October 2013 Anniversaries

Here are the October 2013 judge anniversaries!

15 years

Maurizio Almondo, Torino, Italy
Gianni Bertelli, Forli-Cesena, Italy
Alfonso Bueno, Spain
Radoslav Drobny, Slovak Republic
Christophe Dyzers, Belgium
Rommel Bin Fariduddin, Malaysia
Maarten Ferguson, Netherlands
Jan Findejs, Czech Republic
Lutz Hofmann, Berlin, Germany
Dennis Jakubik, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Vladimir Kamenov, Serbia
Ingo Kemper, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Florian Koch, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Thomas Kugler, Bayern, Germany
Sean Mangin, Ontario, Canada
Daniele Monterisi, Bari, Italy
Patrick Naef, Switzerland
Ramin Poursaleh, Hessen, Germany
Ludek Pytloun, Czech Republic
Rostislav Reha, Czech Republic
Vincenzo Schiano di Scioarro, Napoli, Italy
Michael Schmid, Hessen, Germany
Nikos Skarentzos, Greece
Gianluigi Tognon, Lecco, Italy
Werner Van der haeghe, United States
Daniel McAbee, South Carolina, United States

10 years

Jason Behlar, Mississippi, United States
Robert Williams, Queensland, Australia
Justin Valley, Massachusetts, United States
Carter Hatfield, Michigan, United States

5 years

Michael Nixon, British Columbia, Canada
Warren Yung, British Columbia, Canada
Thomas Marchiori, Trento, Italy
Cristian Sanchez, Chile
Nuno Ribeiro, Portugal
Kouhei Niwa, Ishikawa-ken, Japan

Congratulations to all of you, and thank you for your hard work!

This month’s featured judges are Ingo Kemper from Germany and Thomas Marchiori from Italy.

Regional Coordinator Michael Wiese had this to say about Ingo:

Ingo was released from judge prison the next day. It was all a terrible misunderstanding.

Ingo was released from judge prison the next day. It was all a terrible misunderstanding.

“The first time I met Ingo was back in the late nineties, I believe 1997 or 98. He was already the go-to rules guy and the organizer of little weekly unsanctioned tournaments. He started judging in October ’98 and became L3 in april 2000, so only one and a half year later. Since then he was active locally and regionally. I know he was on staff on German Nationals at least since he made L3 and was the main scorekeeper for this important event. Other judges remember that Ingo made the first midround deck check at Nationals 2003 here in Germany.

He invented or at least introduced the 20 question game here in Germany. In case you didn’t know that game, its basically a question / answer game. You have to have any Magic card in mind and another player has 20 “yes or no” questions to get it. It’s a nice game to keep the mind active.

Since Ingo became a judge he has been judging and scorekeeping a monthly tournament here in Germany, so this is another 15 anniversary for him. This is something I have rarely heard of. Back in the days I was playing on those tournaments and was happy to know him as a judge. Nowadays I judge this tournament as well and I am even more happy to have him there, because it’s good to have an experienced judge on staff, but it is even better to judge a tournament together with a friend.

Thanks Ingo for everything you did so far for the German community and once more for testing me for Level 1 round about 10 years ago.”

Level 3 judge Matteo Callegari wrote about Thomas Marchiori:


Judge my call!

“Thomas is a remarkable example of how you may work to achieve your goals. He lives in a remote area in the Alps in northern Italy where the Magic community is quite small but composed of many great friends. Thomas has always been a reference point for his community, by assisting players at tournaments, providing a forum to discuss, driving infinite miles to go to events with friends.

He certified as a L1 at GP Rimini 2008 going through many tough challenges by Cristiana and he overcame his remoteness by always collaborating in several online projects that helped bring together the Italian community. You may have even seen some pictures of the “Guess Judge!” and “Judge my Call!” games he developed as a gift for the community.


Would you Kickstart this game?

Thomas is actually the only L2 in his area and he’s the only one who actually disqualified me during his L2 interview. It doesn’t matter I did not deserve it (I’m a good guy! I swear!) but his performance was awesome and I’m very proud of having him in our Judge family!”



Grandpa of the South Americans

This month is a particularly special L3 anniversary. Juan Del Compare is celebrating his 15th anniversary as a Level 3 judge. We had Regional Coordinator for Latin America – Spanish, Damian Hiller, write up this thoughts of Juan’s anniversary and provide some comments from others in the region.

“15 years is a lot of time. In many cases it’s around that age that people start playing Magic and a 15th year anniversary means that by the time that player who’s just starting to play was born, a judge career (which is a life on its own as well!) was also starting. When you think that Magic as a game is 20 years old, to have been around for fifteen really means that you’ve been here for a long time.

