GP Hometown

CIAO everyone

Another week, and another tournament!

This was a special one for me, as it took place in my hometown: TURIN


Grand Prix TURIN 2018

Grand Prix Turin 2018 was my local Grand Prix, not only because it’s an Italian event, but also because it’s my hometown event! I grew up in a small town next to Turin, I went to university in the city of Turin and I also lived there for a few years.

I’ve been living in the center of Italy for a dozen of years, and I’m now about to move back to next to Turin, so this Grand Prix was indeed like a starter at the beginning of a meal.

Finally, for once, instead of taking a long flight, I could just take a train.




Italy is a small country of the Southern part of Europe, a peninsula in the temperate Mediterranean sea, famous for history, food, fashion, arts… and also famous for their politicians and different concept of “abiding the law” in the last century, as the expression “pizza, mafia and mandolino” says.

Though small, Italy is a country where tourists are able to find tons of attractions; it’s the country with the most UNESCO heritage sites and it was home of several eternal artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffaello.

Though the appearance of Italian cities may not show it, here you have a few lines from Wikipedia:

Italy has the third largest nominal GDP in the Eurozone and the eighth largest in the world. As an advanced economy, the country has the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth, and it is ranked third for its central bank gold reserve. Italy has a very high level of human development, and it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs… Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 54 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth-most visited country.”

I like to say to friends, “if I become Galactic Emperor, I will base Italian economy on tourism, with top quality services”, but it seems very unlikely to happen, so please come to enjoy our wonderful art… with a good amount of patience for the not so wonderful traffic and public transportation.


Here you have two soldiers, at one of the Turin train stations, with the characteristic hat of the “Alpini”, the famous and proud “Soldiers of the Alpes” (extra: I was one of them).


The tournament

I often write about judging tournaments, but there are also other roles that we may have at tournaments.

I believe that during the entire weekend in Turin, I haven’t touched any Magic card and I haven’t answered any rules or game communication question in four days of work.

Thursday, I entered into an empty tournament room, with “empty” meaning “no tables, no chairs, only the walls and the roof” and I exit when everything was ready for the next day. A day of measuring distances, making signs on the floor, opening tables and putting them in line, moving chairs, unfolding tablecloths. When we went out from that room, all the tables were ready for dinner…. Play, I meant play!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I coordinated the activities of an invisible team, called Kickstart. The task of that team is, every 30 minutes, to prepare each single side event (the scheduled ones, not the on demand events) and give it to the head judge, “ready to go”.

Ready to go” means “here is your pairing board, here is your scorekeeper, here are ALL your players ready for round 1”, a couple of minutes *before* the announced starting time, so that all the scheduled events could start exactly in time, like Japanese trains.

I consider it a quite special team.

If you plan it well, it’s easy, it’s enjoyable, it has a good rhythm, and it’s very satisfying.

But beware, if you don’t plan it well or you start getting behind the rhythm, it can be a real disaster, for both you and all the events that will start late, and later, and later.

If you want an interesting challenge at your next Grand Prix, ask to be assigned one day to the Kickstart team; if you like logistics, you will enjoy it a lot!



Curious moments

The “central plaza”, also known as “the plaza of the castle”, with the royal palace in a corner, and the roads to the train station and to the river on two sides… with the top of the Mole Antonelliana behind the buildings.

The entrance of the royal palace, which is also the place where you can find the “holy shroud, one of the most important symbols of the Christian religion.

Mole Antonelliana, symbol of Turin skyline, like the Colosseum for Rome and the Tour Eiffel for Paris.

Just a normal building of the city center. Have I already told you that Torino had been the first capital of Italy and that it’s my hometown? ^___^

Flying out from Turin, I was very surprised to see (for the first time in an airport lounge) the cookies called “savoiardi”, one of the fundamental ingredients of the cake called Tiramisu.


Time to go back home

It’s Sunday evening, the judge party has ended and it’s 2AM. I’m now walking to my car, to drive just 30 minutes and get home, to actually sleep in my own bed!

Next adventure will be Pro Tour Minneapolis, the TEAM Pro Tour!!!