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British Quizzing Championships 2012

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:46 pm
by Chris
Saturday 1 September will see the cream of British Quiz assemble in Lichfield for the 13th* annual British Quizzing Championships.

This year will likely see the most hotly contested Individual competition ever, given that past winners will have to reckon fully with the phenomenon of 2012 that is Jesse Honey - who is still hunting for his first British title.

All but two of the year's major contests thus far have been won by Jesse, including a debut World Quizzing Championship win in June, the other two Grands Prix have gone to Kevin Ashman and Pat Gibson (both former, winners of the BQC on more than one occasion). That said, other past winners - such as Ian Bayley, John Wilson and Sean Carey - will also likely be on hand to contest the coveted Mark Bytheway Trophy.

* This will be the 13th annual contest for the Individual title (first won in 1999 by Kevin Ashman). 2012 sees the 7th annual competition for Pairs, that event having first been staged in 2006 (won by Ian Bayley and Pat Gibson).




Our venue is once again the Cathedral Lodge Hotel, in the city of Lichfield.

People looking to stay at the venue on the Friday or/and Saturday night should contact the Cathedral Lodge Hotel, themselves to make an accommodation booking. Tel 01543 414500 (e-mail As with former visits we have a discounted rate on offer to us (tell them you're attending for the quiz). The single B&B (en suite) rate is £59.50 per diem and it's just £69.50 for a twin/double.

Cathedral Lodge Hotel
Beacon Street

Link to Google Map.



FRIDAY EVENING: (no charge)

20:00 - Late: Warm-up fun quiz, followed by impromptu quiz (please bring questions).

It will be possible to 'register' for Saturday's events at certain times on the Friday evening.

SATURDAY: (for explanation of quizzes, and costs, see later)

09.00 - 09.30 Early registrations [also possible for later arrivals 10.00 - 11.00]
09.30 - 10.30 Annual Lowbrow Quiz Contest
10.30 - 10.50 Answers & Marking

11.00 - 11.30 Order of Merit & Grands Prix medals ceremonies.
11.30 - 12.30 British Quizzing Championship (Individuals) Part I
12.30 - 12.50 Answers & Marking

12.50 - 13.00 Short break
13.00 - 14.00 British Quizzing Championship (Individuals) Part II
14.00 - 14.15 Answers & Marking

14.15 - 15.30 Luncheon
15.30 - 18.00 British Quizzing Championships (Pairs)
18.00 - 18.15 Results & Presentations
18.15 - 20.00 Free time
20.00 - 21.00 Annual Highbrow Quiz Contest
21.30 - 21.50 Answers & Marking


Lowbrow Quiz

A 120 question Pop Culture’ quiz to determine who is this year's top dog when it comes to entertainment, pop music, sport and current affairs. If this isn't quite your bag, worry not, you can do the quiz in pairs (out of earshot of trash fans).

We should point out that both the 'Lowbrow' and 'Highbrow' quizzes will carry ranking points for persons completing as individuals. So, however, and while the underlying tariff will be the same as for a full Grand Prix, only one's best result from the two 'special events' will count for Order of Merit and All Time Rankings purposes.

British Quizzing Championships (individuals) for the Mark Bytheway Trophy

Our annual, full-on 240 question quiz (all questions count for full marks!) to determine the British Quizzing Champion 2012. At stake, the Mark Bytheway Trophy, aka ‘The Moby’

British Pairs Championships

This is a unique event in the British quiz calendar. After an initial qualifying round the format sees 32 successful duos seeded into a straight knock-out. Pairs finishing 33rd or lower in the Preliminary Round will not progress, but (as with pairs eliminated in later stages of the contest) are welcome to carry on answering questions, recording a notional, overall score. However, once ‘eliminated’ Pairs will no longer be eligible to win trophies.

The KO will see 4 rounds of 15 questions this year (rather than three rounds of 20) allowing us to have a (seeded) Round One of 32 Pairs, going head-to-head, a Round Two of 16 Pairs (plus a Plate round featuring the 16 losers from Round 1), a Round Three of 8 (plus 8 in the Plate) and a Final, Round 4 of four Pairs. In the Final(s) the winner(s) will be the top scoring of the four contending Pairs. In the event of ties at any stage reference will at first be had to total scores ‘to date’ (including the preliminary round), then, round by round, beginning with the Preliminary. If all else fails a tiebreak question will be used.