If the judge program was young back then, you can’t even begin to imagine what it was in Argentina and to some extent, in Latin America. The judge program was non-existant and even organized play was just in its inception, taking shape more in an organic way than in a planned and (contrary to its name) organized way. Someone needed to take a step to the front and take the lead. Without much further introduction, ladies and gentlemen, we have father (or grandpa, or great grandpa?) of the South American community, Juan del Compare!

Though I had seen Juan one or two times at some of my first official events, it was not until one particular PTQ (of which I already told the story here) that our relationship started and from there, it’s been quite a ride! Infinite events together, including trips abroad, both in Latin America and Europe. He’s Head Judged GPs and I’ve been one of his Floor Judges. Now I Head Judge GPs and I’m happy to have him included in my staff.

Did I mention he’s a TO? Oh yeah! He has organized all sorts of events, ranging from Prereleases, GPTs, PTQs, Nationals, WMCQs, National Qualifiers, Regionals and even a couple of GPs! Did he stop there? Not at all! He has been pivotal in bridging our community with the rest of the world, working effortlessly on translating documents from English to Spanish to make the learning process much more reachable for everyone. From there, he expanded his scope and taken a large lead on most translation efforts in the program.

Guess I rather be closing here with a thanks to Juan, and merry 15th year anniversary!

But…is this all?

No, there are two other judges who would like to salute you on your anniversary. Other judges who were shaped by Juan’s presence and who’ve been around us for a long time as well. Let’s start with Rafael Dei Svaldi, L2 (former L3) from Brazil:

“I am happy to say that I have known Juan since the last century. In truth, he was one of the first certified judges I met when I decided to make the transition from player to judge. At that time the program was still in its early days, and information (and thus, mentoring) was hard to find. Juan was one of the pioneers of this field in South America, and I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work with him on my first events, learning a lot about the trade from him. He was also my Level 2 examiner!

Years later I received the invite to join the Magic Localization Team. To my surprise, Juan was part of it, and once again I had the opportunity to learn a lot from him. Even though the languages are different, his expertise on localization was always useful.

So, Juan was my colleague, mentor, and examiner. But most important, he was, and still is, my friend.”

And to wrap this up, we have word from Jorge Peñailillo, L2 from Chile:

“I met Juan at the long past Latin American Championship in Santiago, back in 2000. I must admit I didn’t interact much with him other than someone introducing me to him. Conversation went something like: “Hey, here’s Jorge from Chile. He has been quite helpful today!” To which Juan nodded, said “Hi” and kept on with his things. That was it. There were something like 30 people from Chile assisting there and Juan probably thought you couldn’t make one judge from among all of them. A few months later, I started to bug him to get into GP Buenos Aires 2000 as a volunteer. I worked on plenty of side events with him there and finally took my test and became a L1 judge.
From there onwards, we worked on plenty of events together (Rio, Sao Paulo, Kuala Lumpur, Buenos Aires, Santiago). Needless to say, it was also Juan who administered my exam for L2 in 2001. Juan may seem tough, distant and closed at first but once you start talking and interacting with him, you realize he’s a great guy. He has influenced my judge career, trusting me as a TL for several GPs and giving me many responsibilities when he couldn’t take them on himself or inviting me to HJ PTQs in Buenos Aires. This helped me to gain trust in my skills as a leader, learn tournament procedures which I brought back to Chile. He has been a mentor, answering any doubt I had whenever I asked.
On a personal note, Juan is a dragon collector. He’s got an incredible card collection (preferably in Spanish) and an avid RPG player and master. I must say he’s not very fond of trying out exotic foods: I remember how much he suffered at the PT Kuala Lumpur’s judge dinner, where food was mostly fish and shellfish with a lot of spice. The very next day, while I was out on the streets trying out local food, he went into a Subway 🙂
He’s a great host whenever I come to his place for visit. He’s also a great father, enjoying quality time with his children, bringing his son, Theo, to Pokemon tournaments.
Thanks Juan for helping us shape the Latin-American community!”

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One Response to October 2013 Anniversaries

  1. Sebastian Rittau says:

    Wow, so many well-known names with a 15 year anniversary. Alfonso and Rostislav. And from Germany Ingo Kemper and Thomas Kugler. And of course from Berlin Lutz Hofmann, who is a mainstay of the Berlin judge community. Lutz was a local level 3 judge when I started judging about ten years ago and was one of my coaches in my “formative years”.

    I remember Thomas from my very first German Nationals in 2004. I asked on the event whether I could help out and was handed to Thomas, who was side-events scorekeeper, his favorite role. In this role I met him often afterwards, most of the time at German Nationals, but also on the occasional Grand Prix.


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