Tata Steel which has been the dominant force at Jamshedpur for the last few years, continued its supremacy this year despite being outnumbered in the final by Tata Motors which had three teams qualifying for the first time.
The six finalists were:
The final started with all teams looking keen and earnest to make inroads and gain ground and the points seemed to go evenly to all the teams. As the quiz moved into its middle phases as many as five teams on stage had a chance of making it to the national final. Once the buzzer came into play the equation began to change and teams started deploying tactics ranging from aggression to caution depending on their positions. While the Tata Motors teams did well to score early on they missed the much needed points in the middle phase and that put a lot of pressure on them.
The two Tata Steel teams surged ahead with calculative risks on the buzzer. In the penultimate round EG Khan and a bubbling Shankha Mishra took the initiatives and backed it with some superb answers to get ahead of the veteran duo of Mohit and Nirmal.
The final round saw a brave effort for a comeback by Telcon but it proved to be too little too late as the surge only helped them finish third. In the meantime Khan and Mishra had ensured they would not let go of their lead and held on to qualify for the first time as the “Dravids of Jamshedpur quizzing” settled for the runner up position. The evening was also marked by active audience participation particularly from students of XLRI and Loyola school.