the quiz was too short. Just 21 qns in the elims and 46 in the finals. Blame it on setters leaving things too late in their prep? Perhaps it is time to start mandating at least 80 good questions per Open Quiz. Typically, the setter of the next quiz knows at least 5-6 weeks in advance when s/he is expected to do the quiz, and so has enough time (IMO) to make it worth the time of the participants.
* A 5+1 theme connect in addition to the usual IR questions was done. Interestingly, the answers were not given out for any of the questions leading to the theme. Shamanth and Salil went for the theme despite being in the lead and lost points to slip to 2nd spot.
* The Kunals have promised to make soon available the questions on the inquizitive yahoogroups. If any reader wants questions, please leave your email id in comments for this post and we'll arrange to send them to you.
* We had a lot of new people show up for the newbie quiz which was a good sign. Everyone was on stage for that quiz.

* Samrat will conduct the next open quiz in November.

Sample Elims questions:
1. Acc. to Slavic myth, 3 brothers named Lech, ___ and Rus went hunting one day, but got separated while following different prey. Lech went north, __ went west and Rus went east. Lech's descendants founded the modern nation of Poland (also known as Lechia), Rus's descendants founded Russia, while ___'s descendants founded their own nation and took their name after their founder. Fill the blank.
2.Rossum the senior, a man thought by many to be half crazed, develops the technology, which is then made suitable for practical production by his son Rossum the junior, who establishes an island factory of Rossum's Universal ___. The technology however goes tragically wrong, and humanity is doomed as a result. Fill blank.

ACES 2006 School Quiz

Date: 23 Sept, 2006
Venue: Tilak Smarak Mandir
Organised by: Abhinava Vidyalaya, Pune and BCQC Set by: BC quizzers
Conducted by: Ramanand

Quiz Final Results
(56 questions)
1st: D.E.S. Secondary School (Akshay, Deven, Makarand): 130
2nd: Abhinava Vidyalaya (Gautam, Nissim, Neil): 120
3rd: Muktangan (Ruchik, Shantanu, Siddharth): 110
4th: Bishops (Karan, Raghav, Puneeth): 95
5th: S.P.M English (Jaideep, Kaustubh, Abhishek): 85
6th: Symbiosis Secondary (Abhishek, Mihir, Rohit): 60

(9 questions out of 56 were unanswered)

Quiz Elim Results (in descending order)
Cutoff: 20/30
Abhinava, Muktangan, Symbiosis, Bishops, DES, SPM English (the quiz had a rule that only one team per school could make it to the finals which meant second teams from Abhinava and Symbiosis who scored higher than the cutoff could not make it to stage)


* This is the first time we've been involved in a school quiz, and approached it with a view to introducing ideas like Infinite Rebounds, no buzzers/timekeeping, "workable" questions and the whole pack that is considered conventional at college quizzing and beyond, but is certainly novel to school quizzing.
* The finalists were quite good (as were many audience members) at answering the questions and adapting to this "newer" form of quizzing. Connects were cracked with aplomb.
* It was a tight race between the unfancied DES team and Abhinava (who had the triple tags of being defending champs and top seeds playing at home) with the lead oscillating between them. In the end, it did come down to the very last question - the final theme connect which, being open to all, DES got and Abhinava did not. That decided the winner. Muktangan, who came in 3rd, were best at the connects, getting the theme very early and earning a lot of useful points in that segment.
* The organisation by Abhinava was excellent. The turnout was not quite as high as we'd expected, but given the positive feedback from kids and teachers, hopefully this kind of quizzing will have got a big boost.
* The quiz had two broadcast questions and a 5+1 theme connect in addition to the IR rounds.
* A small report in the TOI (which erroneously states that DES won by 5 points).

Sample questions:
1. Since 1930, kids have been using sentences like "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas" to memorise something. However, from August 2006, such sentences will have to be modified. What would you be trying to memorise using such sentences?
2. This is an area in northwestern England, on both banks of the lower reaches of the River _____ Estuary. This region is named after the river and is famous for its contribution to British popular culture. Entertainers such as the Beatles came from here. A famous derby match between two of England's oldest clubs takes its name after this region. Name the region in question.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Inquizzition-7 - FC, Pune

What: Inquizzition 7, Fergusson College, Pune, OPEN trivia quiz, Teams of 2
Where: Fergusson College, Pune
When: Sat, 30 Sept, 11 am
Contact: Ulka (9373334274) or Veda (9823747725) / vedaaggarwal at gmail

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The QUAINT Report and Awards 2005-06

(Excludes the Interrobang Annual Illustrated Calendar - all the action your imagination can take)

This is fairly over-due, so let's plunge into the first "Quizzers of Interrobang/Inquizitive" awards and annual status report. We used to occasionally write out a report on the egroups earlier for the sake of the BC alumni, and so here goes another martyr to the cause of nostalgia.

Michael Hussey award for awesome consistency: Kunal Sawardekar walks away with prize into the sunset leaving us dusty and dazed. A phenomenal year in which Kunal won almost everything he took part in - Open quizzes unbroken right from Sept to May (except for April where exams stole him), Quizomania, the local Mahaquizzer tourney and sundry other quizzes. Chakravyuuh eluded him but he'll be back for more. Quite simply the best year I've seen any Pune quizzer have. Michael Hussey would know how he feels

Kevin Pietersen prayj for an immigrant with good performances, weird hair and weirder activities: Shamanth Rao-da, fresh (stale?) from academic environs, relocated to Pune, won many quizzes (Chakravyuuh, VIT, Niranjan's included), had his lovelife discussed on blogs, went to parties uninvited and slept in parks. Only the racoon hair was missing.

Darren Gough "return in a new avatar" gong: Samrat Sengupta for coming back from IIM-L. And we love listening to both of them talk.

Son of Kal-El Comeback shield: Niranjan Pedanekar for finally reviving his quiz after 5 long years. Last heard, Sourav Ganguly was looking for his number. Niranjan also wins the Sansad Bhavan trophy for the best questions last year.

Graham Gooch the Runaway Bridesmaid certificate: Ramanand and Harish, for contriving to come 2nd at Chakravyuuh for the 4th successive time, once again by the shortest margin. England has won the Ashes, Martin Damm a Grand Slam, but will their turn come?

Ballack-Shevchenko greener pastures puraskaar: Gaurav Sabnis and Siddharth Dani, who on the pretext of higher studies have gained parole. The slur of being a BC quizzer shall never leave them though. The resident-bouncer-who-was-never-there-to-bounce-except-at-tech-quizzes and the sub-nice shall be thought of fondly.

Richard Branson competitive medal: all the Bombay Quizzers who come all the way to take part - what wonderful enthusiasm!

The Most Hon. Rev. Bobby John Award for questions that make you think: won by the Most Hon. Rev. Bobby John himself for such golden gems such as (someone may please refresh my memory).

Shane Warne "watch my lips" shield in conjunction with Ram Gopal Varma's K-Jo commemorative for best controversial moments: The subaltern Parnab saab controversy and ND's blast from the past

Dame Judi Dench Best Supporting cameos: Hirak, Major Shankar

Special Inzy-Hair "it was just a disagreement" award aka "Pyaar ke Side Effects": the wonderfully entertaining casting of Anand Sivashankar and Arnold D'Souza. When will we see them together again?

