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Muck in the Delhi quizzing scene

By on Oct 17, 2008 in Food For Thought, Personal | 39 comments

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These days I get to hear about more incidents of rigging happening in school quizzes in Delhi. And it’s a really sad situation. Some of the best quizzes which were there (like the Agnel Talent Fest Quiz) are either no longer being held because of sponsorship issues, or their standards have declined drastically (like so many computer symposium quizzes – and I’m talking about ones like Dynamix). It seems that more of these quizzes are being leaked by the organizers to favor either the host school, or some friend they have in other schools. What these people don’t see is how it hurts their own reputation, the reputation of their quiz and their school.

Take for example the Tagore International School (Vasant Vihar) Commties Quiz 2008 held today. Prateek Vijayavargia was telling me how it was rigged to such an extent that his team’s correct answers were marked wrong (it was shown to them) and still the organizers refused to mend their error. All of this just to ensure that the host school made it to the final round. They manipulated to the extent of increasing the host school’s scores to make them qualify.

Events don’t earn respect by giving Lenovo laptops as prizes or Domino’s Pizza for lunch – they earn it by having a fair competition of all teams with high standards. At Code Wars 2007 for instance we went to great lengths to ensure that a tight lid was kept on all information. Even when our members were participating and I made the papers for some events, utmost care was taken to see that nothing leaked out. And these days we have events where the organizers are actually leaking out things to other schools too! This sort of malfeasance hurts everyone.

BTW, Prateek’s put up a few posts on some recent quizzes he’s gone to. You might want to check them out for some quiz papers.

PS (off topic) – ln (2π)…LMAO!!!

PPS – Prashanth wanted me to add here that he was not involved in Dynamix 2008, but he was involved in Dynamix 2007.



39 Comments

  1. Gursartaj Singh Nijjar

    October 18, 2008

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    hey! we give dominos. or used to
    and i think exun has a great standard. we go to great lengths as well. to the extent that there is no interaction between the judges and the organisers. its a good thing to have external judges
    and yes ive been to such quizzes
    dps mathura road 2006 was one such example

  2. Aditya Jain

    October 18, 2008

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    agreed
    the judges room during Exun is out of bounds for all members

  3. Ankur

    October 18, 2008

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    Exactly the point I was making, Gursartaj. :) It’s fair competition that gives an event its reputation, and not the bells and whistles that come along with it. Exun is another brilliant example of how even when alumni conduct the quiz, the participants from the host school don’t know about the answers in a quiz.

    Increasingly however, in Delhi, a lot of quizzes which are being held are being rigged. And that’s a sad turn of events.

  4. Chirag

    October 18, 2008

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    Eureka — tagore international
    Whatever it be, we Columbans won the quiz and the overall trophy!!
    Yes I was there and saw it all – clearly answers of Prateek had been marked wrong (host team phenomenon)!!

  5. Ramit Singal

    October 18, 2008

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    Most schools, like ours(DPS Mrd) for example, as Gursartaj quite blatantly mentions, did indulge in leaking the papers to the host teams, I believe.

    Nevertheless, we did mend and quit the concept of self-participation altogether. Which, I believe is the way to go forward.

  6. Ankur

    October 19, 2008

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    @Chirag: I wasn’t taking any credit away from the Columbans, and – as you did – you deserved to win. However, the event *was* mismanaged and rigged. The prelims. This kind of stuff is really on the rise, and it’s bad for the quizzing atmosphere in Delhi.

    @Ramit: Wow, that’s a candid ‘confession’. ;)

  7. Ramit Singal

    October 19, 2008

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    Lol. Correction though, it was 2005 not 2006. And the person in question who leaked the papers in 05(to some girls from Barakhamba, I think) was then removed.

    The 06 comment from Gudi is just a case of sour grapes :P

  8. Ankur

    October 19, 2008

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    @Ramit: Hmm, wonder what the guy got in return for leaking the papers to those girls. LOL. I guess you’re right, it was 2005, because if I remember correctly, Gudi WON the quiz at Warp in 2006.

