University Challenge: Guttenplan vs Amit

Gilead Amit, captain of the Imperial College, London team, met Alex Guttenplan, the captain of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in a close match on BBC2's University Challenge


By Jessica Elgot, February 16, 2010
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Alex Guttenplan and Gilead Amit go head-to-head on University Challenge

Alex Guttenplan and Gilead Amit go head-to-head on University Challenge

It was a clash of the Jewish titans on University Challenge last night as the two contestants taking the competition by storm met in one of the programme’s quarter finals.

Gilead Amit, 20, a physics undergraduate and captain of the Imperial College, London team, met natural sciences student Alex Guttenplan, 19, the captain of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in a close match which began with a lead by Imperial College.

But it was in the last few moments that Mr Guttenplan’s team stormed to victory, with the team scoring 95 points in the last few minutes.

His victory was so impressive that briefly the name “Alex Guttenplan” was a trending topic on Twitter, showing how many people were writing on the microblogging site about his victory.

The match finished 275 – 160 to Emmanuel College but the two teams could meet again in the final as Imperial have a chance to snatch a semi-final place if they win their next match.

During the game, Mr Guttenplan correctly identified the Radcliffe line as the demarcation point in 1947 between India and Pakistan and showed off his mental arithmetic calculating prime numbers.

In turn Mr Amit knew Seward’s Folly was the name given to the United States’ purchase of Alaska.

Mr Amit told the JC in December that he believed physics was a good basis for general knowledge.

He said: “My father left complicated physics books, just out of my reach, tempting my curiosity, when I was young.

“Everybody thought I was going to study history or English but I discovered that both my history and English teachers had studied physics as undergraduates, so it made me realise that physics is a very good base for everything.”

His team will play again on March 8 to secure a place in the semi-finals.

Last updated: 5:04pm, April 8 2010