Tuesday, December 29, 2009
SEQC Mastermind Semi-finals: A quiz with a view
It might seem unfair to praise the venue of a quiz over its content, but in this case one would have to reserve the first words for the location. The Divli Lawn at the International Centre Goa (ICG) was the excellent setting for the semi-finals of the SEQC Mastermind event, conducted in partnership with ICG. Our quiz standards are quite high, so good content is no longer a surprise. But the venue, and the arrangements -- including the high-backed black hot seat and the spotlight on the contestant -- added that touch of class that tipped the event into something special.
In that respect, it was a worthy setting for the level of quizzing -- nine of SEQC's best fighting tooth and nail for the three spots in the finals. It was evident that the semi-finalists had come well-prepared. Tough subjects were tackled with elan, and obscure questions shot out of the sky with ease. The specialised subjects chosen by the contestants were quite revelatory, in some cases drawing oohs and aahs of surprise and delight from the audience. Which, by the way, was substantial and for the most part exemplary in its behaviour (the parts that were not will remain unnamed).
Only one of the three semis eventually was a close one, with Harsh Bhatkuly losing out by two points to Abhishek Jha. In the other contests, Amit Shet and Vidyadhar Gadgil got through without too much of a challenge.
The finals will now see these three go up against each other, in the same sublime setting, some time in February. Watch out for that announcement.
Winner: Vidyadhar Gadgil (specialised subject: The Films of Satyajit Ray) -- 16 correct answers in the specialised subject (SS) round + 9 in the general knowledge (GK) round = 25 total
2nd: Adish Talwadker (History of the United Nations) -- 8 (SS) + 7 (GK) = 15 total
3rd: Navin Pai (Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron) -- 6 (SS) + 6 (GK) = 12 total
Winner: Abhishek Jha (The Param Vir Chakra and its Recipients) -- 13 (SS) + 7 (GK) = 20 total
2nd: Harshvardhan Bhatkuly (Fundamental Rights under the Constitution of India) -- 11 (SS) + 7 (GK) = 18 total
3rd: Leroy Veloso (Life and Achievements of Eminent Goans) -- 5 (SS) + 6 (GK) = 11 total
Winner: Amit Shet (The Films of Aamir Khan) -- 13 (SS) + 6 (GK) = 19 total
2nd: Chirag Mutgi (History of the State of Israel) -- 4 (SS) + 10 (GK) = 14 total
3rd: Anjali Sen Gupta (The Life of Che Guevara) -- 6 (SS) + 5 (GK) = 11 total
The three finalists: Abhishek Jha, Amit Shet and Vidyadhar Gadgil