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#41 KissMyCookie

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Posted 5 days ago

Awards Interview #5

 

On this occasion, dear reader, we have managed to catch up with someone even more elusive than the Scarlet Pimpernel, and I assure you that he resides in the natural clime of the Netherlands and not the “other place.” I will hazard a guess that our player is not yet even 18 years old, but started his love affair with Stratego at the beginning of his teen years. His rise to platinum was not meteoric, but shooting stars often burn out just as quickly as they appear. No, this young man is more like a comet, shining brilliantly among the vast star dusted skies, always returning on the course of his travels with admirers to greet him. At first, I thought that I was not going to get his statement regarding his feelings for being given the Talent of the Year award, (even going so far as to chase him down on another thread), and I do understand that he is rather busy with many other obligations, but it gives me tremendous pleasure to share with you his bounteous reply:

 

 

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Master Mind is from the Netherlands

 

 

KMC: What is your reaction to receiving this honor, and is there any advice you would like to offer Major Nelson so he may become recognized with this award as you have been?

 

Master Mind: I'm very glad to be given this award. It really feels good and I want to thank everyone who has brought me to this level.

 

Now, I have the right to talk, so I briefly want to tell my own Stratego history, how I started and went forward. Six years ago, I often played Stratego with a classmate at school. He told me I should really go and play online at stratego.com. After a while, I tried it out and started my ‘career’ as online Stratego player. I played pretty often for about a year, but I was only 13 years old and afraid to lose. Hence, I didn't play ranked games, but I played loads of QA games. After a while, I made a new account, and only played ranked games there. With the old rankings still there, I managed to become a bronze marshal. Then I stopped playing Stratego for more than a year–I'm not sure why I did that actually.

 

Somewhere early in 2015, I returned and made a new account. I realised I had really forgot a lot of what I learned over a year ago, but slowly I managed to climb higher and higher, again. I began to play Max Roelofs often, and we talked a lot about the game. Suddenly, he asked me if I would like to attend a live tournament: the National Dutch Championships. At first I did not have any interest, but as I got more pleasure in the game, I asked my parents and they agreed. And so, I entered the live Stratego world.

 

I still remember how new everything was for me. I didn’t know anyone and it was fun to get to know everybody. To my surprise, I managed to win all my games (8/8), although I have to admit I was pretty ‘lucky’ in some games. My second tournament was the National Dutch Championships in 2016, where I ended up being #16, but I had my first draw against a top player in the pocket – Anjo Travaille (Garulfo). Although my parents did not like the tournaments at first, I persuaded them enough to allow me to get into six live tournaments in 2017­–my awarded “Talent of the Year” year.

 

The first tournament I attended in 2017 was the team cup. I formed a team with Max Roelofs, Ruben van der Bilt (Don_Homer) and former world champion Vincent de Boer. With me playing at board #4, we ended up in 3rd place, which I found to be quite an achievement. The next tournament was in Schiedam, where I scored my first victory against a top player: Pim Niemeijer (Nortrom). Because I was so excited about that win, I lost the next two games, but I managed to get third place. Next, I played some great tournaments in Sliedrecht (#8) and Nijmegen (#11).

 

In October 2017, I won my first tournament: The Provincial Championships in Utrecht. You can probably imagine how happy I was, as this was a very big achievement for me. Luckily, Nortrom was the arbiter. A month later I participated in the Dutch Championships again, ending 9th place. Although I think I’ve achieved quite a lot, there is still a very long way to go for me to get to the top, which, of course, is my goal.

 

To get to the level I’m currently on, I needed the help of so many people. I want to thank everyone, both online and live players, for all their help they gave me by giving advice, motivation, and new insights. Sometimes you have those fantastic games in which the result doesn’t matter: you just know why you’re playing this game. My special thanks go to Don_Homer, who always motivated me to keep playing, keep learning, and improving. He was always ready to play a game, pointed out my mistakes, gave me tips, and compliments. Thanks a lot, Ruben!

 

When I first read this great post, I was really surprised to see I was given the Talent of the Year award. If I had to choose, I would have certainly thought about Major Nelson or maybe texaspete09. But anyway, I’m very happy with it. I’m sorry Major Nelson did not get it this year, but I’m sure he will get it another year. I think I can’t actually give him advice, because I think it is very likely he is better than I am, but I do not know him very well. Maybe I should challenge him for a ‘best out of 3’ series… ;)

(end of reply)

 

 

When reading a statement of this kind, we yet again may observe a young man who feels proud of his achievements, but is without the arrogance that can undermine true character. He shares his victories graciously, he tries to learn from his experiences which end in a defeat, and he does not put forth the veil of pretense in an attempt to mask any kind of weakness–his candor is simply natural, as is he. He is modest in the genuine sense (as his respectful admiration of Major Nelson illustrate), he has already learned something of diplomacy, he is persuasive without alienating others, and his keen intellect comes through his voice, not loud or forced, but merely through his aura, the spirit we are fortunate enough to feel resonating from his very personal statement. In spite of his youth, we may learn much from this young man, not only about Stratego, but about the kind of mature behavior that earns respect, admiration, and makes friends.

