International Championship 2016 – Day 3


Very little surprises today, the only one being Sam Baird’s win over Marco Fu, but then again we all know how dangerous “Sammy” can be on his day as well as how inconsistent Marco is sometimes.

Here is Worldsnooker report on the day:

Tuesday 25 Oct 2016 05:42PM

Shocks were in short supply on day three of the International Championship as John Higgins,Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ding Junhui and Judd Trump all secured their place in the last 16.

Defending Champion Higgins wasted no time in defeating Welshman Jak Jones. The Scot has already secured 6-0 and 6-3 wins this week and there was another comprehensive victory today.  Runs of 53, 79, 60 and 68 helped Higgins into a 5-0 advantage. Jones did respond to take the following two frames, but it was too little too late as the four-time World Champion ran out a 6-2 winner.

“He gave me a few chances early on but then he looked as if he could turn the match around. It could have been a different game if he made it 5-3 but I’m pleased to get through,” said Higgins. “Some frames it is alright, but in others my concentration is terrible so I need to change that.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan had to come back from 4-3 down to see off Norway’s Kurt Maflin. The Rocket looked to be on ominous form as he cruised 2-0 in front. However, Maflin responded brilliantly with consecutive runs of 85 and 124 to level the scores. The world number 42 looked to be playing the better snooker, as he took the lead for the first time. It was at that stage that O’Sullivan upped his levels. He made contributions of 84 and 101 whilst taking the final three frames to seal a 6-4 win.

O’Sullivan said: “Kurt is a good player, very confident and when he gets going he can score big breaks. He’s a powerful player. I had to use my experience to get through.”

Local favourite Ding Junhui overcame two-time World finalist Matthew Stevens in a 6-2 victory. China’s number one displayed some impressive break building as he knocked in runs of 116, 82, 68, 73 and 102 during the win.

World Champion Mark Selby produced a strong showing as he saw off John Astley. The Jester from Leicester prevented the player from Gateshead from scoring a single point in the final two frames and came through in a comfortable 6-2 win. He faces English Open Champion Liang Wenbo in a mouth watering last 16 tie.

Judd Trump eased through with a 6-1 win against Tom Ford. The Juddernaught made two century breaks of 120 and 102 on his way to victory.

World Open Champion Ali Carter completed the comeback of the day as he clawed his way back from 5-2 down against Stephen Maguire to seal a dramatic 6-5 win. The Captain made a gutsy visit of 41 in the decider to help edge himself over the line.

For full results click here.

All detailed esults are on Cuetracker as usual.

Just a little personal note about John Higgins: here he is in the last 16, despite not playing great to his own admission, he says that his concentration is “terrible”. From what I saw in the English Open he was quite poor indeed. So how is that possible? Well , up to now, in this tournament he faced Sydney Wilson (ranked 99), Eden Sharav, (ranked 109) and Jak Jones (ranked 94), so he hasn’t faced a player in the top 64 yet, far from it. Fair to say he hasn’t really be tested at all.


International Championship 2016 – Ronnie beats Kurt Maflin by 6-4 in the last 32

Ronnie beat Kurt Maflin by 6-4 in the last 32 of the International Championship in Daqing tonight (local time). It was overall a very entertaining match, played very positively as you would expect from those two.

Here is how the match unfolded (source Cuetracker):

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-4 Kurt Maflin

Scores (Ronnie first): 91(76)-32; 113(59)-12; 32-85(85); 0-132(124); 85-12; 0-77(77); 47-61; 81-39; 84(84)-2; 107(101)-31


image source: Worldsnooker on twitter

As you can see this was high scoring: 7 breaks over 50, 4 by Ronnie, 3 by Kurt including one century each. Ronnie’s attitude was excellent overall, even if some frustration was evident a couple of times when splits didn’t work or when a (rare) concentration slip resulted in a mistake. However, when he found himself 4-3 down, he upped his game and tightened things up. The last two frames were impeccable.

