Edi Birsan

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Edi Ersalesi Birsan (also known as Ed Birsan) is a Concord City councilmember (vice mayor in 2017 and mayor in 2018[1]), a game designer, an independent business owner in the maritime container inspection industry, and one of the best-known American players of the game Diplomacy.[2] He was born in Brooklyn in 1949, but has resided in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1981. Birsan is married and has two children.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 2012, Birsan campaigned for and was elected to his first term for one of two open seats on the City Council of Concord, California.[4] He was re-elected in 2016 and 2020.[5] Birsan has served the community through many positions that he had held, including serving as Director of Community Services for Concord-Diablo Rotary, being the President of the Friends of the Library, and volunteering for many non-profit organizations.[6] In 2021, Councilmember Birsan voted in favor of Concord First Partners leading the Concord Naval Weapons Project. There was strong opposition from the public towards Discovery Homes/Seeno Companies (which is allied with Concord First for the project), due to their poor record on the environment,[note 1] but local unions expressed their support for Discovery/Seeno.[7][8] This year, Birsan ran for Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors for the District 4 seat, and he lost.[9]

Gaming career[edit]

Birsan has been playing Diplomacy since 1965 at age 16 and has won many tournaments. He was the first non-South African to win the South African tournament, first non-Canadian to win the Canadian Championship, first non-Russian to win the Russian Championship and first non-European to win the European Championship. He ran the postal zine Arena from 1972 to 1975. He was a founder of several Diplomacy hobby organizations and consultant to Avalon Hill on the rewrite of the rules of the game in 1999. He is best known for inventing the Lepanto.

In 1969 and 1970 Birsan worked on the magazine Strategy and Tactics as associate and then managing editor. He was part of the design team of Poultron Press with James Dunnigan, participating in the design of games in 1969 and 1970: Normandy, Deployment, Flying Fortress, Italy and others. He was one of several designers of the Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game[10] and the designer of the satirical card game Scandal.[11] During the 1990s he took ownership of Legends (PBM), during which time Legends won the best Play By Mail Game Manufacturers Association award.


  1. ^ Their environmental record includes extensive environmental violations and litigation.


  1. ^ "Edi Birsan Appointed Mayor of Concord, Carlyn Obringer Named Vice-Mayor". Archived from the original on 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  2. ^ Richard Sharp (1978), "11 Introduction to Postal Diplomacy", The Game of Diplomacy, Arthur Barker, ISBN 978-0-213-16676-2, archived from the original on 2012-07-29, retrieved 2009-02-01
  3. ^ Buz Eddy, Edi Ersalesi Birsan, The Diplomatic Pouch, archived from the original on 2002-03-01, retrieved 2009-02-01
  4. ^ "Dan Helix & Ed Birsan Win the Two Open Seats on Concord's Council". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "Concord's Birsan aims for county board, pushing issues around the homeless and housing".
  6. ^ "Edi Birsan".
  7. ^ "Concord City Council Moves Forward With Seeno Group To Develop Former Naval Weapons Station".
  8. ^ "Saturday Surprise with City Council tabbing Discovery/Seeno team for Naval Weapons project -". 22 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Concord's Birsan aims for county board, pushing issues around the homeless and housing".
  10. ^ Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game, BoardGameGeek
  11. ^ Scandal, BoardGameGeek

External links[edit]