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Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:09 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
Chicago Open 2008: The End Comes...Beyond the Omega Point

I didn't want this info to get submerged in the other thread, so I started this one.

As most of you probably know, we will be running a full 17-team round robin at CO, giving 16 rounds and one bye. It's apparently dubious that we'll be able to get into the building before 8:00 - so let's make the meet time for registration 7:45 A.M. outside of Cobb Hall - if we have to wait a few minutes outside, that's fine. Hopefully, it'll speed up the process once we get inside, so I'd like everyone to show up at Cobb at least some time before 8 in the morning.

On the playing side: There will be a final unless one team is two games clear of the rest of the field, with an advantaged final if there's a one game lead. The final will be between the top two teams (if there is a tie in this regard, everything will be decided by bonus conversion - as will your official place at the tournament if you're tied with another team in record). Other teams can play the finals packet if they like too, of course, or watch, whatever.

As I said in the announcement thread, the difficulty between packets at this tournament will vary quite a bit. Towards that end, I've assigned every packet a difficulty rating from one to five stars, which the moderator will read before the round. I decided to do this because I think some players get thrown off, for example thinking that an answer is too hard or too easy based on past difficulty. The star rating is based on answer selection only, not difficulty of clues in the tossups - and it's a mixture of answer selection in bonus parts and tossups...so, I'm really not that sure how helpful it will be. But, at the very least, I find it amusing to give packets difficulty ratings, so I'll do it.
Also, don't imagine that a "One Star" packet will have, like, ACF Fall difficulty - the difficulty rating is relative to the other packets in the tourney. On the whole, I may as well say it outright, this tourney is going to be really really hard - part of that is me being me, but most of it is the fact that a lot of packets had pretty hard answer selection, and I naturally didn't do much to temper it. If I had to give a ballpark range, I'd say that a "3 stars" is about today's ACF Nats difficulty - while a 1 is approximately regionals level, and anything above 3 is post-nats level. Which is a fair range, I guess, since I said in the announcement that the average difficulty would be ACF Nats level.

As most of you know, you have to either email Susan (at [email protected]) by July 13 if you want pizza at lunch (which will be 10 bucks payable at registration), or you have to make plans to jump in some kind of car and get lunch quickly at some nearby place, since you only have half-an-hour. Lunch will be provided free for staff. And, staff should just show up at the same time in the morning as everyone else, and we'll try to quickly assign people to rooms and get stuff set up.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:28 am
by jdd2007
Almost as important: I need somewhere to sleep on Friday and Saturday nights. I'll bring a sleeping bag and pay for a share of the room. Email me-jdd2007 at gmail dot com

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:19 am
by theMoMA
jdd2007 wrote:Almost as important: I need somewhere to sleep on Friday and Saturday nights. I'll bring a sleeping bag and pay for a share of the room. I'd rather not go the hobo route, but if I have to, I will. Email me at [email protected]
Please ID yourself in your sig. Thanks.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:35 am
by No Rules Westbrook
Also, could you please email me ([email protected]) if you're able to bring a buzzer or several? We need 8, I want to make sure we have enough. Laptops too, but those are never in short supply, it seems.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:14 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
It's come to my attention that a few people think that reading the "star level" before matches will hurt people and throw them off - okay, that's fair, I don't want anyone complaining "hey, I didn't buzz, cause that's not a two-star answer, so we lost!" So, I think what I will do is have the star level read after the packet has been played. Man, I'm so mercurial with this kind of stuff. Stay tuned, I have an announcement coming about a wheel of fish, which will later be modified to a wheel of chips.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:24 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
Oh, and if anyone out there still wants to play, there's still a few spots left open on some teams for CO - feel free to tell me ([email protected]), and I'm sure you can occupy one of those remaining spots.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:35 pm
by setht
Ryan Westbrook wrote:It's come to my attention that a few people think that reading the "star level" before matches will hurt people and throw them off - okay, that's fair, I don't want anyone complaining "hey, I didn't buzz, cause that's not a two-star answer, so we lost!" So, I think what I will do is have the star level read after the packet has been played. Man, I'm so mercurial with this kind of stuff. Stay tuned, I have an announcement coming about a wheel of fish, which will later be modified to a wheel of chips.
This is ridiculous. The whole "star rating" concept seems silly to me in the first place, but you should obviously read the star ratings before the games if you're going to have them at all. What's the point of getting Ryan's take on the difficulty of a packet after you've already played it and formed your own opinion as to its difficulty? I'm fine with abandoning the "star rating" plan and just warning people in advance that the difficulty varies widely from packet to packet, ranging from approximately Regionals level to harder than Nationals. If this tournament is going to be more variable in difficulty than most and people are concerned about their ability to adjust their play from one packet to the next, I suppose hearing the star rating before each round might be worthwhile. Claiming that hearing the editor's take on a packet's difficulty before playing the packet throws people off is exactly like claiming that knowing what tournament one is going to play before playing the tournament throws people off. If you have trouble playing ACF Regionals packets because you can't figure out how to play on ACF Regionals packets, I strongly suspect your Chicago Open performance will have little to do with whether or not you hear Ryan's ratings before each round--are you somehow going to play better because you have less idea what to expect? Are you going to ignore the first 10 questions when trying to decide whether the 11th is "hard enough" for the current packet? Ryan, don't waste time before and during the tournament generating the star ratings and then announcing them after each game. If the packets are so variable that people need your best guess at the packet level before each round, then announce the rating before each round.

