The TAJ MAHAL PALACE auditorium was full to the brim. There was tension prevailing in the minds of 48 people present there. They were the finalists of this year’s Tata Crucible Finals. As expected quiz master “Pickbrain” came up with high level questions apt for a National Finals. Some of the rounds were really good.

First-the two semis for Non Tata Track:-

Top four teams from each semi were through to the final and the teams in the final were:-





          Vizag Steel

          Sun Microsystems

          Bhilai Steel

          Vizag Steel

This is the first time in Crucible history that there were two teams from the same company in the National Finals.

The TATA Track line up:-

          TCS, Mumbai

          Tata Elixi, Bangalore

          TCS, Chennai

          MJunction, Kolkatta

          Tata Steel, Jamshedpur

          TCS, Delhi

          TAL, Pune

          TCS, Hydrebad

Tata Track finals were the first to take place after the non tata semis. TCS, Mumbai won it on a tie breaker beating Tata Steel coming from behind(Anu Aga the savior).This year was full of surprises as the reigning champions in both the tracks were out in the regional round. Sun was shining really bright at Taj and it was a good win for Sun Microsystems. Hats off to the champions of both the tracks:-

TCS, Mumbai-TATA TRACK – Sureshkumar & Aniruddha Dutta

Sun Microsystems, Non TATA TRACK – Vishwajeet & Mitesh Agarwal

But special hats off to a team who had almost won the crucibles but lost it by playing sportingly giving other teams’ chance – hats off to the TATA STEEL team- you are the actual winners.




Some of the questions (we know people will be in look out for this)

1)       This country according to World Bank report is the largest seller of Carbon Credit – China

2)       Owner of Newcastle United – Mike Ashley

3)       Dhanabalan is the chairman of? – TEMASEC Holdings, S’pore

4)       Innocenti comp. set up in Milan – Lambratta

5)       “My World” – Big Bazaar

6)       Pic- credited as the earliest posters in the early era – Olympics poster

7)       Harrah Ent. Is the first company of this type – Casino

8)       Exhaustive database – Holmes + Training Program –elementary- A: Scotland Yard

9)       What is a glass cliff? A: …… (you can google this)

10)   Pic. – “was homeless” – Helpage India

11)   Which global financial giant Tony Blair joined as Sr. Advsor?-JP Morgan

12)   Magnificent garden, towering light house, pink wire cable, gold stop watch, a sumo wrestler, fragrant roses and a path of diamonds : – “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”

13)   Childhood+deepalaya+s8+flag of St. Dennis – Oriflame

14)   Founder of instone nutrition? – Silverster Stallone

15)   During Mughal era copper coins were called? – Dam

Contributions and suggestions are welcome: – quiziebee@gmail.com

Vijaykrishna C V & Anubhav Chatterjee

Voltas                                    TI Cycles

(Hope someday we will be in the same company so that we can participate in Crucible together.)




  1. Pingback: Tata Crucible Corporate 2008- National Final « Quintessential Theory

  2. To be very honest, there was nothing sporting on the part of the Tata Steel team. Before the last question, the points read Tata Steel – 55, TCS (Bombay) – 40. Giri waxing eloquent about how Tata Steel could have buzzed, taken a negative and still won the quiz, is utterly ridiculous. In case they had buzzed and got a negative, they would have gone down to 45 and TCS (Bombay) could well have buzzed on the 2nd clue, got 10 points and won the quiz fair and square with a score of 50. Its simply unfathomable how nobody from Giri’s research team at the back made him aware of this. Sporting, my foot. They did what any other team would have done and that is, wait for the other team to take a gamble and see whether they are able to tie the scores.

  3. Hi,
    I am no regular quizzer, but was at the Taj to witness the amazing finals. Infact, this observation by Dhananjay, looks awesome, I did not realise it at all. I also agree Tata Steel must have waited for someone for make the error.

    However, I felt the quiz, especially the non Tata one, which Sun won, was truly brilliant and the standard one of the best I have seen.Pickbrain somehow seems to raise the bar each time and if one were to compare all the national level shows he seems to take the cake as the best at this point in time. He is fair to all teams, his questions are of a very decent level and his scoring is transparent.

    Wonder how many would agree with me.

  4. My partner and myself tried to reason out the ifs and buts of this entire episode. Even we were unable to reason out the sportsman spirit that was discussed at length.

    Nothing to take away from the performance from Tata Steel. They were coming off having after a stupendous victory at Jamshedpur having dislodged the 4 time National Champion.

    The thought process that we worked on was to press the buzzer on the last question as soon as it appeared on the screen.

    To correct Dhananjay, the scores before the last question read – Tata Steel – 60, TCS Mumbai – 45, TCS Chennai – 40.

