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23 December 1992

E-mail from the winner of Worlds in 1992

E-Mail from Gordon Peterson Winner Worlds Trinity College Dublin1992

Hello Colm,
First up, well done on the creation of the Worlds site - a feat of great dedication.

I’m writing to add to your History of the Worlds in 1992 in which you correctly state Glasgow were ranked 32nd. There’s a little more to the story that you may be interested in.

We didn’t actually make the break initially. The reason we were ranked 32nd was that during the tournament the computer running the algorithm that ranked the teams ‘went down’ and for a couple of rounds human calculations were used to rank teams and agree match-ups. At the end of the preliminary rounds, the break teams were announced and no Glasgow team had broken. We did what you do when you don’t break – went out, drank, laughed and generally created a little mayhem until around 4am. Unbeknown to us there were two complaints/queries made about their being a possible mistake in the rankings; one by a team from UCD and the other by a judge on behalf of Glasgow (she had judged the us twice and placed us first each time).

On checking the results, it was discovered that there had been a mistake regarding the Glasgow team and the Tournament Director, Margarite Bolger and Chairman, 1985 Champion, Damian Crawford, made the brave decision to offer us the opportunity to take the place of the 32nd ranked team, Edinburgh. This practically involved us being awakened at 8am by Margarite and Damian and, once we were convinced it wasn’t a ‘wind up’, we spent a fair amount of time trying to decide if we were in a fit state to debate. Fuelled by alcohol, we made it through the Octa finals (following which there was an unsuccessful appeal from Hart House A who believed that we had been shown favouritism by the judges “because they were still drunk”), the Quarters and the Semis (where we were greeted by disbelief by some of the debaters, making it out of their beds with whom we had been drinking with the previous night).

On reflection, I do believe that we had spoken well enough to have made the break and also that going out and having a great night the night before the Octas, Quarters and Semis played a big part in our success – we were relaxed and enjoyed the occasion.

I hope this may add a little to your World’s history and if not, then I’ve enjoyed reminiscing all the same,

Warm regards,


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