Huizhou Challenge Exhibition – 30 August 2019 – Full coverage.

Now the full coverage of the exhibition  

Huizou2019Challenge-UKWin

O’Sullivan and John Higgins played against the Chinese team consisting of Marco Fu and Liang Wenbo. In the end, the UK team won with a score of 3-2 and won the competition. [mighty]At the same time, O’Sullivan also won the highest break in this competition [加油], O’Sullivan once again gave the trophy to the small fans in the audience. (source weibo)

There was an individual competition where everyone played everyone. Ronnie won his three matches and as such won the league (source weibo).

“Double” matches were also on the program and the UK team won the competition.

This is the exhibition:

Plus a compilation on short videos – from weibo – showing funny/endearing moments

Ronnie welcoming the little fan is cute and endearing.

And also, of course, more images were shared on weibo

Enjoy!

News from Huizhou …

Yuan Sijun has won the second CBSA event in Huizhou and Worldsnooker has reported it

World number 52 Yuan Sijun defeated Pang Junxu 5-2 in the final of a CBSA China tour ranking event in Huizhou, winning the national title for the first time.

The tournament was sponsored by Huizhou Rural Commercial Bank and promoted by Liang Wenbo. Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Marco Fu were among the presentation party and played an exhibition event.

The tournament ran from 25th to 29th August. Four players born after the year 2000, Wu Yize, Yuan Sijun, Pang Junxu and Lei Peifan advanced into the final day. Yuan and Pang both won their semi-finals 4-1 to progress to the final.

Yuan took an early lead 2-0, winning two tactical frames. Pang pulled one back with a break of 71 before Yuan’s brilliant 114 in the fourth frame made it 3-1. Pang won the fifth but his opponent made another century for 4-2 before wrapping up victory in the seventh.

“I’m so happy to win the title for the first time,” said Yuan after taking the 50,000 RMB top prize. “The semi-final line-up showed good signs for snooker because every sport needs a new generation.

“I didn’t expect to do so well coming into the tournament, but winning the final gave me a lot of confidence. My goal is to win a world ranking title this season, following the example of Yan Bingtao winning in Riga. I need to make the most of my chances.

“I will practise more and hopefully become a more complete player.”

Luo Zetao took the high break prize with a 140.

Here is a short video – shared on weibo – of the award ceremony

MissingClip

and some pictures also shared on weibo.

Tomorrow the four pros will play the challenge and hopefully we get some videos…

Pro and Amateur Game News

African Games news (source WPBSA)

Morocco’s Amine Handed Tour Card

  • 28th August 2019

Amiri Amine of Morocco has been awarded a place on the World Snooker Tour after winning a gold medal in the African Games.

Triple Gold for Morocco as Snooker History is Made in Casablanca

25th August 2019

Moroccan snooker players dominated on home soil this week by claiming a trio of gold medals as the sport was contested at the African Games for the first time in its history.

The 12th staging of Africa’s biggest multisports event has seen athletes from 54 African nations come together across 26 sports including snooker. Staged at the Hotel Farah in Casablanca the groundbreaking competition saw full-medal tournaments contested by men, women and mixed gender doubles teams.

There was a dramatic victory for Morocco’s Amiri Amine in the men’s competition on Saturday as he won a deciding-frame shoot out against Abdulraham Haridi of Egypt. It was Haridi who led 2-0 and 3-2 in their best of seven frame encounter, before Amine took frame six on a re-spotted black to force a decider that he would ultimately go on to dominate on his way to claiming gold.

The bronze-medal match was also won by Morocco as Yassime Bellamine defeated African champion Mohamed Ibrahim 4-2 to claim the final step on the podium.

The first competition of the week to be played was won by Morocco’s Yousra Matine as she defeated Ganton Askiri of Egypt to claim gold in the women’s event, with Hakima Kissai taking bronze.