-Seth

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:36 pm
by wd4gdz
Maybe this a crazy idea, but couldn't you just ramp up the difficulty gradually during the day? In other words, have the "easier" packets in the morning rounds and the harder packets in the afternoon and early evening rounds. In the final RR match, on presumably the hardest RR packet, there could be the sure-to-be-epic YaphTeitSorKoo vs. WeinMukhVinMag match.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:58 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
Nah, I don't want it to be a build-up in difficulty, just a sort of random mix throughout the day. I think I probably overstated how much the packets vary in difficulty; it isn't exactly a rollercoaster. So, whatever, I'll do the ratings for fun (it doesn't take me any time) and if people want to know, they can know. If not, they can plug their ears or something.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:52 pm
by ValenciaQBowl
What's interesting to me about this star-rating idea is the unspoken assumption behind it that players at this level will be expecting to buzz on questions before they've heard a clue which exactly identifies the answer based on some extra-textual information. Recent discussions of the impropriety of "lateral thinking" and question transparency have included strong suggestions that well written questions will eliminate those possibilities.

Of course, I'm purposely being overly literal about this; I know that all good players have to go on logical hunches from time to time, and knowing the general difficulty expectation of a packet (or tournament) can help one strategize on the fly about the breadth of the answer space one should be selecting from based on the clues one is hearing (e.g. at ACF fall if we're hearing about plays by a Nigerian, one might as well go with Soyinka; at ACF Nats, other Nigerian playwrights could be possibilities, so one should wait for a concrete clue). But with all the talk in the last couple years (and especially recently) of our 'game that doesn't want to be a game' and criticism of clues that allow elite players (or, worse, any player) to narrow down and make a safely educated guess at an answer (my assumption of a definition of "transparency"), I've gathered that the prevailing belief is that the best players mostly use absolute knowledge (that is, something like "it just mentioned the Prankqueen so this is definitely 'Finnegan's Wake'") to answer questions. Otherwise, if it's accepted that one might be expecting to be helped (or even hindered) by a difficulty rating, doesn't that necessarily imply that folks will take shots based on assumptions based on clues and perceived answer space (what I assume folks mean by 'lateral thinking') rather than just buzz on what they absolutely know? If so, is this a contradiction, or am I missing something? (A real possibility--that's why I'm asking).

This reminds me of Jerry's critique of a SnF bonus part (I think it was a bonus--maybe it was a toss-up) on Austin's "How to Do Things with Words," in which he suggested that the clue surely sounded like an Austin work since it was clearly a book about speech acts, but it was hard to decide whether the question wanted "How to Do Things" or "Sense and Sensibilia." I'd definitely have the same problem, but I've never read any Austin first-hand. My knowledge of him comes from seeing his name in a Zeke pack a while back and deciding I should read about him before playing some more Zeke-edited packets. I suppose a person who definitely knows Austin could tell the difference, and isn't that the position that current quizbowl writing theory takes: that the best questions should reward "real" (e.g. deep, first-hand?) knowledge of a subject? Or is this just an ideal approached asymptotically, perfection never fully achieved?

I'm not posting this to start arguments or to suggest that I'm "pro-lateral thinking!" or something. As one attuned to theory, I'm interested in what appear to be two strains in thinking about question writing AND actual game-play strategizing/answering.

PS--I don't care if we get star ratings or not; I don't think it would affect my play much. I hope that even packets with "easy" answer selection will be written interestingly and with challenging lead-ins rewarding "real" (!) knowledge.