Ric Charlesworth award for best strategy at a quiz Major Brijesh Nair, for his superb BC quizzes and "steal" sections

(More awards have escaped the attention of this blogger, so anyone who traps more can release them into the comments section)

Many thanks to those who did open quizzes in the last year: Harish, Sudarshan, Abhishek and Kapeesh, Shamanth, Anand and Vibhendu, Niranjan, Gaurav, and Meghashyam. No malice to anyone or anything or any heavenly body (includes you, Pluto) intended :-)

September Open Quiz

Date and Time: 24 September, Sunday from 1:00 pm
Organised and Conducted by: Kunal Sawardekar and Kunal Thakar
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Bhageerath, Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd., Pune
Flavour: General (with a bias towards popular culture :-))
Team Size: Two per team
Contact for info: 9923224475/kunalns[at]gmail

Usual notes: We will also try to conduct a newbie quiz as part of the proceedings. If you don't have a partner, that's not a problem - just show up.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Abhivyakti - Open Quiz at MIT

Date: 17 Sep, 2006
Set and conducted by: Akshad Viswanathan, Rahul Phadnis, Viraj Phanse, Jay Athalye


1st: Aditya Bidikar & Salil Wagh
2nd: Sujit Adhye & Sushant Bhadkamkar
Joint 3rd: Suhas Walanjoo & Kunal Thakar**, Kunal Sawardekar & Abhishek Nagaraj
4th: Ganesh Hegde & Salil Bijur
5th: Gaurav Singh & Aniket Khasgiwale

** The team of Suhas & Kunal was formed after Suhas qualified solo and Kunal was a part of the team that just missed qualifying.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Telecom Grandmasters 2006, SITM

Harsh Ketkar & Arnab Pal attended the Telecom Grandmasters Quiz organised by Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management. Here is Harsh's report:

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to a cinema awards function is purely coincidental and unintentional.

First, the official description:

"Telecom GrandMasters 2005 had touched new horizons; Telecom GrandMasters 2006 would be a leap across the horizon. We, at SITM, set the pace for others, we believe in transforming dreams into reality. We have done it time and again and this time by going online for the preliminary round of the event for the second consecutive year. The Final Event in 2005 was graced by presence of Ms. Diana Hayden and Mr. Abhay Deol.

TGM 2005 itself was a "grand success", with the team from VIT, Pune bagging the first prize. The celebrities who graced the occasion included Diana Hayden and Abhay Deol."

Now, the real one:

Over 750 corporate as well as student teams across 22 cities in India participated in the quiz. The first celebrity guest was Shreyas Talpade and he kicked off the award ceremony, uh, quiz. (oops… sorry it is a quiz). The quizmaster had forgotten his name and kept on referring to him as Iqbal. After a small Q&A session with Iqbal, in which he tried to market his latest venture, he left, apologizing that he had a function to attend. That kept his presence short, and more importantly, sweet.

The next one to come was Sharad Kapoor.

QM: How was it like working with Mallika Sherawat in Murder?
Sharad Kapoor: Umm... It could have been called "Lust" or "Trust".


QM(on the stage): How was it like working with Mallika Sherawat in Murder?
Sharad Kapoor: Don't you watch movies?
QM: I do.
Sharad Kapoor: Then go and watch "Murder". I am not in it.
QM: Umm... That's why I asked you about it. Well, how did you find Pune's roads?
(Participants on stage smiling to each other)
Sharad Kapoor: Quite good. They are better than Bombay roads.
A loud gasp from the audience follows. (The poor guy has probably not travelled much in Pune to know the current state of roads.)

Then the QM suddenly realized that he is conducting a quiz and asked Mr. Kapoor to throw a few questions at the audience. Every correct answer received by Mr. Kapoor was greeted by a comment "Mind-blowing… Baap re baap."

After 4-5 rounds, it was the turn of Ashmit Patel (Aha! The questions got mixed up! That explains the "Murder" part), Aaditya Dutt (famous for directing "Aashiq Banaya Aapne"), and Geeta Basra, a Bollywood debutante. Together they promoted their new film "Dil Diya Hai". They said it was going to be a "different" film. And then the usual informal chat followed.

Here it goes...

QM: Nowadays we get to hear lots of new names like Ashmit Patel, Geeta Basra, etc... all non Kapoor khandaan names. How was it for you to make it big inspite of not being from a star family?
Ashmit: Well, It wasn't easy. But I feel that it is easier for women to make make it big in Bollywood.
Geeta Basra (with an imbecile smile): What are you saying, Ashmit? We have to work equally hard!
QM, audience and others: HAHAHAAHAAA!!

This went on for around 10-15 minutes. The participants (us included) used the opportunity to visit the toilet. The finalists on the stage just sitting and grimacing wondering how much longer will they have to tolerate this nonsense.

Oh yes, we forgot to mention about the quiz altogether. Here are a few of the "too tough, crackers, and blasters (according to the QM)" questions.

1.Where will be the FIFA world cup be held in 2010? (The team, to which this was posed couldn't answer it!)
2.What is the name of the social networking website started by a Google employee, and named after him?
3.What is the next version of Windows, previously called Longhorn, called?
4.What is the torro scale used to measure? (We answered "Hurricane", but no, it was wrong. The QM wanted "Tornado".)
5.In which year were the departments of Post and telecommunication separated?
6.How many bones does the human arm have? 29,30 or 33?

What were these questions doing in the mains?

The rounds were strictly okay for a national level quiz. There was a round of infinite rebound (bounce), the usual buzzer round, two "choice of subject" rounds, including a rapid fire round and a three question round; and a normal passing round with no IR. But the questions were absolutely bad. We don't blame the QM. He tried his best. There were instances when we answered the questions and the audience did not applaud. The poor folks are not to blame. The questions, which were outright sitters (“sitters” is a very charitable description, mind you, they were worse) were to blame. They should keep the students away from setting the questions and allow only pure quizzers to set the questions. If not, then they should outsource it. And the QM and the quiz setter should be the same person. Even inter-collegiate quizzes in Pune and the ones held informally at BCQC are better by a factor of ten.

The QM was irritatingly stubborn at times. There was a connect round, and the answer was "Windows 95" The team answered it like this: "Windows 98, uh 95". The QM refused to award the points to them. Now this is childish. If they have got the funda, why not just give it to them? But the QM thought otherwise.

Quizzes conducted by B-Schools usually are very well managed but this time round the overall organization of the quiz was found wanting. Also the quiz stretched on for almost 3.5 hours, which is too long, thanks mostly to our celebrity guests. We also think that the organizers should stop inviting celebrities to the quiz. They seem hopelessly out of place. Finally, they should cut down on the protocol and formalities; they are simply not required. As quizzers we just want a good quiz, and nothing else.

So will we participate next year? Very unlikely.

1.Jayakanthan R & Venkatesh N.A.
TCS, Chennai (125 points + tie breaker).
2.Sumeet Kaul & Chandan Mohanty
Infosys, Pune (125 points).
3.Harshvardhan Ketkar & Arnab Pal
College: VIT, Pune (120 points).

