Czech Lockpicking Championships

The Association of Czech Lockpickers held their yearly competition last weekend. Starting up after COVID, they offered a limited program without impressioning championships, but still included a padlock competition, blitz, cylinders and freestyle.

I (Walter) went over to participate. There were competitors from Czechia, Germany, Austria, Hungary and I was the representative for the Netherlands. The championships were held at a nice and cosy facility, giving ample room for socialising and catching up with old friends.

Some of the ‘usual suspects’ were absent due to work or for other reasons, but still there were plenty of people participating

Padlocks

First up was the padlock competition. The padlocks were provided and differed quite a lot in difficulty. You are allowed to test your tension wrench before the clock starts. For one particular lock, it was hard to test the tension wrench without accidentially already opening the lock.. on the other side of the spectrum, some of the Tokoz padlocks proven impossible to open in the allotted time.

I had a tool stuck in a lock which I why I didn’t make the A-finals. But all for the best, because in the B-final I then became second. There were 7 people in the A-final, 9 in the B-final.

Blitz

The blitz competition requires opening locks within a minute. Each participant brings their own lock. I was a bit confused here.. I’ve done such competitions before. I fondly remember the one held by SSDeV in 2003. People would give me the lock and tell me exactly how to open, because the goal here is not to bring a difficult lock, but to encourage beginning lockpickers to have success. It is a competition that should also show the audience that lockpicking is a sport that can be done by anyone. However, at this competition, there were very difficult locks, I even saw a Mul-T-Lock with the pin-in-pin system. It was no surprise that it take not long for most of the people to be out of the game, me included.

Cylinders

For me, the cylinder opening is the most interesting competition and I was looking forward to it, after the Blitz. For this competition, people take their own locks that they need to open within 5 minutes or they cannot participate. I took an Ivana Necoloc (rebranded Anker Infinity) that was used in the Toool championship finals (nobody opened it there in 15 minutes). For the first time, I prepared for a competition, because I practiced opening this lock within 5 minutes. I managed to do so here under stress as well (about 1’20) and could participate. The competition saw some very difficult locks, such as the EVVA ICS.

I made it to the A finals, even though I did not open the FAB lock. Later, I learned it has a very deep pin because of bump protection, which I somehow missed in the stress.

In the final, I openend a cheap lock (Legallais) and a Winkhaus, but left the EVVA ICS and Cisa SB (similar to Abus XP1) closed. The Cisa was almost completely picked until I made a mistake and had to start over. Jascha had the same happening to him. The last round I got Jascha’s Yale dimple lock which had dimples and sliders. I destroyed my lockpick on it, but opened it in 14’58! That, in the end, was enough for fourth place overall. I though my Ivana lock would be difficult enough to give me an advantage, but it turned out everybody in the A-finals opened it within the 15 minutes.

Freestyle

For the freestyle competition, the locks were once more provided. They needed to be opened within 5 minutes. I did not bring any electropicks or other ‘freestyle’ tools, so reverted to normal picking. I again made it to the A-finals. There, I opened 3 EVVA locks and 2 Euro Plus locks. Once I figured using the Bogoto was the way to go, I opened these in seconds, but unfortunately the first EVVA and Euro Plus took me 1’49 and 2’14. THere were 2 Mul-T-Lock interactive cylinders that “talked” to me but wouldn’ open in the end, a FAB 400 I had opened in the first round but wouldn’t open in the final and a Kaba Gemini that was only opened by the winner using an electropick (and a bit of luck). I think it was due to my time that I only became 7th here.

Overall it was a very nice competition with a good atmosphere. Thanks to the organisers!

Photos CCBY4.0 Walter @ Toool Blackbag

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