Here is an excerpt of Worldsnooker report on the day:

Ronnie O’Sullivan had to come back from 4-3 down to see off Norway’s Kurt Maflin. The Rocket looked to be on ominous form as he cruised 2-0 in front. However, Maflin responded brilliantly with consecutive runs of 85 and 124 to level the scores. The world number 42 looked to be playing the better snooker, as he took the lead for the first time. It was at that stage that O’Sullivan upped his levels. He made contributions of 84 and 101 whilst taking the final three frames to seal a 6-4 win.

O’Sullivan said: “Kurt is a good player, very confident and when he gets going he can score big breaks. He’s a powerful player. I had to use my experience to get through.”

Here is the match if you wish to watch it again:

Ronnie will face Michael Holt tomorrow evening in the last 16

One thing that struck me is that the crowd was significantly smaller today than it was yesterday, and that was true for Ding’s match as well. I can only see one explanation: the tickets are usually very expensive for ordinary people in Chines events, and the fans favoured the first round matches where they were certain to see their heroes rather than risk getting a ticket for a further round and be disappointed because their player of choice has lost in an earlier round.

Confirmed: All top 16 players will be in York next month

Worldsnooker has today confirmed that all top 16 players have entered the UK Championship 2016 and published their last 128 match schedule. 

Tuesday 25 Oct 2016 01:11PM

img_8410Neil Robertson beat Liang Wenbo in the final last year

The Betway UK Championship, one of snooker’s Triple Crown events, is just four weeks away and all players currently inside the world’s top 16 will be among the line-up at the York Barbican.

Entries for the tournament closed last week and it will be the strongest possible field in York, with 128 players contesting the £170,000 top prize and the famous trophy, including all of the sport’s leading stars.

Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy and defending champion Neil Robertson will be among the favourites for the title.

The tournament runs from November 22 to December 4 and several of the top players have already had their first round matches scheduled, giving fans the chance to book their seats to see their favourites. Players in action over the first three days will include:

Tuesday November 22

Ding Junhui,

Marco Fu

Barry Hawkins

Judd Trump

Kyren Wilson

Wednesday November 23

John Higgins

Liang Wenbo

Shaun Murphy

Ricky Walden

Ronnie O’Sullivan

Mark Allen

Thursday November 24

Mark Williams

Ali Carter

Mark Selby

Stuart Bingham

Neil Robertson

Joe Perry

0131651332793900Ronnie O’Sullivan is a five-time UK Champion

This is a fantastic chance for fans to see their heroes live, and with eight tables in the arena in the early stages, supporters can watch several matches for the price of a single ticket.

All-day tickets for the early stages start at just £11, incredible value to see live sport at the highest level.

For details call 0844 854 2757 or CLICK HERE

Not good enough?

This evening, the BBC reports these quotes from Ronnie

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he is ‘not good enough’ to compete with world’s best

Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan says he is “not good enough to compete with the best players in the world”.

The Englishman beat Xiao Guodong to reach round two of the International Championship in Daqing, China.

World number nine O’Sullivan, 40, said he is “nowhere near” the level he was two years ago.

“I haven’t had any good results but that tells you where I am with my game,” he said.

O’Sullivan won his sixth Masters title in January and the Welsh Open in February.

However, since then he lost in the first round of the World Grand Prix, the second round of the World Championships in April, the last 16 of the Shanghai Masters and the last 32 of English Open.

He was beaten by world number three Judd Trump in the final of the European Masters this month.

“I am not going to turn my back on the game yet,” said O’Sullivan, who revealed he enjoys punditry more than playing.

“I enjoy playing but I am probably not good enough to compete with the best players in the world because they are at their peak.

“I will still keep playing and hopefully will get a result, and if I don’t I am just enjoying playing.”

O’Sullivan will play Kurt Maflin on Tuesday in the ranking event in Daqing, the richest tournament staged outside the UK.

There were also first-round wins for world champion Mark Selby, Trump, Ding Junhui and John Higgins on Monday, but two-time world champion Mark Williams lost to wildcard Xu Si.