:: Harsh

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Malhar '06 Quizzes

A personal report a.k.a why we sometimes need to think about a Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Quizzing And Quizzers.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Techie Kaun Quizzes at SCIT


Day One:

Technology Quiz


Date: 1st Aug

Venue: SCIT Audi, Hingewadi.


QM: Suhel Banerjee, Google.



1st : Rohit Jain + 1 (SIBM) 100 Points

2nd: Siddharth Dani and Rashmi Vadanagare (VIT) 95 Points

3rd: Abhishek Nagaraj and Sudeep Pradhan (COEP) 93 Points



Technology was a bit of a misnomer. Mostly involved tech-business along with tinges of including movies and politics. QM was innovative and passed the litmus test called Siddharth Dani, who otherwise was in plein forme as far as expletives for people is considered. The best thing was the sense of BC informality to what was quite a big quiz. QM must be commended for saying stuff like "you might want to kill me after this", and then proceeded to give a quite arbit connection involving half-sisters and full monsters. nnovative rounds included using Google Trends (search volumes for specific keywords vs time) and mostly included us guessing why there was a spike in searches for a particular keyword at a certain time.


Main complaint has to be scoring system. Very very unfair, although included doubling something which I personally don't mind. However long connects has 30 - 15 D&P scoring, that never gave us a chance, and Siddharth + Rashmi were done in by negatives when they doubled. In conclusion, great quiz and enjoyed myself if only for the questions. But sir, next time please to have seamless IR.



Day Two:

Bizzy B - Business Quiz


Date: 2st Aug

Venue: SCIT Audi, Hinngewadi.


QM: Avinash Mudaliar, 3xUS.



1st : Rohit Jain + 1 (SIBM) 70 Points

2nd: (SPJAIN) 55(?) Points

3rd: (I forget) (i forget) Points






Firstly elims had negative scoring. Bad. Very very bad. Next, questions involved recently changed MDs, the various posts of Gopal Balakrishnan and dates from history and ranks of organizations in rich-lists. Bad. Very very bad. To be fair, the few good questions were overshadowed by their quite badly behaved friends. Add the usual symbiosis fundaes like, "This exam is like CAT", "You should have known how it works, you have given the CAT" and "OK, fine. If you did not know, good. Now it will help you when you give the CAT". But, I digress.


Here enters the QM. Now I have a feeling, the QM entered here figuratively as well because if the finals was anything to go by - there is no way the same person could have set the elims, or if I am mistaken it just showed an extreme apathy towards the elims. Anyway, the finals were quite excellent. There were fundaes, Shamanth style question asking, (but nowhere near as cool). However this quiz too was affected by the bane of all quizzes, showing smart-ass ads and asking what happens next, and indentify this ad. If the QM could have veered away from this temptation, the quality of questions would have been elevated greatly. The presentation was a bit too loud and 'showy' for our liking, but what to do.


In general, must say the guys at Symbi are improving as far as flexibility, choosing of QMs, and management in general is concerned. Now, if only Dani hadn't called them Quiz Nazis, I would've said, well done!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Indian Cinema Quiz at B.J.Medical College

* Pretty decent film quiz (belying worries to the contrary) by Kiran and lot at B.J.Medical College, whose quizzing so far has been more famous for Shivaji-Vivek, paper planes and the "Khashaba Jadhav from Kolhapur" performance
* Good round structure (era-wise, buzzers, questions on film crews, audio-visuals)
* Questions were not obscure (95% at least) and topics were on stuff that a fan would be interested in knowing
* Was won by Niranjan and me, while Aditya Pethe and Harish (who was a super-sub!) came 2nd - they did get a couple of tough ones and parried a couple to us ;-). Suvojit and friend were 3rd in a good comeback. Can't remember team 4's names.
* Harish's father makes his debut - got some tough ones right later during the final from in the audience
* Pretty good organisation - even with the taut and blinding light-buzzers ("buzzer" is probably the wrong term)
* As I had expected, it was primarily a Hindi film quiz, with the 5% regional quota taken up mainly by Marathi, and then some Tamil and Bangla
* Had fun overall - I think all who were there would agree.

July Open Quiz - Results

* July BCQC Open Quiz on 9 July, 2006
* Set and conducted by Meghashyam Shirodkar
* Scoring: Infinite Rebounds (10 pts); No Pole Position; Elims winners decide seating order

Results (60 questions in the Final):

1st-C: Shamanth Rao and J. Ramanand (100 pts)
2nd-E: Aadisht Khanna and Raj Kamal (85)
3rd-B: Sayak Dasgupta and Suvojit Chakraborty (80)
4th-A: Rishi Iyengar and Udatta Duarah (75)
Jt 5th-D: Shivaji Marella and Maitreyi Gupta (70)
Jt 5th-F: Niranjan Pedanekar and Gaurav Sabnis (70)

Elims results (30 questions):

1st: Ramanand and Shamanth (21.5)
2nd: Sayak and Suvojit (19)
3rd: Rishi and Udatta (18.5 *)
4th: Raj K and Aadisht (18.5)
5th: Niranjan and Gaurav (18)
6th: Maitreyi and Shivaji (16.5)
Cutoff: 16.5

Comments and Criticisms:

* I didn't like the elims much. Some of the questions like the Jolie, sudoku qns should not have been asked, IMHO. Some of the qns could have been better and more carefully framed. Probably the 1523-Great Britain qn was the best of the lot.
* The finals had too many easy questions shown by the fact that as much as 28 out of 60 qns were answered on the direct.
* Overall, the choice of content was fine, but the framing of questions made it too easy. Some of the questions were extremely huge - I have not seen such end to end slide coverage :-). I have a feeling that workability is sometimes taken to the extreme where too many clues are thrown into the pot. For instance the Empire State Bldg qn: it had enough material to set about 10 qns on the topic. One or two strands could have been picked out to make a smaller and more neater question. A thumb rule could be to keep eliminating clues in a question until the least amount is left which is at the same time still generally workable. It's a tough thing to get right, no doubt
* QM needed to be a little firm during arguments :-) Don't ask the audience for opinions, and if possible, even anticipate such problem areas during setting
* Now for some positives: this is probably Meghashyam's 2nd or 3rd quiz ever, so for a beginner, the quiz was pretty decent. There were no hitches in presentation etc.
* The questions on "first lines...Win 95 removal", "chote sarkar-sorry", the 1st qn on tennis, the ship MV..., etc were very good. Some of the other choices in questions were decent, but made too easy by framing, or were such that there were only few options to guess, what Niranjan calls "survivability" of a question was low in most qns
* At the risk of sounding like Rahul Dravid, these open quizzes are also an opportunity for newer people to have the experience of setting questions and organising quizzes. We have had at least 3 debuts in the last 8 quizzes, and the results have been encouraging.


* Thanks to Meghashyam for the prizes :-)
* Thanks to the participants, from Mumbai and the locals, for braving the slightly inclement political weather and turning up !
* I wonder why no one thought of the team name "conceived on the fourth of October" considering the subtitle of the quiz
* We may have a vacant slot for September, so if anyone's interested in holding a quiz then, please let me know and I'll see if it becomes possible. Samrat will do the quiz in November.