    The Question was a 3 part question with a +15,+10 and +5 and a constant negative -10.

    Case 1:

    1. Had Tata Steel pressed the buzzer and got it correct, they would have won. That they didnt.

    2. Had Tata Steel pressed the buzzer and got it wrong, they would have got a -10 bringing their score to 50.

    Two things would have emerged here.

    a. TCS Mumbai could have pressed the buzzer and got it right and would have won.

    b. TCS Chennai could have pressed the buzzer and got it right and would have forced a tie breaker with Tata Steel (50-50).

    Neither of these cases happened.

    There is no doubt that Tata Steel were good competitors and were faster on the buzzer on a few occassions but in case its Sportsmanship that is being discussed, all other teams who did not have any chance of winning on the last question and did not hit the buzzer should be patted for their Sportsmanship.

    Would have kept quiet on this and continued to enjoy my vacation. But then, the sportsmanship issue has been creeping into my ears and my cell a little more than I expected. Hence decided to clear the air.


    Aniruddha Dutta

  5. Dear Mr. Aniruddha Dutta,
    Glad to see a champion speak. I thought they all lie behind their laurels. Your teammate and you rocked. I am sure you will Rock On!

    I think i must share this with you, after the quiz I went to congratulate Pickbrain on what I thought was a very high standard and fair quiz. I asked him “Who did you think would win”. He first said “The best team on the day” but when I pushed him he said “On the internal track, team TCS were favorites in my book, they are very solid team, both of them can win a quiz alone on their day, but Tata Steel had prepared very well this year, I also expected Elxsi to do well as they beat Titan, a good team at Blore”

    He also told someone else who was there “Actually they (refering to you) must be thinking they should have won this quiz more convincingly than it turned out to be” – wonder if his view matches with your thoughts?

    Anyway, great win and happy holidays (with 4lks – wow).

  6. Let me add my two bits. I had written to Giri about this, but he added another dimension to it saying that Tata Steel were sporting in not objecting to the long time he gave for the last clue.

    Let me give my perspective. We had decided a priori that we were going to press the buzzer first (even before the question came up on screen). At that stage that was the only option for us (simple, obvious strategy). This is exactly what we did also. Hence there should have been no question of someone “letting us” press the buzzer.

    But I was also feeling confident that judging by the simplicity of the earlier questions, I should definitely be able to crack this. When the question flashed on the screen, I was surprised to see that very scanty details were displayed (vis-a-vis the other previous questions). The only person of somewhat famous note I knew was Anu Aga and I mentally froze this answer within the first 3-5 seconds of pressing the buzzer. Believe it ot not, this is from an interview with her I read 7-8 years ago (I myself was amazed that I recollected this at that moment!). I knew only about the TISS part, but not the Xavier’s bit.

    But Anu Aga seemed distinctly wrong. For one thing, she is not the CEO any more (I dont even remember if Giri had mentioned the theme for the round was about women CEOs from India in the beginning); secondly, Anu Aga seemed totally out of place after the high-profile Naina Lal Kidwai and Indra Nooyi (my classmate at IIM Cal). Hence I was trying to take forward the clue from the Xaviers angle – any pasout from Xaviers could have done a course in TISS (Shabana Azmi, perhaps? – the CEO thread was not very evident at that time). But none of these seemed to fit. All this was taking a lot of time. Hence at any point if Giri had wanted to apply the guillotine by moving to the next clue, I would have blurted out Anu Aga only. And this was an answer I got in the first 3 seconds, not after 32 seconds (though we answered only after the 32 seconds, making Giri again bring up the issue of sportsmanship of not objecting to the “Battle of the Long Count” as in the case of Jack Dempsey).

    Also, as I see it, TCS Mumbai was leading throughout the quiz; Tata Steel bounced back with 30 points in the last round (here we blame ourselves for being not fast on the buzzer – as you see, the answers were quite pedestrian). I really think that to get Anu Aga at that moment with the skimpy first clue was only divine intervention – I mus have done some good to someone in the last few weeks. I also told someone that my quota of good luck for the whole year should be considered exhausted after this (looks like it didnt since I won the Western zone BT Acumen round – again on a tie-breaker, this time against the other Crucible champion Mitesh Agarwal – but God has now said that I should not count on any more).

    Why I write such a long mail was that in the end, it was portrayed to be fluky (in some way undeserving) “victory” ( I use this term in a figurative way – this is only a quiz, not the Armageddon) and honoring the other team ahead of us tended only to reinforce that impression.

    I just wanted to put forward my views and stand on the matter. Hence this boringly long comment

    Suresh Kumar

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