Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Leaving the best for last

A report on the SEQC Mastermind rounds held on October 18

What a finish it was! Leroy Veloso was in a position to pull of a huge upset in his round. When he came to the hot seat for his General Knowledge round, the whole thing seemed to be done and dusted. All he needed was a single correct answer. Just one!

The first two questions he passed. Then something seemed to strike him -- he started providing an answer to every question that was posed to him (perhaps he had just recalled that, in the unlikely event of a tie, the number of passes would determine whether he won or not). But astonishingly, unbelievably, answer after answer was met with the response, "That's incorrect; the correct answer is..." As the wrong answers mounted, so did the tension in the room. Could it be possible that Leroy, who had seemed so close to pulling off the unexpected, would somehow manage to reverse it and extract the most astounding defeat from the jaws of victory? When the bell went at the end of his two minutes of questioning, Leroy had still not got an answer right, and the entire room let out a loud and collective, "Oooohhh!" Then quizmaster Annie Sen Gupta, in traditional Mastermind style, said, "I've started, so I'll finish" and everything was silent again.

"By what name are the migrants from Holland who settled in South Africa in the mid-17th century known?" was the question.

Leroy, his expression as implacable as it had been throughout the session, answered "Boers", and then revealed his relief by shooting out of the chair even before Annie had replied. "That's correct!" The room erupted. And Rajiv D'Silva, certainly a top contender for SEQC Mastermind, was out in the first round of the contest.

None of the other quarterfinal match-ups was anywhere near as close, with Chirag Mutgi and Vidyadhar Gadgil winning their groups with reasonable ease.

The Group A contestants get their scores read to them.

For an event whose format requires extensive preparation and a good deal of precision in execution, the SEQC Mastermind evening was an unqualified success. It went off without a single major hitch, indeed with a degree of flair. A sizeable audience filled the hall, and enjoyed every moment of the show.

Annie, looking rather sadhu-like, introduces the event (top); the audience finds it amusing

Several members of future quarterfinal groupings were present, and no doubt took away significant learnings that they will apply to their own performance. But you can't really know how you will react to the Mastermind pressure until you're in the hot seat yourself. That's something several of those participating found out to their discomfiture, as questions that they could casually answer after their two minutes had passed, eluded their grasp while they were facing the music.

Sachin runs the gamut of emotions as his session proceeds.

A word of congratulations must specially be reserved here for the youngest contestant, Julian D'Costa from Margao, who took the chair with confidence and performed well.

Julian dwarfed by the hot seat.

The results

GROUP A Winner: Chirag Mutgi (specialised subject: Hollywood Westerns) -- 8 correct answers in the specialised subject (SS) round + 7 in the general knowledge (GK) round = 15 total
2nd: Tallulah D'Silva (Architectural Heritage of Goa) -- 8 (SS) + 4 (GK) = 12 total
3rd: Paul Gatward (English Premier League) -- 5 (SS) + 2 (GK) = 7 total

GROUP B Winner: Vidyadhar Gadgil (Indian Writing in English) -- 7 (SS) + 12 (GK) = 19 total
2nd: Neville Monteiro (World Capital Cities) -- 6 (SS) + 4 (GK) = 10 total
3rd: Sachin Chatte (Pink Floyd) -- 6 (SS) + 3 (GK) = 9 total

GROUP C Winner: Leroy Veloso (Legislative Assembly Elections in Goa) -- 15 (SS) + 1 (GK) = 16 total
2nd: Rajiv D'Silva (Grunge Music) -- 10 (SS) + 5 (GK) = 15 total
3rd: Julian D'Costa (Children's Literature by Roald Dahl) -- 6 (SS) + 3 (GK) = 9 total
4th: Paola Ann Mhambro (Geography of India) -- 5 (SS) + 1 (GK) = 6 total

Through to the semis:
Chirag Mutgi, Vidyadhar Gadgil, Leroy Veloso


Gaurav said...

fantastic report!!!

Anonymous said...

who is the Super reporter? keep it up

Anniesen said...

@Gaurav -- thanks!
@Anonymous -- I cannot tell a lie; it is I, Annie (the QM). And who are you?