Pairs quizzing, first taken-up seriously here in the UK after the 2005 European Quizzing Championships in Tallinn – where Pairs quiz is the local specialty – sees a preponderance of questions in which clues make it possible to get to the correct answer via more than one route. Questions are designed to test the Pair, to see if their joint effort can exceed the sum of their combined individual knowledge. Entries are invited from 'pre-formed' pairs or pairings can be arranged ad-hoc on the day.

High Brow Quiz - also serving September's Hot 100 and some England teams selection.

Whose high-brow knowledge is the best in the country? Let's find out! This 120 question quiz can be taken by individuals and by pairs if you're not feeling brave enough to go it alone.

This quiz will have an international flavour and will help inform the selection of England teams for the Aspirational Cup competition at the European Championships in Tartu, Estonia in November. As such, and in order to be as inclusive as possible, there will be no extra charge for this quiz. Moreover, non English players are welcome to play and will not at all be disadvantaged by any parochialism in the questions. These will all be of a solid, international flavour and, as the title of the quiz suggests, will be somewhat 'highbrow' (relative to the parochial popular culture nature of the morning's Lowbrow quiz).

As a further attempt at inclusiveness, it may be possible for some groups to take the quiz on the Sunday (i.e. if attendance in Lichfield on Saturday evening is not practicable). In such instances, by prior arrangement with Chris Jones, players can take away the questions on Saturday to quiz elsewhere, in 'chaperoned' groups on the Sunday. It will be necessary to liaise with Chris in advance so that the requisite number of questions sets can be ready to take away in an envelope with sealed answers etc., and a nominated individual approved as scorer who will be responsible for notifying scores. Anyone wishing to explore these possibilities should contact Chris no later than Monday 27 August.

As with the morning's 'Lowbrow' quiz, the 'Highbrow' event will carry ranking points for persons completing as individuals. So, however, and while the underlying tariff will be the same as for a full Grand Prix, only one's best result from these two 'special events' will count for Order of Merit and All Time Rankings purposes.



Friday - No charge

Standard option - BQC, Pairs Quiz and Lunch only: £30.00
Lowbrow quiz: £10 extra
Highbrow quiz: Free

As the BQC is a very hectic day for us, with lots of people to look after, it would assist us greatly (and probably make your life much easier too) if, once sign-up is opened you could register and pay in advance. Payment can be made via PayPal. Our NEW user ID is - please make sure you use this one and not the old one. If it's easier, you can pay via bank transfer. Just drop Jane a line and she will send you the details. Many thanks!



By Train

Lichfield has 2 train stations:

City - about 12 mins walk from the venue. Head SW along Birmingham Rd, then right into St John St and keep going…

Trent Valley - a 40 minute walk - or take a connecting train to City (every 1/2 hour, 3 minute journey).

Taxi from City station is about 1 mile. NB, there is no taxi rank at Trent Valley! However, the No21 bus actually goes from Trent Valley Station and runs past the Cathedral Lodge.Hotel - it only runs once an hour though, at 45 minutes past the hour. It’s a 15 minute journey.

From London the train options are either to change at Rugby and end up at Trent Valley where you can get the connecting train to City, or (slower) change at Birmingham, arriving at City. Currently, advance tickets are available at £22 plus. Normal walk-on return fare is £38.60.

From Manchester a change at Stoke is usually required, and you arrive at Trent Valley. From Leeds change at Tamworth, again arriving at Trent Valley. From Liverpool you usually have to change at Stafford, and again arrival is at Trent Valley.

For those people looking to make a long weekend of it…

Lichfield is Staffordshire's premier heritage city nestled in the heart of the country's most creative county. Steeped in heritage its highlights (all within easy walking distance of our quiz venue) include…

Lichfield Cathedral the 800 year old Cathedral, the third building on the site has a fascinating history. Under siege three times during the Civil War, restored under Charles II in the 1660s, extensively remodeled internally in the late 18th century and completely restored to its medieval splendour by Sir George Gilbert Scott 100 years later, its treasures include the 8th century St Chad Gospels, 16th century Flemish Glass, monuments by Chantrey and Epstein and the 20th century Lang Lichfield Silver Commission. The building is open from 8.00am.

Erasmus Darwin House Georgian home of Charles Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus, who was a leading 18th Century doctor, scientist, botanist, inventor and poet. Museum displays with interactive features and herb garden. Located in the idyllic surroundings of Cathedral Close. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am - 5pm.

Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum five floors of exhibits in a beautiful Grade I listed building including period room settings, an introductory film and interactive displays. Please note that, due to the nature of the building's Grade I listing, there are many unavoidable steps.

The surrounding area has a number of other very worthwhile places to visit…

National Memorial Arboretum, (Alrewas)
Set in 150 acres of land, and open every day from 9am to 5pm, there are over 140 memorials including some spectacular and poignant statuary.

National Museum of Brewing (Burton upon Trent)
The National Brewery Centre is a world-class museum and visitor centre that celebrates Burton upon Trent's proud brewing heritage and it's influence on brewing techniques throughout the world. People without their own transport who are planning to visit the museum might consider the Three Queens Hotel with its new, lodge extension in Burton for a stop-over, since it is in walking distance of the museum, and across the road from the Burton Bridge brewery and Inn!

Sudbury Hall & Museum of Childhood (8 Miles)
Museum showing aspects of the life of children over the past 200 years.

Tutbury Castle
For many years the prison of Mary Queen of Scots and the hub of a Royal Stud farm owned by Charles II. The castle is leased to, and run by, TV ‘historian’ and ghost hunter Lesley Smith.

Tutbury itself has a number of other attractions. Cut glass has been manufactured here for many years and a tourist trade has built upon the long and distinguished history of the Norman Priory Chuch and medieval castle, and some fine Georgian and Regency buildings. There are antique and craft shops in the village as well as a factory shop at the Georgian Crystal glassworks. Unfortunately, the Tutbury Crystal factory has now closed although they still have a shop on Tutbury High Street.

Kedleston Hall
Experience the age of elegance in this neo-classical house built between 1759 and 1765 for the Curzon family and little altered since.

BQC 2012: 'Individuals' results

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:12 pm
by Chris

BQC Specials quizzes.

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:04 am
by Chris

British Quizzing Championships 2012: PAIRS

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:15 am
by Chris
BQC 2012: The Story of the Pairs

In keeping with a tradition started in 2006 the British Quizzing Championships (BQC) incorporated a Pairs competition featuring a ‘knock-out’ element. This year was different in that the quiz was played all the way through before it was revealed which Pairs had made any progress towards the trophies (there being one for each player in the winning Pair). We also had a ‘Plate Contest’ for Pairs eliminated in the first round proper (for which there were prizes) and a reward also awaited the Pair with the highest overall aggregate score in the quiz – regardless of how they’d fared in the knock-outs.

We had 41 Pairs register for the competition and the scores from a preliminary 30 minute round (in which players were quite deliberately overloaded with questions, to see how well they coped ‘as a Pair’) established which 32 Pairings would make the first round proper. Scores in this ‘Qualifier’ would also seed Pairs for the ‘Round of 32’, and subsequently.

In Round 1 there were 16 head-to-head ties involving two Pairs each. The duo with the best score (from 15 questions) progressed into the Pairs Quarter Finals, losers went into the Plate Quarter Finals. The later rounds followed a pre-determined, seeded head-to-head ‘ladder. The winners of the Semi Finals matches would see four winning duos in each competition go forward to contest a Finals group of four Pairs. If at any stage we had a tie, reference would be made to the current running total, and if it wasn’t possible to split ties we had an ultimate, ‘nearest the bull’ question which, as things turned out, we only had to have recourse to the once.

Where ties occurred in the qualifying round, teams were sorted/placed in the order MSExcel, in its wisdom, chose to display them! In terms of seeding whether one was placed 4th or 5th or 24th or 25th made little difference. There was one exception though, two teams were tied in 32nd place. This is where “nearest the bull” came into play, and the Pair of Dave Taylor and Mark Walton won out over Ken Owen and Nick Mills. The winning Pair’s reward was a tie against the duo (Carey & Honey) who’d scored 42 to their 27.5 in the Qualifier.

Finally, before we go on to see how the contest(s) unfolded, a quick observation. We will more than likely stick with this format for next year, albeit with some minor tweaks, namely…

1. We’ll have a less frantic qualifying round,
2. The main rounds will be made slightly longer (to better fit-in with the time the scorers need),
3. We’ll get some IT in place for a slicker ‘reveal’, separating out the Plate from the main KO, and addressing each individually, so people can see more clearly how events have unfolded, and
4. Qualifying Round ties will be separated by reference to the order in which Pairs register for the event. So, you’re already under orders for 2013 (e-mails please to the usual address).

