October 2015 Anniversaries

Here are the October 2015 judge anniversaries!

15 years

Andrzej Cieslak from Lodz, Poland
Mike Clark from Sarnia, Canada

10 years

Homero Flores from Springfield, United States
Laurent Faure from Toulouse, France
Valery Balabanov from Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation
Roman Cupek from Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Pawel Kazimierczuk from Krakow, Poland
Piotr Lopaciuk from Warszawa, Poland
Irina Samonova from Podolsk, Russian Federation
Arcady Zavylenkov from Novosibirsk, Russian Federation
Andrey Burlaka from Donetsk, Ukraine
Valentin Lapaine from Zagreb, Croatia
Nick Rzeczkowski from Aurora, United States
Brian Glenn from Victorville, United States
Gregory Schwartz from Amherst, United States
Roger Fondren from Bakersfield, United States

5 years

Daniel Hahn from Burgebrach, Germany
Nelson Mendoza from Zaragoza, Spain
Bernard Anderson from Laramie, United States
Gregg Nakagawa from Honolulu, United States
Jennifer Wong from Irvine, United States
Erik Adame from Bratislava, Slovakia
Gilles Henneton from Paris, France
Shengkeng Deng from Guangzhou, China
George FitzGerald from Sarasota, United States
Giuseppe Tufo from Roma, Italy
Yi-Fei Ruan from Adelaide, Australia
Adam White from Fairfield, United States
Olivier Arnold from Paris, France
Xander Forral from San Diego, United States
Alex Jacques from Blue Springs, United States
Andrew Tyler from Kaneohe, United States
Masaaki Ohtake from Yokohama-shi, Japan

Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!

Our featured judge this month is Irina Samonova from Russia. Regional coordinator Eugene Bazhenov says:

Irina recommends chocolate. And churches.

Irina recommends chocolate. And churches.

There are not that many judges in the world that serve program for years and yet become even more involved, creative and productive with each next anniversary.

One of these brilliant people is Irina.

There’s just not a thing in judging where Irina would not be good enough.☺  She has earned ultimate respect of Russian players wherever she judges and many TOs consider it their honor to have her HJ their events. Players will sometimes travel to an event run by Irina even if they wouldn’t go there otherwise. She presents seminars that get highest votes at local conferences (my favorite one is on Investigation techniques) – hers is the most involving manner of running those that I’ve seen.

She leads numerous local projects and activities in a sphere of mentoring judges. For a lot of candidates that referred to me over those last years the first thing they state is that they’ve been preparing for the test with “Judge School” by Irina.

I’ve first met Irina at a prerelease in a local store, and since then she’s always been a friend, a helping hand and a voice of reason. Shortly after that we’ve travelled to our first international event – a Pro Tour in Prague, and there’s been many more since then. Her company was certainly one of the factors that made me decide to go for L3.

It’s been a while since we’ve ended up judging a GP together but both of us still adhere to the “touristic minimum” that we’ve had to fulfill when travelling to an event – we’ve set it up for ourselves in Prague: “Climbing on top of local churches, eating local chocolates, discussing local guys in the streets.” Happy anniversary, my friend!”

This month, we have another Level 3 anniversary. Back in October 2005, John Alderfer certified for Level 3 at Pro Tour Los Angeles. We asked Northeast US Regional Coordinator, Shawn Doherty, to say a few words about John’s work in the program. This is what he had to say:

If you’re expecting a GP kit joke here, I don’t have one. Sorry

If you’re expecting a GP kit joke here, I don’t have one. Sorry

“John is one of the most travelled judges in the Judge Program. He has judged over 100 Grand Prix around the world over the last 10+ years. There is a running joke that John lives in the GP kit. This is apt not just because he seems to be at every Grand Prix, but because he can often be seen as the main person unloading the kit on Friday morning and repacking the kit on Sunday night. John is best known for his logistical efforts at large events, but he has done so much more. Recently, you may have seen John wearing the burgundy judge shirt at a Grand Prix, as he has been one of the Head Judges a few of them. On a slightly smaller scale, John has been one of the pillars of the judge community of the Ohio Valley for many years. If PES and Mike Guptil was running an event in Ohio, Michigan, or Pennsylvania, you were more likely than not to find John there. While many people who judge this many large-scale events wouldn’t have time to stay in touch with the store-level events, John is still going strong on that as well. I know that on prerelease weekends, you’ll be able to find him in the store running another great event.

Seeing all of the events that John works might make you think that he was some sort of emotionless robot. However, if you get the chance to sit down with him, you’ll realize that he’s a great person to hang out and talk to. As a road-warrior myself, I love sitting with John and talking about all of our past adventures at events and how things have changed over the years. John is also willing to share his wealth of experiences with others. John has presented some wonderful seminars at judge conferences over the years and has been a valuable resource to me as a Regional Coordinator.

So, next time you are at a GP (or other large event), take a look around and see if you see John around. If you do, make sure to congratulate him on a fantastic 10 years as a Level 3 judge. Best wishes, John!”

Note: Last month, we should have included congratulations for David Lyford-Smith, David certified for Level 3 back in 2010 at Pro Tour Amsterdam. He has been an important figure in the UK judging scene for years. At the beginning of 2014, he took on the challenge of replacing Kim Warren as the Regional Coordinator for the United Kingdom, Ireland & South Africa. Best wishes to DLS on his 5 years at L3!

About Ronald

From Seattle, WA
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