Saturday evening, October 24, 2009, 16.30 hours: the crowd slowly trickles in.

Aniruddh aka Karaboudjan looks over his shoulder every few minutes, trying to crack jokes to get some confidence and hide his nervousness. Kabala aka Ramkumar teases him to near death.

A dozen excited faces stomped into the venue at R.A.Puram. This was the first time such a quiz was being conducted at the IQL. So it was anybody’s nervousness to hope for…

As soon as the number of people went into double figures, the quizmaster for the day (Aniruddh) sacrificed his chair (later he would redeem it) and loaded his powerpoint presentation.

We were all set – this was the first meeting in IQL’s new avatar. Aniruddh quickly took us through the Prelims, it was an all written “all alone” quiz, which meant we had to be accurate as well as quick to answer. Patrick joked about whether IQL will initiate an award for the guy scoring a zero in such quizzes (he scored a zero in the last quiz by Ramana). Luckily he managed to score some points, so we were spared the ignominy of having to sponsor the award. We will consider it though, on popular demand…

There was a slight variation from the traditional array of starred questions for tie-breakers; every third question being a starred question (3, 6, 9 etc). The prelims was not high scoring, with 36 (2 points per correct question) being the highest. Obviously it was Kabala. The rest of us managed to stay within the band of 20-30, which was not bad, considering the prelims was a bit tough.

It was a bit sad to see Yaggy just miss the cutoff (he got 22 whereas the cutoff was 22.5). The final was tougher – at least the first round was so tough, we didn’t have many takers. There was the odd damaal dumeel during the Short Visual Connect rounds, but Aniruddh sought protection under the umbrella disclaimer “please bear with the quizmaster’s inefficiencies”.

I was the scorer for the finals, and I had an easy run to be honest. We had only Kabala answering it all. The rest of the finalists hardly opened their account until the second round. Overall it was thoroughly one sided, Kabala won hands down without dropping a point. The rest of the five finalists combined could not go past his score, that explains his dominance. I did have my moment of embarrassment when I did not know one of the contestant’s name – Mani. My mistake mate, should have asked for your name… I had only marked an “X” against his name.

We had a first timer in Ashish, Murthy’s friend. Welcome mate, looking forward to seeing you more often at our meetings. The Quiz in numbers: 14 participants, 30 prelims questions. Two theme rounds and a handful of questions on infinite bounce.

We had a glimpse of the good old days of IQL, where we teased people around; there were smiles on almost all faces (well except Aniruddh at times when we teased him). Some of the guys took Aniruddh one step further and said he might have been inspired by Arul Mani in terms of quiz mastering et al. all in good jest. This was not an easy task – to cater and challenge quizzers such as Harish, Kabala, Yaggy, Patrick and Malcaluffin… but Aniruddh carried himself well. Overall Aniruddh did a great job, thanks for the good show!!

IQL’s new avatar started off well. From here, we only need the co-operation of our members to carry this momentum.

Sylvian Patrick and I would be hosting the next session in November. We’ll post updates, so wait for that one yet…