2015 WQC

On Saturday, I travelled with around 100 other UK quizzers to the National Brewery Centre at Burton upon Trent to take part in the 2015 staging of the World Quizzing Championship. I took part in 2014 (and gave a write-up of the day and my performance HERE) and came 893rd with 64 points, which I was reasonably pleased with then for a first attempt. However, this year, I wanted to do much better and set my target at the start of 2015 as top 500 in the world.

The individual WQC paper was very difficult, particularly the first half of Entertainment, History, Lifestyle, and Sciences. Only the first two of those are reasonable subjects for me at the best of times, I'm average on lifestyle-type stuff (brands, fashion, tourism, etc.) and weak at science. The Entertainment round in particular was one I found brutal, and only scored 9/30 - I managed to score three more than that in the round on my debut last year. I was somewhat surprised to get 15/30 on History, which I wouldn't have expected going into the quiz.

In the second half, I got 16 on Culture (my highest score of the day), 14 on World (usually my best subject), 9 on Media, and a dreadful 5 on Sport. Having said that, sport has always been a weak area for me and - with a lack of interest in most sports - I can't see that changing much in the future. I would at least like to be competitive in it, which I reckon I could maybe achieve, but I'll never be a great sports quizzer because I lack the background and natural interest in it to achieve the sort of 18 and 19 scores that many were getting. And my knowledge of stamp-collecting and tennis player superstitions is even more minimal...

Overall, however, I finished 466th (I'm assuming all the results have been uploaded by now and we're just awaiting the country, genre, and age group winners (of which I'm hoping to be the highest-ranked under-20 in the world but we'll see) and I'm pleased with that, having thought about it. It was a very tough quiz in which even good quizzers were on some occasions thirty or so points down on last year, so I'm chuffed to have improved a fair amount. Next year I'll go for top 150 and try to strengthen the weaker areas that continue to drag me down in a lot of areas of quiz - sport, classical music, nature and science are the three main ones.

Three mistakes I shouldn't have made: putting Fokine instead of Petipa for ballet choreographer; putting Selena instead of Thalia for queen of Latin pop music; putting Bartholdi instead of Eiffel for French architect and engineer.

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