2022 IBSF Youth Championships in Romania

Whilst, from tomorrow on, our attention will be mainly on the European Masters in Fürth, it’s worth noting that another set of tournaments started today in Romania: the IBSF Youth Championships. You will find all the information on this page.

There are many recognisable names in the field.

Here is where you will find the results and standings

And this is where you will find the live scores

Table 1 is streamed.

 

 

2022 British Open Qualifiers – Day 6

Yesterday was the last day of the qualifying roud for the 2022 British Open

This is the report by WST:

Super Stevens Ditches Maguire

Matthew Stevens made four breaks over 50 as he won a battle of former UK Champions against Stephen Maguire, scoring a 4-1 success to reach the final stages of the Cazoo British Open.

The result leaves Maguire without a win in a knockout ranking event so far this season as he lost 5-4 to Oliver Brown in the BetVictor European Masters qualifying round. Welshman Stevens rattled in runs of 77, 56, 60 and 71 as he booked his place in the last 64 in Milton Keynes in September.

Jimmy Robertson came from 3-2 down to edge out Louis Heathcote 4-3, making a superb 71 clearance to win frame six from 48-12 behind, then taking the decider with a run of 68. Jordan Brown also successfully recovered a 3-2 deficit, winning the last two frames on the colours to beat Pang Junxu 4-3.

Peter Lines top scored with 71 in a 4-0 win over BetVictor Gibraltar Open champion Robert Milkins. Noppon Saengkham got the better of a high quality match with Michael White, winning 4-3 with top runs of 50, 72, 109 and 104.

Victories for Chang Bingyu and Xiao Guodong meant that over the six days in Wigan, 17 of the 22 Chinese players in action won their qualifying matches.

Chang Bingyu had breaks of  100, 78, 76 and 79 in beating Fergal O’Brien. Basically, he prevented Fergal to play the sort of tactical game that suits him. Fergal won the only close frame in the match.

The Jordan Brown vs Pang Junxu match was extremely hard fought. Both played well. Eventually the more experienced player prevailed.

Those longish qualifiers may “drag” a bit, but the plus point for those interested in the future of the game, is that you can basically watch all the young players in action. I have been impressed by many of them over the last weeks, and, more than ever, I feel that first round losers should, as a minimum, have their basic expenses covered. Doing their job, and doing it properly should not cost them. It should be seen as a investment into the future of the sport. I have seen very little “mediocrity” in those qualifiers and it hasn’t come from the lowest ranked players. Mainly, it’s some well established players, still very rusty after the summer break, who have been disappointing.

Ronnie very mixed feelings about his 7th World Title and news about his injury

Ronnie was recently interviewed on the climb podcast and admits to mixed feelings about his 7t World title, as reported by Phil Haigh:

Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘wishes he hadn’t won’ seventh World Snooker Championship

Crucible2022ROSWinner-14
Ronnie O’Sullivan equalled Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world titles this year (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he wishes he hadn’t won a seventh World Snooker Championship title this year, as he doesn’t enjoy the attention, pressure and expectation that has come with it.

The Rocket beat Judd Trump in the final at the Crucible, after seeing off Dave Gilbert, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire and John Higgins, as he equalled Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world crowns.

It was an emotional moment for the 46-year-old, who was in tears after securing the win in Sheffield, but he now says he would rather not have lifted the trophy for a seventh time.

O’Sullivan insists he prefers to fly under the radar and not have to deal with everything that goes with being at the summit of snooker, which he says he gets no enjoyment from at all.

‘After looking back on it, I actually wish I hadn’t have won it,’ O’Sullivan told The Climb Podcast. ‘The question I get asked more now than anything is, “do you still play snooker?” I want to say to them, no. I want to say I’ve retired, I do little bits and pieces, it’s great and I slip under the radar.

All of a sudden when I’ve won this, I’ve got 600 messages on my phone, everyone’s saying well done and asking when I’m going for the eighth. It’s like my worst nightmare come true again.

A documentary was being made about the Rocket during this year’s World Championship and he says it was this added incentive that pushed him on to succeed again in Sheffield.

I didn’t want to get in the pit again, but I did,’ he explained. ‘The reason for it was I had a film crew following me about, so that kind of spurred me on to do as well as I could. Probably if they weren’t following me about I might have made the quarters or semis and thought that’s enough, because I don’t like going so deep anymore.