Here is my view on the matter:

Whilst it’s true that Ronnie hasn’t played that well (yet) this season, he’s still reached the final of a ranking event, the European Masters earlier this month. He’s also currently 13th in the one-season list, despite missing a number of tournaments over the summer. So, clearly, it’s not all bad.

And we have been there before. Remember the lean spell in 2009/10/11? It happens to them all, Williams spent years out of the top 16, and came back, John Higgins had a very bad spell before finding his game again last season. Of course, at 40, time is not on Ronnie’s side, but it’s far too early to write him off.

One thing I believe Ronnie doesn’t want is to be the one bearing the biggest share of the fans expectations. This is a pressure he had to cope with for nearly 25 years now, and it has been his undoing at times. Downplaying his chances might well help the perfectionist he is to cope with those huge expectations (his own included!)

Also why is the BBC nearly always reporting the not-so-positive things, and those only? I wonder.

Indeed, if this article published by is to be trusted, there is much more, and more positive too, that was discussed by Ronnie today in Daqing. Here is a translation by Google:

O’Sullivan won the game is very naughty, came to the press conference room, see the table filled with the order book, he is to pick up the pen to start with the signature. Listen to a reporter’s question, he will close the mouth with the microphone, or caress the microphone with the forehead – the original, the snooker genius also has “innocence” side.

Beijing October 24, 2016 World Snooker Championship in Daqing, the second day of competition to start. In the first round, the debut of the game O’Sullivan 6 to 4 victory over Xiao Guodong, promotion of the second round. After the game, O’Sullivan admitted that this is a very tough game, “Xiao Guodong is my friend, is a great player before I just beat Robertson in Manchester, am now very confident. I’m very happy. ”

Tonight’s game, O’Sullivan and Ding Junhui are arranged in the live venues to play, but the attendance, O’Sullivan’s popularity is higher. Does this mean that in China, O’Sullivan is more popular than Ding Junhui? For this question, O’Sullivan denied: “I do not think so, I think Ding Junhui is also very popular and I think this is because I do not often come to China to participate in the competition, we want to see me at the scene, so my screening I have a little bit old, Ding Junhui younger than me, he will play more games.

Earlier, O’Sullivan has decided to withdraw from November 1 to 5 in Guangzhou for the China Championship. For the reasons for retirement, O’Sullivan Sina Sports, said: “There are several reasons, such as important because I think the road is relatively far away, the two game time immediately, I want to focus on the game, Because the game is more important. “He said he has been quite Lianbao old smile,” I am now not a twenty-year-old boy, I have a little old, I hope to have some rest time, I attach great importance to this event. ”

The O’Sullivan first came to Daqing entry, his impression of the city how? “The city is beautiful and quiet, and I like the climate, the lake and the food,” he added, “you know I like food very much.

(Dong Zhengxiang from Daqing)

Imperfect as this translation might be, it’s quite obvious that he was in a rather positive mood albeit a bit mischievous. It’s also clear that he discussed a lot of different subjects with the press: his popularity in China, the reasons why he withdrew from the Evergrande in Guangzhou (basically because he wants to stay fresh and that event isn’t ranking) and his impressions of the city and, of course, the food!

International Championship 2016 – Day 2

Day 2 in Daqing saw the completion of the last 64 round and here are today’s results:


There weren’t many surprises, the biggest one being young wildcard Xi Su beating Mark Williams. Xi Su of course showed what he can do yesterday, sharing the highest break, 145, with John Higgins. To a lesser extend, Aditya Mehta beating Ryan Day is also a surprise, but Aditya has always been a very good player and it’s nice to see him coming back to form after a neck injury that forced him to retire from the main tour last season.

16 years old, Yan Bingtao is proving once  how dangerous he is: today his victim was the very experienced Mike Dunn and the score is quite severe too: 6-2. This boy can pot and has a wise old head on his young shoulders!

