Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Case of the Crazy Quizzer

The outbreak of quizzing in Goa has given rise to grave concern in the highest circles. Sherlock Holmes (assisted, as usual, by the redoubtable Dr Watson) was called in to tackle the problem. For more details, click here...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WQC 2009 questions and answers

The question packs and answer sets for the World Quizzing Championship 2009 have been uploaded in the Files section on the SEQC Googlegroup. To download them, follow the link below, and locate a file named WQC09_QandA.zip:


Happening new year

SEQC began its second year with a bit of a quantum leap. Some things hadn't changed -- Rajiv D'Silva, who was QuizMaster for the very first SEQC quiz, in June last year, was QM again for this year's inaugural on June 14. But most other things were very different.

As champion of SEQC year 1, Rajiv gets his trophy from Ashray Adappa, the youngest member of the group on the day

For the first time, an SEQC Quiz was held at a public venue -- in this case, the Fundacao Oriente in Fontainhas, Panjim. For the first time, an elimination round was considered -- Rajiv had come armed with a set of prelims questions, which eventually became the first round of the quiz. For the first time, individual challenge rounds were held, woven in amongst the team challenge rounds with the intention of allowing everyone, irrespective of level of quizzing capability, to have a shot at some answers. And the biggest change of all -- the burgeoning of the SEQC population. More than 30 people attended an SEQC quiz for the first time, making the decision to move to a public venue a well-calculated one.

Rajiv explains the nitty-gritties of the day's quiz

The quiz itself was quite a see-saw affair. Rajiv's questions were high on the wow factor, but increased team sizes seemed to have made them easier to crack. Few questions went unanswered, and the race was close throughout. Eventually, Luis and Anjali made the critical difference to their team, and inched ahead of the others in the end rounds. Sachin's last-gasp answer to a question on Cat Stevens saw his team pip Annie's to the second post, a fitting revenge to a similar occurrence in the previous SEQC quiz, where Annie's team had nosed ahead of Sachin's with the last answer of the quiz.

Much else is being planned for the year ahead. This blog should be a busy place from here on.

June Quiz Results

I think its fair to say that SEQC's second season got off to a cracking start, with 33 people participating, including a lot of new faces. Here are the results:

SEQC June Quiz

QM: Rajiv D'Silva

1st: Anjali Sen Gupta, Kanchan Desai, Luis Dias, Neville Monteiro, Rohan Fernandes - 135 pts.
2nd: Sayuli Pai Raikar, Yvonne Rebello, Sachin Chatte, Shrikant Bhobe, Vidyadhar Gadgil - 130 pts.
3rd: Ana Maria De Souza-Goswami, Kanchan Gatward, Vinita, Aniruddha Sen Gupta, Amit Shet, Sanjeev Sardessai - 125 pts.
4th: [Paola Mambro, Aaron Pereira, Ashray Adappa, Kaushik Ramanathan, Leroy Veloso, Sunil Sardessai] & [Chiara Ramanathan, Harshvardhan Bhatkuly, Mahesh Prabhu, Navin Pai, Raunaq Rao] - 105 pts.
6th: Pritha Sardessai, Tallulah D'Silva, Ameya Mardolkar, C. G. Nitash, Jayant Karn, Paul Gatward - 55 pts.

Its early days yet this season, but the league table currently looks like this.
The next monthly quiz will be held on the 5th of July, with Luis all set to lose his QMing virginity. Details will be out in due course.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Year 2, Quiz 1

To a casual observer, it might seem like a rash of quizzing has broken out in these parts. This is the 5th consecutive weekend that quizzers in Goa have a quiz to go to. After the drought cometh the flood, eh? We might as well make the most of it before the authorities catch on and decide that this is a serious blow to Goa's image as a tourist destination.
The first quiz of SEQC's second year will take place this Sunday. If you've never been to a SEQC Quiz before, here's how it works. Six teams of 4-5 each are formed from everybody who lands up and the Quiz Master hits them with questions. Simple.

The Sunday Evening Quiz - June

Date: 14th June 2009
Time: 5.00 pm
QM: Rajiv D'Silva
Flavour: General
Venue: Fundacao Oriente, Fontainhas - Panaji
How to get there: Drive along Rua de Ourem and take the right turn before People's High School (or the left turn after People's High School if you're driving from the Santa Cruz side). Fundacao is at the corner of the first left after that. You can't miss it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

World Quizzing Championships Goa Results

38 people braved the heavy rains to turn up for the World Quizzing Championships at the CCP Hall last evening. Here are the complete scores (total score out 0f 240, with scores after dropping the lowest-scoring category in brackets):