PPS--all examples used only for illustration purposes; no ill will meant to Ryan, Jerry, or any persons fictional or non-fictional.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:31 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
Chris,

I don't think the stars will aid any lateral thinking - they're mostly just there for amusement, as a fun little innovation, and people can hear them after the packet is done if they want to hear them. The only thing it might do is have people think "okay, that packet was a 3, so it's about average for this tournament." I don't mean for people to be drawing any other kind of conclusions from the stars.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:50 am
by Susan
Okay, here's who's signed up for pizza. (Sorry, Dartmouth/Miami team; I don't have names for most of you.) If you should be on there and you're not, or if you are on there and shouldn't be, let me know at susan at uchicago dot edu. Thanks!

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:59 pm
by Susan
Also, a public transit warning--I don't know if anyone's plans for CO-related transportation involve taking the Blue Line from O'Hare, but please be forewarned that the Blue Line is down between O'Hare and Rosemont (they've set up a shuttle bus to get people from stop to stop). The RTA trip planner seems to be taking this into account, so you should be able to use it to get an accurate travel plan.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:12 pm
by Auroni
I'm in support of using the "5 star" system just as a fun way to reveal the caliber of each packet. I'm not playing, but if I were, I would understand that going to the tournament itself would make me expect a certain level of difficulty, and that even if I were to play on a "1 star" packet, I should not become complacent and fall victim to fraudulent buzzing practices and "lateral thinking"

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:22 pm
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
I don't know what kind of effects the 5 star policy would have in terms of people sitting on TU's they think are too hard/easy. Part of me would welcome the chance to see the policy in action so we have empirical observations to base judgement on. The other part of me notes that I have never, ever seen Seth Teitler so dismissive about something as he is in this thread; perhaps he has a point?

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:48 am
by EncyclopediaCDRom
Here is another CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) alert. The Red Line does not operate underground but entirely elevated on weekends. Now that I am on a trash team, I am slightly less concerned about squeezing the movie rounds into this weekend, but Tim Hartman and I still need at least one teammate for the main Chicago Open itself. Arsalan Khan should be able to give his final decision about being our third player by Wednesday.

Happy waning Bastille Day,
Rom Masrour
CPS/UIC

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:19 am
by Eärendil
As a not-very-good player who has a lot to learn, I like the idea of a rating system. At the very least, it'll be a way of learning (roughly) which answer choices are appropriate for which levels of difficulty. It's also a nice way of seeing how one's own packet stands in relation to the rest of the field, which is something individual packet feedback doesn't really do. Sure, it's all essentially Ryan's opinion, but it's better than nothing. To be effective, though, I'd like to hear the ratings before the packet is read, as I think it's easier to keep track of the rating and compare answer selection as you play the packet rather than trying to recall answers afterwards. If there's concern that announcing the rating is going to seriously slow the tournament down, Ryan can just print the rating next to the respective packet on the tournament schedule. For the elite teams and players the rating won't matter, and for the rest of us it's just another perspective on answer selection.

On a related note, would it be inappropriate to ask that the first packet of the tournament be a 3-star packet? I know it's up to Ryan's discretion, but I think it'd be a good way of "calibrating" the players so we have a sense of what's average and where answer selection in a 1-star or a 5-star packet could go. Alternatively, I suppose you could make the first two packets a 1-star/5-star (or 5-star/1-star) duo, but I don't know how well that'd go over early in the morning.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:23 am
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
I don't want to hear ratings before the packet, and I don't really care when each packet is read.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:25 am
by Maxwell Sniffingwell
Deesy Does It wrote:I don't want to hear ratings before the packet, and I don't really care when each packet is read.
Same here, but I'd love it if star ratings were included when the packets are finally posted online. I also
Eärendil wrote:ask that the first packet of the tournament be a 3-star packet
That is, if you're going to rate them, can we start out with an average one?

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:39 pm
by jdd2007
jdd2007 wrote:Almost as important: I need somewhere to sleep on Friday and Saturday nights. I'll bring a sleeping bag and pay for a share of the room. Email me-jdd2007 at gmail dot com
Someone kindly offered me a place to sleep, so disregard this.

I'm looking forward to meeting you all in Chicago.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:19 pm
by EncyclopediaCDRom
Tim Hartman and I are still searching for two confirmed teammates, for Arsalan Khan will be in Michigan this weekend. To elaborate on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line improvements, the shuttle buses stop near Terminal 3 at O'Hare (ORD) before they proceed one stop to Rosemont, where you can board an el bound for the Loop. I figured that out the hard way last weekend when I was picking up and returning my rental car for the NASCAR double-header at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, for CTA travel helpers were misinformed.

