Chicago Open Discussion

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setht
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Chicago Open Discussion

Post by setht »

I guess I'll kick this off.

Please post in this thread with any thoughts you want to share regarding the question set or any other aspect of this year's Chicago Open. Please email me ([email protected]) with any thoughts you want to communicate privately.

Here's the editing breakdown:
Michael Arnold--a little trash
Peter Austin--most of the history and geography
Ezequiel Berdichevsky--most of the lit, all of the visual art
William Dix--a little trash
Jeff Hoppes--some of the history and geography, a little religion
Kannan Mahadevan--all of the (classical) music
Eric Mukherjee--all of the biology and chemistry
David Press--all of the computer science
Seth Samelson--all of the philosophy, a little of the lit and trash
David Seal--a little of the trash
Seth Teitler--the rest of the science, all of the myth and social science; most of the religion; a little lit, trash, history and other stuff

I would like to note that several of the editors were editing for the first time. I think they deserve the credit for the many fine questions they produced in their categories, and I should take the blame for any of the not-so-fine questions that managed to get into the set--in these cases, I should have done more looking over shoulders and given more feedback.

Speaking of feedback, I know a couple teams asked for feedback on their packets. I will try to provide some feedback, at least in my own categories, in the near future.

I'd be interested in hearing people's comments not only on individual questions and categories, but also on the differences between the prelim, playoff, and finals packets--did people feel these were too easy, or too hard?

Fire away.

-Seth

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

I'm not going to complain about a tournament where the Dingley Tariff came up twice.

Seriously, though, it was a very solid tournament and apart from a couple of tossups that had Peter Austin's fingerprints all over them (Union Pacific, Qianlong Emperor), you couldn't tell that so many of the editors were new. I was shocked when I found out. Anyone who has major complaints about this tournament needs to seriously re-assess the way they view the world, because there's far worse things out there. It'd be like complaining about a cold sore while living in a medieval village that also has regular attacks of plague, cholera, and Hungarian Spotted Fever.
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Post by ktour84 »

The questions were very good and it was one of the best written and edited sets I've played on. The fine arts were excellent.

Thank you Seth and the various editors for producing an excellent set.

Bruce's history doubles seemed good and most answers were gettable by the end, but I just read.

Thank you to Bruce, Seth, Maryland people, and others for an overall great weekend.

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Post by Sima Guang Hater »

Bruce wrote:Hungarian Spotted Fever.
Coming to a tossup near you.

Oh yes, and if anyone wanted feedback on questions in my area, email me.
Last edited by Sima Guang Hater on Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Aaron Kashtan »

Have the results been posted anywhere?

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Post by theMoMA »

I thought one of the most anomalously transparent questions in the set was the one on "False Dmitris" from my own packet. I don't exactly know how to do this in a way that doesn't sound like I'm complaining about my own questions being rejiggered, but I would have been frustrated by that question had I been playing the packet because it was very clear from the edited structure of the question exactly what was being asked for.

I'd be happy to post the unedited and edited versions for comparison, but I hesitate to because I really don't want to give the appearance of complaining about editing only because it's my own question involved. I also don't want to step on any editor's toes for what was a minor issue in the best set I've ever played.

Edit:

I just looked through the packetset, which confirmed a suspicion I had regarding the fine arts distro. The set was music-heavy as 16 of the 30 fine arts tossups were on classical music. Of the 14 non-music fine arts tossups that made their way into the packetset, all were on paintings, painters, or figures in paintings; none were on sculpture or architecture. And none were on 20th century art.

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Post by Mike Bentley »

I thought the tournament was very good. I felt that the difficulty was on the mark for most of the rounds, and almost all of the questions seemed well written and well edited.

Obviously it would have been nice if it got done a little sooner (so that the Lit Singles didn't have to run so late), but there's not too much that could have changed there. Especially since the extremely bad service at the pizza place we went to made us like 15 minutes late after lunch.

By the way, who should I contact with specific inquiries regarding the questions I wrote? I'm curious to hear feedback on some of the changes and cuts.
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Re: Chicago Open Discussion

Post by Ray »

setht wrote:I guess I'll kick this off.

