While I was snapping around in Sheffield, a few things happened on the Main tour.
China Championship 2019 Qualifiers
Those qualifiers were played from August 15 to August 18, 2019. The format being best of nine, there weren’t that many surprises, but Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham, and Gary Wilson failing to qualify was certainly unexpected. There were also uncomfortably close results for Joe Perry, John Higgins and Ryan Day. Most of the experienced Chines players won their match – the notable exception being Liang Wenbo – but the younger ones had a tough time. Luo Honghao though registered a good 5-2 win over Mark Davis. Michael White downwards spiral continues. “Giant killer” James Cahil and highly rated Jackson Page failed to qualify.
Jimmy White, who was competing in the WSS ROKiT Phones.com World Championship during the same period, narrowly lost to Hossein Vafaei.
This is the decider…
2019 China Championship: Jimmy White – Hossein Vafaei (final frame)
Jimmy was unlucky … and bizarrely, when he played his next match at the Crucible, it’s his opponent, Stuart Watson who was unlucky in a very similar way.
Also, Barry Hawkins missed the last red when on course for a 147 in his match v Barry Pinches
Mark Selby and Ding Junhui exhibition in Tibet
Last year it was Ding versus John Higgins
This time is was Ding versus Mark Selby. This was played last Saturday, 15 August 2019. That was only possible because both of them have their China Championship 2019 first-round match held-over. Mark Selby won 13-9. Ding, however, did this at 12-8 down:
2019 Tibet Challenge Exhibition (15.08.2019.): Ding Junhui 147 – Mark Selby
2019 Tibet Challenge Exhibition (15.08.2019.): Ding and Selby having fun with the fans
Note that the China Championship is particularly important for Ding. He’s provisionally out of the top 16, and for the first time since I remember, (provisionally) China’s n°2. Yan Bingtao is provisionally China’s n°1, and ranked n°16.