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Report 2007 - GP Stoccarda - Riccardo Tessitori
Articolo del 16-12-2007 a cura di Tessitori Riccardo
Tessitori Riccardo

Hello everybody,

I think tournament reports are extremely useful; tournament reports allow hundreds and hundreds of people to gain experience from a tournament, even if they weren’t at that tournament.

That’s why, starting from GP Stuttgart, first tournament to give points for the 2008 Pro Player of the year race, I will do my best to write a public report of every international tournament I will judge.

Know that there will be a section called “Interesting rulings”, where I will describe interesting situations, but I won’t tell you my ruling; they are interesting situations to discuss and I want to leave them open for discussion!


General information and results:


The preparation

Adam Cetnerowski, L4 from Poland, was supposed to be the Head Judge; one week before the event he had to decline, due to work reasons, and I received the role with great honor.

With only very few days notice, I did my best to write to team leaders and to all the judges; some requests I received were satisfied, while others (sent after I left home) were read only on Saturday evening (sorry ^__^).

Usually, the GP preparation starts three weeks before the event; I write to all the judges several e-mails and there is an intense dialogue (on average, my mail folders contain 200 mails before the event), that has the goals to know something about the new judges, to help everybody to gain the desired experience at the event, to evaluate with more attention some judges (due to requests from L3s in their countries).

Thanks to Frank Wareman (second Head Judge) and Nick Sephton (shadow) for all their help before and during the event.


Friday Night Dinner ! !

Who doesn’t know the meaning of FND, the traditional, wonderful, fundamental, mandatory, etc etc Friday Night Dinner?

I’m still not able to remember when it started and I’m not sure if this idea came from me or someone else.

Some years ago, we asked some judges to bring food and drinks from their country, so that Friday meeting could continue with a dinner; international events give the great opportunity to meet people from other countries, from other cultures; talking about the different ways of judging is great, talking about the different cultures is even better and…. What about starting with **tasting** different cultures?

The first time we did it, it didn’t go very well because we had only cookies, biscuits, cakes.

Now, you can find sausages, cheeses, fruits, too.


Are tables enough?

575 players registered on Friday and we started to be a little worried, because the room contained only tables for 1400 players and the statistics say that just a third of the players register the day before.

Then, knowing that the organizers had many tables available to be brought in the room, we started to be quite excited and we hoped to beat the famous GP Paris 2005 (1596 players!).

At the end, we received 1336 players, that means it was the second biggest GP in the last three years. GP Madrid 2004 had 17 more players (1353) and I’ve been told there was a huge Japanese GP some years ago with even more players.

Anyway, GP Stuttgart is surely in Top4 (note that all of them are Limited GPs).


How many byes?

GP Krakow had a huge delay at the beginning and I’ve been told that the reason was that the bye-list was not correct and the procedures to check and correct the awarded byes took extremely long.

Without going in details, I need to congratulate the scorekeeper, Gabor Heigy from Hungary for spending many hours on Thursday and on Friday to be sure to prevent any problems.

His great job had a great result: players were seated for deck construction before 10:00 AM (for all people who never judged or played in a 1000+ players GP, know that it’s great!)


1336, oh God, when are we going to bed?

Two years ago, we started to divide huge GPs in two halves; this allows to have two scorekeepers (have you ever seen how much they work at GPs?), two Head Judges (both of them are responsible for one half and they can answer appeals separately) and two sets of pairing board (six name ranges for every half allow us to seat players in much less than five minutes; just try to imagine 1300 people moving together….)

My first priority was to **save time**!

Never forget this rule: “A fast tournament is a good tournament”; if players, judges and staff can sleep 8 hours between Day1 and Day2, it’s awesome.

I played in the huge GP Madrid and I slept only THREE hours; I had serious problems in drafting and playing well in Day2 and I wasn’t happy about it.

To make you understand what we were facing, know that two French judges made a bet at the beginning of Day1: one said “Day1 will finish before 2AM” and the other said “after 2AM”.

Great congratulations to all judges who posted pairings at light speed, who watched deckchecked matches and who managed the fundamental end-of-round-procedure (Christian Gawrilowicz from Austria and Ute Kronenberg from Germany above the others); we incredibly posted the final standings at 10:35 PM.

We could write many pages about all the little but important details who can fasten a tournament…


Penalties and DQs

In day1 there were 30 illegal decklists (that is around 2.5% of the players); in day2 there were very few, but one of them was in the Top8; one of the Top8 players failed to register a legal decklist and being in the Top8 draft is not an example of “exceptional circumstance”, and the penalty is still a Game Loss.

