On the 10th March, 28 student teams travelled to South Kensington in London to compete in the 2019 British Student Quiz Championships at Imperial College. In what was the largest edition of the tournament yet, we saw spectacular triumphs, heroic defeats, sublime buzzing and a nail-biting finale, before at last crowning our victors, Oxford A.
The preliminary stage of the tournament saw the teams divided into four groups of seven, with Cambridge A, Oxford A, Southampton A and City, University of London each emerging undefeated and victorious. Amongst the other teams to join them in the top bracket as group runners up were Warwick, led by a superb performance from Ben Beardsley, and Durham, marking their return after a 19-year absence from the competition in fine style.
The standings after the prelims were as follows:
|Rank||Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|1||Cambridge A||Oxford A||Southampton A||City, University of London|
|2||Warwick||Cambridge B||Durham||Oxford B|
|3||Oxford C||Oxford Brookes A||Glasgow||Southampton B|
|4||Manchester||Bristol A||Edinburgh A||Oxford D|
|5||University College, London||Queen Mary, University of London||Cambridge C||Imperial A|
|6||Oxford Brookes B||Exeter||King’s College, London||Bristol B|
|7||Imperial B||Southampton C||Cardiff||Edinburgh B|
The afternoon play-offs saw enthralling games across all four brackets. Edinburgh B triumphed in the bottom bracket, winning all their games; Cambridge C defeated UCL in the decider to claim the lower middle; whilst Glasgow came out on top of a close fought upper middle. In the top bracket, perennial favourites Oxford A and Cambridge A each topped their respective sides of the draw. They were joined in the semi-finals by the morning’s other group winners, Southampton A and the extraordinary two-man team of Joey Goldman and Harry Samuels from City, University of London. Sadly for Southampton and City, neither could keep pace with the Oxbridge juggernauts in the semis. Oxford A beat Southampton 465-245, whilst City’s valiant run finally came to an end with a 515-165 defeat to Cambridge A. And so, for the fourth year running, the stage was set for an Oxford-Cambridge final.
Warwick in action against Oxford A.
The final was a very tense affair throughout, with the lead repeatedly changing hands from one side to the other. It was also a match of exceptional quality, with both teams demonstrating lightning reflexes on the buzzer, and wide-ranging and deep knowledge, particularly from Oxford’s Oli Clarke, who put up an extremely impressive statline of 5-4-0. Going into the last starter question, the match was delicately poised: Oxford had their noses in front, but Cambridge could still steal a dramatic win, or at least force a tie-breaker, if they claimed the tossup and all of the bonuses. But it was not Cambridge’s day, as Oxford captain (and UKQB president!) George Charlson claimed the decisive final buzz of the day to give his team a 415-335 victory. Video footage of the final will be available shortly (on this website, and on social media).
The finalists await their destiny in front of the cameras.
After a long and tiring day of quizzing, the finals standings were thus as follows:
|1. Oxford A||8. Durham||15. Bristol A||22. King’s College, London|
|2. Cambridge A||9. Glasgow||16. Oxford Brookes A||23. Queen Mary, University of London|
|3. (tied) Southampton A||10. Oxford C||17. Cambridge C||24. Oxford Brookes B|
|3. (tied) City University, London||11. Edinburgh A||18. University College, London||25. Edinburgh B|
|5. Oxford B||12. Manchester||19. Exeter||26. Cardiff|
|6. Warwick||13. Oxford D||20. Bristol B||27. Imperial B|
|7. Cambridge B||14. Southampton B||21. Imperial A||28. Southampton C|
Congratulations to Joey Goldman (City), Evan Lynch (Southampton A) and Joseph Krol (Cambridge A) who were, in order, the competition’s top three individual scorers. Congratulations also to Jack Pollock (Edinburgh B), Ruairidh Forgan (Cambridge B), Nick Clanchy (Cambridge C) and Matthew Toynbee (Durham), the top scoring players not to have played in a Quizbowl tournament before this year. Full statistics from the day can be found here.
Oxford C bring a splash of colour to a grey day.
We at UKQB hope that everyone who attended BSQC enjoyed the day. Photos in high definition from the day can be found here. We would be extremely grateful if anyone who was there (players and moderators alike) could fill in this questionnaire, to let us know what was done well, and what we could change next year to make the tournament better. We hope to see many of you return next year!
Imperial B did not come away with the trophy this time, but they did get a nice photo with it!
An enormous thanks
The British Student Quiz Championships couldn’t take place without a huge amount of voluntary effort put in by a large number of people. Enormous thanks in particular are due to the following:
Edmund Dickinson, who this year passed on the mantle of organising the tournament to the UKQB committee, but who nonetheless took charge of adapting the questions from NAQT’s Sectional Championship Tournament for a British audience. BSQC simply wouldn’t exist without Edmund’s tireless work over the years.
The team of writers who helped Edmund produce and Briticize questions: Alex Bubb, Bob de Caux, Charlie Clegg, Daoud Jackson, David Stainer, Elysia Warner, Ewan Macaulay, George Corfield, Ian Bayley, Jonathan Elliott, Kyle Haddad-Fonda, Max Espensen, Michael Levy, Oliver Sweetenham, Tom Hill, Tom Speller and Tris Cole.
Daoud Jackson, the tournament director, and all the moderators who ran the tournament and read questions on the day: Paul Lambropoulos, Afham Raoof, Elysia Warner, Ewan Macaulay, Michael Kohn, Edmund Dickinson, Rowland Sadler, Thomas de Bock, Sophie Rudd, Chris Stern, Mik Levin, Sasha Mottaghi-Taromsari, Chris Savory, Ian Bayley, Jonathan Elliott, Emma Laslett, Innis Carson, Tom Hill, David Bishop, Frances Clark-Murray and Brandon Saunders.
Imperial College Quiz Society, and in particular Richard Brooks, for organizing the venue.
Richard Hill, who filmed the final.
Statistics and rebracketing headquarters.