  9. Prateek Vijayavargia

    October 19, 2008

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    @ Ankur – Thanks for making the post because the Junta deserved to know whats happening on the quizzing circuit in Delhi. Its actually quite disappointing when things like these happen – And that 2 in front of u – Its just pure blatant injustice and brings a bad name to the organisers, school, students, etc. Having said that, lets not take credit away from Chirag’s team for winning the quiz because they did so in style and gave some brilliant answers in the finals (Mostly Commerce-Eco ones) and were deserving winners. But were all teams on stage deserving? Thats the question….Also, the Quiz lacked energy and there were so many goof-ups, some wrong answers, and basically lack of research and management. Preparing and Conducting Quizzes is also an art…And unfortunately the Quizmasters (or rather hosts who r just given cards with qns written on them to speak out) in most school quizzes can be really bad…
    This happened at MODEM 2008 (modQuiz) – And the quizmaster in the finals had no clue abt things which were going on….But the quiz thankfully was not a very bad one.

    @Espera – CodeWars is generally open (Most events are) as far as I know.

    @Ramit – I appreciate your frankness and its okay to speak out the truth because after all, at the end of the day, its just a QUIZ…Its always better to mend your mistakes. Better Late Than Never.

    The good part is that in fest like Exun, Code Warriors and many others there is a maintained level in fairness, and non-partiality. Most of the judges are also external, which helps. Its not good to have your current students as judges…So hoping for a better quizzing season ahead! :-)

  10. Ankur

    October 19, 2008

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    @Espera: ‘Open’ in the sense of Columban Open? No. Till last year, we allowed two teams per school; this year, it’s going to be one team per school. (The reason for that is that I’m sick of seeing a stream of papers with participants scoring 0 or 1.) CW is ‘open’ in the sense that anyone from any class can participate, but I guess that wasn’t what you were asking about. You’ll be coming?

    @Prateek: I conducted the quiz and crossword last year at CW, and judged pretty much each event other than programming (of course, there were other judges too – each giving their own score). But we maintained a level where even our own members – wherever they participated – didn’t know what was coming.

  11. Ankit

    October 20, 2008

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    Wow, makes me feel really bad about the current state of affairs, the only thing that happened to me was in MSVV when the judges had written my name as the second place winner but some smartguy changed it to DPS Mathura Road. Thankfully the judge had told me that it was supposed to be me and i got the things corrected.

  12. Ankur

    October 20, 2008

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    @Ankit: Changing the result sheet given by judges?! :O Must’ve been a really bold to try something as smartass as this.

  13. Espèra

    October 21, 2008

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    Prateek: Ah. So Ankur tells. But that wasn’t what I meant.

    Ankur: Me coming? As much as I’d like to, I don’t think it’ll be possible. Why would the Exun Prez allow a less experienced quizzer to participate in one of the biggest tech … events (fest came to mind) ? Asthana wouldn’t.
    I don’t know how good he is, but I can’t be better.

  14. chirag

    October 21, 2008

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    @espera : I don’t know abt. you but maybe you can team up with asthana…
    asthana is a great tech guy, we’ve been in a quiz once. He completely stole the quiz with his quick answers on tech and computers, eventually beat us by a huge margin. we came 4th then (it was the matrix ecomm buzz quiz at MSM)

  15. Ankur

    October 21, 2008

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    @Espera & Chirag: Asthana an ‘experienced’ quizzer? Don’t recollect it being so, in Code Wars 2007; he was totally clueless. But then, it *was* a tough quiz last year – if I remember correctly the total score of all teams on stage combined didn’t cross 100.

  16. achyuth sanjay

    October 21, 2008

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    @ everyone: i wd like to add here. in e-spice 2007 we were actually asked by our teachers to rig the quiz-cross, despite our repeated attempts to convince them that there is abso-f***ing-lutely no reason to do that!! finally we had to, and trust me it was the first crossword me and my friend painstakingly created and it wasn’t fun at all.
    here in IITM, though there is so much scope for rigging (the quizzes in tech-fest and cult-fest here are made by the students, and it might be their close friends who participate in the quiz), it usually doesn’t happen because i think here they appreciate “that smug feeling that you get when you answer a question in a quiz that no one gets”!

