No ‘Dutch Open’ this year ….

No, don’t worry. There will be an event in Sneek this year (Oct 9,10,11,12). It just will not be called ‘The Dutch Open’.

What is missing is a good name for the event. What started as a ‘simple’ lockpick championship turned out now into a multiple day conference that also happens to hosts the championships. More about that on the bottom of this post.

And we are not ready to release a full detailed program for the Dutch Open. The rough outlines are there, but the fine details are missing.

Here is some info already:

I am very proud of the people that will give a presentation at the event in Sneek this year. Just like last year, Peter Field will kick off the open with a 4 or 5 hour presentation about various locking mechanisms from around the world. And to clarify: Peter started off last year by saying he was here to talk about locks, not how to bypass them. It is very clear that he learns from us how we think we can bypass certain techniques, yet will not talk about vulnerabilities he might know off. Another heavyweight presentation will be that of Marc Tobias and Tobias Bluzmanis. They will explain in detail how they cracked the Medeco codebook and how to pick and bump some of the locks. For this purpose Han and I managed to purchase a collection of Medeco bi-axial locks and keys, and even have a special key cutter that can cut angled cuts. In other words: enough material to see if the Tobias hacks really work will be available. Besides Peter and the two Tobiases, Matt Fiddler, Mike van der Stelt, Jord Knaap, Paul Crouwel, St.john Goldfinger, Nigel Tolley, Michael Huebler and hopefully handcuff wizard ‘Ray’ will give presentations.

Besides the missing name for the conference we are not sure how to organize a ‘safe combination lock contest’. Giving every attendee a different lock and having them all open it at the same time sounds a little unfair. As no two locks are alike, it will be a matter of chance who has got the lock that marks easiest. On the other hand, having one or two combo locks available for people to try upon will cause people to have to wait a long time before they can compete. And once someone successfully opened the lock, he could (in theory!) tell a friend and have him open it in ‘an amazing time’. Or you can change the combination of the lock after a successful opening, but that will also cause it to be more or less difficult as the previous combination (as no two combinations are equally difficult on a lock). If people have ideas about how to solve this in a fair matter, or have experience in this kind of game, I am very interested to learn from them.

Of course there will be a classical Dutch Open lockpick championship as well as an impression championship.

And then there is the issue with the name for the event. Looking at the event, the following is taking place there: presentations, championships, exchange information on an informal basis, making new friends and contacts (internationally) and getting drunk on ‘free’ beer. The question is what would be a good name for such an event? It is not a requirement, but it would be nice if Toool was part of the new name for this event. So far, people have come up with the following names and acronyms: Toool-Con, Lock-Con, unlock-con, openlock-con, Lock 2008, LockFest, LockLands, Dutch Toool Symposium, Toool’s annual Alter State, Annual Alter State meeting, Alter State Symposium, The Dutch Lock Symposium

KEYHOLE (Knowledge Extends Your Handling Of Locks Europe) or replace Extends with Excites or Expands
‘TOOOL International Networking Gathering’
TOOOLS (The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers Seminars) or sessions or
P.I.C.K. 2008 (Penetrate, Investigate, Communicate, Know)
P.I.C.K 2008 (Prevent Intrusion, Cultivate Knowledge)

If you prefer one of the above, or (even better) think you can come up with something more suitable, we would love to hear from you (in the comments).

There will be a Toool meeting on Wednesday regarding the event, and if all goes well a full scheduled program will be posted on this weblog real soon. Stay tuned …

15 Responses to “No ‘Dutch Open’ this year ….”

  1. henk says:

    PICK-TOOOL-2008,where PICK stands for:

    Wish it was october….:-)

  2. Barry says:

    henk: Thanks for your contribution. And I am happy it is not October yet (still too much to organize)…

  3. henk says:

    I,ve heard that before and just like before you will succeed,I have no worries,maybe because I,m not organizing this event….;-)

  4. Am I still welcome to keep a small presentation about the Abloy “vempele” pick at some point in there? 🙂 Nothing big, maybe half hour or so.

    For the name I have no other suggestions than to continue with “Dutch Open”, as “everyone knows it” 🙂

  5. mh says:

    Can’t wait to hear the full details…

    Regarding names, I guess I still like “Dutch Open”.
    Although most of the other names sound OK as well. I will throw in one more, too: How about LOXCON’08.


