Friday, March 30, 2007

March 2007 BC Open Quiz - QM's (Harish) notes

(See the report on the quiz)

Some of the objectives I had set for this quiz:

1. Set a new precedent for the BCQC Open in terms of production values.
2. Increase the audience involvement during the finals.
3. Questions to be framed in such a way that every team 'type' (those who prefer to work it out; those who know a lot; those who just guess) should have an equal chance.
4. Introduce areas which have not been covered till date without losing out on the interest levels.
5. Make the quiz more interesting with new rounds/formats.

Some notes:

1. Low turnout for the quiz. We need to get the scheduling right and the QMs need to focus their energies on retaining those who do turn up.

2. Very low scoring elims. Lot of questions in the finals went unanswered. JR - can you confirm the number? (JR: 13 out of 36, seamless questions only) I don't agree with Anand's diagnosis - as mentioned in his comment. But we need to think about it.

3. The Speciality round should have been better thought out and executed. 5-pointers would have been a better idea but as Siddhu says hindsight is always 20:20. I don't think couple of teams not getting the same number of directs as the others makes the quiz any less equal. It is just that the format is different. I am also not so much 'For' this equalizing/normalizing of the scoring/format. Drama is what will make the audience interested and the audience is what will keep the club and the quizzing continue. In fact, I'd say if we have to give an edge, let the leading edge go to the audience rather than the quizzers on stage. As long as 70% of the quiz comprises of good questions, the quizzers will be happy (read will return for the next quiz) but if the audience (the not-so-regular quizzers and those who don't qualify) is not happy with the quiz, they will not return for the next quiz. Hitting the golden median is a moving target - I don't think we can achieve it. The next best alternative is to provide enough likeable points for all the stakeholders to ensure they come back and get more people with them.

4. The Bid round, on hindsight again, didn't seem to have elements of equal weight/importance. Could have done a lot better on those Qs. It is a format that can be tried out but as JR says, it is a very tricky one. Getting Connects right will probably be the subject of a Mel Gibson movie.

5. I was satisfied with the effort put in and on a broad basis, the feedback I have got - during the quiz and even after the quiz, has been in line with my evaluation.

6. I hope this quiz makes other QMs think more on how to make the quizzes more interesting and that we should treat these Open quizzes as an opportunity to pit their product against the Landmarks, BEQs and Crucibles of the world. Those quizzes, whether we agree or not, have a certain brand value associated and lot of it has got to do with the effort that goes into it.

7. We should also be aware of the possibility of Landmark and PSPL pulling out of this because of lack of participation, interest levels and lack of quality (!?). We have to work towards avoiding this situation and in fact make the Open quizzes so good that they attract more sponsors and more audience and more quizzers. I don't know if I have succedded in any respect with W5H 2007 but I hope others think about it and do a good job of it.

8. The last and the most frustating aspect of the Open quizzes that irks me no end - at the end of the quiz, I see chocolate wrappers and other litter thrown all over the stage area. JR does the clean-up probably because he knows the effort that went in to get the PSPL folks to give us the Audi and thus, knows the value of it. Let's show some more civic sense. (JR: hopefully, I'd do that at other places too! :-))

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

March 2007 BC Open Quiz - Report

Date: 24 Mar, 2007
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, PSPL

Open Quiz
Set and Conducted by: B.V. Harish Kumar
Theme: General

Quiz Final Results
(36 seamless + 6*6 specialities + 6 bid questions + 6*8 rapidfire)
1st: Samrat Sengupta + Salil Bijur (B) - 190
2nd: Niranjan Pedanekar + J. Ramanand (C) - 140
3rd: Amit Varma + Sumant Srivathsan (D) - 115
4th: Anand Sivashankar + Vibhendu Tiwari (F) - 110
5th: Ganesh Hegde + Kunal Thakar/Sudarshan Purohit (supersub) (E) - 85
6th: Kunal Sawardekar + Shamanth Rao (A) - 55

Quiz Elims Results
(cutoff: 15/35 qns)
1st: Anand Sivashankar + Vibhendu Tiwari - 17.5 (recd. bonus of 15 pts in final)
2nd: Samrat Sengupta + Salil Bijur (B) - 17 (bonus of 10)
3rd: Niranjan Pedanekar + J. Ramanand (C) - 16 (bonus of 5)
4th: Amit Varma + Sumant Srivathsan (D) - 15.5
5th-6th: Ganesh Hegde + Kunal Thakar, Kunal Sawardekar + Shamanth Rao - 15

