Dutch Nationals 2003 would take place in the National MindGames Centre in sunny Utrecht. The 3-day event would kick off with 6 rounds of Standard on Friday, followed by 2 drafts of Rochesterdraft On/On/Le on Saturday. Sunday would bring us the top-8 battles to decide who would be Dutch National Champion and which players would be in our National Team.
These are some of the stories from the Dutch OP Manager:
In the 6 weekends prior to the Tournement it became clear that Nationals in the Netherlands would be a tough one this year. Pro Tour Regular Menno Dolstra did not make the ratingcut and had to qualify through one of the 5 qualifiers, already knowing he could not attend the Grinder Weekend the week before Nationals due to holiday-plans. Amazingly he failed to qualify. The cut, by the way, was up till player # 61 in the Composite Standings, and Menno was player # 62…
Some other story that’s worth telling about the qualification tournements: The only two judges in Holland that could Headjudge Nationals, Gijbert “Gis” Hoogendijk (level 4) and Jaap Brouwer (level 3) both qualified for the event as players. In 2002, Gis already qualified and we all joked around that we would have a real problem if Jaap would have too.
So, this year I had to contact Rune Horvik (National’s Headjudge by profession…) if he could show up in Holland. Luckily he agreed.
This year I also wanted to do some serious online reporting. KVDeckmasters (www.kvdeckmasters.nl) would do the live reporting, while Stan van der Velden would arrange the reporting for Sideboard Online, with a little help of Victor van den Broek. I would like to take this opportunity to thank KVDeckmasters and StanV for their excellent work on the reporting. Thanks guys !
Imagine this: You’re aware of the fact that you’re playing in the Dutch Nationals, so you could always be paired against one of the best players in the World. You know that. You accept that.
So Jaap Brouwer (normaly a level 3 judge, who recently discovered that PLAYING the game is also fun…) could be very proud, when he started the standard tournement 3-0. The story becomes a little bit more interesting when I tell you he had to beat three of the leading Pro’s in the world: Jeroen Remie, Bram Snepvangers and Tom van de Logt ! Jaap failed to beat more Pro’s during the weekend, but that first 3 rounds made me smile…
One of the more bizar things about the winner Rogier Maaten: One of Hollands leading Pro’s, Jelger Wiegersma claimed before the tournement that Rogier would win the title. Little did he know, that he would have to face Rogier in the Finals… Of course, Rogier won the match. Jelger hardly ever makes wrong predictions, that’s why.
Kidding: Rogier beat him fair and square and will be on the gravy train before Worlds 2004. Can you guess who made that prediction ?