As usual, please leave comments on this post if you have anything to say about yesterday's quiz.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Two quizzes

There will be two open quizzes in Pune on Sunday (9th July):

1. An Indian films quiz at B.J.Medical College, Pune. Teams of two, open to all, Rs. 40/- entry fee. Time of quiz is 9:30 am

2. General quiz by Meghashyam Shirodkar at the Dewang Mehta Auditorium, "Bhageerath", Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd, Senapati Bapat Road. Teams of two, open to all, likely entry fees (as part of prize money kitty) of Rs. 50/-. Quiz starts at 3 pm.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

KQA Mahaquizzer - Pune

This is about the KQA's annual quiz Mahaquizzer that is scheduled for the 21st May (Sunday). The Pune round will be held at

Rooms 21 and 22,
The Institution of Engineers,
JM Road, Shivajinagar,

Reporting time at the venue: 9. 30am.

You may register for the quiz by sending an email to arul(dot)mani at gmail or to shamanth at gmail, indicating Mahaquizzer - in the subject line (this is for those who havent registered at the May Open in Pune) You are urged to register in advance to avoid alast minute hassles at the venue. Do also pass on the word to other quiz enthusiasts.

Details about the quiz (as provided by KQA):
The Karnataka Quiz Association will hold the second edition of Mahaquizzer, the annual solo quiz contest, in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and New Delhi on Sunday, 21 May 2006

Mahaquizzer is a written quiz; 150 general questions to be answered in 90 minutes.

Prizes will be awarded to the person with the top score in each city – in addition, prizes will be awarded to the best woman entrant and the best school entrant in each city.

The person with the top score across the cities will hold the title of Mahaquizzer for this year. The winner will also receive the Wing Commander Mulky Memorial Trophy for Quizzing Excellence from Wingco's family in June at the time of the KQA anniversary.

Date of contest: Sunday, 21 May 2006
Time: 1000hrs-1130hrs at all venues
No entry fee
Open to all (above the age of 12)

:: Shamanth

Amnesia 2006 - May Open Quiz - Report and Results

Amnesia 2006 - May Open Quiz

Date: 14 May, 2006
Set and Conducted: Niranjan Pedanekar

Quiz Final Results - 55 questions

1st: Shamanth Rao and Kunal Sawardekar (22)
2nd: B.V.Harishkumar & J. Ramanand (19)
3rd: Samrat Sengupta & Sudarshan Purohit (18)
4th: Anand Sivashankar & Vibhendu Tiwari (12)
Jt. 5th: Gaurav Sabnis & Sarika Chuni (7)
Jt. 5th: Rishi Iyengar & Rohan Morarka(7)

Quiz Elim Results

Cutoff: 18/35
1st: B.V.Harishkumar & J. Ramanand (23)
2nd: Samrat & Sudarshan (20.5)
3rd: Gaurav & Sarika(19)
4th: Kunal and Shamanth, Rishi & Rohan, Anand Sivashankar & Vibhendu Tiwari (all 18)


* Amnesia 2006 was Niranjan's 1st quiz in 5 years after the now-defunct series of Mensa quizzes which were part of local folklore. The usual Niranjan constructs of lateral connects, 10 feet deep entertainment and sci-tech questions, the long questions et al were back :-)
* There were a few questions that participants and audience found vague that the quiz creator later agreed with. But there were several compensating questions that were brilliantly set, IMO. A lot of new topics or refreshing takes on old topics were seen. The level of acceptance or dislike on some of the offbeat questions will be a subjective emotion - overall, I was very entranced by the questions (as usual :-))
* Also felt that the participants and even audience members responded well to the questions - some very good attempts, many successful, were heard. Personal favourites among questions were: (being careful about not giving them away for those who will read them later) the grey-blue boxes with red lines and a tree, the 4 geographical locations, mutation-self-selection-veracity, ali-gogh-reagan connect, 4 military guys connect etc.
* There were a few questions that were too easy, some that were good but repeated without the knowledge of the setter or were simply a little to "iffy" (pun intended ;-)). Most common criticism was the length of questions, though, I personally didn't have a problem except for about 10% of the questions.
* Response was a little disappointing, I thought. Though the good old Mensa flavour was revived by the presence of Niranjan's wife who however didn't pick up her traditional duties as a scorer this time.
* The competition was fierce, with the winners being decided only on the 2nd last question, until which team any of the top 3 could have picked up the top spot. Kunal and Shamanth have added another feather in their caps-which-now-looks-like-a-strange-bird. Since these series of quizzes are the only ones that (even) I allow myself to be a little immodest about, on behalf of the likes of George, Harish, Sujay and me, I'd like to welcome you to the club ;-)
* Finals Questions are unlikely to be available soon because the ppt is very large and some alternate form of dissemination will be required.

I think those who don't have a history of being Niranjan-quiz-philes should comment :-) (please point out omissions and errors in this post)

Monday, May 08, 2006

The May Open Quiz

What: The May Open Quiz
By: Niranjan Pedanekar
Date: 14th May, 2006 (Sunday)
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Bhageerath, Persistent Systems Pvt.
Ltd, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
Flavour: General
Time to report: 11:45 am
Elims begin: 12 pm
Team size: Members of two
Please try and make it on time - really, there is very little excuse for local quizzers to be late. The earlier we begin in the afternoon, the more convenient it will be for people from out of town.

Additionally, we will also conduct the now-regular midstream unseeded quiz for some of our inexperienced participants.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Small Note

Dunno if everyone has seen this but Anand has a comphrehensive review of the March Open that he and Vibhendu did up on his blog. He has detailed numerical analysis and personal opinions about each teams showing. Excellent, detailed and precise. Do see.

Monday, April 24, 2006

April Open Quiz - Results

* April BCQC Open Quiz on 23 April, 2006
* Set by Sarika Chuni and Gaurav Sabnis; conducted by Gaurav
* Scoring: Infinite Rebounds (2 pts); Pole Position bonuses (3/2/1)

Results (54 questions in the Final):

1st: Dhoomketu and Naveen Unni (17 pts)
Jt. 2nd: B.V. Harishkumar and Samrat Sengupta (16)
Jt. 2nd: Salil Bijur and J. Ramanand (16)
4th: Shivaji Marella and Ganesh Hegde (14)
5th: Arnold D'Souza and Shamanth Rao (super-sub for Kunal S :-)) (13)
6th: Kunal Thakar and Anupam Akolkar (12)

Elims results (35 questions):

1st: Harish and Samrat (18*)
2nd: Salil and Ramanand (18)
3rd: Dhoomketu and Naveen(?)
Cutoff: 14.5


