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Swiss 1-2-3 at the first ever Alpenquiz

Rajan Thambehalli took home the inaugural Andreas Kröll trophy at the Alpenquiz in Innsbruck on 13th April 2024, prevailing in a close fought final against fellow team member Prakhar Gupta. Paul Ratcliffe completed a Swiss 1-2-3 against the Austrian opposition.

Nicholas Martin, Prakhar Gupta, Rajan Thambehalli, Paul Ratcliffe and Stefan Pletzer
From left: Nicholas Martin, Prakhar Gupta, Rajan Thambehalli, Paul Ratcliffe, Stefan Pletzer

Named in honour of Andreas Kröll, who hailed from the Tyrol and lived in Switzerland until his untimely death in October 2023, the day-long event pitted the 9 best quizzers in Switzerland against the 9 best in Austria.

The competition had a Champion's League style format, consisting of group stages where three quizzers played against one-another in a round-robin, followed by knock-out matches for the quarter-finals onward. The group stages were segregated by country to ensure Swiss and Austrian participation in the later matches.

Photo: Prakhar and Rajan looking at a screen showing question categories. Stefan Pletzer is asking a question.
Prakhar takes on Rajan in the group stage, moderated by Stefan Pletzer

Each match was a head-to-head moderated by Nicholas Martin or Stefan Pletzer of the Austrian Quiz Association (ÖQV). Players took turns to choose a category which would reveal a question worth between 4 and 7 points. They could then choose to play or pass to their opponent, so it was a test of one's poker-face as well as their general knowledge, making for exciting game play.

For the Swiss team, Paul, Prakhar, Rajan and Salil progressed from the groups into the knockout stages where competition was, if anything, even more fierce. The result of every knockout match hung on the final question leading to some nerve-racking moments for all. In a battle of the Lausannois, Prakhar prevailed against Salil in the quarter finals while Paul and Rajan progressed against Austrian opposition. Prakhar continued his winning ways against Paul in the semis, with Rajan beating Johannes Eibl on his way to the final. Paul then secured 3rd place (and €700) against Johannes before Rajan, cool as a cucumber, held his nerve to take first place (€3'500) against Prakhar (€1'500).

Champions Club

Photo: Charlie Sarbach, Girish Chandrasekhar, Rajan Thambehalli, Salil Apte and Renate Schär
The "Mad Heidi" quiz team. From left: Charlie Sarbach, Girish Chandrasekhar, Rajan Thambehalli, Salil Apte, Renate Schär

The night before the Andreas Kröll trophy saw the final of the Austrian Quiz Association's "Champions' Club" team event, for which the Swiss entered two teams: "William Tell" and "Mad Heidi". "Mad Heidi" – consisting of Charlie, Girish, Rajan, Renate and Salil – performed the best of the two, coming in a very creditable 3rd. First place went to Austrian team "The Slope Artists".

The Swiss Team

  1. Charlie Sarbach

  2. Girish Chandrasekhar

  3. Lakshmi Natarajan

  4. Markus Walser

  5. Paul Ratcliffe

  6. Prakhar Gupta

  7. Rajan Thambehalli

  8. Renate Schär

  9. Salil Apte

Monika Sarbach also attended, taking part in the "Champions' Club" team event on Friday 12th.

The Austrian Team

  1. Alexander Feist

  2. Bernd Fruhwirth

  3. Franz Eichhorn

  4. Ingo Streith

  5. Johannes Eibl

  6. Judith Mehlmann

  7. Michael Domanig

  8. Philipp Alexander

  9. Thomas Krutzler

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