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Report 2008 - GP Rimini - Riccardo Tessitori
Articolo del 14-9-2008 a cura di Tessitori Riccardo
Tessitori Riccardo

Hi all,
Shards of Alara is about to be released, and GP Rimini closed the Lorwyn/Shadow moor Block Constructed season.
It was mid-September, on a rainy weekend, close to the empty beaches of the “Riviera Adriatica”; 686 players came for the final struggle between Kithkins and Faeries; Emanuele Giusti, current Italian Yu-Gi-Oh! National champion brought Kithkins to the first place, beating the globetrotter Shuuei Nakamura.
A small GP
686 players and 38 judges (including the HJs, the SKs and the volunteers), surely a small GP, compared to the other European GPs.
We expected it, and the reasons are several; a few Nationals (Portugal, Poland, Ukraine…), period of exams at the university, same city as Italian nationals, Alitalia incoming bankrupt.
On Friday evening, only 340 players registered (exactly 50%) and the playing area was rearranged to have a single tournament.
For those who are not familiar with European GPs, if there are more than 799 players, the GP is split in two halves (this is why we always use the plural for head judgeS and scorekeeperS) and each half qualifies the Top64; players are randomly divided, taking into account the byes.
An unusual delay
It was Friday afternoon when I received a phone call from one of the judges saying “A friend asked me when to arrive tomorrow morning, and told me that the Gazetteer announces 10AM”, a clear joke ^__^
It was Friday evening, after arriving at the tournament site, that I saw a copy of the Gazetteer, really announcing the GP starting at 10AM, it wasn’t a joke…
For those who are not Europeans, the Gazetteer is a kind of newspapers that is given to players at international events and that is sent to many tournament organizers; each copy is dedicated to an event and it contains all the tournament / travel / holydays information about that event; you can download it online from the event Fact Sheet.
Saturday morning, 9AM, the queue for registration was empty, but our starting time depended on what was announced both on paper and online; the delay was announced, seatings were posted at 9:40, byes were checked, decklists were corrected… and finally pairings were posted at 10AM sharp.
Around 20 players registered after 9AM; some of them were tardy and arrived a few minutes after nine; a few of them arrived at 9:55.
GP Mediterranean
Spain, France and Italy, the Mediterranean countries; 32 judges out of 38 came from these sunny countries.

EDH and Mario Kart
As expected, especially since the format was Constructed, we were free in the evening (day1 final standings were posted at 8:30PM and, after preparing the room for the following day and having the final meeting, lights turned off before 9:30PM); relax, dinners together and A LOT of games at Elder Dragon Highlander and Mario Kart on Nintendo DS (the favorite game for the Italian Judges ^__^).
Extra competition, organized by Jurgen Baert: he asked everybody to guess how many players would have shown up the following day; when Jurgen announced the results during the Saturday judge meeting, I was quite sure to win (I bet 680) and I was passed at the photo-finish by Omar Diez (who predicted 685 and received eternal glory from everybody and eternal hate from me ^__^)

A new friend
Congratulations to Thomas Marchiori from Trento (Italy), who become a L1 judge and joined our huge family.
This time, we organized only one seminar: Player-Judge communication, by Jurgen Baert.
Judge Center, the place where you can find more information about the judges; if you have no photo in the judge center, please upload one… or join us at one of the European GP, where our official photographer, Carlos Ho, will take care of you.
If you are American, you will probably meet Glenn Godard, the official photographer for GP Philadelphia and GP Denver (thanks Glenn).
Rules again
At the end of this Block season, I finally had a few rules appeals that had nothing to do with layers ^__^
Two looked to me interesting:
1) Hideaway and lands; if you remove from the game a land with the hideaway ability, you will be able to play it only in your turn; when an effect allows you to play a card, you can play it ignoring timing restriction based on the card’s type (you can play a creature, a sorcery…), but this case is different, because lands have a restriction that isn’t a timing restriction; there is no way you can play a land in your opponent’s turn and there is no way you can play two lands in a single turn, except an effect clearly states you can.
2) Spellstutter Sprite: “When Spellstutter Sprite comes into play, counter target spell with converted mana cost equal X or less, where X is the number of Faeries you control”; this is a triggered ability that goes on the stack only if there is a legal target at the moment it would be put on the stack; it means that, if you need to animate your Mutavault to have an extra Faerie, you need to do it before the Spellstutter Sprite enters play.
Languages and communication
Almost all the problems at this GP were caused by the lack of proper communication between players (and they always came from two different countries); especially if we are from a country where English is not well known, it’s important to instruct our players not to play sloppy; sloppy play AND lack of communication can create discussions (and often rulings in favor of the opponent); let’s convince our players to play more precisely at Competitive and Professional RELs, it will surely help them to win a few more games ^__^
Let’s get ready for the big one
GP Rimini is done, take a look at the schedule… GP Paris is just behind the corner!
GP Paris 2004 had 1596 players; GP Disneyland 2008 will set a new world record… and this is my final ruling!
Riccardo Tessitori