* Participation numbers seem to be going up - many more new faces this time. More visitors from Bombay, two of whom won the quiz!
* Personally felt that the questions weren't completely upto the usual standards of the quiz-setters. Close to half the questions were entertainment related. Fewer connects (was expecting some of Gaurav's patented bizarro connects, but none materialised :-)) and very little sports. Uncharacteristic pitch. A lot more history and politics this time.
* Also felt that though some of the questions had some interesting trivia as their basis, the framing did not do justice to it. For instance, the questions on "What was Operation Wrath of God?" or on Norman, the NZ athlete were like Alicia Silverstone i.e. clueless.
* A slightly rushed affair which led to some questions not being done justice too; one of the more tougher elims I have taken.
* Couple of rough decisions going against H & S :-)
* Another super-sub: Shamanth replaced Kunal S for the finals as the latter is in the middle of exams.
* Since this is likely to be Gaurav's last formal quiz in Pune for a while - taking the opportunity to wish him well and thank him for the entertainment in the past.
* Next quiz: Niranjan's in May

Unseeded quiz results
For the first time, we held an unseeded 25 questions-written quiz for some of the lesser experienced quizzers. About 20 of them took part. Conducted by Shamanth, here are the results:

1st: Chinmay
2nd: Aniket Khasgiwale
3rd: Akshat Vyas
4th: Mithun Srivatsa, Arun Mirpuri, Gaurav Singh (Tied)

Please leave comments on this post if you have anything to say about yesterday's quiz. Also note that from this time, due to initiatives from Salil and Abhishek, we're recording more info about the quizzes in our report. I don't have my notes, so have left some info blank. Please do help complete

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

April Open Quiz

Sarika and Gaurav will be conducting an Open Quiz in Pune this weekend. Details:

Date - 23rd April 2006 (Sunday)
Time - 10:00 a.m. (finals will end at approx 3 p.m.)
Team Size 2 members
Venue - Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Bhageerath, Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd, Behind Domino's Pizza, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
Flavour: General
Contact for more info: gaurav(dot)sabnis(at)gmail...

Update: On the side, an "unseeded quiz" will also be conducted. This is meant for all rookie participants.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Sahara Aamby Valley City Brand Equity Quiz 06

Conducted by : Derek O' Brien
Date : 9th April, Sun.
Location: Sahara Aamby Valley City

Results : 1st Place - Goldman Sachs (Bangalore)
2nd Place - UTI Bank (Mumbai)
3rd Place - KPMG (Chennai)

Comments: Derek sprung a big surprise by having IR. This itself, added to the fact that he was in full form implementing the 'militaristic' theme fully as General RAMDI(RAMSKI?), parodies and usual leg-pulling made it a fun experience overall.

There were of course bad questions(esp. the AVs, which mostly involved muted/beeped out brand names in various unrelated movies/songs) However some questions were nice, and overall the surroundings did help lift up the mood of the average spectator.

The drive up to Amby Valley (to use a now obselte term) is quite spectacular to say the least, and it does quite help to have a member of a co-quizzer's family to drive you till there ;-)

Also to mention that Dhammo and Dhananjay narrowly missed out on the grand prize, and note, for future reference how Tamilian(South-Indian?) pronounciations can rob you of some considerable richess. (Note : Detailed teams to be put up later)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

March Open Quiz


1st: Kunal Sawardekar and Niranjan Pedanekar
2nd: Shamanth Rao and Abhishek Nagaraj
3rd: Ganesh Hegde and J. Ramanand
Other Finalists: Shivaji Marella+Siddharth Natarajan, Sudarshan Purohit+Salil Bijur, Meghashyam Shirodkar+Aniruddha Kasbekar

* Good quiz overall - several new areas explored
* Good coverage of sports and films, reflecting interests of the question setters :-)
* Some questions were a little too easy, IMO (none came to us - grrr!- except one, which we thought was too easy and hence got bowled through the gate)
* Techno-problems could have been avoided
* Thanks to the organisers for the prizes and the chocolates
* Some newer people spotted participating, including some kids who went on to smash the tough sports questions down the baseline.
* As Niranjan already commented, they won narrowly (by 5 points) "thanks to an answer by Kunal that ran 'sub-commandante marcos of EZNL' :-)"
* We have had six quizzes so far since May last year - every time, the winner has either been Niranjan or Kunal S. In fact, Kunal has won the last four in a row and plus he's having a terrific year (blame it on "final year luck" :-) ) - well done!
* The next open quiz will be in May, by Niranjan
* Apologies to Dominique Lapierre for polishing him off :-)

Others please comment...

Date and Time: 26 March, Sunday from 12:00 pm
Organised and Conducted by Vibhendu Tiwari and Anand Sivashankar
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Bhageerath, Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd., Pune
Flavour: General
Team Size: Two per team

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


- COEP Fervor(sic) Technical Quiz

Organized By :

Kapeesh Saraf, Aseem Deodhar, Kunal

Results :

1. Siddharth and Anupam(VIT)
2. Kunal T and Rashmi (VIT)
3. Kunal S and Arnold (FC + VIT)
4. Abhishek and Vineet (COEP)
5. Akshay Adya and Anay (COEP)
6. Sushant and Neeraj. (COEP)

Comments :

A tech-trivia quiz, with some funda based questions. Overall decent stuff.
Junta who attended, pls put more comments.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Fervor quiz

Me and a few friends are conducting a technical quiz as part of Fervor 2006. Details follow-

Date- Saturday, 11th March 2006.
Time- 10.30 a.m.
Venue-College of Engg., Shivajinagar, Pune.
Dept. of Mechanical engg.
Room no. 11 (tentatively)

Rules-Teams of two.
Only those with a valid college I-card will be allowed to participate.
Cross college teams allowed.
No registration fees.

You can also visit the Fervor website for more details about the event.
Amazing prizes to be won.

So if you (like me) are one of the generally jobless people who go to quizzes and love trivia, then make sure to be there. Okay, okay... be there even if you're one of the extremely busy and intellectually advanced souls for whom knowledge is an eternal pursuit and quizzing a religion and all that jazz... Or be there just because I'm asking you to come. But be there.

This also happens to be my maiden attempt at being a quiz master, so YT is truly excited at the prospects of all the brickbats he is likely to recieve. A few bouquets would surely help ;-)

- Kapeesh

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Chakravyuuh 2006 (COEP)

Main Quiz Results

1st: Gaurav Sabnis & Shamanth Rao
2nd: B.V.Harishkumar & J. Ramanand
3rd: Kunal Sawardekar and Shriniwas Kulkarni
Other finalists: Niranjan Pedanekar+Sudarshan Purohit, Samrat Sengupta+Siddharth Dani, Aditya Udas+Meghashyam Shirodkar

Quiz setters & hosts

Abhishek, Vineet, Aniket and all the rest from the COEP

Media Quiz
Organised by Kapeesh

Winner: J. Ramanand


* The quiz opened differently, with the new look Chakravyuuh round being conducted first. The format was: six questions on six topics ranging from 5 to 15 points based on difficulty levels for each team. Bonus points for other teams if a direct was not answered correctly. An early lead was taken by Harish and me. Later, during the conventional IR rounds, the other teams too pressed on the accelerators turning the quiz into an extremely close fight. The special themes were cracked early by G+S and S+N who went into the lead. K+S and H+me made a late surge. In the end, there were only 5 points separating the top two teams. G+S made a very good comeback considering they were trailing after the Chakravyuuh round.
* For the fourth time in a row, Harish and I came second at Chakravyuuh, something that caused a lot of disappointment :(
* The disappointment was quelled by one of the best quizzing days I've personally had with some of the best post-quiz Sharvaree sessions ever. (Will be posting the DCH stuff in detail next week)
* It was one of the tightest quiz finishes I have participated in
* Some great moments: Dani, Samrat (returning back after a long while with no attenuation of his bon mots)
* We had some kids turn up for the quiz (duly rewarded with chocs!) reminding us that we really have to try and get the schools quiz going.