On reflection, it was great to win it, but I was never driven by records or awards. Things that a lot of people seem to think is important in sport, for me it’s about loving what I do and enjoying just playing for fun, treating it like a hobby.

But to win the world title you can’t enjoy it, you have to go deep and find some reserves from within, you find something within you to push forward.

O’Sullivan is very much against doing anything that he doesn’t want to do, and that includes staying for the post-World Championship party, over the road from the Crucible.

Going to the after party is what annoyed me. I’m just like, I don’t need this, I just want a cup of tea and go to my bed,’ he said.

That’s why I enjoyed it when I won it in Covid in 2020, there was no crowd, no party, just whoever happened to be there with me. I just can’t be doing with the circus, the circus is what drives me crazy. The World Championships is the biggest circus of all.’

The consensus greatest player ever is back to world number one and has won two of the last three World Championships, and has done so by trying to only do things he enjoys in snooker.

Crucible2022ROSWinner-15
O’Sullivan appeared thrilled, and very emotional, to win the world title for a seventh time (Picture: Getty Images)

He says that biting the bullet and going all out for victory will guarantee him success, but in general he only needs to put in half that effort to remain near the top of the sport.

I just disengaged about seven or eight years ago with anything that didn’t make me feel comfortable in snooker,’ he continued. ‘There’s no amount of money in the world someone can offer me to do something I don’t want to do.

It was great. I knew I could have a longer career, more enjoyable, more happy, more fun. Still compete, still be in the top eight in the world because it’s easy for me to be in the top eight, I’ve just got to be 50 per cent, really.

I go 100 per cent and I go back to number one, like I have done. But I don’t want to be at 100 per cent, I don’t want to be that animal anymore, it’s exhausting, it’s tiring and I’ve done it.

Having won the world title and having got back to number one, it’s not a good place to be for me, personally.

I’m happy with a cup of tea, coffee, a few friends, I don’t want a lot out of life to be honest with you.

I believe that. I have known Ronnie for over 15 years now, and that’s him being himself.

He loves playing snooker, but he doesn’t love many of the things that come with his huge success in snooker. He doesn’t love the massive expectations constantly piled on him, he doesn’t love the loss of privacy that often comes with that success. When you are the World Champion you are expected to be available for a lot of things: promotion, sponsors, interviews, the media is constanly monitoring what you do or say … and fans expect you to be available for them at all times as well.

You will tell me that it’s normal to give back to your sport. It’s true but not necessarily easy or enjoyable for someone who is very much a private person, struggling with mood swings and actually surprisingly shy.

The thing about the after-party is true. Both in 2012 and 2013, Ronnie showed up because he had to, did what was expected from him, a little speech thanking the sponsors, the venue management, the fans, etc. He then stayed for a little while, barely leaving the table where his family and close friends were sat and disappeared as soon as he could decently leave.

Yesterday, Ronnie was working for Eurosport, being a “special guest” at the Speedway race in Cardiff. During the event – which he loved – he clarified some of the above and gave some more information about his current injury.

Here is the report by Eurosport:

‘ABOUT THE LAST YEAR!’ – RONNIE O’SULLIVAN REVEALS LONG-TERM ARM INJURY KEEPING HIM OUT, AIMS FOR HONG KONG

Ronnie O’Sullivan exclusively reveals at the FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff that he is set to be out of action for almost two months with an arm injury that he has been struggling with for a year and is looking to recover in time for the Hong Kong Masters in October.

BY EUROSPORT

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he is set to be out for almost two months with an arm injury, but is targeting the Hong Kong Masters in October.

The seven-time world champion was appearing as a special guest at the FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain in Cardiff.

The Rocket was at the Principality Stadium with discovery+ to watch round six of what has been a thrilling season of Speedway GP action so far.

O’Sullivan got involved with the pre-race track walk to observe how the riders inspect the surface before taking to their bikes.

O’Sullivan says he is skipping the European Masters, which runs from August 11 to August 20 in Furth, with his sights firmly set on the Masters tournament which gets underway on October 6.

I’ve had an injury for my arm for about the last year,” he told Eurosport.
The last two months it’s just got really bad so I really need to rest it.
Hopefully it will get better and I think it’s a time-healing process. One of the big events that I want to play in is in Hong Kong which is in early October.
I thought I better rest it and try and get it better for that.