Michael Arnold--a little trash
William Dix--a little trash
David Seal--a little of the trash
if you criticize these people your an idiot

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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

I was going to wait for others to post stuff, but I guess I'll just wade in now with some preliminary feelings.

Overall, the main CO tourney was a solid and well-edited tournament. There's no doubt that Bruce is right when he implies that noone could suggest there were "major problems" with the set in a relative sense, i.e. when compared with the vast majority of other sets. But, then, this is Chicago Open so we're dealing with a high standard here, an assumption of quality. However, I recognize that we only have the luxury of taking high standards for granted at such tourneys if there are able editors who step up and perform the job well...and, that happened here, so it should be commended. With that prologue out of the way, I thought there were minor problems with the set.

The most obvious one to me was fluctuation in bonus difficulty...not crazy fluctuation, but enough. There were bonuses that could be 30'd in a coma by lots of people with three parts that looked straight out of a typical mACF tourney between fall and regionals...and, then there were bonuses that you weren't going to get more than 10 on except in the unlikely event that one of your team members really loved the topic. Worse than that, I thought a lot of bonuses just kind of threw 20 points at teams and then had a harder part. I know how difficult it can be to hit that happy medium with bonus answers, but I'd expect to see this sort of problem more at the above-mentioned standard mACF tourney where you're really trying hard to make things accessible enough, not so much at a CO. Which leads me to my next (more inevitable) point...I would have liked to have seen most of the rounds of the main tourney closer to the difficulty of the finals packets (perhaps not quite that hard, but closer to it). Many of the bonus answers and the seeming goal for overall tossup answer difficulty struck me as unnecessarily generous for this event. I thought the brunt of the tournament was maybe regionals level, and I think CO should be a nats level event...but, whatever, you all knew I was going to say that. Still, I want to make it clear that I enjoyed myself and a had a good time throughout the weekend (er, there was Sunday...well, we'll leave it at that).

Before inevitably wandering back into this thread for follow-up argument, I'd like to throw out some important optimistic observations. While it would have been nice to see a more robust field for CO, there were quite a few people who I personally haven't gotten to see up close very often who did come and acquitted themselves very nicely...to name just a few, I'm talking about people like jon magin, chris ray, andrew hart, charlie dees, and others. I thought they played competitively and conducted themselves very well throughout. Also, my faith in the desire and stick-to-itiveness of qb players was bolstered by the fact that everyone concerned stayed and played until well nigh 2 in the morning on Saturday. While there was initially a suggestion of moving the lit tourney back to Sunday, which was less than desirable at the time for a number of reasons, in the end everyone stayed and played (many very well) with hardly a grumble of discontent. Surely, the next tournament held in the northeast will shatter this illusion that there are capable people out there who actually like playing qb, but it was nice to see for now. It didn't hurt that the lit tournament set was absolutely exemplary - I will post if/when there is discussion in another thread, but it'll suffice to say for now that I personally thought that - by any "objective" standard of quality - the lit tournament was outright better than CO proper.

I haven't always been the most optimistic about the prospects of qb's future; let's hope these observations are a turning of the corner.

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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I thought it was a top notch tournament, and well worth all the hassle that I had to deal with. I am somewhat tentative to enter in discussions of the questions since I've never played a set at this level before, but I thought they were pretty much the difficulty required by such an event. There were only 2 packets I played that seemed to deviate from the rest in difficulty - the Berkely packet seemed like it had much more accessible answers and as such easier tossups, and the last game we played seemed like it was notably harder, since a ton of the early tossups went unanswered between us and Maryland. I learned a ton of stuff, both in terms of facts and about the way I play, and overall I had a great time with some great players.
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Post by setht »

Aaron Kashtan wrote:Have the results been posted anywhere?
Not yet.
theMoMA wrote:I'd be happy to post the unedited and edited versions for comparison...
It might be instructive to see the original and edited versions, and I don't think you'd be stepping on anyone's toes.
theMoMA wrote:I just looked through the packetset, which confirmed a suspicion I had regarding the fine arts distro. The set was music-heavy as 16 of the 30 fine arts tossups were on classical music. Of the 14 non-music fine arts tossups that made their way into the packetset, all were on paintings, painters, or figures in paintings; none were on sculpture or architecture. And none were on 20th century art.
I'm not sure 16 music tossups in 14 rounds counts as "music-heavy"--my take is that pretty much every packet should have a tossup on classical music, and then almost every packet should have a painting tossup, and then occasionally there should be a third tossup which is either more classical music, more painting, or something like architecture, sculpture, photography, film, flower arrangement, etc. Does this sound about right to other people?