Rom Masrour
CPS/UIC

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:28 am
by setht
Hey,

just a heads-up on two things: first, it looks like I'll be able to get a key to lock up the rooms we're using, so we should be able to leave buzzers set up overnight tonight and tomorrow night. Hopefully this will help us get started faster in the mornings.

Second, Melanie Cornwell from Wired magazine will probably show up to watch a couple rounds of CO part way through Saturday morning. My understanding is that she's not interested in writing an article on CO itself; instead, she's interested in seeing a couple rounds of a high-level quizbowl tournament to provide some background for a Wired project in October which will hopefully give college quizbowl more exposure.

See you all soon.

-Seth

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:35 am
by AKKOLADE
setht wrote:Second, Melanie Cornwell from Wired magazine will probably show up to watch a couple rounds of CO part way through Saturday morning. My understanding is that she's not interested in writing an article on CO itself; instead, she's interested in seeing a couple rounds of a high-level quizbowl tournament to provide some background for a Wired project in October which will hopefully give college quizbowl more exposure.
Awesome stuff itt

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:26 pm
by AKKOLADE
I have heard that the final of CO was Weiner, Magin, Vinokurov and Mukherjee over Teitler, Koo, Yaphe and Sorice.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:27 am
by Auroni
congrats!

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:06 pm
by ... and the chaos of Mexican modernity
Congrats to all I wish I was there to see it

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:08 am
by dtaylor4
The stats for Chicago Open 2008 can be found here.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:19 am
by cdcarter
dtaylor4 wrote:The stats for Chicago Open 2008 can be found here.
If you get a chance, could you activate Round Report?

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:25 am
by dtaylor4
They all should be open now.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:02 am
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chris is saying the round report function is absent entirely, with no link to it.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:18 am
by dtaylor4
Done.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:58 pm
by Sima Guang Hater
PATH statistics for this tournament can be found here: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key= ... Tlc2X2Y-JA. There was something strange about the Illinois team's stats, and I didn't put the dartmouth-led contingent's stats in there. I may correct these later.

EDIT: I just re-published it. Try it now.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:05 pm
by theMoMA
ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:PATH statistics for this tournament can be found here: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key= ... Y-JA&hl=en. There was something strange about the Illinois team's stats, and I didn't put the dartmouth-led contingent's stats in there. I may correct these later.
We're sorry, [email protected] does not have permission to access this spreadsheet.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:10 pm
by wd4gdz
ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:PATH statistics for this tournament can be found here: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key= ... Tlc2X2Y-JA. There was something strange about the Illinois team's stats, and I didn't put the dartmouth-led contingent's stats in there. I may correct these later.

EDIT: I just re-published it. Try it now.
PATH needs more tweaking if it has me ahead of Sorice.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:22 pm
by Matt Weiner
wd4gdz wrote:PATH needs more tweaking if it has me ahead of Sorice.
This is attributable to factors such as "questions that Mike was outbuzzed on by his teammates but still would have beaten you to" which can't be accounted for by any mathematical adjustment to current stats. Until we have some way to determine where in the question people buzzed, this is the best we're going to do.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:46 pm
by Strongside
This is an interesting statistic. In addition to what Matt mentioned about how Paths doesn't account for when someone buzzed, it also doesn't account for whether a person got the tossup after the other team negged.

For example, if you lost a buzzer race to the other team early in the question, (and had the right answer), and that team negged, it would be more impressive than if you didn't know the answer until the end. Also there is no way to account if you were the only person on your team that knew the answer by the end after the other team negged, or if everyone else on the team knew the answer. There is also no way to account for whether the tossup was easy, medium, or hard.

Paths is just a stat to see how people did during an individual tournament, not how good of a player they are overall. Obviously better players will tend to do better than worse players, but it would be delusional for anyone to think I am better at quiz bowl than Andrew Yaphe.

It would be neat if SQBS had a feature that automatically calculated paths, in addition to points per game.

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:55 pm
by cdcarter

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:40 pm
by grapesmoker
How is PATH computed again?

Re: Important Information - Chicago Open 2008

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:06 pm
by Strongside
grapesmoker wrote:How is PATH computed again?
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quizbowl/message/8561

In short it is:

(Total points scored * 20)
__________________________

(Number of tossups heard -

number of tossups gotten by a players teammate
(excluding the player we are calculating stats for -

number of -5's gotten by a players teammate
(excluding the player we are calculating stats for)/2)

Top Paths Scorer Jonathan Magin's score would be:


620 * 20= 12,400
____________________

300 - 157 - (25/2)

300 - 157 -12.5 = 130.5

12,400/ 130.5 = 95.02

Also, remember to use order of operations on D/2