O’Sullivan says it was “unbelievable” to win the World Championship for a record-equalling seventh time back in May.

It was unbelievable really. It’s such a hard tournament I thought I probably did not have it in me to win again, but I decided to do this documentary.
I had a film crew follow me around so I thought ‘I better really try hard here because I’m going to have to watch this back.‘”
I just gave it everything and I think that was one of the reasons I was able to get over the line.

O’Sullivan did a track walk inside the Principality Stadium. He says having as dry conditions as possible in snooker is optimal on the World Snooker Tour.
He explained: “All the tables are exactly the same. What you are looking for is the room to be of the right temperature. In snooker you are wanting the conditions to be as dry as it can.

Sometimes when we go to China, Thailand and then it’s anything but dry. It’s damp, it’s humid and that gets into the table which makes it play heavier. If you can have a dry atmosphere in the room then the table will always play well.
It’s the same for both players so you have to learn to adapt to it as well.

So basically, he might miss the British OPen and the Mixed Double as well. We shall see.

Here are a couple of pictures that he shared on social media

 

2022 British Open Qualifiers – Day 5

Day 5 in Wigan delivered some surprises …

Here is the report by WST:

Carter Stunned By Miah

World number 71 Hammad Miah earned a place in the final stages of the Cazoo British Open with a surprise 4-1 success over Ali Carter.

Miah reached the last 16 of the same event last year, matching his best ever run in a ranking event, and can look forward to the trip to Milton Keynes in September after a superb win over two-time Crucible finalist Carter. Breaks of 63 and 68 helped put Miah 3-0 ahead, and despite losing the fourth frame he sealed the result in the fifth with a run of 59.

Elliot Slessor, a semi-finalist in this tournament last season, came from 2-0 down to edge out Sean O’Sullivan 4-3, making breaks of 76, 53, 103 and 63. Mitchell Mann also came from 2-0 behind to beat Tom Ford 4-3, taking the decider by clearing from yellow to pink.

Ben Woollaston made a 130, equalling the highest break of the event so far, in a 4-2 defeat of James Cahill, while promising rookie Dylan Emery top scored with 87 in a 4-0 thrashing of Peng Yisong. Marco Fu was on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline against China’s Cao Yupeng.

What baffles me the most is that there is not even a mention of  Jamie Clarke’s demolition of Fan Zhengyi in this report. Clarke played extremely well in that match. Fan, who was playing his first match this season, didn’t play particularly badly, he wasn’t allowed to play for the best part of the encounter. In the first frame, fan came back at the table, 77 behind with 51 on and didn’t try to play for snookers. Instead he cleared the table playing some very nice shots in the process. I was expecting a close match. Not so. The third frame definitely sealed it: leading by 58 with 59 on the table, Fan missed frame ball and Clarke, faced with a not particularly easy table, cleared to steal the frame. After that there was only one winner.

Carter was his moody self, and Miah played well. Miah is a strange player. He is very, very capable, and I have seen him play stunningly well, notably in the World qualifiers with a lot at stakes. How he hasn’t done better in his career so far is a mystery to me.

Mark Joyce won his match easily. His opponent, Daniel Wells had been called in latish to replace Asjad Iqbal who withdrew. Iqbal is one of the two Pakistani pros, still waiting for their visas. The other one is Asif.

2022 British Open Qualifiers – Day 4 + some bad news

Here is WST report on yesterday’s action in Wigan:

Gilbert Tops Hill

David Gilbert scored his first win in a knock-out ranking event match this season as he thrashed Aaron Hill 4-0 to reach the final stages of the Cazoo British Open.

Gilbert suffered a surprise 5-1 reverse against Marco Fu in last month’s BetVictor European Masters qualifiers, but bounced back strongly with an impressive display against Hill, highlighted by breaks of 100 and 72. The world number 19 goes into the random draw for the last 64 of the tournament which runs from September 26 to October 2 in Milton Keynes.

Ryan Day top scored with 65 in a 4-1 win over Rebecca Kenna while Zhang Jiankang saw off Reanne Evans 4-0 with a top break of 70.

Zhou Yuelong beat Jenson Kendrick 4-1 with a top break of 80 and is one of 13 Chinese players to have won their qualifying match so far in Wigan.

Anthony Hamilton rounded off a 4-0 win over Jimmy White with a break of 100.

Gilbert played really well against Aaron Hill. He must have put some good work in over the last weeks.

