Introducing our new Regional Coordinator


At this time of change in the regional leadership, we reached out to our departing and newly-elected Regional Coordinators in order to get a few words for our blog. Giorgos Trichopoulos, L3 living in Cyprus, is stepping down and Yuval Tzur, L2 from Israel, has been chosen to replace him. Let’s start with…

A Few Words from Giorgos

Being the regional coordinator of this region was one of the best challenges that I faced in my life. When I say “I”, I mean we, because such things cannot be done alone. Co-drivers in this journey were a lot of you, either because you took the burden of managing a country, either because you organized a conference, or because you wrote that article.

The years passed, and other things took center stage in my life. I managed to get serious about software development, and I started theater, singing, sailing and clarinette. Therefore, I found myself lacking the time to devote to all of you, and that was unacceptable. The last year Yuval was the unsung hero, taking most of the responsibilities of an RC.

Starting this month, I’m going back to being a simple soldier of the region, helping where I am called, but most importantly finding the time to rediscover the game and to start playing again. One year ago, I was very reluctant to step down, but now, not only am I content with that decision, but I feel happy about it. Change is good, change is necessary…

Thank you all for the patience you had with me and my peculiar character, in all these years!

And up next, we asked our new RC to introduce himself and give us an overview of what we can expect in the near future:

Yuval Tzur

Yuval Tzur L2, Israel

Yuval Tzur L2, Israel

Before I begin with my own prospects for our beloved region, I would like to give a big thank you to Giorgos, who invested so much time and effort in this region. Managing a region requires balancing a lot of moving parts, managing hundreds of people, and dealing with countless emails, spreadsheets and forms, and I can’t be more grateful for his long-time commitment. I would also like to thank Georgi Benev for taking part in this process, and the RC selection committee who worked very hard under a tight schedule.

Who am I?

Most of you probably know me from Conferences, GPs or the regional Facebook group. For those I haven’t had the pleasure to meet yet, my name is Yuval Tzur, and I’m a Level 2 judge from Israel (and contrary to what my name tag and some people say, I’m not really Mexican). I became a judge during Champions of Kamigawa, and I’ve seen the judge program grow and evolve ever since. In my personal life I’m a software engineer (mainly working on an automation framework using Python, but I like most things “computer”). As a kid I lived in Mexico for a few years and I still have family over there, so in addition to Hebrew and English I speak (mostly) fluent Spanish (and that’s where all the Mexican thingy originated).

As a judge I’m involved in several projects, including the JudgeApps development team (also writing for the JudgeApps blog and providing support) and maintaining exam content. I was the Israeli country coordinator until… well… now, and I’m actively working on advancing to L3. I enjoy judging GPs (all those awesome judges in one place!), but like conferences even more.

If you’re coming to the conference in Thessaloniki, make sure to come say hello 🙂

Plans for the Region

Giorgos is leaving some huge shoes for me to fill, and I’ll do my best to wear them proudly.

Each leadership has its own goals, and processes to achieve them. Whenever the leadership changes, the goals and processes change course to match the new set of priorities that comes with the new people at the helm. While I have some general ideas as to where I think improvements should be made, I didn’t yet have the time to speak to the regional leadership (L3s and country coordinators) and formulate any kind of a plan (they got the news at the same time as everybody else). I do hope to have some more details to share during the “State of the Region” presentation in Thessaloniki. I encourage you to prepare questions to ask me there.

While I don’t have any specific plans, I’m more than happy to share what I feel should be our major priorities at the moment. You’re all welcome to contact me directly if you have any comments on these priorities (whether you think they’re not as important as I do, or if you think I missed anything).

One such priority is community:

As the region with the most countries, cultures and languages (at least five different alphabets. Five!) in it, creating a sense of belonging and common ground isn’t easy. Physical meetups like conferences require a lot of planning and logistics, and attendance requires long drives/trains, expensive flights and sometimes even visas. Luckily, we leave in the 21st century, and the virtual realm is right at our fingertips. My plan is to introduce some online regional activities. Some may be new, some may be reworks of older attempts. Nothing is set in stone, so if you have any ideas, please share them with me.

Another high priority is local leadership:

In such a big and diverse region, where I don’t know all the cultural intricacies and haven’t visited most of the countries (I hope to change that), declaring that I can handle everything without your help would be lying to you, and to myself. Having local people I can trust, who know the stores and the players, is a great asset for me, and it’s one I want to develop even further. There’s no replacement for someone you can meet face-to-face and talk to in your own language, and I hope local leaders will be able to provide that to their judges, players, and stores/TOs.

Change will require hard work and will take time, but with your help we can make it happen!

This has been long enough, so I’ll cut it here and invite you to seek me at the conference 😀

(you can also contact me through Facebook, email or JudgeApps)