EQC 2013, day two

November 3, 2013 in EQC, Quizzes

The Individual 'Final 20' in progress.

The Individual ‘Final 20’ in progress.

Day two at the European Quizzing Championships centres on the individual quiz event.  We all march in to the hall, tired and bleary at 9.30am, and are subjected to 100 questions, silently, on paper.

Seating at the individual is never up to the individual involved.  Seats are assigned, using one method or another.  This year, our places in the hall were based on a list of first names, sorted alphabetically.  Unsurprisingly, this meant that I was at a table entirely populated by Johns.  Myself, my Irish colleague John Groarke, a Dutch quizzer called John and, the radical of our group, a Belgian called Johnny.

The quiz started well, with round one containing a very Irish question: “Which missionary monk founded a monastery on the island of Iona on Scotland’s west coast…?

To anyone who’s gone through Ireland’s primary education system, this is quite a simple question.  More so, due to the fact that this particular man is known by two names, which surely increases the quizzer’s chance of hitting upon the right answer.  Columba, I went for, but Colmcille would have been equally valid.  The presence of Columba at the end of round one’s paper provided a nice symmetry as that round had opened with a question on an “… iconic US TV character… who preferred to use his own car, an early 1960s Peugeot 403 convertible…”  I’ll let you work that one out yourself.


The first page of the leaderboard

Something strange has come over me this weekend.  I’m normally very fastidious with taking down my team’s score after each round and doing my own tally.  Over here though, I can’t seem to be bothered, letting each marked sheet be collected and letting the score be what it may.

Yesterday morning, this left me in the weird position afterwards of feeling that I’d done quite well but having no proof.  John (the Irish one), at my table, knew he had scored 40 and predicted I would be at least 12 ahead of him, based on being involved in marking my papers.  It turned out he was close but not quite right.  When the scores were revealed I had actually scored 57 points, eight better than last year!  This left me in 31st place, tied with quizzing luminaries such as Didier Bruyère, Iain Thoms and William De Ath.  Even more amazingly, for me anyway if not for the others, 57 was just eight points behind 10th place, and entry into the on-stage second half of the competition.

In this, Belgium’s great Ronny Swiggers, who emerged from the qualifier with a dominant 80/100, held on to the seven point lead that had earned him and became the European champion.  He finished ahead of his compatriot Nico Pattyn, with England’s Jesse Honey depriving Belgium of a clean sweep of the medals.  It was tight though – Jesse had to defeat Belgium’s Bernard Kreps in a playoff for third.

The late afternoon felt a bit empty, with nothing going on in the main hall.  Not to be put off, the Irish delegation took to the floor, staging what might be described as a ‘pop-up’ fun quiz.  Paul Philpott took the mic and, accompanied by his laptop (which was practically bursting with questions) hosted a 40 question quiz.  Dave McBryan emerged on the winning team.  He may or may not have been helped by having Pat Gibson as a team-mate, though!

After dinner, the evening’s signature event was the Club quiz.  This is another (super difficult) table quiz but, unlike Friday night’s event, teams aren’t restricted to nationality.  This leads to a much more relaxed atmostphere as teams are based on friendships made and with fun in mind.  I certainly had fun, on my team (What Now?/What Next?) alongside Friday night’s Jeopardy! host Leslie and two Englishmen Gerard and David.  As well as being a very good quizzer, Gerard’s aim in life seems to be to turn everything into a pun.  The two-and-a-half hours flew by for me, even though we didn’t really do that well in the quiz itself.  But that’s what it’s all about.

So, on to the final day.  Alas, no Irish teams have made it through to the afternoon’s show pieces.  We’ll have to content ourselves with the Pairs competition, which takes place this morning.  In this, I’m teamed up with Mark Henry and know I’ll enjoy myself.  If we do well, that will be a bonus.

Until later…

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