Reanne Evans was really poor against Zhang Jiankang. Zhang himself looked vulnerable at the start of the match but grew in confidence as his opponent failed to convert her opportunities.

Rebecca Kenna was second best to Ryan Day, but took a lot of positives out of her match. Here is what she shared on Facebook:

Rebecca Kenna post match assessment 2022-08-13 - British Open

I believe that Rebecca has a real chance to progress quite significantly on the main tour. She’s not a young girl, she’s grounded and contrary to Mink for instance she doesn’t have huge expectations weighting on her shoulders (other than her own of course).

The Andy Lee v Barry Pinches match was extremely hard fougth, quite tactical and very, very close. Not everyone’s cup of tea (or coffee in my case) but I enjoyed it.

Jimmy White should probably have won the second frame against Anthony Hamilton. He didn’t and after that the match had “game over” written all over it.

Now about the other and mainly bad news…

Phil Haigh on twitter yesterday posted that Ronnie was suffering from “tennis elbow”, which is indeed what Jason Francis hald told me earlier. It’s worrying news because he had it for some time and it’s not something that goes away easily. Despite its name, the condition is not necessarily caused bu playing with a racket … actually it’s caused by “repetitive mouvements” of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist and as you might guess, practising snooker is just that. Resting the arm is a big part of the treatment. Healing is not a fast process either.

WST has announced three withdrawals from the European Masters:

Li Hang, Chang Bingyu and Lei Peifan have pulled out of next week’s BetVictor European Masters due to visa issues.

Their last-64 opponents – Zhao Xintong, Scott Donaldson and Marco Fu – will all receive a bye to the last 32 in Germany.

From what transpired on social media, Hossein Vafaei is in visa trouble as well. It seems to me that those visa problems are worse since Brexit.

Also, regarding visas, I hear that the two professional players from Pakistan – Aif and Iqbal – haven’t got their UK visas yet. They applied about 6 weeks ago,

 

2022 British Open Qualifiers – Day 3

The “main” talking point yesterday was On Yee’s win over Ken Doherty, and that’s what WST focussed on in their report:

On Yee Beats Former World Champion

Ng On Yee scored her best win as a professional player by beating former Crucible king Ken Doherty 4-3 in the qualifying round of the Cazoo British Open.

Hong Kong’s On Yee won a dramatic final frame by potting the final pink off three cushions as she booked a place in the final stages of the world ranking event in Milton Keynes next month.

On Yee, a three-time Women’s World Champion, played on the pro tour for the first time last season, and scored one win against Wu Yize in the qualifying round for the Welsh Open.

Today’s win is definitely one of the best of my career, against a great player like Ken,” said the 31-year-old. “I have to be honest and admit the pink in the last frame was a fluke!

I have been practising hard recently with a lot of top players including Marco Fu and I can see an improvement in my game. I’m very happy to get my first win of the season. I knew my safety would have to be good today and I just wanted to enjoy the match and try my best on every shot. It’s great to qualify for another venue as it gives me another chance to get used to that environment.”

On Yee took the first two frames before Doherty fought back to lead 3-2. The sixth frame went On Yee’s way and she looked in control of the decider until she missed a tricky blue with the rest to a top corner on a break of 47. Irishman Doherty later had a chance to clear from the penultimate red but snatched at the final pink when trailing by seven points. After a tactical tussle, On Yee’s attempted safety came in and out of baulk and rolled into a top corner.

She is one of four women playing on the pro tour this season, alongside Reanne Evans, Mink Nutcharut and Rebecca Kenna. All four will compete in the new BetVictor World Mixed Doubles at the same venue in Milton Keynes on September 24-25.

Dean Young scored a fine 4-2 win over Liang Wenbo, who returned to the baize having been banned for four months. Young’s top break was 79.

On Yee played a good tactical match. She managed to stay with Ken in that department which is remarkable. She still needs to improve on other aspects of her game, and she knows it, but hopefully this will boost her confidence, and motivate the other women on tour.

Here is the final fluked pink!

Dean Young, as I expected, got a lot of support, and even more so after Liang created controversy. This is what happened.

I asked a group of referees their opinion on this. A player has a every right to question the replacement of a ball, if they have any doubts BUT they are also not supposed to move around when their opponent is at the table. This was branded “gamesmanship” by many on social media. I’m not sure it was deliberate but it certainly wasn’t great.

