On March 23rd - 25th, the annual Santa Clara University Spring Philalethic Invitational ended in a closeout between Bentley's Ryan Booth & Devin Pracar and teammates Jeremy Hubinger & Irene Partsuf. Both teams won their semifinal rounds on split 2-1 ballot decisions.
The tournament began on Friday evening and closed Sunday afternoon, ending the tournament before dark. The entry field of 77 open teams debated five preliminary rounds, with 32 breaking to an even double-octofinal round on Saturday evening.
Some competitors felt that the elimination rounds were poorly handled by the administrators of the tournament: the double-octofinal round's resolution, for example, was posted before all teams had flipped for sides. "The doubles round I was supposed to compete in was pushed back half an hour, and we were given a two minutes heads up before the round," said Evergreen Valley's Anthony Gavrilchenko. "Personal judge issues aside, it's ridiculous that such a popular tournament didn't immediately cancel the round and offer quick responses to all questions. Having a fair debate ought to be the goal of every tournament's administrative team, and SCU's tab room failed this burden."
The topics provided by the tournament also faced some scrutiny. "I thought the topics were really skewed from a lay standpoint," said Evergreen's Aryan Pammar. "For example, one of the topics was about whether a person should relinquish ownership of their genetic material in a just society. Most lay judges would have a predisposition to believe that wouldn't be the case. Some parents then allow these biases to affect their votes."
The novice division welcomed 58 teams, with 16 breaking to octofinals. The final round took place between Evergreen's Karan Chahal & Yuvraj Virk and Wilcox's Muhammad Alsharif & Anish Donepudi, with Chahal & Virk coming out victorious on a 2-1 ballot decision.
Campolindo Shannon Bonet & Sharon Yuan def. Menlo-Atherton Alex Chang & Andrew Gordan (2-1)
Bentley Ryan Booth & Devin Pracar def. Evergreen Valley Edward Frazer & Aryan Pammar (3-0)
Los Altos Tamur Asar & Shirley Cheng def. Bentley Olive Brogan & Michael Rubsamen (3-0)
Campolindo Kevin Deng & Krish Visht def. Menlo-Atherton Quinn Hammel & Russell Ives (3-0)
Bentley Jeremy Hubinger & Irene Partsuf def. Cupertino Leo Rassieur & Pranav Uppiliappan (2-1)
Los Altos Divya Jakatdar & Ilona Lahdesmaki def. Irvington Aseem Doriwala & Raisah Khan (2-1)
Irvington Rishabh Chowhan & Aaron Lin def. Hillview Samek Rangarajan & Austin Willis (3-0)
Campolindo David Gomez Siu & Sophie Stankus def. Irvington Ashka Patel & Kathan Shah (2-1)
Bentley Booth & Pracar def. Campolindo Bonet & Yuan (2-1)
Campolindo Deng & Visht def. Irvington Chowhan & Lin (2-1)
Bentley Hubinger & Partsuf def. Los Altos Asar & Cheng (3-0)
Los Altos Jakatdar & Lahdesmaki def. Campolindo Gomez Siu & Stankus (2-1)
Bentley BP def. Los Altos JL (2-1)
Bentley HP def. Campolindo DV (2-1)
Full results can be found here.
Our Northern California correspondents are Emily Her, who competes for Dougherty Valley High School, and Anoushka Singal, who competes for Irvington High School.