It does look like there were no tossups in the set on architecture or sculpture. 13 of the 14 rounds were based on question submissions. A quick look through the submissions shows 0 sculpture tossups and 2 architecture tossups--one on the Space Needle (cut), one on the Blue Mosque (repeat with a previously-edited bonus part, hence cut). If I'd done a better job of looking through the packets beforehand and had caught this hiccup in the arts subdistribution, I'm pretty sure Zeke would have been happy to supply a couple free architecture/sculpture tossups for use in the set. My apologies on that.

It looks like Max Ernst was the only 20th century art tossup subject. One out of fourteen doesn't seem horrendous, but I guess it should have been more. Again, my apologies for not catching that.

Actually, I feel I should point out that the set had several bonuses on sculpture, architecture, and 20th century art (and some on 20th century sculpture and architecture). I know this doesn't make up for the lack of tossups on these subjects, but I think it may have helped disguise that lack.
Steroid McBlooddoper wrote:who should I contact with specific inquiries regarding the questions I wrote? I'm curious to hear feedback on some of the changes and cuts.
Please email me ([email protected]) with requests for feedback and other inquiries regarding editing decisions, unless you want to ask about the bio/chem editing, in which case you should email Eric Mukherjee. If I can't answer your question, I'll see if the appropriate editor can.
charlieDfromNKC wrote:There were only 2 packets I played that seemed to deviate from the rest in difficulty - the Berkely packet seemed like it had much more accessible answers and as such easier tossups, and the last game we played seemed like it was notably harder
My impression is that the Berkeley packet had a couple of challenging tossup answers, like the other playoff packets, but perhaps I'm mistaken. The final packet played at the Chicago site, Editors, was intended to be a finals-level packet, and had several challenging tossups (and several very challenging bonus questions)--the finals match on that packet between the top two teams saw 4 of 20 tossups go dead. Again, I think the Editors packet seems comparable in tossup difficulty to the UCI packet (the other finals-level packet).

-Seth

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Post by theMoMA »

[quote="edited"]17. One forced the gentry of Pskov to kiss the cross and was a deacon named Sidorka. Another failed to break the siege of the Saint Sergius monastery when his former co-ruler called in Swedish troops, after which he turned to Polish King Sigismund III Vasa. Another, known as the rebel of Tushino, appointed Feodor Romanov Patriarch of all Russia. The original’s appanage was at Uglich, where he died in suspicious circumstances. One, said to have been named Grigory Otrepyev, was acclaimed as Tsar over Feodor II after the 1605 death of Boris Gudonov. FTP, give this name shared by the youngest son of Ivan IV and the many pretenders who claimed to be him.
ANSWER: Dmitri (accept “False Dmitrisâ€

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Post by grapesmoker »

Actually, both of these tossups are pretty transparent. They quickly boil down to "these Russian dudes with the same name" and they both give you the information you need to place it in the Time of Troubles very early on.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

Just for fun, here's my False Dmitry tossup from Sun 'n Fun.
One member of this group fell out of a window trying to escape from his palace, and after he was shot by a conspirator his ashes were fired out of a cannon in the direction of Poland. Another member of this group was known as the Thief of Tushino because he established the headquarters of his anti-Shuysky followers in the village of Tushino. The third and final member of this group, probably a deacon named Sidorka, led an army of Cossacks but was executed after fleeing Pskov in 1612. The first’s story was dramatized in Mussorgsky’s opera, Boris Godunov. FTP, identify these imposters to the Russian throne during the Time of Troubles who claimed to be the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible.
I think I could have found a better word than "group" to use, since it only works in the abstract sense.
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Post by setht »

In case anyone was waiting on the set being posted to make further comments, I thought I'd mention here that the set has been posted on the Stanford Archive.

Also, I've given feedback on a couple packets. If you're interested in getting feedback and haven't heard anything, please let me know.

-Seth

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