* Good organisation, excellent production, time was adhered to
* Overall, IMO, the quiz was quite good. I didn't like Theme 2 much, thought it was contrived and definitely too local and tough for non-Maharashtrians (though ironically, we'd remember Dani's outburst for a while :-) ) Theme 1 was better, but the general observation that it is very hard to set such pyramid connects while maintaining consistency.
* Chakravyuuh round: nice concept, but some of the 5-pointers were too tough and some of the 15 pointers too easy. Connects were decent. Questions inspired some good answering.
* We have to standardise irritants like these thousand variations of Infinite Rebounds. I'll start a thread on it on this blog - it's very frustrating when we end up arguing on stage.
* Could some of the questions pared down in their length?
Overall, an memorable experience.

* Last year's results.
* Some sample questions.

Abhimanyu 2006 (COEP)

Quiz Results

1st: Gaurav Singh (Speciality: Harry Potter stories)
2nd: Aniket (Speciality: Indian Test Cricket Captains)
Other finalists: Kapeesh Saraf (Bob Dylan), Kartik Iyer(World War II), Abhishek Nagaraj(Blackadder series), Vineet(Bal Gangadhar Tilak)

Quiz setters & hosts

Abhishek, Kapeesh, Aniket and all the rest from the COEP


The GK round held first bunched up the quizzers after a low scoring effort from all, but Gaurav cracked the speciality round 15/15 to sweep the contest and win the 6th edition of the intra-COEP solo quiz.

Previous year

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chakravyuh 2006

The details for Chakravyuh are:

Venue: COEP Auditorium.


  • 11 a.m.: Abhimanyu finals
  • 12:15 p.m.: Chakravyuh Elims
  • --- Fillers planned---
  • Latest by 2: Chakravyuh finals

Expected to finish by 5.

Teams of two. Attractive audience and finals prizes.

For more details see: The Chakravyuh Blog or call me, Abhishek at: 98907 26322. Cheers,

Monday, February 13, 2006

Nihilanth 2006 Quizzes

Aadisht Khanna, whom you may remeber from such blogs as Maajarly Shadymax Arbit Fundaes, was at the recently concluded IIT-IIM culfest Nihilanth. The following is his report of the quizzes conducted there.

General Arrangements:

The organisers were extremely professional, and pulled out all the stops for us. Nihilanth teams were each given a room to themselves, instead of being thrown into a dormitory or common room. Five to a room doesn't sound all that great but it much better than the twenty-five to a room funda at Saarang. Other areas where the organisers were helpful: delaying the start of events as far as possible when the IIMB and IITM teams were stuck on a delayed train, and coming up with a non-points quiz when one of the quizmasters cancelled the India Quiz at the last minute. Another good thing is that Nihilanth had an entire venue to itself, so no interruptions from other events. Grub and Coffee at the mess were also Landmark Quiz Bangalore level (by which I mean after anticipating something so bad, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it at least met minimum standards). Cribs with general arrangements: IIMC is probably the worst venue to hold a Nihilanth after IIT Kharagpur and Guwahati. Kolkata is too far away from all other institutes (except Kharagpur and Guwahati), and IIMC in turn is too far away from Calcutta. This drives up travel time and costs, and in the case of IIMB and IITM can screw you over (since the IIMB second string team and the IITM teams had to miss the Biz Quiz). Being far away from the city also meant that you couldn't go out to eat, and that the food stalls on campus for the IIMC fest (which was running in parallel) were freakishly expensive. Also, the campus is frankly smelly and dilapidated- the seven 'lakes' lead to many insects, which lead to many birds, which leads to the campus being festooned with guano. The toilets are givvup-level- IIMC junta seem to not grasp the concept of flushing. Finally, although this is a problem with the sponsors more than the organisers, cheques for pirze money and travel reimbursement were not given immediately (and still haven't reached after two weeks).

The Quizzes:

Biz Quiz: won by IIMB after the only guy from there who refused to trust the public sector and flew down instead qualified solo while waiting for the rest of his team to show up (thank you, thank you). IIMA finished second. Conducted by G Sreekanth. Good points:

    1. Some very good fundaes
    2. Sreekanth came up with a variation on Stage 2 where instead of getting negative points for guessing the theme wrong, you only lose the opportunity to guess it further on in the round. Makes the risk more palatable.
Bad points:
  1. Some of the clues in the connect questions were really tangential.
  2. This quiz used Direct-Pass instead of Infinite Bounce (which IITM and IIMB have already moved beyond in favour of Modified Infinite Bounce).
Sci-Tech Quiz: conducted by Sreekanth and Anil. Won by IIMB-II. IIMB-I came second. Last quiz to be conducted on the first day, and finished at about two/ half past two in the morning. Started out with teams struggling to stay awake and then getting more alert as the quiz got more interesting.

Good Stuff:

  1. Some very good questions.
Bad Stuff:
  1. The questions were inconsistent. Some were too easy and some were bizarrely difficult.
  2. The stage two (Lucasian professors) was a peter* (to be fair, the QMs might not have known this).
Sports Quiz: conducted by Anil. I have zero fundaes on sports, so can't comment on it, but my team says it was one of the best quizzes ever, with very good fundaes. IIMB was obliterated in this quiz- I think IITM and IIMA were in the points for this one.

Movies Quiz: conducted by the IIMI chap who started the Nihilanth concept (can't remember his name). This was (almost) the worst quiz- prepared in a hurry and with almost every question getting answered on the direct. It was also short, so that if you missed a single question, you ended up out of contention. This was won by IIT Roorkee, which managed to crack almost every pass that came their way. The two IIMB teams finished joint third. I'm not sure who finished second- I think IIT KGP.

Lit+Arts: The best quiz in the two days over there. Conducted by Beatzo. Very long, but fun. (Shades of the Saarang Lone Wolf.) Good points:

  1. Beatzo seems to have struck a refined balance between questions he wants to put and a difficulty/ obscurity level which participants are comfortable with. So lots of new fundaes, but which were still crackable and workoutable.
  2. A written Stage Two.
  3. A long, long Stage Two (20 questions, I think).
Bad points: none.

Won by IIMB-I. I think IITM and IIMA were second and third in some order.

Non-ranking general quiz: conducted by IIMC junta after the India quiz was cancelled (as the QM hadn't prepared it). This was conducted for the prize money of the India Quiz, but had no points counting towards the Nihilanth trophy. IIMC was barred from participating. Won't comment on this- the organizers had to come up with a quiz on short notice, so they used questions which I think were used in IIMC internal quizzes. Since three QMs had to contribute whichever questions they had, there were problems with putting the questions on Powerpoint slides properly, the balance of the quiz, etc. I won't crib about this- if you have to come up with a quiz in eight hours (that too, starting at two in the morning), its excusable. I think IIMA won this, and IIMB-II came second or third.

