Monday, October 12, 2009

The Fast and the Furious

A review of the SEQC October 2009 quiz

Vivek Krishnan is a student of BITS Pilani, currently in Goa to do his internship with Pentair Water. He stays on the BITS campus near Vasco. It's a long way to Panjim for him, and a long way back.

Which, perhaps, explains the whirlwind nature of the SEQC quiz that he conducted on October 11. At 56 questions, it wasn't the shortest quiz we've had (thought shorter than most). But it was certainly the fastest. Keeping the structure to two rounds -- one clockwise, one anti -- also contributed to keeping things moving. There wasn't any of the customary score read-outs (accompanied by desultory clapping) at the end of every other round -- this time, the scores came up only once at the halfway point, and then the final positions at the end.

It also helped that many of the questions got answered quickly. The quiz wasn't easy, but Vivek did put enough clues into most of the questions that people could figure them out. The competition was quite open till the halfway mark, at which point Luis's and Gadgil's teams were very much in the race, along with Annie's and Rajiv's -- the lattermost having built up a sizeable lead. Gadgil's team's positioning between Rajiv's on one side and Annie's on the other was a classic example of why the Direct-and-Pass system of conventional quizzing doesn't work. If that traditional system had been in use, the team in the middle would have had a far smaller percentage of questions reaching them.

The second half of the quiz turned out to be largely a battle between Rajiv's team and Annie's, with the latter creeping up on the former but eventually losing out 1120 to 1250 (there was a bizarre 100-points-per-answer scoring system in place, and Vivek generously handed out half-portions and other fractions whenever he wanted).

Before the quiz began, prizes for The BiG Q were handed out by one of SEQC's most recent sprightly young recruits, Maria Imelda Souza. And after the quiz was over, Fredrick Noronha, Goa's busiest journalist, did a video interview with Rajiv and Annie which has since gone up on YouTube, but that's a story for a different post.

No comments: