25 years “Salou Open”


The idea to organize the draughts tournament in Salou came from Dutch draughts player and organiser, former ship captain Dick Hendriksen.
Salou was (and is) a very well known travel destination for Dutch people. Dick shared his idea with Alexander Presman and in 1998 together they organized the first Salou Open.
Also Belarussian Draughts Federation (Pavel Shatsov) helped them by providing draughts materials (boards, clocks).
As a creative draughts promotor Dick brought to Salou 50 dark and 50 light squared carpets and built a giant draughts board on the promenade of Salou. The tournament (optimistically) should be played outdoor on the very same promenade.
It was literally refreshing, pleasant and joyful. And also attracted the public.

1998 Fred Passchier

But one day the strong wind and another day the small rain forced the tournament to move the to hotel Jaime I where most of participants stayed.

1998 Fred Passchier
First edition of Salou open 1998. Photo is taken in "the tourament hall" - the promenade of Salou

Since 2001 tournament found its permanent place in hotel Cala Font beautifully situated in Cap Salou.
In 2004 Dick Hendriksen made a switch in his carrier and became the ship captain again. The tournament could stop.

Dick Hendriksen
Captain Dick Hendriksen (1950-2017)

But another Dutchman Peter Pippel with active support of family Hoekman decided to take over the tournament organisation.
In the "Pippel's" years (2004-2019) the tournament grew up, attracted many countries became and remained a stable part of the international draughts life.
Peter's personal attitude was highly valued by the participants.
"Salou Open" became for Peter maybe the most important aspect of the these years and he found it just fun to be seen and called "Mister Salou"

Peter Pippel
"Mister Salou" Peter Pippel (1951-2019)

Since 2020 the organisation of the turnament is in the hands of foundation "Salou Open".
The first edition in 2020 direcly promised to break all records in the number of players, guests and countries.
But Covid broke all plans. Also in 2021 we had to miss "Salou Open".
2022 brought another grief - the war in Ukraine.
Despite that the 23rd edition of tournament was played (though with less participants than usually) and the organisation was a sucess again.
In 2023 the tournament will celebrate 25 years of "Salou Open"