 

KMC


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#42 Major Nelson

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Posted 5 days ago

You are very modest Master Mind. You had a year full of successes and great performances; again, congrats for a well-deserved award! I probably have one more decent chance for this award myself as I'm slowly edging on 20 and then begins the real fun :) . As for the "best of 3", we might get the chance to face each other soon enough. ;)


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#43 KissMyCookie

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Posted 4 days ago

Awards Interview #6

 

“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”

–Mary Shelley

 

Mary Shelly was a mere 18 years old when she conceived of the idea to write her most famous novel, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818. She lived in the world at a time when it was most assuredly “a man’s world”–many women will argue this point these days as there is more than ample evidence to support this view, yet at the same time, women may certainly enjoy a better station in society than the women of the 19th Century. (There is still a very long way to go on this matter). The battle of the sexes is most likely to rage on endlessly long after we leave this world, but one thing must come to light in a human’s mind–stupidity is not gender designated. Both men and women are prone to the same frailties as one another, and in turn, are inclined towards similar virtues. A message to men: men are not better or worse than women, we are only different from them. A message to women: You understand my point.

 

A former colleague of mine, a brilliant violinist from Georgia in the former Soviet Union, said to me on an occasion something that has become one of my favorite quotes: “If man is a great hunter, than woman is a greater huntress.” You may be sure that the truth of this statement is borne out by anyone who has had the privilege and pleasure of playing a match with the Greek player Kambia. The reports I have heard from friends of mine is that she is very clever and unpredictable in her Stratego game-play. In fact, she has been known to completely devastate an opponent rather quickly as she has excellent deductive and observational skills, and she is not afraid to attack with the full fury of her army reserves–never foolishly, mind you, but carefully, methodically, and accurately. Where a man’s expression of violence is physical, a woman’s is guile, so watch out!

 

Admittedly, there are rather few female players to be found at stratego.com which is regrettable, and it is not that women are not good players (please do not make that mistake–those hot-shot players who have played against Kambia or MONJE may be too embarrassed to admit to having been defeated by their skills), but their interests go to other things. In this case, we are the lucky ones that Kambia has a genuine passion for Stratego, and we are even more fortunate that she is a bright, intelligent, and good natured young lady. No doubt that these qualities played a part in her receiving the Female Player of the Year award.

 

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Kambia is from Greece

 

KMC: In a society where women are often viewed as 2nd class citizens, this award has a greater significance than merely being about female players, but rather being a TOP player and opening a broader discussion that encourages men and women to see and accept one another as human beings first and last: How do you feel about receiving this award, and what would you like to say about its significance?

 

Kambia: The majority of those who know or play Stratego consider it a “man’s” game. This is because Stratego is a strategy game and usually it is males that have been most interested in dealing with such themed games. Many times I have met an opponent on stratego.com that would say, “Oh! You are a woman? It will never happen again, to be paired up with and to play another woman!”

 

Characterizing a Stratego player according to their sex is a stereotype, and although it may appear as a widely held judgment about certain people, it is overly simplified and not always accurate. Most of the time (apart from tournaments) when we have a ranked game, we know close to nothing about the opponent–just a name and an ELO. It’s completely of no importance what is the opponent’s height, weight, age, education, financial status, or gender.

 

All that counts is the GAME. The winner is not only the one who beats the opponent, but the winner is every single player who uses their brain to maximum value, gives their best effort, and enjoys the game. This is a person–not a woman, not a man, but a successful player.

 

Regardless of the price, that of being a female stereotype, I will continue enjoying every single game of Stratego with a commitment to myself always to give my best.

 

I thank you all.

(end of reply)

 

 

Appearances can be deceiving, and add to that the anonymity provided by the internet where truth and falsehood can be a difficult challenge to manage, we may often encounter moments where our thoughts and ideas are seduced by the verisimilitude created by our own ego and prejudice. In other words, sometimes we give our opinions too much importance being motivated by the most selfish reasons. We are all a part of something bigger and in some manner or other, we are all connected to all living things on this planet. Kambia said it so beautifully when she expressed the understanding that whether one is male or female, ultimately we are humans first, that being of key importance. So, whether one is a forum member, or an MT, or an Admin, or an angry Dota 2 player that has never even heard of Stratego (and seems to know all of the bad words in the history of the world), we are all here for one another–to help, to serve, to inspire, and to pass enjoyable hours together sharing our different points of view expressed in friendly tone.

