In this year's Quiz European Championships, there will be a "Final Table", where only the best 10 quizzers overall, after the initial 100 questions will participate.
In addition to the 100 questions already answered, there will be 20 new (and probably harder) questions these ten will answer, and the winner will be the one
with the highest aggregate score (120 questions in all).
This means that winning a seat at the Final Table will be a goal in itself, and in this presentation of some of the favourites,
we estimate their chances of reaching that goal.
Keep in mind, not everyone presented here will be able to get to the Finale Table, which only has room for 10 quizzers (pending confirmation),
but hopefully this short introduction will be of some value for determining the odds.
You can find the WQC-tables here (does not work in IE for some reason): WQC Tables
Jesse Honey and Dorjana Sirjola will not attend the EQC, and are therefore omitted from the profiling.
Rumours say that the Netherlands will muster a new strong constellation: The Maris brothers, in their first Championship.
Having steadily progressed towards the number 1 spot, Mark finally
reached it in 2008, beating out Ronny Swiggers by one single point. A strong all-rounder, perhaps with a preference for history.
Mark was runner-up in last year's EQC and will be a clear favourite to reach the Final Table this time, and may of course win the whole thing, although
he reveals to us that the format of the single competition may not be ideally suited for him.
Kevin may be the most respected quizzer in the world, having consistently
placed among the top 3 for several years running, and most of that time at the number 1 spot.
He may not be as hungry as before,however, having placed outside the medal spots in this year's WQC.
It would be foolish to disregard the man's chances though, because as Yoda might say: The knowledge is strong with him.
Kevin knows almost everything, but admits to not being unbeatable when it comes to
knowledge about cars or computer games. Those being his only weaknesses, it would be more surprising
if he didn't reach the Final Table. He's even a very nice guy.
The reigning European Champion, both we and Nico would be disappointed if he didn't reach the Final Table.
He may even very well be able to defend his title. The format seems to suit him well, disregarding
the no. 14 placement in 2006. In fact, it may have been this very result that propelled him to
do the work necessary to go all the way to the top. He is also the reigning Belgian Champion.
Tero's meteoretic rise brought him almost to the top in this year's WQC.
A clear victory in the Nordic Championships proved that there was something in his
own claim that he "had been working very hard". He could very well perform at
the highest level again in Oslo, but watch out, even with a bronze in the World Championships
- he didn't manage to win the Finnish one.
Came within a whisker of winning the World Championships in 2008,
and has been among the top 6 in the world for the past three years.
A strong all-rounder, with especially strong history scores. After a mediocre result in the
2006 EQC, he was back in the top 10 last year, and should be able to not only reach the Final Table,
but stay with winning chances to the very end. He is also the Belgian Champion 2005-2007.
The former world champion is of course a clear favourite to reach the Final Table,
and most probably has winning chances as well. He scored his worst result for some time
internationally in this year's WQC, but that may have made him eager to prove himself again.
The Irishman will not give up a place at the final table easily.
The winner of the unofficial World Championships in 2003, Olav has placed among the top 7 in
every championship since except in 2005. A true quizzer, he seems to be working day and night on his skills.
His chances of reaching the Final Table this year are likely to be very good, and it probably doesn't hurt that in Norway he's almost on home turf.
He also made the selection for the national team, and being half Norwegian,
he might be very surprised next year in being selected for two national teams at once.
Jussi was impressive as captain of the reduced Finnish national team, that with three players nevertheless managed to share the bronze with Norway last year.
It might seem that he's been bypassed nationally by Tero Kalliolevo - or maybe not: Jussi managed to edge out Tero in the national championships a few weeks ago.
Given his consistent results in the previous European Championships,
it wouldn't be surprising if he achieved another top 10 result this year also.
Others with good chances of reaching the final table:
(NB: as we may know a lot more about our fellow countrymen than of the foreign players, the profiles will be more elaborate for Norwegians.)
Dr. Ian Bayley:
Reigning European Champion for pairs with Tom Trogh, Eric might have fallen outside of the top 10 in the world in this year's WQC,
but don't let that fool you. The competition is stiff, and any top 30 player may be able to reach that Final Table, especially a reigning champion!
European Champion for pairs with Eric Derycke, a good all-round player, who will play for the Belgian national team in Oslo.
That in itself is proof enough that he could do very well in the single tournament, and perhaps find himself at the Final Table.
Derk de Graaf:
Best among the Dutch, he did very well last year, and if he improves upon that, a definite contender for a place at the Final Table.
Norway's best in both the WQC and last year's EQC, Thomas is able to fight for a seat at the Final Table.
He is very strong on subjects such as religion and culture, and has no particular weak spots in the other categories either.
Thomas has been working hard the last couple of years,
although maybe not as hard as Tero. :-) He missed out on a place at the final table in the Norwegian championships in September by one point, and came in at a disappointing 7th place. He made up for this in spades by captaining the winning team in the team's competition the same day, and also by capturing the pairs championship (with Lars Heggland), both times on tie-breaks! This shows a strong psyche, and he may even improve on last year's 6th place (on points).
Ole Martin Halck:
Ole Martin's knowledge of Latin and Greek is often helpful for deducing answers, and combined with a strong all-round knowledge, Ole M
has performed well enough to be able to reach the final table on previous occasions, placing 8th in 2006. On home turf, he may do so again.
A very strong all-rounder, with some particular strong subjects, like high culture and popular culture, especially music (both classical and pop/rock).
Watch out for:
A slightly disappointing WQC result in June probably kept her out of the selection for the national team, but Trine is still
a very good, solid all-round player with some extremely strong special subjects: You'd probably have to be a zoologist to know more
about furry animals than her, and she has also won the lifestyle category in the WQC (equal with Pat Gibson) on one occasion.
Without a doubt one of the strongest women on the quiz circuit.
After a slump season in 2007, Harald was back in form in this year's WQC, seizing the number 4 spot in Norway, which helped him regain a place in the
selection for the national team. Harald has deep knowledge in many areas, especially history and sport. He may do very well in the single tournament, if on his best form.
Lars has been working hard and has steadily progressed towards the top among the Norwegians, and narrowly missing out on being selected to the national team. He is especially strong in history, but has extended his knowledge in every category, and is now a well balanced all-round player.
Stig is one of very few of the Norwegian top quizzers not based in Oslo (Dag Fjeldstad being another notable exception). Since competing in his first international
tournament, Stig has made some great progress, and has adjusted to the international level very well. He may not be at the Final Table yet, but perhaps next year?
The reigning Norwegian Champion defended his title in September, and extended his run to 3 years in a row. He is also strong internationally, but was a bit under par in the WQC, which most likely kept him out of the national team. However, he has a bronze for national teams in the 2006 EQC, and is perhaps good enough to reach the top 20?
The Dutch Maris brothers
Of these two, we know almost nothing, other than that they are supposed to be this year's Quiz Sensations in the Netherlands.
We wish them all the best, and welcome them to their first international championships abroad.