FORCE Fest 2006 was held at Apeejay School, Sheikh Sarai on 28-29 November 2006. Short story – we came Overall Runners Up! And, since this is my blog, I gotta mention we came runners up in the quiz too.
Now the long story, for fans of my incredibly long posts. This was an event that was make-or-break for the Code Warriors team, since the school administration had made it clear that we weren’t going to have Code Wars if we didn’t win something. Apparently, Exun 06 wasn’t enough for them! Force was an event where we had to participate in all events for an overall position, so we had a hard time hunting down members for all, but we finally stitched together one, hastily albeit because we’d mixed up its timings with certain other events going on right now.
Day 1 saw my regular quizzing partner Prannoy unable to turn up since his mom didn’t allow him to. I had to go with this talented youngster we have in CW called Vivek, who although is in class 8, really IS a good quizzer, at least in the tech domain. The quiz and the crossword were on at the same time, so we like most other teams, had to hop from one to the next.
First there was the quiz, in a computer lab with PCs from the era when dinosaurs ruled the earth. The prelims looked more as if they were some sort of subjective-type exam to some cheap computer course, rather than a quiz paper of a school that has produced ace quizzers like Ankit Sud and Dhruv Chopra. It was easy though, and we wrapped it up pretty quickly, to rush off to a primary lab for the crossword, where the highly intelligent organisers thought that we all could comfortably sit on chairs for nursery class students (it was their primary lab).
Crossword prelims really left me bored, the worst of its kind with nothing cryptic at all (those ones are really fun to figure out, and I like that). It was all straight forward, that to sucky 3-4 letter ones that flit around like bugs. We came first in this though, but it really sucked.
The crossword finals were held the same day (after a one hour delay), and it was TOTALLY mismanaged. Initially the organisers said that there were going to be four rounds, but even after clues were remaining they suddenly cut it shot three, effectively ruining our strategy of not going in for the bigger words (we were waiting for confirmations to our hunches as the letters filled in), and we had all those figured out. Organisers, in the first round, had made all the clues visible (technically that is, projection was bad and blurred), rather than the regular blind method. Suddenly some bright kid then had the idea in the second round to shift the crossword app window to hide the clues. The crossword finals seemed rigged, with KR Mangalam World School coming first by a huge margin, while others were far behind. Finals were pathetic too, with no cryptic clues, either you knew it, or didn’t, and there were some ambiguous ones too. KRM, a school which knew nothing at Exun, WarP or any other event suddenly knew what Fios (a Verizon service nobody else in the quizzing circle has heard of, and believe me, the people I’m talking about are no fools), .env, cron etc were. Even the seating was suspect, since rather than making us pick chits to decide, they did it randomly. I still have neck pain though, due to the organisers who made us sit incredibly close to a giant screen, that I had to strain my neck to unimaginable angles.
To our horror, the story repeated itself in almost every other event, where far more deserving schools, and here I’m even ready to accept ones other than DPS VK, didn’t get positions, while KRM did. Fortunately, from sources, we found out some rigging was going on, and an SMS as proof from a KRM guy to back it up.
Day 2 started off with the quiz finals, which were equally stupid. I certainly didn’t expect such a pathetic quiz, and I was looking forward to Ankit Sud conducting it, but I guess couldn’t come due to exams. Really stupid things, like MCD website, company headquarters with logo visible, kid-stuff questions like the three-finger salute, and a rotten scoring system where only one point was given per correct answer in the acronym round (when all others had 10 points, it doesn’t make sense to have one-pointers). It was all on luck, that DPS Mathura Road got most of the passes, sitting right next to a weak team Ramjas, and a freaked out (at the stupid questions) MIS. It was a close finish in a quiz that was so dumb. DPS RKP were totally fooling around in both the crossword and the quizzes, with Manas making funny noises and regularly (almost) insulting the organisers. ROFL at his funny noises and comments still.
I guess KRM and / or Force members got scared after the news circulated around, and I guess day 2 was pretty fair, with the best teams winning events. CW team bagged a few others too.
However, we NEEDED the overall to convince the school for Code Wars, and in a historic event, DPS Vasant Kunj, Mathura Road, and RK Puram got to together, with Mothers International to complain about unfair judging in events, and we told their computer HoD. We went to the extent of applauding and cheering each other while the individual prizes were being distributed, something that generally does not happen. Gotta mention though, winners got pen drives.
Then came the time for the overall winners, and we waited anxiously as to what the school had decided. Force showed that they would stand up for truth, and the overall position went to deserving winners MIS, with DPS VK getting the Overall Runners Up trophy.
A thanks all branches of DPS, and MIS for supporting us. Congrats to MIS too, for performing so well everywhere despite having very few members. Looking forward to an Ankit Sud quiz next year (he’s promised me). And do look at the overall trophy we got. I think that clinches Code Wars for us. That, plus the CD-RW that the school will be getting from this event, and I think that now there should be NO reason for the school to turn us down. After all, we won overall at Exun, and did pretty well at WarP too.