There were two DQs; a player rolled a die, without knowing it was so bad (there was a judge just behind him); another player had a paper with the list (name + mana cost) of all his instant/sorceries, and didn’t realize it was an example of Outside Assistance; even if all those information can be found in the Oracle, this special subset of the Oracle is considered illegal.


Interesting rulings:

1) Is it too late?

A player came on Friday and registered; on Saturday morning, before the end of registration, one of his friends told us he would be late (we registered a deck for him, to avoid delays); he arrived five minutes after we started deckbuilding.

Would you allow him to play? Would you give a penalty?

2) Illegal decklist or not?

A player registered only 39 cards and his 40th card is an artifact. Looking at his decklist, you see that there is only one artifact in his card pool and that he listed “1” in the “total” (the last row of the “played” column), but he failed to write “1” in the appropriate row.

Would you downgrade the penalty to a Warning?

3) What a deck!

A player comes to you, after losing his match, and politely asks you to check the content of his opponent’s deck; he says he just wants to be sure that his opponent’s decklist contained Vigor, Garruk and two Perfects.

What do you do?


What happened in the quarter final?

Some of you probably saw that there was an illegal play in a quarter final (Robert Van Meedervort – Patrizio Golia).

The reporter described in detail what happened.

The problem was that, by the time he wrote everything and realized that it wasn’t a possible play, the players already played two turns (and, as everybody knows, we can’t go back in time to rewind an illegal action). He informed me (while I was close to another table) and I decided to let the game continue until the end of the game (they were concentrated and I didn’t want to disturb them); when they ended game 1, I asked them for confirmation and I explained when the illegal play was discovered and why we couldn’t “fix” it).



Congratulations to Jean-Noel Gourdol from Paris, new L1.

Congratulations to Marcel Mike Schneider from Duisburg, who advanced to L2


Special (short) notes:

There were 49 judges (1 L4, 9 L3, 20 L2, and 19 L1).

Ben Coleman, one of our coverage people, wanted to do a special coverage “from the inside”; he played the GP and qualified for day2.

Shuhei Nakamura won a GP in every continent (this was his first win in Europe).

Other than the Friday Night Dinner, we had two judge drafts (both Saturday and Sunday) and we played a lot of EDH at the hotel bar.

Great thanks to all the WotC staff; they are always available to help us and always friendly; Danny Brosens, the event manager, will be called “Uncle Danny”…. and this is my final ruling!


I hope you enjoyed this report and I hope this tales will help you in your future events.

To help me writing better reports or to discuss any interesting details, please send any comments on this list or to me privately (, as you wish.


Riccardo Tessitori


GP attendance in the last three years (numbers from the “Past event coverage”):
* means Sealed Deck


*Stuttgart - 1336
*Daytona Beach - 633
*Kitakyuushuu - 354
Krakow - 847
*Bangkok - 313
*Brisbane - 233
Florence - 1076
San Francisco - 668
Montreal - 737
Strasbourg - 1155
Columbus - 880
*Stockholm - 712
*Massachusetts 2HG - 345 teams
Kyoto - 859
*Amsterdam 2HG - 665 teams
Singapore - 328
Dallas - 746



*Yamagata - 359
*New Jersey - 914
*Athens - 469
*Sydney - 212
*Phoenix - 386
*Hiroshima - 416
*Malmoe - 536
*St Louis - 465
*Toulouse - 674
*Kuala Lumpur - 315
*Toronto - 504
*Torino - 656
*Barcelona - 1206
Hamamatsu Team Standard - 165 teams
Madison Team Standard - 152 teams
*Cardiff - 370
*Manila - 365
*Dortmund - 1026
*Richmond - 553
*Hasselt - 1070
Charlotte - 456
Lille - 934



Beijing - 157
Bilbao - 936
Philidelphia - 495
Kitakyuushuu - 272
Copenhagen - 340
Melbourne - 140
*Nottingham - 556
Mexico City - 305
Salt Lake City - 250
Taipei - 261
Niigata - 476
Minneapolis - 404
*Bologna - 651
*Matsuyama - 420
*Detroit - 489
*Lisbon - 1166
*Leipzig - 898
Singapore - 372
Seattle - 389
Eindhoven - 1011
Boston - 699
Osaka Team Limited - 160 teams
Chicago Team Limited - 158 teams
*Paris - 1592
*Porto Alegre - 340
*Yokohama - 705
*Brisbane - 222
*Helsinki - 455
*Austin - 384
*Vienna - 979
Rimini - 748



*Madrid - 1353
*Lyon - 1016