General Open Quiz [Conducted by Gautam Bhimani (questions may have been contributed by Joy Bhattacharya, who was supposed to conduct it but told jai)] : The Open quiz of the culfest, which was open to the general public but had four spaces reserved for Nihilanth teams. However, all these four spaces were occupied on 'merit'. This was the worst quiz of the festival- not just by being the least good, but by being in a whole new league of badness. Cribs:

  1. No starred questions in the prelims.
  2. Almost zero funda-based questions.
  3. Although infinite bounce was used, the QM still had 'rounds'. Instead of mixing the questions up, there was an 'audio' round, a 'video' round, dy rounds, etc.
  4. The audio round was in turn a special round, where all the questions were based on covers/ ripoffs and fell into the set {Who is performing the cover, Who is the original by, Who has ripped this song off, Which is the song that has been ripped off}
  5. The filenames of the videos were not changed, so some questions had to be scrapped when the filenames showed up on the display.
  6. There was one round based on identifying celebrities from their pictures as kids.
  7. There was another round based on identifying the celebrity partners of people in the photos.

Won by Beatzo+Anil+someone else.

::Aadisht Khanna

*peter - n, IITM lingo : A question in a quiz that has been asked in a previous quiz (allegedly from the word "repeater").

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Quiz-O-Mania 2006 Results & Comments


1st: Kunal Sawardekar and Shamanth Rao
2nd: Niranjan Pedanekar and Sudarshan Purohit
3rd: Gaurav Sabnis and Ganesh Hegde
Other finalists: J. Ramanand and B.V.Harishkumar, Meghashyam Shirodkar and Aditya Udas, Abhishek Nagaraj and Shriniwas Kulkarni

Quiz organised and conducted by: VIT (Anupam-Kunal Thakar-Salil-Siddharth)

Report and Comments

* Kunal and Shamanth creamed the opposition in this quiz by a whopping margin - Niranjan and Sud made a good late comeback to snap up 2nd spot
* Must say that the poor auditorium facilities ruined any viewing pleasure for audience and participants - it made good questions feel ok and bad questions terrible
* A little disappointed overall with the questions - a lot of repeats/known trivia
* A few excellent questions, but drowned in the cacophony - Nepal massacre, Asterix-Tour de France, Schengen visa etc. come to mind
* Avoidable snafus meant that last year's effort outshone this time's.

Others please chip in.

BCQC - Maharashtra Herald article

Another article on the BCQC (please note new URL!), this time in the Maharashtra Herald. Click on the image above to enlarge (it is a little big). (Thanks to some of the dads involved in the operation :-) )

Previous features:

* The Indian Express
* Pune Times of India

Monday, February 06, 2006

Wing Commander Mulky no more

One of the founders of the KQA and well-known quizzer Wing Commander Mulky passed away on Saturday.

Dharmendra has this personal tribute to him.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A few Surmises on the 'Steal' Variation

Just for completeness, here is stated the steal variation on IR (introduced by Brijesh):

  1. Passing is as per normal IR order.
  2. Before the team on the direct answers, any other team might intrude and get points (+ve and -ve) as per the correctness of their response.
  3. These teams are thereby omitted from the regular passing order.
  4. Those teams who have not 'stolen' in this way, can continue as normal.

At the two instances that this has been tried out the scoring rule was : +10/-10

Why I Like it:

  1. As said before, the closer a system is to written elims, the fairer it is. True in this case.
  2. Rewards people for surety of answers.
  3. Independent of passing order, length of passing chain etc.
  4. Teams blame only themselves for knowing the answers and not answering, other than the standard(pls. pardon) 'i-knew-it-but-never-came-to-us' routine.

Why I Don't Like it:

  1. A great burden on the precious time of quizzers (?), venues, audience etc.
  2. NOT great for people watching in the halls. It gets very boring - QMs having private discussions with the teams.
  3. Maybe, takes away a bit from the guessing part of quizzing. Rewards exact perfect knowledge to reasoned, logical guesses. But that is how competitive quizzing is these days.(sigh!)


I really feel is system mein kuch dam hai. It really has enough things going for it, to make it a really, major viable option to IR. And yes, I also think that it is a much major 'variation' on IR - than the others we've had, to really call it a variation. A couple of suggestions though:

  • To make the time wastage at a minimum, make it clear that you do not encourage steals. This may seem a bit antithetical but making the points system +10/-20 would make the odds for a team, who is 'reasonably confident' to defer answering - and thereby reducing number of such steals, and thereby time.
  • I think for large, big-money quizzes to involve the audience we need to take a cue from the much hated Derek. On BQC, they have a similar funda where teams type in their answer and the audience can see it, and that sort if thing. In fact the whole clandestine, the secret's between the QM and the audience would actually make the people sitting extremely excited and interested. However alas!, no joy for low-budget, technologically handicapped quizzes like ours.
  • Also since there is no audience at BCQC, that certainly makes 'steal' ka palla bhari, for use at meetings.

Think for the day: Is there any way of combining graded points award system (points proportional to no. of teams answering) with steal ?



Thursday, February 02, 2006


Vishwakarma Institute of Technology (VIT), Pune is organising the 5th edition of its annual quiz QUIZ-O-MANIA this weekend. This year a music quiz will be held along with the general quiz.

QUIZ-O-Mania, the Open General Quiz
Date: 4th Feb 2006 (Saturday)
Time: Registrations begin at 12.00pm. Elims at 1.00pm
Teams of 2, Entry open to all
Venue: VIT Auditorium

Open Music Quiz
All types of music genre will be covered.
Date: 5th Feb 2006 (Sunday)
Time: Registrations begin at 10.00am. Elims at 11.00am
Teams of 3, Entry open to all
Venue: VIT Auditorium

Both quizzes have a total prize of Rs.20,000 including cash.
Exciting audience prizes.
Snacks will be provided to all finalists.

How to get there:

Contact for details:
Salil - 9823112258
Kunal - 9890180692
Siddharth - 9422501573

Monday, January 30, 2006

Chakravyuh Announcement

Firstly apologies for not sticking to the new testament of quiz announcements. Here are the courte details for the regulars :

Date : 25th Feb.
Day : Saturday
Venue : COEP Amphi.
Time : Registrations begin 10 am.

Note : also watch out for lone-wolf media quiz and Abhimanyu.

Please visit : Chakravyuh Blog for full details.


PS : Also thought - please check out beta version of BCQC website.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Wall Street 2005 - Business & Economics Quiz

Quiz set and conducted by: Kunal Sawardekar

1st: Prakash + 1 (SCMHRD)
2nd: Anupam Akolkar + Salil Bijur (VIT)
Joint 3rd: Kunal Thakar + Anand Ayyadurai (VIT) & Harsh Ketkar + Arnab Pal (VIT)
5th: Siddharth Dani (VIT) & Abhishek Nagaraj (COEP)
6th: Symbiosis

Monday, January 16, 2006

IMS Quotient

1st: Fergusson: Kunal Sawardekar, Puranjay Parchure, Rachana
2nd: VIT (1): Harsh Ketkar, Rashmi Vadanagare, Nilay Puntambekar

Also: Symbiosis Law, VIT (2), Sinhagad COE, Wadia

This was the Pune leg of the IMS Quotient (IQ) Quiz. The winners go to Delhi for the grand final on 14th Feb. More details here.

