Two situations arose at Grand Prix Paris that have raised some questions on social media. While we don’t discuss ongoing investigations, or the underlying causes leading to a Disqualification, here is some explanation of the policies behind these two situations.
Head Judge Riccardo Tessitori conducted an investigation of Gerardo Jurado Gibert during round 13 of Grand Prix Paris after a suspicious Game Rule Violation. After listening to all involved parties (Jurado Gibert, his opponent, and the Floor Judge), he did not feel that he had sufficient information to assess a Disqualification at that time and, in the interests of keeping the tournament moving, allowed the player to continue playing. As more information came to light during further interviews, and consultation with other senior judges present, Head Judge Tessitori was convinced that the actions taken during the Game Rule Violation were intentional and issued the appropriate Unsporting Conduct – Cheating infraction. As Tessitori stated: “The fact that two rounds had passed and the fact that the player made Top 8 shouldn’t be good reasons to keep in the tournament a player who I was now sure had cheated.” Following the appropriate course of action in such a situation, since Jurado Gibert had already finished his match, the result for round 15 stood and Jurado Gibert was therefore disqualified after round 15 and before the Quarter Finals. As defined in policy, since the cut to top 8 had not yet been made, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, who ended up 9th in the standings prior to Gibert’s removal from the tournament, advanced to the Top 8.
During an on-camera match in the quarterfinals, Javier Dominguez played Brainstorm and only returned one card to the top of his library when resolving it. After investigating the issue and discussing it with the player, Head Judge Tessitori and the Investigations Committee have concluded that the error was accidental. The infraction has been noted in Dominguez’ penalty history. Since the error was not noticed during the game and Cheating has been ruled out in this situation, the Grand Prix result will stand as is.
Magic is a complicated game. It is easy to make accidental errors, and this needs to be kept in mind before leveling accusations at players or judges. If you see something concerning, please call a judge and they’ll help with the situation, including an investigation if it seems warranted. The judge program will continue to review its policies and practices to try to keep unfortunate incidents such as those at Grand Prix Paris to a minimum.