On 7 and 8 May, the 15th National Championship of the sport TV version of the game “What? Where? When?" took place in the concert hall "Event-Hall". The championship was organised by Voronezh State University, the Joint Students' Board of VSU, and the Intelligent Technologies Centre “TSIT.RUS”, with the support of the representative office of the Voronezh region in the federal state governmental authorities of the Russian Federation and the governor of the Voronezh region. The main partner of the event was Khamin's Group of Companies.
Prior to the intellectual race, the Head of the Department of Education, Science, and Youth Policy of the Voronezh Region, Oleg Mosolov, welcomed the participants and read the address of the governor of the Voronezh region, Alexei Gordeyev:
‘'What? Where? When? is one of the very few games that has been popular for many years. The Voronezh region regularly holds school and university championships. The Student Championship of Russia which took place in Voronezh last year provided a wonderful training experience for the leading teams of Russia. I would like to wish the teams and the participants to have an exciting game and receive new impressions and to feel inspiration, concentration, and a joy of knowledge.’
The guests of the city and participants of the championship were also welcomed by the VSU vice-rector for Research and Informatisation, Professor Vasily Popov, and the vice-president of the International Association of "What? Where? When?" Clubs, master, a three-fold Crystal Owl Prize winner, Maxim Potashev, who said that the game would benefit from alternating the championships to be held in the capital and other cities.
The intellectual competitions in Voronezh gathered international leaders, winners of the largest international tournaments and championships in their home cities. The participating teams were put together by famous connoisseurs of the elite TV club “What? Where? When?" Maxim Potashev - a master of the game, a three-fold Crystal Owl Prize winner , Ilia Novikov – the 2014 champion, a two-fold Crystal Owl Prize winner, Anatoly Vasserman - a professional player of the club, Elizaveta Ovdeyenko –the strongest player of the sport version of "What? When? Where?" according to the ranking of the International Association of Clubs, and other connoisseurs, including Yulia Arkhangelskaya, Inna Semenova, Anastasia Shutova, Boris Belozerov, and Mikhail Skipsky.
Prior to the game, some of the connoisseurs gave a short interview to representatives of the media:
'It is great that Voronezh State University supports the intellectual movement. I think it is a good example for other regions of the Russian Federation. Today more young people, ex-school children, join the game and it is a never-ending process. Participation in "What? Where? When?' tournaments contributes to intellectual development of young people,' said Maxim Potashev.
'The very high level of the tournament as well as other tournaments that I have had a chance to witness shows that there is fruitful cooperation between activists of Voronezh State University and its administration and that the rector’s office is at the forefront of events. I believe that student and school championships are very important for development of the youth of today. The school programme is quite disintegrated. We are always talking about building a system and connections between different areas of science. The game "What? Where? When?" helps to build these connections between different subjects. Children who play such intellectual games are better prepared to answer questions asked by their teachers because they can hear the question and this skill is very important,' says Mikhail Skipsky.
The participants of the Championship of Russia had to answer 90 questions that were prepared by the international team of professional editors. The winner of the tournament was the team “Borskiykorabel” (Moscow) that had Elizaveta Ovdeyenko among its members. The second place of the "What? Where? When?" championship of Russia was awarded to the team "Rabocheye Nazvanie" from Saint Petersburg (it comprises of acting world champions and players of the intellectual club Mikhail Levandovsky and Sergey Nikolenko), and the third place was awarded to the team "Mirazh" from Samara.
Our city was granted with the right to hold such a large-scale and prestigious event in 2015 when the application submitted by Voronezh State University won the competition. One of the reasons for such a decision was the positive experience of Voronezh State University in organising similar events. Voronezh has three years of experience carrying out intellectual games festivals, stages of the National and World Cups, and the Championships of Europe and Russia in intellectual games. The National Championship of the sport version of the game “What? Where? When?" is recognised as one of the most prestigious events amongst the world’s intellectual movement. It is one of the most significant national championships and it has the largest quota when it comes to the selection of players for the World Championship.