EQC 2013, day one

November 2, 2013 in EQC, Quizzes

Good morning all.  Day one of the European Quizzing Championships is behind me and I am tired.

Mind you, I’m probably not as tired as I was this time last year.  Then, I had gotten up at 2am to drive to Dublin Airport to catch a flight to Riga.  From there, I then drove a hired car the four hour journey to Tartu.

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Flight time is study time

This year, I had the luxury of staying in my brother Pat’s house in Ennis, before getting up at the relatively late hour of 5.30am to catch a Shannon-Manchester flight with my team-mate Ger.  The two of us had a very pleasant travelling experience, with Ger doing his best to ensure that the journey time wasn’t wasted by cramming as many obscure capital cities into my brain as was possible.

Upon our arrival in Manchester, we had over an hour to wait for our connecting train to Liverpool.  In the station beneath the airport we bumped in to Sebastian Jacoby, one of Germany’s best quizzers (and one of the men who consigned Ireland to a 10th place finish last year).  Sebastian considered joining us on our train to Liverpool but, unfortunately, he was waiting on a team-mate to arrive on a different flight. We bid him adieu.

The train journey went by quickly and we arrived in Liverpool at 10.40am.  We were greeted by grey skies and a mysterious water falling from them.  This turned out to be a bit of a problem for me as, I discovered, one of my shoes has given up being waterproof.  So, from our walk to our lodgings, for the rest of the day, I squelched around with wet (and indeed cold) feet.

The quizzing venue this year is the Lutyens Crypt, under Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral.  It’s a very impressive place – when you manage to find it.  Normally, a good sense of direction and an ability to figure out building layouts, means I don’t often get lost.  However, it took us a lap-and-a-half of the cathedral to find the door to this (admittedly underground) space.

The first event of the afternoon was the Masters Tournament.  This is a new event, featuring 24 of the world’s top quizzers.  Well, those in attendance here, at any rate.  In each quick fire match the players are asked up to 16 questions.  After each question, they are entitled to 15 seconds to write their answer on a dry-wipe piece of card.  A right answer equals one point unless they chose to play either their gold or silver wildcard (which they can do once, by jotting an S or a G beside their answer).  If they do this and they get the answer correct whilst their opponent gets it wrong, they receive two or three points respectively.  If their opponent gets it right, well the wildcard is lost and both get just one point.  The winner is the first to 11 points, or whoever is leading when the 16th question is used.

I was the reader for a group of four, which included Ireland’s own Lorcan Duff.  Lorcan started well in his first two fixtures but unfortuntely couldn’t produce a victory in either.  He didn’t lose though – securing a tie in both.  Unfortunately, he did lose his third fixture, meaning (with 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw) he finished up on 2 points and in third in the group and did not progress.

asp-cup-final-scores

The sweetest victory

Onwards and upwards, we all returned to the main hall for the Nations Cup.  This year, as outlined in previous blogs, I had not made the A team and wouldn’t be taking part in the Nations Cup itself.  Ireland’s team there would be Lorcan, David Lea, Padraic Fanning and David McBryan.  The rest of us quizzers still sit the quiz, only our scores are ranked in a separate table, brilliantly called the ‘Aspirational Cup’.  In this division, Ireland’s remaining two teams had one objective – beat each other!

The Dubliners (Derek Cray, John Groarke, Dan O’Malley and Kevin Jones) shot out of the traps and were already something like six points up on my team, Ireland B, after two rounds.  The quiz was made up of five rounds of 12 questions and two rounds of 20.

Somewhere in the middle we hit our stride and started producing some good scores.  Don’t think that means 10s (out of 12) or 18s (out of 20).  No, in this quiz we felt as if we were really achieveing when we managed to reach 50% in a round.  Which we did, from round four until the end – a finish good enough to see us overhaul the Jackeens and finish with two points to spare on them.  Again, as an example of the difficulty, our ‘victorious’ score was 43/100!

All the same, on behalf of my team-mates Mark Henry, Ger Slattery and Paul Philpott, I’d just like to say: “Hah!”.

Things possibly weren’t as much fun at the A table as out top team alas couldn’t make it to the knockout stages of the competition.  Needing to finish inside the top 10, they came up just one short in 11th place.  They did justify their Irish ranking though, scoring a good 54 points.

Quizmistress Leslie

Quizmistress Leslie

Following dinner, quizzing continued and I was once again on hosting duty.  I compered the Nations Cup match between Finland and Wales, alongside a lovely Scot called Beth.

Even after that, the quizzing continued.  The Irish group was joined by last year’s ball-of-fun Finnish-American Leslie Shannon.  In the hotel bar, Leslie produced a book of Jeopardy! questions and proceeded to MC a teams-of-two event between us.  As an added challenge, this particular book was published in 1992, so answers (or questions in this case!) had to be calibrated accordingly!

And after all that… at 1am I squelched home in my wet shoes and went to bed.

Now, day two is about to begin.  The individual quiz kicks off at 9.30am.  I’ll have a report on that for you later.

1 response to EQC 2013, day one

  1. Please buy some new shoes. Love, your wife x

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