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EQC 2013, day three

November 4, 2013 in EQC, Quizzes

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, under which we spent most of our weekend.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, a structure we spent most of the weekend underneath. Note the contrail…

Good afternoon readers. Some of you may have been waiting for my report on the third and final day of the European Quizzing Championships. “Where have you been, John?” you’re probably asking. Well, in this case I have a definitive answer. I’ve been to Cork and back.

More of that anon, let’s get back to the quizzing in Liverpool.

Sunday morning started with the last quiz in which Irish team members would be taking part, the Pairs. Eight of us entered this event, which we only ever do on this one day of the year. I teamed up with Mark Henry whilst Kevin Jones and Dan O’Malley also formed a Team Ireland pair. David Lea, Lorcan Duff, Dave McBryan and Paul Philpot also took part, albeit they did so with partners from other nations.

Whilst admitting up front that almost everyone in the room had been out late the night before, clearly it must affect some more than others! Mark and I did OK but missed a few sitters. My proudest moment was recognising this song and being able to identify it. No guess work needed, I just knew it. (How, I don’t know!)

Using that, erm, highlight, as inspiration we managed to drag ourselves up to a respectable score of 46, which was good enough for a handily symmetrical 46th place. Lorcan and David, with their partners Paul Steeples and Kathryn Johnson, both scored 10 points more, and finished tied in 20th place.

Of course, all of us in the room were trailing in the wake of the wonderteam that is Pat Gibson and Kevin Ashman. The defending champions won again with a score of 77.
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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.

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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.


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.

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On the road to Liverpool

November 1, 2013 in EQC, Quizzes


I write now, almost literally, on the hoof.

I am in transit, heading for Liverpool and the 2013 European Quizzing Championships. Stay tuned throughout the course of the weekend for updates on how I and the Irish team are getting on.

The quizzing starts this afternoon with the Masters Tournament, a 24-person tournament featuring the creme de la creme of World quizzing. I needn’t tell you I haven’t qualified for this august grouping. However, I will be in attendance for the opening round and will report later.

Hopefully, I’ll get that done before the opening round of the Nations/Aspirational Cup. If not, then my late night report will be a bumper one!

Until… whenever.