The quest for SEQC's Mastermind Junior moved one step closer to its goal, as the semi-finals threw up the four contenders who will battle it out in the final. As with the first-round matches, the contests were exciting, if a little more clear-cut in their results.
In the first semi, 'The Chronicles of Narnia' served Julian well, allowing him to build up a sizeable lead in the specialised subject round. There wasn't much to choose between Shubham and Jatan, though, at this stage. Answering questions about the 'ICC World Cup 2011', Shubham notched up 13, while Jatan was just a point behind with the tough subject of 'The Life and Career of Niccolo Paganini'. In the general knowledge round, though, Jatan lost a bit of steam, and Shubham easily overhauled him to join Julian in the finals.
In the second contest, Tarun, who had taken the place of Anand as a result of the latter's unavailability, surged ahead, using his knowledge of the Tintin comics to rack up 16 points to Kunal's 14 from questions about the band Nirvana. Akshay's score of 8 points from his specialised subject of 'The History of Goa under Portuguese Rule' virtually ruled him out of contention, which was confirmed when he scored just 5 in his GK round. Tarun and Kunal were already through, so it was only a matter of pride as to which one came out on top. Scoring an impressive 16 points in the GK round, Kunal opened up a significant gap over his younger competitor, and sounded a warning to Julian that perhaps the final is not going to be a cakewalk for him.
On December 18, after what will hopefully be a sizzling Sports Quiz, Julian, Kunal, Tarun and Shubham will battle it for top spot. Should make for a scintillating evening on the whole.