Tuesday, February 27, 2007

BC quizzing overseas - Season Opener Quiz at Georgia Tech 2007

Nupur, active quizzer at the BC lawns during her undergrad stint at COEP, conducted a quiz for her friends at Georgia Tech. A report.

Date: 17th Feb, 2007
Venue: Georgia Tech's College of Computing Building
Conducted by: Nupur Dave

Winners: Bharat Jayakumar, Deeparnab Chakraborty, and Gaurav Bhatia.


* I started the QC innings at gatech with a mixed bag. Questions were made, BCQC style, very workable.
* Well received quiz. Great turnout.
* Not a lot of people have heard about the BCQC so this was a good method to get them introduced to it.
* About the quizzers who attended. Bharat Jayakumar, perusing a PhD at gatech, was the winner of the 2004 International UK vs India, University challenge. Deeparnab Chakroborty (PhD CS gatech) is also an excellent and avid quizzer from IITB. There seem to be a good pool of quizzers at gatech and with word getting around, I am sure the gatech quiz club will be gaining momentum pretty soon.
* I am being offered to conduct a similar quiz for the Association for India's Development (AID) Atlanta chapter, sometime. This would be done on a larger scale and I would love to showcase it with the BCQC connection.

:: Nupur

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Indian Cinema Quiz at B.J.Medical College - Report

Date: 18 Feb, 2007 (Sunday)
Venue: B J Medical College, Pune
Quiz set by: Kiran, Snehal, and friends

1st: Niranjan + Ramanand
2nd: Phani Babu + B. V. Harish Kumar
3rd: Safal + Satyanshu
4th: Sameer + Anand


* Like last time, had an enjoyable time at the cinema quiz
* Was completely Hindi-cinema oriented this time
* Criticisms: many qns were too easy, and lifted from the Penguin Indian Cinema quizbook
* Interesting aspects: they have a very different format (with lots of buzzer questions, elims with -ve marking etc.) which forces teams to react differently
* Harish and his dad (making his debut on stage!) were off to a good and early lead. Safal and Satyanshu had one dream round where they got all 4 buzzer questions set in the era 71-85, though some of it was due to some strategic buzzing. Niranjan and I made up in the exclusively-buzzer round (we had a missed a few earlier, which given the easiness of questions was almost fatal). It was tight and could have easily remained with the leaders. Blame it on buzzers
* A nice aspect was the reading out of little tidbits about the personality or film involved in each answer. The organisers had put in a fair amount of effort to create the slides and audio/visuals, for which they are to be commended. But some more effort on content is needed.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

India Quiz at Silhouettes 2007 - Report

Date: 17 Feb, 2007 (Saturday)
Venue: AFMC, Pune
Quiz set by: Anand Misra

1st: Sajith Surendran + Nitin Arun Dikshit (AFMC)
2nd: Shamanth Rao + Salil Bijur
3rd: Ganesh Hegde + Suvojit Chakraborty (substituted by Samrat Sengupta)
4th: Safal Muhammad + Vivek Mathew (AFMC)
5th: Pallavi Rautrey + Junaira Rahman (SSLC)
6th: Prashant Singh + A.K. Gupta (CME)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Quiz-O-Mania 2007 - Report

Date: 3 Feb, 2007 (Saturday)
Venue: VIT, Pune
Quiz set by: Harsh Ketkar, Arnab Pal, Rashmi Vadnagare

1st: Shivaji Marella + Kunal Sawardekar (90)
2nd: Meghashyam Shirodkar + Abhishek Nagaraj (80)
3rd: Vibhendu Tewari + AP Alagarsamy (70)
4th: Ganesh Hegde + Salil Bijur (40)
5th: J. Ramanand + B.V. Harish Kumar (30)
6th: Niranjan Pedanekar + Samrat Sengupta (20)


* Excellent elims with emphasis on business questions
* Finals were mixed: on the -ve side, there were some vague "connects", easy questions answered on the first attempt, questions that could have been framed better. On the +ve side, there were some nice questions that were very well-framed.
* Finalists outnumbered the audience members :-)
* Given the mad scramble for last spot, a new term for the wooden spoon was coined by Samrat sir (whose team fittingly won it!): the Laal LoTaa (see Lanterne Rouge) :-)

Shyam Bhat Memorial Quiz 2007 - Report

Date: 15 Feb, 2007 (Saturday)
Venue: AFMC, Pune
Quiz conducted by: Safal Mohammad and Vivek Philip