There was better news for Kissai in Wednesday’s mixed doubles event, however, as together with Yassime Bellamine the pair defeated Amiri Amine and Yousra Matine to claim gold.  Egypt finished in the bronze medal position with Mohamed Ibrahim and Yara Sharaf.

The event was well-supported throughout the week with visits from distinguished guests including AASC President General Ahmed Nasser, Africa Billiards and Snooker Confederation President Mohamed El-Kammah and World Snooker Federation President Jason Ferguson.

The event received significant media interest across Africa with live action and interviews broadcast on television and online.

Mohamed El-Kammah said: “It has been a dream to see our sport enter such a prestigious occasion as the African Games. It is a journey that began many years ago and I am very proud to see this dream become a reality. Egyptian players have always had a strong presence in snooker, I believe the opportunity to earn medals will now inspire the next generation.”

Jason Ferguson said: “It has been an honour to work on this project along with our regional federation, the ABSC. It is clear that our sport has a place in the Africas and this landmark inclusion event is just the beginning as we aim to provide more opportunity for players in the region. I must thank Ahmed Nasser, Mohamed El-Kammah and their teams for their inspiration in making great strides for our sport.”

Learn more about snooker in Africa: https://www.africabsf.com/

Amine won the men’s event at the African Games in Casablanca last weekend, beating Abdulraham Haridi of Egypt 4-3 in the final. Haridi led 2-0 and 3-2, but Amine took frame six on a re-spotted black and then won the decider to take gold.

He was subsequently nominated by the African Billiards and Snooker Confederation for a tour card. He will take up his place on the circuit for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

Click here for the full list of this season’s tour players and their nationalities.

First, of course, congratulations to Amiri Amine, and good luck to him as he starts his life as a pro. That said, I can’t help to think that it would have been better to give him a two years card starting next season. As it happens now, he’s already missing quite a few events, and he’s certainly also facing a few tough administrative challenges: work permit, visa, settling in the UK… None of it is easy and, in addition, he’s likely to face a much tougher opposition than the one he’s usually facing in Africa. Staying on the tour at the end of next season is a very difficult task for any rookie, and it will be even harder for him, starting “late”, the only African on tour.

The CBSA Tour Huizou was won by Yuan Sijun who beat Pang Junxu in the final.

You can see how the tournament unfolded here

This places Pang Junxu in a good position to earn one of the two “CBSA” main tour cards next season. The boy was impressive at the World Snooker Qualifiers last April. He beat Stuart Carrington by 10-6 in the  first round and gave Kurt Maflin a tough challenge in the second round. Kurt eventually won 10-7.

The scene is set for tomorrow’s Challenge

 

 

 

 

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Build-up

In the build-up of the Shanghai Masters, Worldsnooker interviewed John Higgins

Seven years ago John Higgins came through a 10-9 victor in arguably the best ever Shanghai Masters final against Judd Trump.

With the 13th running of the event just under two weeks away, we caught up with the four-time World Champion to preview his trip to Shanghai for the elite 24-player invitational…

John, looking ahead to this year’s Shanghai Maters what are your targets given there is such a prestigious field in attendance?

“I just want to win one match! I’ve not had a great record in Shanghai apart from that final with Judd Trump in 2012. It is a tough event because you are playing against the best players in the world. I just find it an enjoyable tournament to be a part of. I’m taking my brother and my brother in law out there this year. I am playing in the Six Red World Championship in Bangkok just before that, so they are going to get a holiday out of it. The Shanghai Masters is one of the best tournaments we play in all year and it is a great city to go to.”

How fondly do you look back on that dramatic final with Judd Trump back in 2012?

“That was just a brilliant match. Judd played really well at the beginning and was completely shutting me out. I was 5-0 behind and it looked as if he was just going to go on and win it. However, I managed to make a maximum break which was a special moment. I still ended the first session 7-2 behind and you don’t really give yourself much of a chance from that position. I was lucky that I began to play really well and he missed a couple of balls. We always seem to have good matches against each other and that was certainly one of them.”