Report (by Samrat and Ramanand)

* Thankfully, unlike the morning's quiz, the open quiz saw much better attendance (~20 teams).
* A very good and interesting elims. Qn 24 (recounted in the samples below) was particularly memorable. Elimination was one of the lowest scoring in recent times, but the quality of questions reflected the type in the finals which is a good practice.
* In a marked departure from previous BC Opens, Harish designed the quiz to have more non-IR rounds and a greater audience focus. We have been guilty of not having much for the audience to do during the finals except watch blankly, which was corrected by Harish this time.
* The quiz began with a video from Harish's previous Open, showing the then winners having bulbs go off inside them leading to some trampoliner-imitations. This seemed to have some effect on many participants, as many of them started leaping around in the quiz. The quiz was quite an audience spectacle - with lots of drama, controversy, sledging, sulking, witticisms, and smiles.
* A summary of the new rounds: First, a specialities round where each team had to pick a topic from the likes of Non-Congress Central Govts, Jnanpeeth award winners, Page-3, Cricket coaches, Nike etc. They also had to nominate another team that would receive questions that the team couldn't answer. The 1st question was some sort of a screening qn - if you got it wrong, the rest of the questions (5 of them) would go en masse to the nominated team. Phew! This round saw a lot of drama when some teams tripped at the first question and had to sit out the other 5 in agony (most of which they knew - in Shamanth's case: all). This section provoked the most comments, which we will come later to.
* A bid round consisting solely of connects was also tried. With different bid levels, the expected amount of work to be done in solving the connects was different. Was an interesting concept.
* There was a rapid fire round at the end to wrap it up; questions were Mastermind type direct ones, though it did not hold much excitement as positions were more or less decided by then.
* A maha-connect based on answers to questions on the finals was exclusively open to audience members. There were quite a few good audience questions, unlike the usual cast-offs that go in that direction.
* Positives: The excellent audience focus; the attempt to introduce different and potentially dramatic rounds; the effort taken to cover many areas (including the oft-neglected sports); the visually-appealing flash presentation made by Sirisha; full marks for effort; there were some very good connect questions, which were quite involved but workable; some of the regular questions were nicely presented/framed.
* Negatives: The qns in the specialities round were worth 10 points each, which was too skewed. The 1st question hurdle also turned the round into a sort of Russian Roulette, impacting some teams negatively and for others a windfall. Suggestions would be to have 5 pts each, have fewer qns, perhaps go back and forth between original and nominated team each time a mistake was made.
* The rapid-fire, being at the end, became a little unnecessary. More interesting variants of this, w.r.t. content and timing in the finals could be pursued.
* Some of us were not entirely happy with the adjudicating in the bid rounds :-) Essentially, the perceived problems here were that that some of the elements in some qns were too easy to merit the same value that some tougher qns had. Anyway, connects are hard to run, and the criticisms are for how the points were given, and not so much for the content themselves.
* We had a lot of questions (nice to have), but had to hurry in answering due to possible lack of time (not so nice). Perhaps if the questions are going to need time to figure out, fewer questions but with more opportunities to get a good shot in could be preferred.
* One also felt that Harish showed that it is indeed possible to have other alternatives to regular formats without diluting content or without making it too gladiatorial. It is only a question of getting the execution right, given one's heart is in the right place. And if you will not try, how will you know?
* The finalists were the usual suspects from BCQC and BQC. Samrat and Salil (pairing up for the first time) were consistent in their performance, winning their first BCQC Open and were mighty thrilled with it. The team of Ramanand and Niranjan ran them close, and cracked a lot of good questions and jokes. The Bombay team of Amit and Sumant came third. Surprisingly the in-form team of Shamanth and Kunal had an off day; they were also unlucky in the speciality round.
* We need to get our scheduling right - unfortunately, the weekend was a little cursed in terms of constraints, but in future, we will try to schedule on Sundays only.
* A big thanks to Landmark for sponsoring most of the prizes and to Persistent for making the auditorium available. Prizes were given out to all finalists, to the best two college teams and the best newbie teams not to make it to stage. A prize for the audience-maha-connect was won by Abhishek Nagaraj.
* Theme-Attic by: Abhishek (Computers), Shamanth (Science)
* Questions will be posted on the egroup soon. Leave your email id in the comments if you are not on the BCQC/BQC groups
* As usual, if we have got any details wrong, let us know.
* Your feedback is the main thing that keeps us from going backwards or being too complacent, so let us know how the quiz went for you (use the comments box).

