Thursday, November 09, 2017

Report on Quiz at IISER

Date: 04-11-2017
Quiz: H.A.N.D.
Venue: Indian Institute of Scientific Education and Research, Pune
Organized by/Fest: Karavaan 2017
QM(s): Bhavesh, Aditya, Vishal, Anisha, Samarendra, Yogesh, Amit, Amla

1. Pranav Pawar and Omkar Dhakephalkar, 255 Points (Open) (Team A)
2. Ranajeet Soman, 205 Points (Solo, Open) (Team  F)
3. Ajai Ragde and Gokul Panigrahi, 50 Points (Open) (Team E)

Other Finalists

4. Advay and Ananya, 20 Points (AFMC) (Team D)
5. Rohit and Harshini, 15 Points (IISER) (Team B)
6. Arnabh Senupta and Anirudh Anilkumar, -170 Points (AFMC) (Team C)

On a bright Saturday morning, the quiz started at 10:30 (standard delay of half an hour).

The elims composed of 48 questions divided into 4 sections, each set by a different person. They were themed around mythology, music, pop culture and one more. The questions were easy and consisted of many Peters. However, the usual IISERized title hints were a treat. Some of them were difficult though well-framed. Unfortunately, every question was offered a hint, after a vote on whether a hint is needed and gone through again. This caused it be a very long prelims. And in terms of number of questions it was longer than the finals.

The finals were held about two hours after the elims, providing a much-needed break. However, the point system was very skewed. The first IR had a +30/-10 on Pounce (teams could pounce on their own question), +10 on direct and +5 on passing. The questions were well-framed, however there were only six of these.

-At the end of this round, Scores (A->F) were 65, 20, 50, 10, 70, 65 -

The next round was a Hangman round. The rules of this round changed and kept changing as more and more points against parity and unfairness were brought forth by the finalists. It seemed the QMs were themselves unsure of rules. The existing rules made it mandatory to guess a letter for a team (the order randomized using chits) for a +5, a correct guess and -5 for not. Teams could not not guess a letter. After every letter, teams could guess the word which had a question (brilliant qs though). And this went on. Later however, doubts were raised regarding the added information other teams would gain and yet get same points based on the number of people who attempt. Negatives were also differentials.
After more protests and again discussing among themselves, QMs agreed to make it written with differential marking. But they did retain the hangman part with the one of the QMs now revealing letters. This was much better and more fun was had.

-At the end of this round, Scores (A->F) were 235, 45, 150, -5, 95, 170 -

The next round was even surreal: a wheel of fortune. There were fourteen slots on the wheel. 12 contained questions (though only six would be asked, one for each team, unpassable, for +30). One team member would be blindfolded and would stop it while the other would spin it. The two left-over slots contained a ‘+20’ and ‘-20’ which would give a flat +20/-20 and no question if it was landed. This was unfair for a team who got it because they would lose out on a chance on getting +30 via a question and a team who would get -20 based on pure luck. Moreover, the sequence would be decided at random, further increasing the chances of a latter team landing on -20; as the wheel would be spun another time if the arrow landed on a slot whose question was already asked. This was a scary round. Despite protests from the finalists this round went ahead after much debate among the QMs.

-At the end of this round, Scores (A->F) were 265, 45, 180, 15, 125, 170 –

The next round was like the first round with even more skewed scoring, though making it easier to catch-up, at the same time degrading the usefulness of points scored in earlier rounds. The scoring system was +50/-20 on pounce (temas could pounce on their own q), +30 on direct correctly and +20 on pass correctly. HOWEVER, if a team did not attempt an answer, or answered wrongly, even on its own direct, it got a negative. If it passed, and an incorrect attempt was made, or no attempt was a made, a -5 was incurred. Also there was a strange system of part points. A team could attempt for only a part of the answer and get half points if correct, however if wrong, a team would get half negatives. If an attempt was made for both parts, and one part was wrong, then negatives would be granted and no points for answering a part correctly. Only six questions were asked.
Such strange distribution of marks and random negatives left a bad aftertaste despite some excellent questions.

-At the end of this round, Scores (A->F) were 345, 15, 230, 20, 130, 230 –

The last round was a bidding round. There were six questions. Teams had to blind bid a minimum of 20 points and a maximum of the amount of points they had. If a team did not have 20 points, then the QM would pay the rest. Whoever bid the most before a question was would get the question. If there was a same bid, tied teams would go on bidding until one wins. Only that team would then get the question (no pouncing or passing or question going down to the next team which bid). If it answered correctly, it would get points based on the amount it bid, else negatives equal to the same amount. Then there was a second chance to answer, in which it would not incur the penalty if it answered correctly, but at a risk of double negatives.

Teams raised objections regarding how one team could potentially run-away with all the questions with minimal loss by out-bidding them due to their margin and how teams below 20 had no chance of getting a question. Teams also suggested revealing the questions or the subject of the questions so that an intelligent bid could be made. Also, how a single wrong answer could mean doom for all the hard-work so far.

At the first question, after a fierce fight for it, with upto three tied bids between Teams A and C, C got the question and after answering wrongly at both the chances to get a whopping -400. Then Team A bid for three questions in a row successfully (getting -90 in that process). Teams E and F got the last two and answered wrongly.  

Thus no question was answered either fully or correctly and no one ended up gaining any points in this round, though some of the fundae were really good.

The quiz ended at about 6 with prompt handover of prizes.

A special mention is a must for :
-Ranajeet Soman who played H.A.N.D. solo and came second.
-The efforts of the IISER Quiz Club for finding such interesting fundae and questions.

*Whereas the idea to get something different, or a fresh idea for a round is commendable and one daresays, a necessity in a monotonous quiz scene filled with IRs and written rounds; care should be taken that it does not become too gimmicky and allows luck to play a much greater role required in an event designed around knowing stuff. In case this does happen, and the quizzers all feel that the quiz would be better served if the round would be modified to be more fair, it would be a good idea to accept the suggestions and be flexible in that regard.

*If questions are going unanswered, a way must be devised so as to ensure that maximum are being answered and that they don’t go unutilized.

*Because the screen was big and quite close to the finalists, they had to strain their necks to see at the questions. Perhaps, next year, they could be seated in the audience chairs: the front row.

*It would be a good idea to have a single QM who takes all decisions instead of multiple heads thinking and discussing during every doubt as it consumes a lot of time.

Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar with inputs from Anirudh Anilkumar, Arnabh Sengupta, Pranav Pawar, Ajai Ragde and Gokul Panigrahi