Tuesday, May 23, 2023

The BC Cup 2023 - Report

Set by Aditya Gadre, Aniket Khasgiwale and Yash Marathe

Format: 30 question elim to determine the 8 quarter finalists. 60 question quarter to determine the top 4 for the semi finals. 40 question semi-final to determine the top 2. A 28 question final to determine the winner.


The 14th edition of the BC Cup took place at the Boat Club steps on the 13th of May, 2023 - one of the hottest day of the year.  The heat and perhaps the QFI event the next day saw a slightly diminished participation at this year's edition. 

The elims was a close affair as usual and the biggest surprise was Ingit sir not qualifying for the second year in a row. One big surprise was that Dada (aka Anannya Deb) didn't make it - and by that I mean the most consistent performer at BC Cup didn't show up at all. Prithwish Datta lived up to his wounded tiger billing by putting in an imperious 21/30 to top the elims, while Rotti got 18. It was also nice to be debutants Titash and Bissanka make it to the quarter finals. 

The Quarter Finals

The top 8 in the quarter finals were:

Suraj Menon, Prithwish Datta, Rohit Suresh (Rotti), Bissanka Dassarma, Titash Bannerjea, Deepanjan Deb (DD), Samrat Sengupta  and Sachin 'Talent' Deshpande, 

All the quarter finalists except for Titash started on rocky ground with most people failing to build together some momentum. Titash on the other hand blazed to 5 points after a mere 15 questions. Slowly but surely the experience and class of the field shone through with Boss casually dispatching some extremely tough name recalls, Suraj and Talent working their rank 2 and 3 in Mahaquizzer gen quizzing chops to brilliantly work out answers, and DD, as always, pulling out some gems. Towards the end, multiple results were possible with 7/8 quizzers in contention after 50 odd questions. In the end, Titash topped the QF with Boss close behind to secure their places in the Semi Final. There was a 3 way tie between Suraj, Talent and DD - and a 3 question tie-breaker saw DD cut out a correct answer which would have forced a sudden death, and Suraj and Talent got the other two SF slots . One point of note is that 55 of the 60 questions were answered - which is testament to the quality of the field at play. 

The Semi Finals: 

The top 4 were: Suraj, Boss, Titash and Talent 

This was one of the closest Semi-finals in recent memory with all semi-finalists regularly scoring points. Suraj had pulled away to a good lead at the beginning but over time the others caught up. There were a few questions where the quizzers would feel like they should have gone with their first guess or have taken the obvious answer - and things might have ended differently. On the last question Suraj had 6 points with all 3 other semi finalists on 5. Boss missed his direct and Suraj answered forcing another 3-way tiebreaker. Talent lost out in the main tie break and then Titash beat Boss after a lengthy sudden death to book his place in the final on his debut BC Cup 

The Finals:

Suraj won the toss and decided to go second. Titash unfortunately missed a question on cricket - a sport he is exceptiopnal at - and Suraj got off to an early lead. In the second round Suraj answered two questions on his direct and in the second home round for Titash, Suraj pulled a great name recall on an old Japanese athlete. Titash did pull one back on his last home leg, but by then Suraj had built up an insurmountable lead. Suraj won the finals 4-1. 

Many congratulations to Suraj for winning his 5th BC Cup! 

BC Cup Winner 2023: Suraj Menon 

Runner Up: Titash Bannerjea 

List of BC Cup Winners:

2009: Sameer Deshpande and Suraj Menon

2010: Anannya Deb

2011: Anannya Deb

2012: Sumant Srivathsan

2013: Ramkey V

2014: Prithwish Datta

2015: Samrat Sengupta

2016: Shrirang Raddi

2017: Suraj Menon

2018: Suraj Menon

2019: Prithwish Datta

2020: No tournament

2021: Deepanjan Deb

2022: Suraj Menon

2023: Suraj Menon

Monday, February 13, 2023

The Open Team Quiz | InFest 2023

Date: 23 January 2023, Sunday, Day 2 of InFest 2023
Venue: COEP's BHAU Institute
Format: Elims + Finals
QM: Aditya Gadre, Debanjan Bose, Sachin ‘Talent’ Deshpande, and Ranajeet Soman

