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Pressure, what pressure?

October 4, 2013 in IQO, Quizzes

OktobertestThe final Irish Quiz Organisation ranking event (of 2013) takes place this Saturday in Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

Oktobertest, so named as we are linking with our German equivalent to offer Irish quizzers the chance to take part in the 2013 German Open, which is taking place on that day. Don’t worry, the questions will be in English! It’s happening in the Clonamore House Hotel and the quizzing starts at 11am.

For yours truly, the heat is on. The top four ranked quizzers qualify to represent Ireland in the Nations Cup at the European Quizzing Championships, which take place this year in Liverpool at the start of November. As of last month, I have slipped out of this hallowed grouping, and currently reside at fifth in the table.

Here are the top eight, as things currently stand (with ranking points included):

  1. Lorcan Duff, 105.9
  2. David Lea, 104.4
  3. Dave McBryan, 95.7
  4. Padraic Fanning, 95.2
  5. John Nolan, 94.3
  6. Kevin Jones, 92.8
  7. John Hayes, 90.1
  8. Mark Henry, 86.4

Obviously, the top two are safe. Mathematically so, as there are only 100 points available to the best finisher at this weekend’s event. For the rest of us though, two places are still up for grabs.
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Breakfast of champions

November 15, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

I’m always open to guest posts here on the site, especially covering things I missed myself.  My early departure from Tartu meant I didn’t get to take part in the Pairs event or watch the Nations Cup final.  My team-mate Lorcan Duff, on the other hand, managed both of those things.  Here’s his report:

The Pairs event was of a standard slightly harder then the individual quiz, but a lot easier then the four person team quizzes. We were sitting at a table with a Top-10 quizzer Ronny Swiggers, from Belgium, and his partner. We didn’t disgrace ourselves at all, getting a lot of answers the Ronny pair couldn’t answer.

Pat Gibson and Kevin Ashman, neither of whom (amazingly) made the Top 10 individual final, won the event, so our Padraic and Derek chose the right quizzers to be photographed with!

So the fun quizzes did actually take place on Saturday night, but in a different venue. I would have liked to try them out, but instead spent the early morning drinking with members of the Quiz League of London.  They are talking about having a quiz weekend of their own the weekend after the World Quizzing Championships next June, with four or five countries already confirmed, along with eight English regional teams, so that is something we can think about.

On the Sunday afternoon the Nations Cup final between England and Finland took place. It was a very high standard, neck and neck most of the way.  England pulled away towards the end, thanks to a slightly stronger history knowledge base.

One of the questions asked for the name of the destructive computer worm in 2000, to which Kevin Ashman answered “Don’t take this the wrong way, Arko, but I Love You!”

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Answers from Tartu

November 12, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

Here are the answers to the questions I posted during the weekend.

So how do you think you did? Could you keep up with the quizzers at the European Quizzing Championships?

If so, drop me an email and I’ll sort you out for a place on next year’s squad. :-)

Update: Fancy giving the full Individual Quiz a go? Click here to download the paper (PDF, 5.4 MB).

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Mistakes on a plane?

November 11, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

Let’s hope not.  I’m writing to you now from about 20,000 feet, or whatever height Ryanair cruise at.  Alas, due to flight schedules, the three of us who departed Dublin at 6am on Friday, Padraic, Derek and myself, are now homeward-bound on Sunday morning.  Only David and Lorcan remain in Tartu to wear the green jersey in the Pairs event.

Day 2 in Tartu (assonance?) was a very busy one for the Irish competitors.  It began at 10am with the Individual Quiz, in the main hall.

You could say each round in that quiz is general knowledge.  You’d be more accurate though if you said each round is completely specific knowledge.  There’s very little general knowledge here.  For example, a question in round 6, asking for the name of the religious depictions of Jesus and the holy family in the Eastern Orthodox Church, stood out like a sore thumb.  It was a bit easy.*

Anyway, I outlined how we got on in yesterday’s post so let’s move on to the afternoon’s exciting event: Ireland’s first foray into knockout quizzing.

After the qualifier round of the Nations Cup, the top eight teams play out semi-finals (as in, 1-4 go for the main title and 5-8 try to get to the Plate final).  Similarly, the top eight teams in the Aspirational Cup (B teams etc and ad-hoc teams) have semi-finals and I actually got to MC one of these on Friday night.

This is a bit of an anomaly but the teams who finished 9th and 10th in the Nations Cup qualifier also get to have a knockout quiz.  This year, these teams were Germany and Ireland. Read the rest of this entry →

Questions from Tartu

November 10, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

Individual quiz tablemates: Me, Kay, David and Jakob.

Righto. After my snafu earlier with the backspace key, I feel I owe you all some questions.