 

KMC


Edited by KissMyCookie, 4 days ago.

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#44 Nortrom

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Posted 4 days ago

An excellent interview I must say, making your own award, KMC, well deserved too! :)


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"Rock is overpowered, paper is fine" - scissors

 

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#45 KissMyCookie

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Posted A day ago

Award Interview #7

 

In this edition, we have reached out to one of this site’s top players and glean a little insight to the workings of this man’s mind. You will not learn his secret strategies while playing a match of Stratego, but you will learn about the importance of setting goals for yourself. Goals, in and of themselves, are not the end all, but they serve a purpose in helping us form some direction towards things we might like to achieve. There is no guarantee achieving the desired end result, but unless one tries, there is simply no hope. Having said that, there is a caveat which is that one must always try to set realistic goals; and, this does not mean to avoid things we may feel are just beyond our reach, or even clearly out of our reach, but fantasy goals must be recognized as just that–pure fantasy.

 

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Napoleon 1er is from

Switzerland

 

KMC: As recipient of the Most Devoted Fan of the Year award, it almost has an irony to it because you hold the esteemed level of one of this site's top players; in fact, you are among the best of the best. To many of us, Hielco serves as a bit of an enigma, someone so high in level that it creates a kind of awe, and yet, you are a fan. Would you please tell us a bit about your being a fan (we all have heroes and role models) and how you may relate this to newer players (and seasoned ones) who are determined to climb the ranks to the highest levels?

 

Napoleon 1er: Hi KMC.

 

First of all, let me thank you for your interview question. It's a real great honor to have the opportunity to react on your worldwide broadcasted journal. Yes, this award has been a big surprise for me as it was much unexpected. Frankly speaking, I have no clue what made the jury decide to give me this award. Probably the jury refers to one of the objectives I've set for 2018 which is to win matches against 2 of the 3 players against whom I've never beaten: Hielco, Playa1, and Nortrom…I’m a fan of the trio. Now, as I beat Playa1 in the Winter Tournament, and as I was 1 click away from beating Nortrom in the WCO (note that the video of this exceptional game is readily available ... only waiting for the rights to publish it) then only Hielco for the time being is still unchallenged…but this may change soon in the next week's QF of the winter tournament.

 

Thank you again for the interview which I hope my humble contribution will help doping the audience.

 

I wish to profit from this opportunity to be read on the worldwide web to launch a little opinion survey to which any reader is welcome to vote on: The question to vote on is: “Do you agree with me that Nortrom should allow the video of our WCO game to be published for the pleasure of the whole stratego community?” If the voters largely accept but he does not accept then I propose him for the award of the most conservative player.

(End of reply)

 

Persistence is often an important quality when pursuing goals, but perhaps it also is greater importance to pursue worthwhile goals. In fact, many successful business organizations thrive upon developing think tanks and creating quality objectives for their companies–the key phrase being ‘think tank.’ Personal goals are vital in the development of one's own growth, and from that maturation may come results which can be shared with a community at large. How would this relate to Stratego? For example, if Fairway, who is now hovering about mid-gold level, sets a goal to become platinum, then the entire community benefits from his achieving that goal because he will be increasing the number of that most coveted ranking and upper echelon of players. Fairway’s personal goal will not only benefit him, but it will also benefit the community as it will demonstrate yet again that this goal is attainable by those wanting it. When Napoleon 1er created a list of those players he considered to be his strongest adversaries, (Hielco, Playa1, and Nortrom), and then made the goal to beat these specific three individuals, he set a formidable course for himself which to date has resulted in checking one name from the list: Playa1. He now has two adversaries to beat (‘almost’ cannot be counted as ‘done’), and there is no doubt that his chances are very good to remove the remaining two from his list with careful preparation and even some inspiration. How do we benefit? It will prove that even the greatest giants of the game can be bested in a solid quality match, but both players must bring their best skills to the battlefield. We eagerly await the day when Napoleon 1er will be able to proclaim his goal achieved.

 

Our distinguished interviewee has posed a question in his closing, and I would like to remind him having done my research, that his query had been answered by his esteemed opponent, Nortrom:

 

http://forum.strateg...e-2#entry444756


Edited by KissMyCookie, A day ago.

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