After losing Crucible finals in 2017 and 2018, you talked about how hard that hit you at times last season and cast doubts on your future in the sport.

However, you managed to put that aside and reach a third consecutive World Championship final back in May, coming up short against Judd Trump. How are you feeling currently about your game and what is the key to the longevity that has allowed you to still be at the top of snooker at the age of 44?

“Well it does get a little bit harder as you get older, but it is just one of those things. I am a snooker player and that is all I’ve ever known. When you retire that is it for the rest of your life. You need to enjoy it while you still can and while your eyesight is still alright. Snooker doesn’t really have any age barriers. That is one of the great things about it. Especially if you compare it to things like football and tennis where you are finished by your late 30s.

“I’ve never got too high when winning events and I’ve also never really got too low when I’ve lost. That was slightly different over the last couple of years, but I’ve generally kept things at a happy medium and that has stood me in good stead.”

Two places in the Shanghai Masters go to players who have come through the Amateur Masters. How important do you think events like that are to boost the grassroots of the sport?

“I think the Amateur Masters is brilliant and the city always supports it. That is to their great credit because you can see how things like that are helping young talent come through in China. Each year they have more young guys emerging. I played a teenager called Wu Yize at International Championship qualifying and won 6-5. He is a fabulous player and it is events like the Amateur Masters which allow people like him to develop.”

I was there, in the media room, during that match. I can remember vividly how the atmosphere of the match turned when John made that maximimum. He was 7-2 down when the session finished, but the seeds of doubts had been firmly planted in Judd Trump’s mind and it showed from the first ball in the evening. Judd had most of the audience on his side and I’m not sure it helped him. It added more pressure. from the evening MSI on I had no doubts that John would win. You just could see it coming.

In other news, those images were posted on weibo, related to the 30th of August exhibition.

As are these

 

Barry Hawkins wins the Paul Hunter Classic 2019

Congratulations Barry Hawkins !

PHC2019Winner

Here is the report by Worldsnooker:

Barry Hawkins won the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany, edging out Kyren Wilson 4-3 in the final.

World number ten Hawkins won four matches at the 16-man invitation event in Fürth to take the title for the first time.

Wilson was looking to win the tournament for a second consecutive year, but just missed out in a close final.

Londoner Hawkins lost the opening frame then made breaks of 63 and 120 to lead 2-1. World number eight Wilson compiled runs of 59 and 52 as he went 3-2 ahead, and he had a match-winning chance in frame six, but broke down on 57.

Hawkins made a superb 41 clearance to level at 3-3, then fired a run of 69 to win the decider.

“It was a strong field and it’s tough to win any tournament,” said 40-year-old Hawkins. “To win a title early in the season puts me in good stead. In spells during the weekend I played really well and scored well. There are two big tournaments coming up in China so hopefully I can keep this form going.

“I was feeling tired in the final, it was a bit scrappy. It was a huge frame to go 3-3 because I thought it was game over. I potted a good long red and managed to clear up. Then in the last frame I held myself together. The fans here are some of the best in the world, it’s always a great atmosphere.”

Earlier in the semi-finals, Hawkins edged out Joe Perry 4-3 while Wilson beat Luca Brecel 4-1.

Yes, the fans are always good and coming in huge numbers in Germany, as they do everywhere in mainland Europe. This tournament, its faithful fans, and Paul Hunter’s memory deserve better than what it was reduced to this year.

I certainly don’t want to belittle the merit of the players who were in Fürth over the week-end, quite the opposite, I’m grateful to them and Barry Hawkins should be proud.

There was nothing and nowhere to watch from the main action. But thanks to my close helping friend here is some of the speed-cup. Enjoy!

