GP Diary: Kobe 2017


The ANA C-3PO plane spotted in Itami Airport on the way to GP Kobe 2016


QJ Wong, Level 2, Melaka, Malaysia

QJ Wong, Level 2, Melaka, Malaysia

(L3) Takanori Nakamura, our team leader for GP Kobe 2017 Main Event Saturday started our team meeting with an interesting question – how many judge calls do you think our team would get today? The members of the Logistics team, (L2) Kanazawa, (L2) Ohkawa, (L2) Tanahashi and me guessed in numbers around 80-100, with Nakamura being the highest at 150. Then, we are encouraged to record the number of judge calls we receive, not counting calls for tardiness, directions (to the toilet, etc) nor time left in the clock.

I thought this was a great exercise/experiment as it encouraged note taking. I like taking notes but sometimes I get caught up in things or get too tired I just stop, but this way I had an incentive to write a number and a very short description (for example, 2 – LEC) sometimes adding more information if it was more interesting.

All members also had access to internet, so a group chat was created on ‘Line’, a chat app popular in Japan, where Nakamura shared important information for the team such as breaks, floor coverage assignment (the floor map was shared and changes in our floor coverage duties), photo as well as for team members to share information for the team. Our round by round tally of judge calls were also shared on ‘Line’.

As I shared this with the XO (L3) Khanh Le Thien and appeals judge (L3) Daniel Kitachewsky later in the day, I was told that the team leaders also have a similar chat group on Facebook to help keep everyone on the same page for information and that they liked the recording number of calls idea. So much so, a week later, we were encouraged to do the same in GP Manila 2017 a week later. 😉

At the end of the day, as we did our team debriefing, we tallied our calls together and found that the team received 157 judge calls. (One thing to note, there were members of the team placed downstairs at certain rounds, which have much fewer players, contributing to less calls, so the total could have been even higher.) Nakamura wanted to show us how while we do expect roughly around 80-100 calls for the 6-7 rounds on the floor (excluding rounds on breaks), this being Modern, with more less experienced or returning players, in addition to the complexity of the format, we can expect to be busier than usual.

The plan for floor coverage was divided and shared on a whiteboard next to the main stage and modified as needed through the day.

While we are the logistics team, our main focus would be the floor as the real other task we have was managing the clock. Incidentally, the clock gave us a little scare every other round when the remote refused to work for reasons we cannot figure out. (Solution: pull out the power to reset it.)

I was very impressed by how Nakamura made recording number of judge calls as an exercise, not only it helps prove his point at the end of the day, it also puts the team’s focus on the floor and encouraged taking notes. It is definitely something I would love to emulate when I have the chance to lead a floor team.

The HJ, Riccardo debriefs the early shift before dismissing them for the day.

Oh, you wanted to know how many calls I took?

43 in total, over 6 and a half rounds. We were dismissed in the middle of Round 8, and I got caught in a call during my break round as I was heading out to change out of my uniform.

17 of them was rules questions of various types.

10 of them oracle text requests or translating cards from English to other languages.

5 calls were for translation in player communication (or dealing with the lack of communication.)

7 for various infractions (including non-warning MT) – GRV, MT, LEC.

And the rest was for miscellaneous issues or investigations, including a phone call, lost and found, extra card investigation and a missing card (which turned out wasn’t missing in the first place).


Did you know that the Grand Prix TO for the APAC region (excluding Japan and China) won GP Kobe 2017?

To wrap my report up, here’s some pictures from the weekend. Thanks for reading, and let me know if you like (or dislike) this type of tournament reports with lots of pictures (that might or might not be judging related), I plan to do more of these as I work on the GPs I’m fortunate enough to be able to attend, even if I didn’t write much notes or have much to talk about, I’ll share some pictures I took at least.

Warning: do not scroll down if you are hungry right now and like Japanese food. 


A well stocked fridge is vital to the start of any GP weekend. (to me, at least)


I hear we Southeast Asian region have representative judges all around the world now, thanks to our sweet new polos, here graciously modeled by Kanazawa-san.


Don’t say I didn’t warn you earlier – boxed lunch for judges on Friday.


Boxed dinner on Sunday for judges. There were beautiful box meals for the other meal times too, but I don’t want to turn a judge report blog into a food blog…


The TO gave us our product compensation in these huge canvas bags… Here modeled by my RC, Wearn Chong.


Sweet looking token dice spotted in the GP.


The scorekeeper’s guardian angel (?) / lucky charm (?), seems to be effective.


Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. 🙂

P/S: Let me know at the forums or email me through my Judge Apps profile!

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