Super Saturday’s Tussle At The Top

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Super Saturday’s Tussle At The Top

Postby Chris » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:10 pm

August 4th 2012 saw the Grand Prix circuit make a welcome and much anticipated annual return to Flitwick in Bedfordshire. Read on for an account of the event and how its results have fed-in to the overall UK Order of Merit and the British Quiz Association's All Time Rankings.

Beforehand we weren’t quite sure how well attended this event would be, given that it clashed not only with the third day of the Headingly Test against South Africa but no less an occasion than London 2012’s ‘Super Saturday’, with GB track star Jessica Ennis et al going for Olympic Gold. We needn’t have been worried, an amazing total of 79 quizzers turned out including two first timers (Mesha Zakharov and Ned Pendleton) and a trio of welcome returnees who we last saw in 2008 - i.e. the year of the Beijing Olympics. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait until Rio in 2016 before we see Ian, Jon and Steve again!

I’m sure that the size of the field in Flitwick was due in no small part to the popularity of the team quizzes written by the day’s host, Gareth Kingston, and of course the excellent and spacious facilities offered by Flitwick’s well placed ‘Village Hall’ (on a personal note, the venue is blessed with one of the most helpful and efficient caretakers I’ve encountered in such establishments). Anyway, grateful thanks to everyone who came along and made Flitwick thus far the second best attended domestic event of 2012; but thanks to Gareth especially.

We were very fortunate to be facing an Individual quiz set for us by the formidable (and always affable) quizzer Alan Gibbs. This was the second set he’d very kindly prepared for us over the years and as expected it was full of excellent and entertaining questions – and, by way of a bonus, quite a bit ‘easier’ than his first set (Prestwich, Manchester, April 2008). Nevertheless, there were more than enough questions of the sort to have you kicking yourself upon hearing the answer. There must be an appropriate term to describe the situation wherein you’re certain you “know” something, but you just can’t locate the neurones between which the bloody answer is chemically stored. For the moment I’ll call it ‘quiz constipation’ and remark that it’s something I’d prefer to be affected by only ‘once every Preston Guild’. Some chance!

By way of added spice to the individual contest we had the possibility that the outcome might see Pat Gibson toppled from the summit of the All Time Quiz Rankings. Pat has led the rankings pretty much since they first started and even though he hadn’t won a Grand Prix in 2012 his almost perpetual presence on the podium at each event meant he’d been able to hang on at the top, even though Jesse Honey has enjoyed a recent hat trick of GP wins and triumphed in the World Championships in June. Obviously the top of the table would be affected by the relative performance of the pair on the day, but it would also likely be affected by the erosion of past results (the All Time Rankings being based on the outcome of the last 25 events, with rankings points from each eroding by 4% as each new set of results are recorded).

As things transpired Pat gave himself his best chance of hanging onto his lead by winning the individual quiz. But it was a photo finish, requiring a recount. Both Jesse and Pat topped the field with an aggregate score of 123 (from their best five of six genre scores). So we looked to their dropped scores. Both dropped Entertainment (in which they’d both managed scores 50% better than the average recorded by the field). Jesse scored 20.3 but Pat managed 22.2 – a score that gave him the overall win, and a Bronze medal in the genre. Fancy that, most of us would celebrate winning any medal, and yet Pat gets one for a score he dropped! Well done Pat. Commiserations to Jesse.

Overall third place went to Kevin Ashman (112.3 points), and congratulations were also in order to three others who got through the ‘100 Barrier’, namely Nic Paul (108.7), Dave Lea (105.4), and David Hesp (104.9). Another performance requiring recognition was that of Dave Bill; not only did he record what I believe is a PB for him, in finishing 12th in a field of 79 (with 94.9 points), but he registered the highest individual genre score of the day with 28.4 in Sport & Games. Fantastic!

Genre medals were won as follows…

Art & Culture
Gold: Kevin Ashman, 27.8
Silver: Kathryn Johnson, 26.6
Bronze: Pat Gibson, 26.5

Civilisation
Gold: Jesse Honey, 25.3
Silver: Eric Wildsmith, 24.4
Bronze: Pat Gibson, 23.3

Entertainment
Gold: David Lea, 23.3 (A debut win in this genre for Dave if I’m not mistaken!)
Silver: Gareth Kingston, 22.3
Bronze: Pat Gibson, 22.2

Lifestyle
Gold: Pat Gibson, 23.3
Silver: Jesse Honey, 22.2
Bronze: David Lea, 21.3

Physical World
Gold: Pat Gibson, 27.4
Silver: Jesse Honey, 27.3
Bronze: William De’Ath, 24.3

Sport & Games
Gold: Dave Bill, 28.4
Silver: David Lea, 25.2
Bronze: Nic Paul, 25.1

Hearty congratulations to all the medallists!

So, how did those results affect the All Time UK Standings and Order of Merit?

Well, for the record, Saturday saw Pat Gibson register his 30th Grand Prix win (he leads Kevin Ashman in this regard - Kevin has a ‘mere’ 17 wins, and Jesse 10) and he still leads with an historic total of 87 Genre wins (Kevin has 66 and Jesse 33).

So, however, and while Pat had led Jesse by 17660 points to 17646 in the all time rankings going into the Flitwick GP, and in winning the event picked up 59 points more than Jesse receive for finishing second, this combined lead of 73 points melted away with a less favourable erosion of his past points compared to those of Jesse.

Of some significance perhaps is that of the last 25 events currently counting towards the rankings, Jesse had only been able to attend 23 of them whereas Pat had missed just one.

Looking forward a couple of months - when considering how likely it is Pat can regain the top spot - the score he (Pat) got from one of the two events that Jesse missed (the British Open GP in Stafford in December 2010) is due to ‘drop out’ of the rankings completely this November. So, Pat will need another commanding performance in the European Championships (an event Jesse has yet to really make a major impression on as an individual) to redress the fact his past records will take a somewhat harder knock than Jesse’s toward the end of the year. That aside, we can be sure Pat will come back at Jesse and not let him have it all his own way. And let’s not forget Kevin either!

So, the man of 2012 thus far now supplants Pat at the top of the All Time BQC Rankings with 17866 points to 17829. Just 37 points separate them but for the first time someone other than Pat sits atop both the All Time Rankings and current season’s Order of Merit. Well done Jesse!

The Team Quiz

The afternoon session saw the field organised into fifteen teams for a table quiz written and presented by our hard working host Gareth Kingston. The field were tested with two hours of excellent questions and it was apparent that a lot of effort had been put into the attendant audio and visual presentations. The team quiz was won by a quintet led by David Lea, ably supported by Diane Hallagan, Martin Croke, Roderick Cromar and, last but certainly not least, Sam Goodyear. Well done to them.

The day was rounded off with a dash to the pub over the road to crowd round the telly box to see how the less important events of the day were proceeding. After that a goodly number took a trip to the nearby curry house, again organised by our host Gareth.

Thanks again to all involved, especially Gareth and Alan, to all those who helped with set up, take down, and clear up (special mention in dispatches for Kathryn Johnson’s recycling efforts) and to road testers Bob, Craig, Danielle and ‘Stainer’. Cheers all.

Here are those individual results…

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Next event: British Quizzing Championships, Saturday 1st September.

Venue: Cathedral Lodge Hotel, Lichfield.

Programme*: Lowbrow Quiz, British Championships – Individual and Pairs, Highbrow Quiz

* Full details to follow later this week
Chris Jones
Director, Quizzing Ltd., BQA and iQa

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