  17. Ankur

    October 22, 2008

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    @Achyuth: I believe for anyone *really* interested in quizzing, it’s that smug feeling which counts for a lot. :D

  18. Prateek Vijayavargia

    October 22, 2008

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    @ Achyuth – Thats sad. But then looks like people are finally opening up the closet on all rigged quizzes in the recent past….Looks like even teachers play a major role in “quiz-fixing”…..sometimes.

    @ Espera – Hope ur doubts are cleared now…CW is an open event, as far as classes are concerned but there are restrictions on the number of teams involved. I guess the COQ is perhaps one of the very few school quizzes, which does not have “number of teams from a school” restriction – Which is nice, gives everyone a fair chance.

    I believe its best not to discuss the Quizzing Prowess of Karthikeya Asthana here. Lets see what happens at CW 2008.

    And Ankur is spot on – The happiness on cracking a connect or even a question which nobody else has got is one of the best parts of quizzing…

  19. Espèra

    October 23, 2008

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    Chirag: Sure. Will try that, but it doesn’t seem likely. Not *too* likely.

    Ankur: Very tough? Okay so how about programming?

    Prateek: Yeah. Thanks. =D
    COQ is damn good. I like their questions. And the entire open quiz thing is pretty great too. We need to have more such events with that “open” format. Damn.

  20. Ankur

    October 23, 2008

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    @Espera: Programming’s fine I guess, but I don’t make the paper. I don’t look at the questions themselves, I just insert irritating stories in each question to distract people from the main task. Muhahahaha. (It works, most of the time.) St Columba’s is able to hold it because they’ve a large audi. VK (nor RKP) don’t. VK just has this small Nazi-era gas chamber which they attempt to pass off as an audi.

  21. Ankur

    October 23, 2008

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    Whoops, the last link didn’t come out quite properly earlier. Copy paste the text if the earlier link is broken.

  22. Prateek Vijayavargia

    October 23, 2008

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    @ Espera – COQ is definitely good, but most of their Prelims and Semis qns are copied from blogs and Yahoo! quiz groups…which is sad.
    If ur interested to go for Open Quizzes, then there are many on the College Quizzing Circuit….U cud also try Kutub Quizzers.

    @Ankur – Even Modern School VV, Army Public School (Raina Auditorium) and NEPS ;-) for that matter has large audis but they dont have open quizzes. So I believe its not the auditorium problem here.
    Nazi-Era Gas Chamber?? Not a bad title..

  23. chirag

    October 23, 2008

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    @espera, ankur and prateek
    Being from Columba’s, i know what ticks in the Columban Open each year.
    1. Audi is huge.
    2. Lots of volunteers for every small activity (from correcting the answers to handling the long queues of quizzers outside the audi)
    3. graduating quizzers make prelims and quarters, national level Quiz Masters from Quizcraft(ex-columbans) make semis and finals.
    4. Lots of team participate because its open and then it creates a butterfly effect, in a sense that even more people come to participate in the ‘open’ quiz : Word gets around very quickly….thanks to all avid quizzers like you…
    5. Cash awards for all semi-finalists, finalists, and top 3 teams!!!

  24. Ankur

    October 24, 2008

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    @Prateek: I was talking about the specific case of DPS VK – we can’t hold open quizzes because of our infrastructure constraints.

    @Chirag: COQ’s amazing. Too bad most of the DPS VK teams were disqualified this year, or we might have got more places in the top few. ;)

  25. Espèra

    October 24, 2008

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    Ankur: Thanks for those links!! Where the hell did you get the H2G2 game from!? Man. My highest in that so far has been 33 points. The first time, I accepted Ford’s towel and promptly died. But no, don’t tell me how to do it, I’ll figure out the game myself. The biggest hitch I’ve been facing is getting a Babel Fish. I tried the Techathlon and the Surprise Events. I liked Techathlon, couldn’t do the Da Vinci problem though. Anyway, thanks again.

