Michigan MLK discussion

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Birdofredum Sawin
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Michigan MLK discussion

Post by Birdofredum Sawin »

I know that we aren't supposed to discuss specific questions yet, but since I'm often quick to pillory tournaments I find unsatisfactory I wanted to be equally prompt in praise of MLK, which I thought was a fantastic tournament. In particular, I think that this was the most tightly edited question set I've heard at a circuit tournament in years. The questions were thoroughly consistent in length, quality, and difficulty, both from packet to packet and within rounds; the tossups were full of interesting and novel lead-in clues, while remaining gettable at around the ACF regionals level; the bonuses were nicely evened out, very few of them being either absolutely impossible or gift 30s. Granted, the playoffs were almost certainly too hard -- they wouldn't have been out of place at last year's ACF nationals. But I really appreciated the amount of time and effort that went into the production of this tournament, especially in light of the laissez faire approach to editing which has become distressingly prevalent of late.

By the way, is there an actual working link to the tournament results?

Andrew

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Post by your mom »

http://www.collegequizbowl.org/MLK2006/ ... dings.html

The link Craig posted was working for me, but I can't figure out why it is not for you. If the URL above doesn't work, perhaps I'll have to consider e-mailing out the results data.

Glad you liked the tournament, thank you kindly for your words of praise.

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grapesmoker
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Post by grapesmoker »

MLK was certainly the best tournament I've played in this year. The playoffs were hard, no question about it. I enjoyed them, but I recognize that they may have been too hard for the general field. A great big thanks to the Michigan folks for the fine event and also for their generous hospitality to players without money.
Jerry Vinokurov
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Rothlover
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Post by Rothlover »

Are there stats etc. for the playoff rounds? Would be interesting to see if they bare out the ACF nats comparison.
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Post by grapesmoker »

I'm not sure if playoff stats were even kept. However, here are the scores of my three games:

Chicago E 195 - 110 me
Chicago "Blood" 145 - 125 me
Illinois 120 - 180 me

I suspect these scores are representative of the other matchups in the top bracket.
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yoda4554
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Post by yoda4554 »

Now that the mirror at BU is over I'll join in the general chorus praising the set. Not quite as good as ACF Fall, but considering this was a one-man job, quite impressive. Only a couple questions caused muttering amongst my team (are we clear to talk about specific questions?), and for each of those there were a couple that made someone particularly happy.

Out of curiosity, is it just me, or are tossups about literary terms/movements/etc. usually vaguely-worded and only converted at the very end? Is this inevitable, or is this kind of question simply difficult to write and prone to poor writing?

Incidentally, the field at BU was small and weak in comparison to the UMich field, particularly with Harvard, Yale, and Brown absent and us splitting our A-team, and so I don't think the playoffs were appropriate for our field. I think there was a game in the bottom bracket that ended 30-10. Even in games between the top few teams, there was one half in which no bonus points were converted, and there was one game where 12 tossups went dead and one team scored no bonus points.

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No Rules Westbrook
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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Yes, discuss any questions that you'd like. I assume that you're referring to the theatre of the absurd tossup? I'm curious as to what confused you or made this vague. The people and works mentioned could really only fall under one heading (and Theater of the Cruel was acceptable anyway since that was Arrabal's thing).

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Post by yoda4554 »

Yeah. My problem was with the Godot clue in there, which formed a fairly substantial portion of the question. Presumably, when the question has progressed to that point, the players probably aren't familiar with the works that have already come up, so that clue should be able to lead players who know about it to the answer on its own. There are, I believe, several different terms you can group Godot under, and even if "Theater of the Absurd" is the best one in some senses, none of them encompass it that well. That's the general problem, in my experience, with these kinds of questions: when you get to one of the well-known examples, unless it's really really quintessentially emblematic of that term to the exclusion of all else, it's not helpful even to people who know the work well.

Also, while I have no comment on this myself, a couple teammates of mine who are pretty knowledgable on 17th-19th century European wars, were irritated at the playoff tossup on "that treaty in the Louis XIV war that no one cares about," for whatever that's worth, and gave the impression that it was worded at points to sound like the war in question was Austrian Succession.

But those are both minor. The WallyWorld tossup, for whoever wrote that, was particularly inspired, and the wording on the 80s bands question made the days of several people. I'm enjoying the greater movement in lit questions toward describing individual lines, vignettes, and characters from an author's body of work instead of just listing the works themselves.

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Post by grapesmoker »

yoda4554 wrote: Also, while I have no comment on this myself, a couple teammates of mine who are pretty knowledgable on 17th-19th century European wars, were irritated at the playoff tossup on "that treaty in the Louis XIV war that no one cares about," for whatever that's worth, and gave the impression that it was worded at points to sound like the war in question was Austrian Succession.
I quite liked that tossup. The treaty of Ryswick, I assume you're referring to. It ended the War of the League of Augsburg and marked an important milestone in European diplomatic history. French ambitions for European hegemony were thwarted and in some sense, the Great Power system of France, England, and Austria arose after that treaty. So though it's somewhat less well-known than, say, Utrecht, it's still an important agreement.
Jerry Vinokurov
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No Rules Westbrook
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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Lesser known that Utrecht, sure, but probably just as important as Aix-la-Chapelle and more important than, say, Cateau-Cambresis or Campo Formio which come up all the time, though often in bonus parts.

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Post by ezubaric »

We're playing through the packets now in practice ...

Let me second the support for the treaty of Ryswick ... it's one of those things (like Karnaugh maps or perceptrons) that are fairly important in real life, but are so rare in QB that it's very satisfying to have a tossup on them (even if you hold off for too long because you're thinking ... it can't be *that*). A fine tossup.
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