2019 Paul Hunter Classic: Gary Wilson v Mark KingKing speedcup

2019 Paul Hunter Classic: David Gilbert Speedcup

2019 Paul Hunter Classic: Michael Holt v Julian Boiko speedcup

2019 Paul Hunter Classic: David Gilbert – Ken Doherty (Speedcup)

2019 Paul Hunter Classic: Mak King v Luca Brecel + Shoot-out Joe Perry V Florian Nüssle

MissingClip 2019 Paul Hunter Classic: Mark King – Dave Gilbert (Speedcup)

MissingClip 2019 Paul Hunter Classic: Mark King (Speedcup)

MissingClip 2019 Paul Hunter Classic: Mark King – Gary Wilson (Speedcup)

It’s Gary Wilson who won the Speed Cup. This was his reaction on twitter

Won something at least, Paul Hunter Speed Cup Winner. Great idea for an event and great fun. Thanks to all the German fans also, they never fail!

🏆

😂

⏰

👍🏼

PHC2019SpeedWinner

Paul Hunter Classic 2019 – Day 1

The Paul Hunter Classic 2019 got underway yesterday in Fürth. It’s not on televion, it’s not even on the ES player or streamed. It’s reduced to a 16 men (actually 13 men and three boys) field. Anyway … here is the report by Worldsnooker on day1 action:

Top 16 stars Kyren Wilson, Barry Hawkins and David Gilbert all enjoyed emphatic wins on the first day of the Paul Hunter Classic to reach the quarter-finals.

The tournament in Furth, Germany, is a 16-man invitation event this year, with a mixture of professional players and promising amateurs.

Results
Tickets

Wilson is defending the title and got off to a strong start as he needed just 60 minutes to beat Austrian amateur Florian Nuessle 4-0, making breaks of 55, 86, 80 and 60.

Hawkins was a fine form in a 4-1 win over Gary Wilson, knocking in breaks of 101, 94 and 113. Gilbert compiled runs of 108 and 89 as he beat Michael Holt 4-1. Belgium’s Luca Brecel top-scored with 102 in a 4-1 win over Ken Doherty.

Joe Perry saw off Ben Mertens 4-0 while Ricky Walden made a 104 in a 4-0 defeat of Julian Boiko. Mark King beat teenager Ryan Davies 4-0 with runs of 58, 56, 67 and 67 while Dominic Dale scored a 4-1 victory over Matthew Selt.

The tournament is played to a finish on Sunday.

Quarter-final line-up
Kyren Wilson v Dominic Dale
Luca Brecel v Ricky Walden
David Gilbert v Joe Perry
Mark King v Barry Hawkins

Iulian Boiko came through the qualifying event, beating Barry Pinches in the Final. He’s from Ukraine and only 13. Shaun Murphy had to withdraw due to injury (achilles I heard) and Matthew Stevens withdrew as well. Fortunately they got replaced before the start of the tournament. A lot of pro players it seems regret the way the tournament was downgraded and were more than ready to play in it given the chance.

Ronnie, Fu, Liang and Higgins in Huizhou

China???

This has been posted today on weibo.

Here is what “google translate” allowed me to understand

it’s a six days tournament “hosted” by Liang Wenbo. “Huizhou Rural Commercial Bank Cup” #Snooker Championship Challenge# will be held at the Jinshanhu Gymnasium in Huizhou City from August 25th to 30th. 

There is a schedule of sorts but it doesn’t translate. 

The tournament runs from 25 to 30 August.

The following was kindly explained to me by Alex Pimenov on twitter:

From August 25 to 29, the second stage of the Chinese snooker tour of the season will be held in Huizhou. Among the declared players, several familiar names were recognized: Xiao Guodong,, Yuan Sijun, Lu Ning, Mei Xiwen, Luo Honghao, Zhang Anda and Fan Zheni.

After the end of the tournament on August 30 at the same site will be an exhibition match meeting UK – China. The team of Higgins-O’sullivan (not Sean) and Fu Wenbo.

Then this other poster was also shared on social media

Huizou Challenge2019

So this is a different event, and for now the format is unclear (to me at least).

Ronnie and Liang are close friends and maybe this is a good warm-up for the Shanghai Masters.