Team 1 – Prithwish Dutta (Boss), Nikhil Sonde and Anuradha Dharwadkar (draft)
Team 2 – Kunal Sawardekar, Shivam Sharma and Malhar Patel (draft)
Team 3 - Vibhendu, Rajiv Rai and Abhishek Hariharan (draft)
Team 4 - Omkar D, Pranav Pawar, Pranjal (draft)
Team 5 - Meghashyam, Nadeem and Anisha Karnail (draft)
Team 6 - Suraj, Anannya Deb and Anmol Dhawan (draft)

The last quiz of InFest 2023 was a general quiz by Aditya Gadre, Debanjan Bose, Sachin ‘Talent’ Deshpande, and Ranajeet Soman.
The quiz kicked off with a nice and accessible elims set that covered a wide range of topics and included some absolute gems that were worthy of being in the finals too.

The finals were a great set of questions kicking off with a small written round on famous speeches, before segueing into a phenomenal set of questions covering topics ranging from a famous Oxford bequest to sex symbol Gina Lollobrigida interviewing Castro, political arrangements in Cyprus, Christian subsects, Ruskin Bond’s autobiography and the origins of Krumping among others.
While the excellent coverage (this literally was a quiz that had something for everyone) meant most teams were in the hunt, the real fight was between teams 2 and 3 who battled it out pretty much from start to finish, with team 3 prevailing on the last question to eke out a narrow win
All in all, much fun was had and it was a fitting end to cap off what was a great InFest weekend

Note: The report writer blames the twin malaise of procrastination and old age for forgetting the name of the draft pick in Kunal and Shivam’s team. Someone from IISER please provide details

Report by: Suraj Menon

The Ajai Ragde Memorial History-Geography Quiz 2023 | InFest 2023

Date: 22 January 2023, Sunday, Day 2 of InFest 2023
Venue: COEP's BHAU Institute
Format: Elims + Finals
QM: Kunal Sawardekar and Omkar Dhakephalkar

1st: Brig. Sandeep Shankar, Shrirang Raddi & Pranav Pawar (Draft)
2nd: Anannya Deb, Aditya Gadre & Anisha Karnail (Draft)
3rd: Brajendu Bhaskar, Somashish Ghosh & Sania Narulkar (Draft)

Other Finalists: Nikhil Sonde, Prithwish Datta & Krishna Girish; Meghashyam Shirodkar, Samrat Sengupta & Akshay Parale, Rajiv Rai, Vibhendu Tewari & Abhinav Dasgupta (Draft)

This year's edition of the quiz started with a nicely set, well-rounded but relatively tough elims (even though that may not be evident on account of the lack of outraged tweets from Ranajeet Soman on the topic) with the cut-off being 10/25. We had our usual mix of 6 teams that qualify directly and 3 teams making up draft picks - with the shocker being that Suraj and Rana didn't make it.

The final had 2 written rounds and 2 IR rounds - with what has now become the standard Kunal Variation of the Infinite Pounce system. Pounces remain infinite but there are only a finite number of pounces at a reasonable neg available to teams. All other pounces are at a -20 risk. Team 1 started strongly and kept their lead throughout the quiz - nonchalantly swatting away hardcore fundas and most of the time not even using their free pounces - ending up with multiple -20s which makes their performance all the more impressive.

Team 3 was neck and neck for most of the quiz - before Team 1 pulled away in the second half. Team 3 eventually lost steam with Team 4 catching up and just pipping them to 2nd place with a strong finish to the quiz. Anisha from Team 4 particularly gave some crackers to keep their scoreboard ticking.

Overall the fundas were excellent and wide-ranging - and for such a niche topic, extremely accessible.

The quiz maintained its reputation and high standards in this edition as well - and it was very generous of the Ragde family to sponsor a few prizes as well. 