First, I need to report on how we did in this morning’s Individual Quiz. This event sees us all taking part on our own (the name would imply that, wouldn’t it?!) in eight rounds, the first seven each having 12 questions and the last round featuring 16. There are no themes or category rounds. Each one is mixed-bag/general knowledge/whatever you want to call it.

Table places are assigned based on the number we each have in the bottom-right corner of our name tags. Funnily enough, I ended up at the same table (11) as my colleague on the Irish team, David Fay. There we were joined by Kay from Norway and Jakob from Denmark.

At the end of each round, you simply swap your answer sheet with the person across the table from you, Jakob in my case, and the answers are then called out from the stage. We were all of roughly the same standard which was nice as it meant we did a lot of sympathising with each other after certain rounds. On one occasion, I “top-scored” with 2/12, whilst the others all got 1. Sufficed to say, we had a bit of fun with the whole thing.
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Day 1: To Tartu we go

November 10, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes

The Irish team: Padraic Fanning, John Nolan, Derek Cray, David Fay and Lorcan Duff.

This year’s European Quizzing Championshipsare taking place in Tartu, Estonia. Ireland are respresented at this quiz festival by a team of five people: myself, Drek Cray, Lorcan Duff, Padraic Fanning and David Fay.

Getting to Tartu is a challenge in itself. It’s Estonia’s second city but Estonia isn’t that big a place. Thus, while Tartu does have an airport, it is only serviced by flights from two destinations – Tallinn and Helsinki. I didn’t see the point of flying to Tallinn and then on to Tartu, when Tallinn is all of two hours away by road and, unfortunately, there is no easy way to get from Ireland to Helsinki. Well, certainly no way at times that suited us.

Two of the team arrived in Estonia on Thursday night, staying in Tallinn before making their way to Tartu yesterday morning. Myself, Padraic and Derek were even more efficient. We left Dublin at 6.45am and flew to Riga, the captial of Latvia. Air travel can be a bit mysterious at times. Why does it take practically an hour to fly Dublin-London and it took us just 2 hours and 35 minutes to fly from Dublin to Riga?
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Post-Olympics good news glow

August 14, 2012 in Housekeeping, Interactive

Welcome back all. Or rather, welcome back to myself, as I’ve returned from my holidays on the lovely Iveragh Peninsula.  And it was lovely, the weather was fine.  Alas, the tv reception wasn’t so good so I missed a lot of the Olympics.  Still, that gave me the excuse to actually go outside and enjoy the scenery.

I’ve returned to a couple of pieces of good news. Firstly, this site right here has been long-listed for the 2012 Irish Blog Awards!  Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to send in a nomination.

Secondly, we now have a date for the IQO‘s first provincial Quiz Grand Prix.  It will take place in The Clarendon Bar, Derry, on Saturday 29th September.  I’ll have more info for you on the event as they get decided on.  Right now, I can say that there will be singles and team quizzes and that all are welcome!  I’ll keep you all up-to-date here on the site over the next few weeks.

In other news, this year’s European Quizzing Championships will take place in Tartu, Estonia, from the 9th to 11th of November.  If you’d like to find out more about the event check out eqc2012.kilb.ee/index.php/en/.  Again, there’ll be more info here, as we get closer to the event.

Finally, in the wake of the brilliant 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I’ve created a little Olympics-themed quiz for you all to try out.  It’ll get your brains back into action as the Quizpocalypse comes to an end.  Roll on September! Click ‘Read the rest…’ to do the quiz.

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Look behind you

January 5, 2012 in EQC, Quizzes, Thoughts

Happy new year one and all! Let’s hope 2012 holds as much quizzing fun as 2011 did.  For a final moment though, let’s look back at the highlight of 2011, our trip to the European Quizzing Championships, one last time.  Mike and myself have already had our say.  Now it’s David’s turn.

And so, late to the party I arrive and whether I’ve brought the finest wine or the cheapest bottle of generic vodka will be in the eye of the beholder. The entrées have been provided by John and an intriguing little number supplied by Mike but enough of tortured party metaphors and let us talk of Bruges.

Looking back after this length of time, it is even more obvious to me that there are fundamental failing within Irish quizzing that mean that Ireland as a nation is a long way from ever appearing in the finals of the EQC. John and Mike have made most of the salient points on this issue but there are a couple more I’d like to throw into the mix

I think Mike nailed it on the head by challenging quiz setters to no longer pander to their audience. Something I’ve been accused of more than once is setting table quizzes that are far too hard and I did write half the questions for the supposed quiz from hell (see Don’t work… too hard; however, the shocking round was written by the silent-but-deadly Michelle) but I honestly believe that a) it wasn’t that hard a quiz and b) that making it a quiz where the scores are higher, the central premise of it being a GK quiz, i.e. the display of more general knowledge than your opponents, would have been lost. This is not the Special Olympics, not everyone “can be a winner” so why not accept that and reward ostentatious outbursts of intellectualism?

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