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Varsity 2006

The following is an extract from Caleb Liu's blog, detailing the 2006 Varsity matches from the dark blue point of view...


Saturday marked the first time in three years that Oxford and Cambridge met for a varsity match in Quizzing. The match was played University Challenge style with a total of 26 starters and 24 bonuses, whichever to run out first. I was selected to represent the 'B' or 'reserve' team along with Samantha Warnakulasuriya, Brian Danielak and Mark Wilson, who captained by virtue of being the society president. Ben Fletcher captained the main team, and Peter Baker, Andy Wells and Michael Levy comprising the other members, all of them being selected on the basis of their sterling performance in the Inter-College Quiz. Max Kaufmann and Gail Trimble, two other outstanding ICQ performer were sadly not able to take part.

The B match was extremely close throughout, with the lead never extending beyond 40 points for either side, and at the half way and close to two third points we trailed Cambridge by 10 point each time. I got quite a few early questions, notably on J M Coetzee off the first few words, once his novel "Dusklands" had been mentioned, and another quick fire one off of "Curling" which I had incidentally set a question on recently. I also got a starter on the Ho Chi Minh trail, ages after I should have buzzed in. Sam was also having a very good match, keeping us afloat in the middle section with a series of very good interruptions, though she was rather annoyed at herself to incorrectly interrupt a question on medieval english history when the answer was Richard I or the Lionheart. One of my main sore points was not being able to get a question on John Profumo, who's obituary I had read the day before, despite obviously knowing the answer. In the end, we survived to prevail 240 - 215, with Brian pulling a fantastic science answer off the top of his head in the 3rd to last starter, before negging on the last two questions. Thankfully, the other team failed to get the final starter, despite our worst fears, and we held on to prevail.

The main team match was an even closer run thing, though it didn't look the case at the beginning. The scores were 120 to 5 to Cambridge after 10 questions with the Cambridge team looking very impressive indeed with a number of very quick interruptions. Oxford soon began to claw it's way back into the match however, with Michael Levy getting a few starters in a row, and eventually drew near to level pegging more than three quarters way through. Things remained close until the final starter question which was on formula one, which Peter Baker got correct to give Oxford a 240 - 225 victory.

After that, it was time for the committee quiz where Rob, the question master blitzed through in around 15 minutes on account of Cambridge having a bus to catch. We led after around 10 questions but soon faded as Nazarian, who had been the best player on the Cambridge 'A' team, single handedly blitzed our committee team which consisted of me, Sam, Mark and our new president Krishna.

All in all a fantastic day of quizzing which was amplified by a trip to the pub afterwards, followed by dinner at Ask and wine at Samantha's room before heading over to a pub near St Aldates were we met up with Brian again. Afterwards, my memory of the evening becomes rather dim and hazy and not altogether distinct, and I have DT to thank for the piecing together of the rest of the evening, and for a place to crash at night, which I do with no certain amount of sheepishness. A fitting end then, to quizzing for the term.