Report by: Aditya Gadre

Saturday, February 04, 2023

The Solo Quiz at InFest 2023

Quiz: Solo Quiz

Date: 21 January 2023, Saturday, Day 1 of InFest 2023
Venue: COEP's BHAU Institute
Format: Elims + Semis + Finals
QM: Vibhendu Tiwari and Rajiv Rai

1. Suraj "Phenom" Menon
2. Aditya "Gadre" Gadre
3. Abhinav "DG" Dasgupta

Other Finalists: Sania Narulkar, Ranajeet Soman, Prithwish Dutta

Semi-finalists: Abhishek Hariharan, Samrat Sengupta, Nikhil Sonde, Meghashyam  Shirodkar, Suvajit  Chakraborty and Kunal Sawardekar

Report: The exciting conclusion of the last Solo Quiz at an in-person InFest left us with two setters for this years' Solo Quiz, a sort of E Pluribus, Duos situation that may just create a precedent for future InFest Solo Quizzes.

The Elimination round was a fun set of 25 questions, with some effort taken by the QMs to make the questions accessible and a provide local flair. After a relatively high-scoring elims (you do not want Ranajeet to start complaining about difficulty of the elims questions on Twitter - trust me on this), 12 participants qualified for the semi-final round. Participants elims points were doubled to form an opening score for the semi-final round which took place immediately following. The semis were relatively high-scoring with plenty of pounces and by the end Suraj, Gadre, Prithwish, Sania, Ranajeet and Abhinav beat out the rest of the filed to qualify for the finals.

The semi-final scores continued through to the finals, where the answers were worth 15 points to compensate for the increased difficulty. Sania had some amazing pounces and great answers through the semis but Gadre and DG surged back in the finals to take second and third places. Suraj maintained his spectacular run of form and dominated the quiz throughout with the outcome for the first place never really being in doubt.

Overall, I really enjoyed the quiz - the questions were accessible, easy-to-understand (I cannot overstate how nice it is not to have to parse through dense blocks of text on the ppt) and above all, interesting. I really appreciated how both quiz setters from across the Sahyadris made an effort to ask questions with some great fundas on Pune.

This quiz has set a high standard for the next edition of the Solo Quiz (I'm not saying which year because I don't want to jinx it as Ranajeet did with his 2020 report), but we are confident that the winner(s) of the 2023 edition are quite up to the task.

(This post has been updated to correct the person at the second runner-up position - our apologies to DG and Prithwish)

Thursday, January 26, 2023

InFestYouUs 2023 | InFest 2023

 InFestYouUs, the flagship event of the annual InFest, is a Mastermind-style quiz in which participants choose a specialized topic on which they are asked ten questions. They play against everyone else, who collectively form the 'Mob'. The participant gets +1 per correct answer, and -0.5 for every answer they pass/get incorrect and the Mob answers correctly.
This year we had 30 sets and a large Mob. Everybody was ready for a great start to InFest and the quizzes did not disappoint.

This year’s winner was was Jayant Pande with an 8 out of 10 (Urdu Poetry at the Court of Bahadur Shah Zafar set by Suraj Menon). This was Jayant Pande’s debut at InFestYouUs and he gave some brilliant answers in a brilliantly set quiz. The Mob got did not answer anything in his set. There was a two-way tie for second place. At 7.5 points we had Vibhendu Tewari (Hindi Music Directors Pairs set by Anannya Deb) and Prithwish Datta (Couples from the World of Art set by Rajiv Rai). In both cases, they answered 8 each with Mob stealing half a point of their tallies. There were times when Vibhendu answered even before the question was finished in the full-of-songs set by Anannya. And Rajiv’s full-of-visuals set had everyone but Prithwish scratching their heads. Pune-boy Kunal Sawardekar bagged the third spot (Canadian Prime Ministers by Abhinav Dasgupta). The Mob was left in a Canadian chill as Kunal showed his mastery over Anglo and Quebecois history.

             A special mention must be made of Aniket Khasgiwale, Suraj Menon, and Sumant Srivathsan for stepping in and giving us some excellent sets when quizmasters backed out. Thank you!

             A sincere thank you to the huge number of quiz-setters for setting such diverse and excellent sets for InFestYouUs. The participants for showing up and staying with us, and the awesome Mob all deserve praise. I would be remiss in thanking the professors and coordinators at the College of Engineering, Pune. The technicians who helped us, we thank you too. And of course members of the COEP quiz club, including Srinivas. Cheers until next year!

Top Scores:

Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar