Tournament Preview: IHBB Asian Championships 2019

Khao Lak

The most hotly-anticipated tournament of the entire 2018-19 Quiz Bowl season in Asia is finally here. The upcoming International History Bee and Bowl (IHBB) Asian Championships, the largest quiz bowl tournament to ever occur in Asia, will be taking place from the 14th to the 16th of June at the JW Marriott Khao Lak resort in Thailand.

This tournament will be run on the IHBB Championships set, by far the hardest set for IHBB this season. This set, like all other IHBB and NAQT sets this season, will be asianized in order to provide a better playing experience for participants. Aside from the main Bee and Bowl tournaments, there are also various other events over the weekend, including the Academic Bowl, Sports and Entertainment Bee and International Geography Bee. Several of the best Singaporean teams are participating in this event, representing our island home across all three age divisions.

In the Varsity division, the formidable teams from Hwa Chong and Raffles will be going up against some of the best players in Asia. Tsinghua International from China, led by the former Montgomery Blair player Brian Xu, is certainly one of the favourites at this tournament. Another team to look out for is Seoul International from Korea. The team smashed all opposition in local tournaments in Korea and are led by Edward Lee, who has been to numerous IHOs and other major tournaments. Furthermore, the SIS team attended HSNCT 2019 and played remarkably well, making it to the playoff stages. Numerous other formidable teams such as Sunway International also lurk in the playoff field, and our Singaporean representatives will have to navigate many tricky matches to have a chance of lifting the title.

Even so, Hwa Chong and Raffles must still be considered to be among the favourites in the Varsity division. Hwa Chong A is led by Kevin Ong, one of the best pure history players in Asia at the moment, and he has very strong backup from other superb players. Raffles, on the other hand, has Samuel Foo, the best generalist in Asia behind Chansol himself, in their ranks. Ultimately, the Varsity field looks to be a very interesting one, and we eagerly anticipate the result.

The Junior Varsity (JV) division this time is an odd one: many of the strong JV players have up-ranked themselves and are playing on varsity teams, one (Juan Carlo of Qatar) opted to play IHBB Europe instead, and some others will sadly not be attending. This leaves Singapore’s Bukit Batok Secondary, led by the superb Chew Chian Hong, with a far less tricky field to contend with. Chian Hong has swept away the opposition at all local tournaments he has played, though he and Bukit Batok sadly underperformed in the playoffs last year’s bee and bowl despite dominating the prelims. This year, Chian Hong returns with a stronger team and will no doubt be seeking a better result.

There remain many other strong teams in the JV field, however. International Community School (ICS) from Thailand, led by Guy Jothaprasert, is a formidable team that has dominated local Thai events. Singapore’s NPS, Filipino titans La Salle Green Hills, Shanghai’s SHSID and Hong Kong’s Renaissance College will all be strong contenders for the title as well. There are also a number of teams making their Asian debut, and there could always be a black horse team that emerges from the shadows to bring home the trophy.

The Middle School division, at 24 teams, is the largest age division at this tournament. Singapore’s Stamford American School, coached by former SHSID coach Kevin Wright, has done well in local tournaments and will no doubt be seeking to win silverware at this tournament. However, they face some insanely tough opposition. The MS team for La Salle Green Hills is led by John Lance V. Bautista, one of the best middle school players in all of Asia. Lance is a player able to hold his own against top varsity players, and his team is certainly one of the favourites for MS. SHSID, too, is one of the top MS contenders. SHSID’s Calvin Pan is an incredible player, and SHSID teams tend to benefit immensely from the more Asian distribution. There are numerous other strong MS teams such as Shanghai American Puxi, NPS and Harrow Hong Kong who are also in the field, and ultimately MS could very well be the most intense division at this tournament.

This tournament is, ultimately, the largest and most intense quiz tournament of the season, and we eagerly look forward to its commencement. The proceedings and results of the event will be discussed in our tournament report later this month. There could also be live-streams of final rounds on the various IAC social media channels as well! SGQB head editor Boyang and SGQB team member Kenneth will be staffing at this event. We hope to see you all there!

 

 

By: Boyang

 

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