Ding Junhui won his match easily after yesterday’s scare, but missed the last brown en route to a maximum; this came in frame 4 of his last 64 match versus David Grace … I hope that’s not the reason why his name has been scrapped in the result table above, despite the win. Worldsnooker?

The English Open Champion, Liang Wenbo, was taken to a decider … again! As the match wasn’t on television, we all missed the celebration if any.




International Championship 2016 – Ronnie beats Xiao Guodong by 6-4 in the last 64

Ronnie beat Xia Guodong by 6-4 in the last 64 round of the International Championship 2016, in a very tense match played in front of a huge crowd. The end of the match was quite dramatic: Ronnie, leading by 5 frames to 4, forced a respotted black in frame 10 and won it … or rather Xiao lost the frame, and the match, as he went in-off. Despite playing a Chinese player Ronnie got a lot of support from the crowd and security had to step in to prevent a floor invasion.

This is how the match unfolded (source: Cuetracker)

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-4 Xiao Guodong

Referee: Jan Verhaas

Scores (Ronnie first): 137(137)-7; 100(55)-2; 0-88; 109(78)-1; 0-70(69); 0-79(79); 100-16; 71(71)-7; 36-80(54); 69-62.


Image source: Worldsnooker on twitter

Ronnie started strongly with a great 137, but overall he won’t be too happy with his game tonight: his safety wasn’t great, nor was his long potting. But he applied himself, stayed patient, and battled to the last ball. Both players made mistakes, Xiao was all at sea during the first two frames, but both also scored when in the balls: between them, they had 7 breaks over 50. It was not the highest quality, but it was certainly thrilling.

And here is the match report on Worldsnooker


Monday 24 Oct 2016 05:14PM

Ronnie O’Sullivan has progressed to the last 32 of the International Championship in Daqing, after overcoming a strong challenge from Xiao Guodong.ronnie-international-2-1024x683

The Rocket knocked in a sublime total clearance of 137 in the opening frame and things looked ominous for Xiao as the lead was doubled with a run of 55 in the second. However, runs of 48, 69 and 79 meant that the scoreline converged at 3-3.

O’Sullivan claimed the next two frames to make a charge towards the finish line, but Xiao hit back to go 5-4. The Chinese potter had looked set to force a decider, but missed an awkward pink with the rest to take the tenth frame. O’Sullivan forced a re-spot, before Xiao despairingly went in off to hand the Rocket the match.

“Xiao is a good friend of mine. He’s a strong player,” said O’Sullivan. “It’s never nice to lose a game like that, but I’m just really happy to be through to the next round.”

And here is the match itself:

He will face Kurt Maflin in the last 32, tomorrow night, local time (midday in Europe)

International Championship 2016 – Day 1

It was a very busy day in Daqing, with three sessions and 24 matches played to conclusion: 16 last 64 matches, 4 last 128 held-over matches and 4 wildcard round matches.

Here are the results:


For the first time ever, all wildcards won their matches. Be sure this will trigger some angry reactions on social media …

The four last 128 matches were all won by the highest seed, albeit not all the easy way. Both Chinese players involved, Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo, had to come back from way behind and won their match in a deciding frame. Mark Selby hadn’t an easy passage either, the World Champion struggled for most of the match. John Higgins, on the contrary, whitewashed his opponent and set an early target for the tournament highest break: 145. That 145 high break was equalled later by young wildcard Xu Si.

There were a few unexpected results in the last 64 round as Martin Gould, Anthony McGill, David Gilbert, Michael White and Matthew Selt all lost.

All detailed results are on Cuetracker as usual.

Ronnie wasn’t playing today, but he was quite busy all the same:

Earlier in the day, Ronnie, Ken Doherty, Mike Dunn and John Astley attended a local competition,  the Daqing Oilfield PetroChina (Daqing main industry is the oil industry) 


And just before the evening session, he was involved in the official Opening Ceremony,  along with Marco Fu and John Higgins. As you can see it was a hit with the Chinese media!