Judges, welcome back to another edition of Judge of the Week! This week we’re talking to a dedicated community builder, Russia’s very own Nikita Tarima!
Name: Nikita Tarima
Location: Nakhodka, Russian Federation
Judge start date: L1 – 2010 and L2 was after my first GP Moscow 2012.
Favorite card: Stocking Tiger
Least favorite card: Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Favorite format: EDH (Commander) or booster draft. I don’t know what I like more. 🙂
Commander General: Derevi, Empyrial Tactician or Ertai, the Corrupted.
Favorite non-Magic Game: on PC – Diablo 2: LoD, board game – Russian RPG “Era Vodoleya” (Age of Aquarius), for a sport – airsoft.
Best tournament result: 1st place in local Legacy FNM’s. 🙂 I don’t play in huge tournaments yet.
Random fact about yourself: I cannot swim.
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
Back in 2000, we read about this game in a magazine and we were lucky enough to find starter sets of Portal Second Age and a couple of additional booster packs. I played at home with my friends and my brother. There were no existing clubs by that time. Six years later we went to another city for a tournament for the first time. It was a Legacy event and I took 4th place.
Why do you Judge?
As soon as I started to learn the rules, I realized that playing by the rules is more fun. I love the result of what I’m doing as a Judge.
Tell us your favorite Judge story.
That’s the story of my mistake, which had changed my opinion on the fairness of some players. It happened during GP Moscow 2012. I was on a GP for the first time as a judge. I was busy as a deck-check team member and realized that one of the players had an extra land card in his deck. I corrected the number in the decklist and went to find the player to tell him that he made a mistake. But the player pretended to be innocent and told my team lead that the number was already fixed and there was no mistake. The player escaped justice and afterwards I was told that I should find the player first and then make corrections. This player was a L1 Judge himself, by the way.
You were nominated for your efforts in building a community in a isolated area. Can you tell us about some of the challenges that have come up and how you handled them?
I live 5,600 miles away from Moscow. At the moment I became a Judge, it was 620 miles to the next L1 Judge. I judged and trained players in three different cities with 100 miles from one to another. Once I became an L2 Judge, I certified some more judges in my area and established contacts to other regions nearby. I’m the only L2 Judge in a thousand miles. That’s why I’m trying to set a good example and encourage the L1 Judges’ progress. The greatest challenge is to maintain the tournament standards on the conventional level and to educate the players.
What are some tips you have for other Judges?
1) Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes.
2) Continue learning new things although you might already have achieved what you craved for.
3) Communicate with other Judges – they are nice guys.
What is your favorite non-judging moment that happened with other Judges ?
It was very interesting to discover that Kim Warren likes condensed milk. During the conference in Moscow, some guys presented her a few cans and she was very happy. Condensed milk is a kind of sweets made from milk that is common for C.I.S. countries only, I guess.
What challenges have you faced or are you facing to become a better judge, and how have you worked to overcome them?
The most difficult thing for me is I can only judge a small amount of tournaments at the moment and moreover I have no opportunity to judge huge events like GPs. It keeps me from applying and testing my skills constantly. That’s why I spend my efforts in rules and policies investigation and the development of local player and Judges community, and communicate with my colleagues through the Internet.
Who have been some of your biggest mentors in the Judge Program, and what did they teach you?
Irina Samonova – she taught me to understand the rules rather than the individual relationships between cards. That’s probably what everything started from.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
A calm attitude to people and organizational skills.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
We do not have an official store in my native town where I leave. We are playing in a club, that exists thanks to passionate players. I wish further evolve Magic for them.
What is your favorite non-Magic hobby?
Live-action and tabletop RPGs.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Oh. Recently I wrote to Matt Tabak with a question on rules, because I could not find anything in the Comprehensive Rules and the moderators of apps.magicjudges.org seem not to know the answer either. 🙂
If you were a Planeswalker what would be your ultimate?
“-6: Each opponent shuffles all non-land permanents and his or her hand in his or her library. Each player draws two cards.”
What was the proudest moment of your Judge life?
The moment when my first article in Irina Samonova’s project was published.
What character in Magic (real or fictional) represents you the best, and why?
Circu, Dimir Lobotomist. I also gradually cut waste.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- By the way, I also like condensed milk.
- My personal bear’s name is Skoda.
- I’m a good cook.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!