QM: Charanpreet Singh

Comments: {Will be put up soon.}

Friday, January 13, 2006

Chakravyuh Insight

Chakravyuh now has it's own blog / website. Check it out at

Note that details regarding exact dates etc. are yet to be made clear. Please comment if 25th of Feb, Saturday would be convenient.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

January 2006 - Open Quiz


1st: Kunal Sawardekar, Sudarshan, Kunal Thakar
2nd: Niranjan, Pradeep Ramarathnam, Ramanand
3rd: not sure
Others: Salil-Arnab-Bharath, Vibhendu-Balaji-Puranjay, Harish-Sirisha, Anand-Srikant-Harsh, Abhishek-Brijesh-Siddharth, Ganesh-Aniruddh-Arun

Important Update

The quiz has been advanced to 14 Jan, Saturday. Venue: COEP's Boat Club. Time: 1 pm.

Date 15th January, Sunday
Time 2 pm
Venue The Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Persistent Systems, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
Flavour General
To be conducted by Shamanth Rao
Structure Teams of 2, written elims, eight teams in the final

Contact info 98810-00957

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A checklist while organising quizzes

After a couple of recent quizzes where some basic concepts were found to be lacking, here are a list of things that have come out of our collective experience of attending and setting quizzes. If there are any additions/corrections, please leave them in the comments.


  • Set the correct expectations for the quiz. Clearly mention the nature of the quiz if there are themes involved. It's better to have a small group of interested participants rather than a crowd of disgruntled hangers-on who thought there would be "free pizza, man!"
  • Mention the following points:
    • Expected team size
    • Location (with directions if required)
    • Starting time and expected duration
    • Registration if required (most good quizzes don't need prior registration and actually find it more convenient that way - on the spots are preferred)
    • Any criteria to be satisfied
    • Contact information
    • Who is/are organising and conducting the quiz (if you don't mind revealing such "sensitive" information)
    • Incentives to attend the quiz (if you are well-endowed in this respect)
  • Publicity depends on how much money you have to spend and also your target audience. In the usual cases, don't forget to spread the word on the message boards and egroups (don't be insolent enough to assume they'd find out if they want to :-) ) and let all the "usual suspects" know. If you post on these egroups, do put in the obligatory questions so that your mail isn't spamming those who are not interested in attending.


  • As far as possible, start on time. Even if you don't think enough people have turned up. The latecomers can start late (and be given extra time if required and if possible). Set a standard, especially if this is an annual affair - you should see these latecomers show up earlier next year! This way, you'll atleast keep the punctual quizzers on your side.
  • Make sure you announce the following (or mention it in the elims sheet):
    • Duration of the elims
    • Tiebreak policy (the best way is to have certain questions - known in the trade as "starred qns" - marked as those which will be used for breaking ties. I have gone as far as to use two sets of "starred qns" - primary and secondary - to avoid having tiebreakers for deciding finalists, for it is so messy)
    • If you have any carryovers of points from elims to finals, mention it clearly. Such things should necessarily be announced pre-elims
  • Check your elims for typos. If there are any, make sure you make effective announcements about them
  • If your elims have audio/visual questions, it would be preferable to play them at least twice to provide teams with the opportunity to chew over them
  • As far as possible, don't change too many things during the elims for this makes teams uneasy
  • If you have people helping you with correction, provide them with sample answer sheets if they aren't familiar with them
  • Work out what constitutes a correct answer and what parts deserve partial credit. If possible, indicate this in the elims questions. Also ensure all paper checkers are in agreement over this
  • Keep checking as transparent as possible. Announce the cutoffs before the finals so that teams aggrieved over this matter can approach you (IMO, it is extremely silly and unprofessional to keep this a secret and only gives rise to idle speculation). If possible, return elims papers to teams (without accepting doctored efforts later ;-))
  • Announce how long paper checking will take, when and where the announcements of results will be made and when the final will commence
  • Decide in advance when you want to announce the answers to the elimination questions. Some like to hold it back to just before the final begins, but in most cases, it is customary to announce answers immediately after the elims


  • Decide clearly many days in advance what the format of the quiz should be - i.e. the rules of passing, the value of directs and passes etc. It is, IMO, a sign of imbecility for this decision to made carelessly (and without any thought) a few seconds after the final has begun
  • Similarly, if there are any "special" rounds, work out all the rules for that round and figure out how to explain them to the participants and the audience. Also think about possible failure points and what you intend to do if they occur
  • For each question, determine in advance what the acceptable answers (according to you) should be and how is credit to be divided. For instance, some questions have two parts to them - so decide if you need boths parts simultaneously and hence will award full points to only that team that provides both first, or whether you will give partial points to two teams if it so happens. Announce this before teams have started answering that question
  • What will you do if there is a tie for the top spots? Will you split the prizes (can this be done?) or must you insist on breaking a tie or will you leave it to the teams so deadlocked? Answer these questions
  • Do you need to draw lots to decide seating (most quizzes prefer this)? Then arrange for lots. Some of the Pune quizzes have experimented with letting teams decide seating based on some rules. If this is the case, like in the case of carryovers mentioned in the earlier section, announce this during the elims.
  • Announce the length of the quiz before you begin. Mention the remaining duration at intervals during the quiz
  • Remember to reverse rounds if this is necessary (most quizzes have this) at the appropriate point

  • How do you want to arrange seating for the finalists?
  • Arrange for and test mikes, buzzers and other equipment well in advance instead of holding up play (apologise if you can't :-) )
  • When you have files for audio/video etc., ensure you edit the filenames and display tags to remove any hints towards the answers (being paranoid about these things is fine)
  • Organise all software (presentation, audio, video etc) well in advance. If possible, check the m/c and projector equipment to be used a day earlier
  • Organise requisite number of copies of the elims, a couple of copies of the text of the finals. Keep a few e-copies of the finals & elims if required (again, be paranoid about loss). Keep them secured :-)
  • Get blank papers for use by finalists. Water for them would be a welcome addition.
  • Organise all scorers and helpers and volunteers
  • Answer what-ifs like what if the power goes out, if the audio or video can't be played, if you exceed the timelimit etc.
  • Do you need to work in breaks in the schedule. e.g, is lunch time or a tea break looming in your day's schedule?
  • Be aware of answers to questions on prizes: when, how much, where etc. Give this info to those who qualify
  • Be kind to the audience - have prizes for them if possible
  • Keep extra questions handy - they come in useful for breaking ties and engaging the audience if necessary and god knows what else!
That's all I could think of. These might seem to be an inordinately long and pedantic list, but I think they are just all about common sense. You want your participants to be as comfortable as possible in your quiz and doing these things will, IMHO, go a long way in ensuring that. Of course, there's a small matter of also ensuring your questions are of a good quality, but for that you should read these (1, 2 and 3). But if you follow most of the above, you'll atleast get brownie-fudge-with-vannila-ice-cream points for sincerity.

{Side note: this blog completes two years of existence this month, so thanks to all those who read, digested and contributed to this very interesting effort.}