World Quizzing Championships 2009, Goa

Organized by: International Quizzing Association

Conducted by: Savio Figueiredo


1. Aniruddha Sen Gupta - 98 (91)
2. Rajiv D’ Silva - 68 (62)
3. Vidyadhar Gadgil - 55 (53)
4. Luis Dias - 49 (47)
5. Aaron Paul Fernandes - 44 (41)
6. Naveen Pai - 37 (37)
7. Paul Gatward - 37 (36)
8. Eirik Hem - 33 (31)
9. Devendra Khare - 30 (29)
10. Amit Shet - 28 (28)
11. Anjali Sen Gupta - 28 (26)
12. Sachin Chatte - 27 (27)
13. Harshvardhan Bhatkuly - 27 (26)
14. Neville Monteiro - 25 (24)
15. Nitash Gadgil - 24 (24)
16. Rohan Fernandes - 24 (22)
17. Vinay Rodrigues & Raunaq Rao - 22 (22)
19. Sunil Sardessai - 22 (20)
20. Ashray Adappa - 21 (21)
21. Tallulah D’ Silva - 21 (20)
22. Kanchan Gatward - 17 (17)
23. Ameya Ajinkya Mardolkar & Jayant Karn - 15 (15)
25. Mahesh Prabhu - 14 (14)
26. Reiniel P.C. Martins & Armaan Arora - 12 (12)
28. Kanchan P. Desai - 9 (9)
29. Kashyap Keni - 7 (7)
30. Emera Remedios & Siddharth Mohan - 6 (6)
32. Rohan Borkar - 5 (5)
33. Dinesh Kumar - 4 (4)
34. Reuben Rodrigues, Nikhil Arolkar, Puspanjali Rath & Reena Borkar - 3 (3)
38. Aiswarya Rath - 2 (2)

This being the first quiz of SEQC's second year, the league table has been reset. Check it out here. Watch this space for details of the June 14th quiz.

Monday, June 1, 2009

World Quizzing Championship comes to Goa

On May 24, there was Mahaquizzer. On May 30, the Chandrakant Keni Memorial Goa Quiz. And now, the biggest of them all -- the internationally acclaimed World Quizzing Championship (WQC 09) comes to Goa. The WQC is an annual competition that aims to elect the best quizzer in the world. This year, it is being held simultaneously in 42 locations across 24 countries, including eight venues in India. SEQC's spunky Tallulah D'Silva, through her usual fearless approach, has been successful in bringing this premier event to Goa for the first time ever.

The WQC 09 will be held in Goa on Saturday June 6 at 4pm. Participants will require to be in their seats by 3.30pm, and gates will be closed at 3.50pm. The venue is the CCP Hall, Corporation of the City of Panjim, opposite Central Cafe, off 18 June Road, Panjim. The quiz is open to all, and there are neither registration fees nor age restrictions. It is a solo written quiz, with 240 questions in eight categories -- including some audiovisual questions -- to be answered in a time-span of two hours.

Pre-registration for WQC09 Goa can be done by e-mailing or phoning Tallulah (e-mail: tallulahdsilva@gmail.com; tel: 9823362217). More information is available online at http://www.wqc2009.com.

Here are a few sample questions from WQC08 -- two each from the eight categories of Culture, Entertainment, Sciences, Sport & Games, Lifestyle, Media, History and World -- to whet your appetite:

* In Greek mythology, what was the name of the ship that transported Jason and his friends in their quest to steal the Golden Fleece?

* A Mayan creator deity, a weather god of wind, storm and fire, he caused the Great Flood when the first humans angered the gods. He gives his name to which natural phenomenon?

* Before the 1978 Metro Manila Popular Music Festival, Freddy Aguilar was a complete unknown; afterwards he was the world’s best-known Filipino musician. What brought him fame was a folk-rock ballad sung in Tagalog. Since spawning over 50 covers in 14 languages, what is the song’s title?

* This city in northern Bavaria is closely associated with composer Richard Wagner. The premiere of his Ring Cycle and of his opera Parsifal was staged there and since 1876 it has hosted an annual Wagner music festival - for which enthusiasts can wait years to get tickets. Which city?

* One of the few known carnivorous mushrooms (it kills and digests nematodes), this edible fungus is found around the world and is especially popular in Japanese and Chinese cuisine. What is it called?

* In physics, what name is given to the law that expresses a force as function of the electric charge of two bodies, the square of their distance and the permittivity of free space?

* Which chess term was coined in 1561 by Spanish priest Rúy López de Segura, from the Italian expression meaning 'to put a leg forward', i. e., to trip someone?

* This 1981 Nintendo video game was the first in which the Italian plumber Mario appeared. In the game Mario must save his girlfriend from the clutches of an escaped ape who keeps throwing barrels and fireballs at him. What was the name of this classic video game?