So, a reminder of the outline format, where "# Place" is each qualifying Pair's ranking from the preliminary round…


This is how everyone fared in the Qualifier, the first 32 Pairs progressing to the first round proper.


Here were the ties in the ‘Round of 32’ (as with all the ‘main’ rounds, Pairs faced 15 questions)


And here were the scores from those ties…


Andrew Teal and Gareth Aubrey played magnificently to tie with Kevin Ashman and Pat Gibson with 11 points apiece but went out on 'countback', having scored 29.5 in the qualifier, as opposed to 42.5. Andy Tucker and Iain Thoms beat off a strong challenge (as one would expect) from Mark Grant and William De'Ath 12:11, instantly installing the latter pair (in my book at any rate) as favourites for the Plate. Another exciting match-up tied at 11:11 saw Alan Gibbs and Didier Bruyere hold off an unlucky Colin Daffern and Keith Pointon on countback.

Winners went into the Quarter Finals of the Pairs, losers the Plate quarter finals (ties shown against a pale green background). Head to head matches as follows…


The tie of the Quarter Final round was undoubtedly former Pairs winners David Lea and Kathryn Johnson pitted against a pairing of the new and a past British Individual Champion, Jesse Honey and Sean Carey!

And here were the scores from those ties…


Jesse and Sean just sneaked it 12:11 against David and Kathryn, increasing the odds then that there would be some new names on the trophies this year, one at least of the three former winning Pairs having gone out! But that was not the most exciting tie. The Pair comprising two WQc winners Ashman and Gibson, having struggled into the Quarters courtesy of a tiebreak went down 11:12 to a pairing of Martin Johnson and Phil Bennion. A tremendous result for the 'underdog'! Of the past winning Pairs present, only David Edwards and Nic Paul survived! A 9:9 tie between Alan Gibbs and Didier Bruyere (again) versus Anne Hegerty and Gary Grant saw the former Pairing stake a claim for the title of tiebreak-kings!

In the Plate fancied Pair of De'Ath and Grant needed the teibreak to get past Ian Griffiths and Mark Rae while, ominously, the pairing of John Wilson and Neil Macaskill went through with the highest score of ANY Pair in the round (in either competition) with 13 out of 15.

This gave us the following sets of fixtures for the Semi Finals…


Once again the tie of the round involved Jesse Honey & Sean Carey who were again pitted against a former champion Pair, of David Edwards and Nic Paul. They may have been the top scoring Pair in the Qualifier, and so top seed, but the way other results were running they were not getting an easy ride by any means!

And here then were the scores from the Semi Final ties…


The two-time winners of the Compeition, Edwards & Paul had too much for Honey & Carey. Likewise Stainer and Bjortomt saw off Bennion & Johnson, fresh from their giant-killing act over Ashman & Gibson. Never mind, I'm sure they can 'dine out' for some time on their having dumped-out the reigning champions, each of whom are multiple gold medallists in British, European and World quizzing competitions.

In the Plate Semi-Final, in a high scoring tie (12:10) Macaskill and Wilson finally brought an end to a great run by Dave Taylor and Mark Walton, who had qualified in 32nd place from the Preliminary Round but almost made the Plate Final. De'Ath and Grant again needed a tie-break to progress, but make the Final they did!

So we now knew which four Pairs would figure in each of the Finals, viz…


Congratulations to all eight of these Pairs, each of whom had had to fight tooth and nail to get this far.

Here were the scores in the final of the Pairs Knock Out and Plate


So, our congratulations to David Stainer and Olav Bjortomt on their first British Quizzing Championships Pairs title playing together (Olav had won previously, paired with Gareth Aubrey). David and Olav had of course triumphed together as a Pair in the European Championships in Oslo in 2009. Well done to them, and commiserations to the runners-up Martin Croke and Peter Watson, who missed out by a single point (although, realistically they’d needed another two correct answers to avoid losing a tiebreak with the consistently strong scoring of their rivals).

In the Plate final, it was well done to John Wilson and Neil Macaskill but hard luck to Iwan Thomas and Scott Dawson who lost-out only on a tiebreak.

The prize for the overall, aggregate top score went to the pairing of Jesse Honey and Sean Carey. Here, and to finish, are all the aggregate totals for the 41 competing Pairs.