Announcing the Wave 16 Vanguard

Written by Lev Kotlyar
Level 3, Moscow Russia

The spring is in full sway meow and the time has come to recollect the events of the past winter. Join me on this journey: I suggest taking a paws to grab your favorite beverage of choice, sit down somewhere comfy,and enjoy the kind words of recognition from your peers and explore the recognitions your friends and colleagues around the world have received. But before you dive into that, let me introduce our newest Vanguard. Judges! Please meet Irina Samonova, Winter 2019 Exemplar Vanguard.

Irina is a level 2 judge from Russia and Russian-speaking countries region who’s has been a fur-midable fixture of the Russian Judge community for many years and has done remarkable work at both the local and international scene. There are many people around the globe who can tell you more about our Vanguard, but there is only one person who does it the best: Irina herself. Check out the Judge of the Week blog if you haven’t, because there is our traditional interview with the Vanguard there! Meanwhile, below you’ll find a nomination that was selected for this wave’s Vanguard, the recognition Irina got from Nikita Tarima:

“Irina, years in our fruitful collaboration and I still am fascinated by the depth and precision of your talent in teaching in relation to the Judge Program: be it in form of articles, conference presentations, dialog with the readers or players at the tournaments, work with other judges. It is true that vast experience defines a lot of it, however you still keep making sure that the person listening to you could come to the conclusions by themselves, by taking a moment to hear what you’ve said, process it, analyze and consolidate the resulting knowledge. I admire the work you’ve done at the Judge conference and at the Russian Nationals last summer: working and mentoring others at the same time, with a smile, is not a trivial task. Not only you have proved this task can be done, but it can be done with great success and with high quality results. You are a kind of judge every large tournament needs so that the quality of our community could keep rising. Thank you for your fantastic work.” [translated from Russian]

Judge Program is filled with talented mentors willing to share their knowledge and experience. Our colleagues spend their time and energy teaching at the events and outside of them. Numerous projects are dedicated to writing articles, recording podcasts, running study groups and otherwise creating (and keeping up to date!) educational content to help us develop both soft skills and judging-related hard skills. Years of experience lead to excellence in the form of polished material and purr-fected delivery.

Running these projects can feel as an exhausting job where you engage the audience, both judges and players, across all sorts of media: in person, at tournaments, at conferences, through social networks, chats, forums etc. Combining mentoring with completing tasks at hand, for example at the event, can impact the quality of both activities. Succeeding at both is a noteworthy feat by itself. Carrying this attitude through the years, consistently and with a smile is truly remarkable.

For this reason, we selected Irina as the Wave 16 Vanguard.  We aren’t kitten. For this wave, Irina is going to be featured on a Creature – Cat token.


As a reminder, Exemplar Wave 17 closes on Tuesday May 14th at 23:59 PST