2014 World Quizzing Championships - review

I travelled up to Edinburgh on Saturday to take part in the leg of the World Quizzing Championships there, and I really enjoyed it. The main individual quiz, set over eight categories for the World Championships - those categories being Culture, Entertainment, Media, Sport, Lifestyle, History, Science and World - provided a big variety in the questions of both difficulty and style, and I thought they were really well-written and enjoyable, even if I didn't know many of the answers. Well done to the organisers as it must be an extremely arduous process to have to write questions that will be accessible enough to the whole world, but also check them again and again for errors and then translate them into many different languages.

As anyone who has been reading this blog so far will know, I've only recently started taking part in competitive quizzing, so I wasn't expecting a particularly high score, but just wanted to see how I would do against what turned out to be some very tough questions. Not that that was a surprise to me. I was expecting difficult questions, just as those in the Stafford GP I played in were, and most of them were certainly testing. As it turned out, I got 64/210, which - while it was never going to trouble people further up the leaderboard - I was reasonably happy with for a first attempt. Going by the results so far, I've come 921st, which is probably about where I was expecting to come on my first go, if I'm being honest.

Of the eight categories, my joint-highest score came in Entertainment and World, with 12 in both of those. Lowest was 3 in Sport & Games, which I found extremely difficult and filled with the sort of obscure questions that I simply wouldn't have known and references in them I'd never come across anyway. Sport was also my lowest by some margin at Stafford, so there's a definite pattern emerging there that it's my weakest area. And I'll admit that apart from football, tennis, darts, and snooker, and many probably wouldn't even class the latter two as sports, my knowledge of sport is virtually nonexistent, so any gaps will be badly exposed when it comes to the sorts of questions you get in these papers that rely on in-depth knowledge and wider reading. Fanny Blankers-Koen, for example, appears to be well-known, but when I saw her name given as the answer, it didn't ring any bells whatsoever.

I'm not gonna moan about not attaining a higher score or finish, as I'd have been lying if I said I was expecting come in the top 250 or so at this point. Still, these aren't supposed to be easy quizzes, and I think they'd lose much of their appeal if they were, so I'll keep working on areas where I'm weakest, and hopefully this time next year I'll have improved by a fair distance.

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