  6. TOWCH says:

    You could have three rounds.

    First rounds goal is to thin the field. For this round you can use all the same lock, or multiple locks with each competitor getting best 2 out of three. Whatever.

    For first round: Each competitor gets 2 out of 3 numbers. Set the last wheel to: 55(as an example) and have them rank the last wheel at: (if 55) 15;40;65;90 from highest to lowest or lowest to highest.

    The point is with no shadowing, they should be able to accomplish this task fairly quickly. If not then they probably can’t manipulate open a lock at all.

    Second round: ~4 or 5 locks(can recycle from first round.) Each competitor gets an hour and a half(for example) to open a lock. If you have too many competitors or not enough time for this: give them 1 out of 3 of the numbers.

    For the sake of fairness: If someone thinks they got a hard lock then they can try again on the lock that was opened in the shortest time.

    Third round: Same lock, same combination. Fastest time on round two goes first. 2nd fastest time on round two goes second. Ect. Competitors clock in on the lock, and clock out when they are done. Competitors can’t watch eachother, but film the competition so that they can watch afterwards if they want.

    There’s some flaws in there, like the possibility of collusion on the third round. You can’t really stick the competitors in isolation for 6+ hours. The honor system sucks because it leaves room for suspicion. I don’t know what to tell you for that round.

    Final three competitors ranked by time on the above round manipulate 3 locks and the best 2 are averaged?

  7. How about competing opening disc detainer locks, like ABUS? 😛

  8. Here are some name ideas I came up with:



    Locksport Olympics 2008



    Locksport Summit 2008

    ALOA: Amsterdam Lock Opening Assembly

  9. Raimundo says:

    Im with those who say keep the Dutch Open designation, this has some history, think about when you will eventually list it as the Dutch Open, a tradition since 2000 or whenever the first one was. Your brand recognition is important, it also makes it less vulnerable to challenges from people who would criticize the whole concept. Once its established and has a history, these people will be less likely to criticize.

  10. Karin Spaink says:

    Changing the name of a recurring event is never a good idea, but if you really have to, I’d pick TooolFest. That name links it closely to the organisation, while it is clear that it’s an event that’s a bit festive, that it’s a gathering, a meeting.

  11. datagram says:


    For the safe cracking competition you might want to have best average times. For example, you have 3 people per round, with 3 heats per round. During the first heat you have each person sit at their safe and begin. After the time limit expires, or they all open their safes, they each move to the next safe. In this way you have all people open all safes, so they cannot complain about getting a “harder” safe than someone else.

    Alternatively, you can have a series of concurrent head-to-heads in which the opponents switch off after they open their locks or the timer expires. Let’s assume you’ll have 8 safes, you can setup 4 head to heads that can all run concurrently. In this way you could randomize who gets paired on which safe, so cheating will be harder. The same can be applied to the finals, but I’d recommend having two safes that are not part of the normal rounds.

    My idea here would be that a way to cheat would be to have a friend watch your opponent and signal to you what their combination/progress was. To prevent this you might want to have contests on a raised area that is blocked off for 10 feet or so, that way it will be hard to look over someone’s shoulder at their graph of cam points, or to make out what numbers are on the dial. Cheating will of course still be possible, but I think the honor policy is good enough for most of these type events : )


  12. mh says:

    hmmm, I imagine it would be fun to participate in a manipulation contest, but to watch it… might become a bit boring? Depending on the time frame that’s assigned to each try… Maybe reporting on the progress of the contestants would be a good idea, to make it more interesting to watch, but that would also making cheating easier if someone then gets the same lock with the same combination again.

  13. Julian says:

    Leave the name, it’s already famous.

    Maybe add a “C”, so it would be DOC, Dutch Open Convention/Conference/Competition. Or add more “C”s like DOCCC. With that you have them all.

    Concerning the combination lock contest Towchs suggestion seems to me as the most practicable.

  14. Julian says:

    And here comes the suggestion for the appropriate logo. With that you have Toool as a part of it, according to your wish.

  15. Julian says:

    Sorry for spamming the comments, but I forgot to say that you should of course change the font of the text beneath the logo to the original from the toool logo. I just didn’t have it.

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