All this, somehow, “eclipsed” the other results. Yuan SiJun had far too much for Anton Kazakov (4-1), Theppy beat an out-of-sorts Martin Gould by 4-1, with three breaks over 70. Joe O’Connor played well in beating Chris Wakelin (4-1). John Astley needed four hours to beat Rod Lawler in a deciding frame. Craig Steaman beat Michael Judge by 4-3 as well, every frame was hard fought. That match ended past 1 am local time today … largely because it started late, courtesy of Astley and Lawler.

2022 British Open Qualifiers – Day 2

The Chinese “contigent” extended its perfect record in the 2022 British Open qualifiers yesterday. Nine out of nine…

Here is the report by WST:

Ding Keeps China’s Clean Sweep Going

Ding Junhui scored a 4-2 victory over Oliver Lines in the qualifying round of the Cazoo British Open, a result which means that all nine Chinese players in action over the first two days in Wigan have won their matches.

All results

Ding is looking to get back to his best this season following a dip in form in recent years – the most recent of his 14 ranking titles came in 2019. And the 35-year-old started strongly with a fine performance against Lines, making breaks of 51, 51, 81 and 128. He goes into the random draw for the last 64 of the world ranking event, with the final stages in Milton Keynes running from September 26 to October 2.

So far, Chinese players have a perfect record in the qualifying round as Ding joins Lyu Haotian, Tian Pengfei, Lu Ning, Xu Si, Chen Zifan, Zhang Anda, Li Hang and Zhao Jianbo in reaching the second round.

Lu came through a fierce battle against Matthew Selt by a 4-3 scoreline. Selt led 2-1 and 3-2, making a 122 in frame three, but couldn’t take his chances in the decider. He missed the final blue to a centre pocket when trailing by nine points, and Lu slotted the blue into a baulk corner for victory.

Ian Burns made a 129 in a 4-1 defeat of Adam Duffy.

Once again, so much is missing from this report…

Tien Pengfei beat Sam Craigie by 4-2 in a high-scoring match: Sam took the first frame with a 54. After that Tian had a break over 60 in every of the remaining frames: 73, 73, 66, 61, 69 and the 61 in frame 5 wasn’t enough, as Sam stole that one!

The Lu v Selt decider was epic! It was re-racked after about 37 minutes of play. It was incredibly tense and all sorts happened on the table, the balls ran very awkward and none of the players got much luck in their endeavours. Eventually, Lu took it on the final pink. Up to the decider, the match had been a close and high scoring affair: each player had won 3 frames and scored three big breaks: 65, 122 and 53 by Selt, 68, 97 and 79 by Lu. It was all very entertaining to watch.

Lyu Haotian was also in high scoring mode: he demolished Mark King aided by breaks of  77, 58, 74 and 53 in a fast paced match.

There were also 6 breaks over 50 in the six frames Ding and Oli Lines played. Ding lead by 2- 0 only for Oli to peg him back at 2-2. In recent years, Ding has often let his head drop when this happened, and I wondered how he would react this time. The answer is … with breaks of 81 and 128! Oli didn’t score a point in the last two frames.

I didn’t watch much of the late afternoon/early evening session so can’t comment. Something extraordinary happened in the Grace v O’Neill match though: in frame 3 O’Neill failed 14-times to get out of a snooker and gave 61 points away in the process. After the 14th miss he needed a snooker, so no miss was called. I may be wrong but I believe this is a new record. The previous record – as far as I know – was 12 misses and was jointly held by John Higgins and Mark King.

The last match to finish, at nearly one a clock this morning (UK time) saw Lukas Kleckers prevail over Allan Taylor by 4-3. Lukas had two centuries: 110 in frame 3 and 111 in the decider. All the other frames were incredibly scrappy, low scoring and slow going.

Today sees the return of Liang Wenbo. Dean youg, for sure will get a lot of support… In their latest podcast Nick Metcalfe and Phil Haigh invited Jason Ferguson, the WPBSA chairman. Amongst many very interesting topics they cover, Jason explains why the governing body couldn’t hand Liang a tougher punishment although he dearly wish they could. Basically, it’s for the reasons I exposed at the time in this post.

My picks today are Yuan SiJun v Anton Kazakov and Theppy v Martin Gould. The latter may not last long but then, I’m sure, we will have the Rod Lawler v John Astley match to fall back on 😉 …