Saturday, 26 November 2011

Mastermind - Round One - Heat Three

As John introduced the 4 contenders I recognized one of them straightaway last night. To the best of my knowledge I have never met John Beynon, but I’m very aware of his work. Well, on Mastermind and Brain of Britain, anyway. John has a very good MM track record already, having made the semi finals in Nancy’s series in 2009, where he lost by a single point to Richard Heller. Then in last year’s Brain of Britain John took a repechage slot in the semis, and got to the final, where he came runner up , pushing champion Iwan Thomas all the way to the line. Robin McGhee, John Marshall and Sue Collins , the other three contenders in this heat certainly seemed to have their work cut out for them.

I confidently predict that student Robin McGhee will turn out to be one of the youngest contenders in this year’s series. That doesn’t have to count against you. Robin was answering on the band Led Zeppelin. I’ll be honest, this was my favourite of all last night’s specialist rounds. Robin started at 100 miles an hour, but he seemed to have decided to adopt the tactic of passing immediately if the answer didn’t come at once. That’s a valid tactic too, but it’s a dangerous one. Passes are like rabbits – they breed quickly. It’s too easy to get locked into a pass spiral, and this threatened to happen to Robin at times during his round. In the end he leveled out at 9 – three more than were gained by the team on the Clark sofa. John Marshall followed Robin to the chair. His subject was British Speedway 1945 – 1970. It’s a fair subject to take. I’m sure most of us under a certain age can’t imagine just how popular speedway was in Britain during this period, but it really was. John M. certainly knew his stuff, as 16 on any round is an excellent return. Good quizzing. Sue Collins followed with the life of Emperor Maximilian Ist, an interesting character certainly. Sue was rather more measured and studied than the previous two contenders, and did pause a couple of times , losing rhythm. Still, 11 was no bad return for a tricky round. Now, you’ll have gathered from my opening comments that John B. is an old hand at this game now. Well, if you didn’t know it before , you’ll have worked it out for yourself after his perfect 17 out of 17 on the Cathars. Fantastic performance.

To put John’s performance into perspective, Robin had a lot of work to do when he returned for his second round in order to reach John’s score. His round in many ways was very similar to his first, a lot of very quick passes. Still, I can see why he applied for MM so relatively young. He definitely has a general knowledge beyond that of the average person, and had some good answers. In the end he earned his reward, and gained 9, enough to take him into a lead for the moment. Sue also had 9 correct answers. I scored considerably less on her round than on the other three. I had a 19 and 2 20s on the others, but only 16 on Sue’s , probably because she paused a lot, and didn’t get through as many questions as the others. Still, she too had her time in the lead, as she reached 20 . John Marshall then had the opportunity to use his 16 as a springboard to set a total that would a) set a challenging target for John B, and b) put him onto the repechage board for the foreseeable future. He did all of that, with a good round of 15 correct answers. I didn’t quite think it would be enough to win last night, , but it was still a good performance. So John B. returned, and posted a very good 17, and no passes. Not passing is a sign of someone who knows what he is doing. His total of 34 is one which marks him out to be a serious contender – which to be honest is something we already knew. Well done to John Marshall as well, 31 is a fine score, and I wouldn’t be that surprised if it keeps him on the repechage board for the rest of the first round.

The Details

Robin McGhee Led Zeppelin 9 – 7 9 – 10 18 – 17
John Marshall British Speedway 1945 – 1970 16 – 0 15 – 5 31 – 5
Sue Collins Maximilian I 11 – 1 9 – 6 20 – 7
John Beynon The Cathars 17 – 0 17 – 0 34 – 0


DanielFullard said...

I have just been saying on Quizzing, dont you think that the people who have won the last two shows had had much easier questions in the GK round than the others?

drgaryegrant said...

There are always one or two sets that are a bit easier than the others but I don't really think by a massive amount, and as Dave points out John B is a great quiz player and probably would have hoovered up whatever was put in front of him anyway.
Btw, was that Robin bloke on some sort of charity fundraiser where he got paid for every face he pulled? In fairness, he looked as nervous as hell.

Londinius said...

Hi Daniel - Hi Gary

I'll be honest - I found John B's no easier than John M's or Robin's. Its difficult to rate the other set, because fewer questions were asked.