1st: Shamanth Rao + Kunal Sawardekar
2nd: Sayak Dasgupta + Abhishek Ray
3rd: Shivaji Marella + Amit Koregaonkar
4th: Cadet Nishant Karol + Cadet Pulkit Dewan
5th: Uday Mehta + Karan Rampal
6th: Salil Bijur + Suvajit Chakraborty

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Business and Entertainment Quiz at Silhouettes 2007

Venue: Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.
Conducted by: Safal Mohammad

Winners: Sayak Dasgupta and Abhishek Ray [Symbiosis Society's Law College (SSLC)]
Runners-up: Suvajit Chakraborty and Subhodeep Jash (SSLC)
Second Runners-up: Nikhil Shriram and Abhilash Chander (SSLC)
Also: Vivek Philip+1 (AFMC), Kunal Sawardekar (Pune Univ) and Arnab Pal (VIT), Nikhil Motlag and Avaneendra Bhargav (AISSMS CoE).


- Although the elims had a good mix, the finals had only ten business questions, compared to fifty ent questions.

- Symbi Law swept this quiz, taking the first three places, putting up, as they say, a jolly good show.

- Although the questions were overall quite decent (with the customary AFMC focus on fundae rather than workability), there were a bunch of peters and rather simple questions (eg a question that was very suspiciously similar to one asked in Quiz-o-mania 05, and another that asked us to identify the tune of the US national anthem).

[Apologies for wrong spellings of names, if any. Please to correct. Also, I apologise for not getting everyones names, so please tell us the names of the gentlemen from AFMC and SCOE not named here, if you know.]

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Pot of Gold System of Equitable Distribution

As a perpetual also-ran in the finals(and non-qualifier) of numerous quizzes, I have always deeply felt for the 4th,5th and 6th teams who despite qualifying get nothing out of the tons of money the organizers have on offer. An audience member who answers a stupid question could end up with much more than the team which came 4th. Case in point Landmark, where everyone(including that hindi-poet guy) except teams 4,5,6 went home without anything. (That's probably better that the CD of #1 Their Greatest Hits Chapter. 2 - includes super hit tracks Channa Vey, Kabhi, Duur, Tanha Dil, Maaeri, Chhod do Aanchal that I got.)

That however prompted me to put into words this idea I have been toying with for some time now. It's called the 'Pot of Gold System' wherein, the total prize money up for grabs forms a central 'Pot of Gold', and that money is divided into the ratio of scores that the teams get in the finals. A few potential drawbacks are:

  1. Loss of 'tension' and 'stakes' for winners place : Consider a situation where two teams are locked on 1st place at 100 points. They wont go all out for the prize because they know they are going to end up with roughly the same amount of money.
  2. Lowering of the stakes: The prizes of course become less top-heavy as the amount of money remains the same, but is more equally distributed. For eg: winners at Landmark would have had to make do with probably 15,000 worth vouchers etc.
  3. If a team makes 0 points it still does not get anything whereas going by the premise that they are better that the people who did not make it, they deserve something.
  4. Arithmetic will become too cumbersome, and the show will become unwholesome for public consumption.
Advantages are obviously fairer distribution and better incentives for laggards. Teams far behind in the pecking order will not lose interest but will also try and mop up as many points as they can. Here is the system I propose which can balance all these factors, eliminating the 3 drawbacks and minimizing the 'unjust' methodologies and systems.
  1. The Pot of Gold is divided into 3 base amount initially. X,Y and Z. X / (no of teams) is the minimum base amount which every team will get. A possible value for X could be the returning of registration costs.
  2. The values of X,Y,Z are so chose that X is much lesser that Y and Z is lesser than Y.
  3. The value Z represents the Bonus Gold which represents the incentives teams get for winning. The amount Z could be divided into 2/3 parts given to the top 2/3 teams.
  4. The value X represents the Pot of Gold, for which the teams are playing.
  5. To minimize the problem of cumbersome arithmetic we can round up / down to the nearest 50 or it also be programmed into a live scoring system.
As usual the whole point of writing this is to solicit your opinions on this, and try and see if it can work. This seems to me a very logical step in making quizzing fairer. I know it still has some drawbacks like it will not work in case of prizes in kind, or people not wanting to give 6 awards / certificates. Anyway it is a very implementable system in an open environment where cash is all that one is vying for.