Spring 2020 Zoom tournaments: report

The last report we had on the UK Quizbowl blog was of the British Student Quiz Championships. The UK lockdown started a matter of weeks later, but this didn’t prevent the running of three full tournaments and a side event since then.

March saw the Discord British mirror of the individuals side tournament Age of Empires, a set written by Will Alston and focusing on very hard questions to do with all things History before 500 AD. This saw strong individual showings, particularly from Yanbo Yin and Daoud Jackson, not to mention 48 powers from Oli Clarke.

In mid-April, UKQB’s first successful Zoom quiz came in the form of the hard Terrapin Open, held over two days. This tournament champions longer tossup questions, with a much deeper canon, seeing questions as varied as the sculptor Camille Claudel, the Kamakura Shogunate and the composer Alfred Schnittke. A close final saw the seasoned Oxford A team edge out the team of Joseph Krol, Claire Jones, Lilian Crawford and Edmund Dickinson by 250-215.

May saw the inaugural Spring Undergraduate Novice mirror here in the UK. The second UKQB tournament held on Zoom featured teams from 14 universities across the UK, which included multiple teams from the universities of Oxford, Southampton, Bristol and Edinburgh along with Cambridge, Warwick, Sheffield, a trio of London teams comprising Imperial, UCL and King’s College; and the newcomers Brighton College and Queens’ University, Belfast, to complete a 21 team field. Strong unbeaten performances from Oxford A, Cambridge and Edinburgh A in the preliminary round saw them enter the top bracket. At the end of it all, it was Oxford A, led solidly by Seoan Webb and Barney Pite, that were the only team to remain undefeated after ten games. Finishing behind Oxford A were their old rivals Cambridge, who, with the combined efforts of a team including Anthony Ford and Lillian Crawford, finished second in the top bracket on eight wins. Ben Russell Jones (Edinburgh B), Vitalijs Brejevs (Glasgow) and Anthony Ford (Cambridge) were the top individual scorers of the day.

Finally, in June, Deep Bench Open saw a return to raise money for COVID charities. Four teams of eight were first split into singles and pairs for a fast paced morning where only tossups were heard, followed by an afternoon of regular difficulty quizbowl in the standard teams of four. The final standings saw Evan Lynch’s Canto Generalists edge out the strong field of teams, with strong individual performances from Evan Lynch, Joseph Krol and Daoud Jackson. Not only was the tournament a success but it managed to raise almost £450 for NHS Charities Together.

In September, UKQB held their elections, seeing seven new members from four universities join several experienced members. The new biographies can be found on the About Us page.

UK Quizbowl wishes to thank all those who gave up their time to organise and moderate these tournaments, and for adapting to this new Zoom era of quizzing, and look forward to an even bigger, more inclusive and exciting season for 2020/21.

UK Quizbowl

Student buzzer quiz tournaments in the UK.