    Prateek: Would they allow school students to participate in the college quizzing circuits? And how exactly do I find out about the events?

    Chirag: Frankly, I think only list item 1 sets your event apart from the rest. I mean, if the other schools wanted to hold an open quiz, only 1 would be a problem. But then, they COULD divide it all into batches, or limit members of teams to 2 :S

  26. Ankur

    October 25, 2008

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    @Chirag: What happened was that a few VK teams were in one batch, and the later VK teams were in the later batch. So the guys from the later batch got bored, and went to the canteen. Now the entry to the audi is generally through only one door, but the second door (the one towards the canteen side) was open. The folks in the later batch didn’t know that they weren’t allowed in, and there was nobody at the second door to tell them that. They wanted to watch the quiz so they went in. When their turn came, they went up to ask the organizers where their team would be seated – that guy disqualified them since they had been sitting inside. I completely agree that it was the VK teams which were at fault – they should have asked someone before going in to watch the quiz. But do get the word across that it would be nice if some sort of notice is put at the second door, you know, so that nobody inadvertently strays in and gets disqualified.

  27. Ankur

    October 25, 2008

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    @Chirag: I also like COQ for its amazingly quick AND accurate checking of papers. Kudos to you guys for that – generally, most quizzes screw up accuracy when trying to get results out quickly.

  28. Ankur

    October 25, 2008

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    @Espera: They *do* allow school students to participate in the open events at college fests. Apart from that, you can also join Kutub Quizzers to stay updated on upcoming quizzes. I got the h2g2 game file from some link I found on the Frotz (Z language interpreter) website. They, of course, got it from the Douglas Adams official site which used to allow downloads of the actual game file before switching over to using a Java applet based version.

    I believe the solutions for Techathlon (and all the other events) ARE included in that ZIP file, aren’t they? And do try out the quiz / crossword when you get time and gimme your feedback on them.

  29. Espèra

    October 25, 2008

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    Dooood. I noticed. It goes without saying that I solved them WITHOUT looking at the answers.
    Okay, Kutub Quizzers: check.
    H2G2 game: cool. So ever reached the big four-oh-oh?

  30. Prateek Vijayavargia

    October 25, 2008

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    @ Ankur – Thats a pretty strange incident with the DPSVK Teams.

    @ Espera – Yes, as Ankur said, school students are allowed. I even went for one Quiz this year at Jamia Malia. But I wud not recommend Kutub Quizzers at the moment for anyone because…..well, their sessions are really bad and the questions are too damn difficult!

  31. Ankur

    October 25, 2008

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    @Espera: Nope, haven’t completed it. Always get frustrated at the point towards the end of the game where it randomly takes you to some place – but I always end up at the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal’s cave. I escape, and then again reach the same point. So bloody agonizing.

    You solved the quiz and crossword (most of them) WITHOUT looking at the solutions? :O Really?!

  32. Espèra

    October 26, 2008

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    No. No, you got me wrong. What didn’t you understand?

    Me: I liked Techathlon, couldn’t do the Da Vinci problem though.
    You: I believe the solutions for Techathlon (and all the other events) ARE included in that ZIP file, aren’t they?
    Me: Dooood. I noticed. It goes without saying that I solved them WITHOUT looking at the answers.

    We (or me at least) are talking about Techathlon. Not the quiz

    =]

  33. Ankur

    October 27, 2008

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    @Prateek: Go to the Code Wars 2007 downloads page (link given earlier in comments) and download the file for Babel Fish event. Has the game along with instructions on how to get started.

    @Espera: My interpretation-

    *Me* – And do try out the quiz / crossword when you get time and gimme your feedback on them.
    You – Dooood. I noticed. It goes without saying that I solved them WITHOUT looking at the answers.
    Me – WTF!!!

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