Sample Elim Questions
1. Andrei Shevchenko - 2005; _______ - 2006; Gennaro Del Vecchio - 2007
2. Who won The Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award in 1952 for writing about the organization he had founded "The Court of Last Resort"?
3. What are these some of the types of: up and down, circular swing (windmill), Drunk style, half-circle, figure eight, side to side, whiplash, Two up, Two down, all-out, tandem, hammer, full body?

Prahelika at Concepts 2007, PICT - Report

Date: 23 Mar, 2007 (Friday)

Venue: PICT, Pune

Quiz set by: Vikrant Agarwal and Akshaya Iyengar

1st: Kunal Sawardekar (UoP) + Maitreyi Gupta (VIT)
2nd: Vivek Philip + Safal Mohammed (AFMC)
3rd: Suvojit Chakraborty (SSLC) + Aditya Gadre (COEP)
4th: Kaushik + Siddharth (MIT)
5th: Harsh Ketkar + Arnab Pal (VIT)
6th: Harish Jakkal + 1 (WIT, Solapur)

Monday, March 26, 2007

March 2007 BC Open Colleges Quiz - Report

Date: 24 Mar, 2007
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, PSPL

Colleges Quiz
Set and Conducted by: Ramanand, Sudarshan (contributions from George towards questions)
Theme: Entertainment and Literature

Quiz Final Results
(35 + 43 questions)
Jt. 1st: Aditya Gadre + Kaustubh Bhat (COEP) - 90
Jt. 1st: Safal Muhammad + Vivek Philip - 90
3rd: - Abhishek Nagaraj (COEP) + Kunal Sawardekar (Pune University) - 73
Other College Teams: Maitreyi Gupta+1 (VIT) (55), Yash Tamaskar (COEP) + Suvajit Chakraborty (SSLC) (30) School Teams: Ojas Pandav+Kunal Tilak+Abhishek Kulkarni (5), another team of 2 (All SPM English) (10)


* Unfortunately, the quiz was attended by very few teams , so we had to have a direct finals! :-) Poor turnout could be variously attributed to exams, scheduling it on Saturday morning, and perhaps even the themes. Lots to ponder.
* Up to the participants to comment on quality of questions.
* We had prizes sponsored by Landmark and the BC for all the teams.
* Questions will be posted on the egroup soon
* I seem to have forgotten the name of one school team - if someone remembers, please let me know.

Monday, March 19, 2007

March BC Open Quizzes

Date: 24 March (Saturday)

1. Quiz for college students
Flavour: Entertainment, Literature
Eligibility: college and school students
Teams of 2; 8 Finalists
By: Sudarshan and Ramanand
Time: 8:45 am to 12:30 pm
Prizes for all finalists and Best school teams
Non-collegians are encouraged to watch the finals - lots of chocolates on offer!

2. Open Quiz for all
Flavour: General
Eligibility: No restrictions
Teams of 2; 6 Finalists
By: B. V. Harish Kumar
Time: 1:45 pm to 6:30 pm
Prizes for all finalists, Best school, college, and newbie teams; Special audience round

We will have a Theme-Attic as usual in the break.

Date: Saturday, 24 March 2007
- Venue: “Bhageerath”, Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd., Behind Domino’s Pizza, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
- Registrations free and on the spot
- Contact: 98810 00957, 93244 45248,

Thursday, March 15, 2007

know-IT-all IT Trivia Quiz at COEP.

This was a part of Cynosure, COEP's comp dept's first-time fest.

1st : Kapeesh Saraf and Vineet Bhatawadekar (COEP)
Jt. 2nd: Akshaya Iyer and Vikrant (PICT)
Jt. 2nd: Suhas Mahajan and Sanmitra Kale (COEP)
Other Finalists : COEP+SSLC, and 2 MIT teams.

Quiz happened at COEP on the 14th of March and was conducted by yours truly.
Elims and finals will be available soon. Watch this space for more.

Note1: When was the last time we had 2 female participants in the top 2 (?)
Note2: Kapeesh and Vineet won easily in spite of the fact that neither of them studies Computer Science. And yes, it was not all "frivolous" IT trivia. We had "hardcore" issues like Algorithms, Data Compression and OS Design discussed too. This of course, in the usual BCQC 'fun' way.
Cheers, Abhishek