* Named ‘Gayetty’s Medicated Paper’, US businessman Joseph C. Gayetty was the owner of the first factory produce and package it for sale in the Western world. In 1879 the Scott Paper Company was in the first to market it in the form we know it today. Originally, however, made for the purpose by the Chinese, what is this specific product?

* Born in Guinea she became the face of Yves Saint-Laurent in the 1980s before stepping off the catwalk to launch a campaign against female genital mutilation. The body of which former top model - one of the first African-born women to attain supermodel status - was found floating in the Seine a month after she disappeared early in 2008?

* Often referring to a university level or post-graduate Islamic school; which word, in its original Arabic version, simply means (a) ‘place of learning’?

* Nobel laureate and world famous author Ernst Hemingway wrote in one of his novels about the war in Italy where, as an ambulance driver in the American Red Cross, he himself experienced the horrors of war. He was wounded in the legs by a bomb blast and hospitalized in Milan. What was the title of this novel?

* In 2007 Kazakhstan’s government secured a multi-million dollar loan from the World Bank to help save an inland sea that was once the world’s fourth largest inland body of water. The UN have said the disappearance of this sea is the world’s worst man-made environmental disaster. What is the name of this sea?

* Whose brave refusal in 1955 to surrender her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama triggered a bus-boycott and the beginning of the modern U.S. civil rights movement?

* For some, the summit of luxury travel is a trip on the Orient Express. Although many routes use the name, the original service went between Paris and which other city?

* ‘Smiling Buddha’ was the codename of what event that took place near the town of Pokhran on 18 May 1974?

If you enjoyed that, you can download the entire set of questions -- and their answers -- by going to the following URL, and clicking on the file named wqc2008.zip:

Harsh makes Goa go 'whoa!'

A report on the 1st Chandrakant Keni Memorial Goa Quiz

I have been to many events over the course of more than 30 years of quizzing, but never have I witnessed a quizmaster get the kind of ovation that Harsh got on May 30, after completing the Chandrakant Keni Memorial Goa Quiz. And deservedly so. Gadgil mentioned to me midway through the event that, of all SEQC quizzes, he liked Harsh's ones best because "they have something for everyone". That's what made this one so good as well. It was a superbly put together quiz, which spanned the range of interest areas, challenging the champion and encouraging the dilettante, and even making the bhaile feel like insiders.

It was a saving grace for SEQC that one of our latest recruits, Leroy, took the crown with an emphatic victory, as he was the only representative of the club who made it to the stage. His team -- though he was the only one answering, so it would be safe to say that his partner Durgesh was a silent spectator -- romped home with 120 points, the next best team getting to 80.

Though Leroy's performance deserves some vigorous back-thumping, the day undoubtedly belonged to Mr Bhatkuly. It's difficult to imagine that the urge to hold this quiz had seized him by the vitals barely a week ago. Within this timeframe, with just a little help from friends such as Sunil Sardessai, he put together a high-voltage event that crackled and fizzed from the point the humongous audience began to collect at the Institute Menezes Braganza's Art Gallery.

Quizmaster Q9 holding forth, in the midst of his adoring congregation

A written elimination round of 26 questions pared the 150-odd participants down to six teams of two each. Before the main event, tributes were paid to the late Chandrakant Keni by Prajal Sakhardande and the writer's daughter (and Harsh's wife) Urvija. Kenibab's portrait was garlanded and a lamp lit in his honour -- Harsh was generous enough to invite Rajiv and me to participate in this ceremony.

Prajal paying homage to Chandrakant Keni; and the written prelims in progress

Then commenced the main event, with seven rounds named after Goa's rivers, including two rounds on a buzzer that Harsh had had flown down from Bombay for the occasion. It was a close fight till round five, when Leroy suddenly ran away with the competition, helped no doubt by two or three questions that had a heritage bent to them.

Teams on stage; and Leroy and Durgesh receiving the trophy -- yup, Harsh had managed that, too!

All in all, the Chandrakant Keni Memorial Goa Quiz was a very fitting celebration of Goa's Statehood Day. To borrow from Gadgil again, "as far as [quizzing] missionary work goes, this event takes the cake". Harsh da jawab nahin (luckily, his questions da jawab are a different matter)!


The final scores
Winner: Leroy Veloso & Durgesh Naik 120 points
Runners-up: Neville Monteiro & Gomakant Mhambre
80 points
3rd Place: Sayuli Pai Raikar & Raunaq Rao
55 points
4th Place: Cosme Fernandes & Manoj Kamat
30 points
5th Place: Tanvi & Shodhan Kamat Bambolkar
20 points
6th Place: Ramrao & Saheel Wagh
15 points