Catching up with Events.

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

2019 China Championship: Jimmy White – Hossein Vafaei (final frame)

All results can be found on snooker.org

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

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. 

Night of 1000 Centuries – Leicester, 20 July 2019

Nights1000Leicester19.07.2019

It was another great night yesterday in Leicester. Ronnie has four centuries, including a maximum attempt that ended with him going in-off the brown. Shame! Ronnie also played an extra frame to raise funds for the club.

It was lovely to see Patricia Murphy in the white gloves again. Also Joy Woollaston did a stirling job in organising everything.

Regarding the shows: it was Jason’s and Ronnie’s intention to put them on snookerTV.net for free, but they were told that this would be a breach of the players contract, even if it’s only after the show and an exhibition. So they had to take the first one down. Jason will try to get Worldsnooker permission for the next ones.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of pictures:

The little boy is Ben Wollaston’s son, Edward.

And the attempted maxi …

Ronnie O’Sullivan – Night of 1,000 centuries (20.07.2019.): Ronnie O’Sullivan 147 attempt

The World Champion is doing a Charity Exhibition

Mark Williams  is doing a charity exhibition in Cleethorpes, on April 12, 2019. This was brought to my attention by Nigel Coton, a player competing on both the Disability Snooker Tour and the Seniors Snooker Tour. Thank you Nigel!

Here is the information available in the press

Mark Williams at Beachcomber, Cleethorpes

April 12 @ 7:30 pm

£25 – £45

Poster for Mark Williams at Beechcomber Cleethorpes

Food available on the night and a great selection of beers, wines and soft drinks.

All proceeds go to health tree foundation trust and special baby care unit.

Mark will play 12 frames on the night. (Local players.)

Snooker competition will be held at Ray Edmonds snooker centre on dates to be arranged. £10 entry. Winners will play a frame on the night.

Raffles
Name cards on going to raise funds.

Details

Date: April 12
Time: 7:30 pm
Cost: £25 – £45

Venue

Beechcomber, Cleethorpes

208 North Sea Lane
Cleethorpes, DN36 4ET United Kingdom
Get Directions
Phone: 01472 812666

Nigel was able to give me a bit more information.

As mentioned, the exhibition is in support of the Health Tree Foundation . It is  organised by Jamie Barrett, a former pro, who sadly lost his wife 3 years ago far too young. Jamie is from Grimsby, only a couple of miles away from Cleethorpes.

Here is an interview with Jamie, ahead of the 2016 UK Championship

As explained above, “Willo” will take on 12 “local” players, including Nigel Coton himself. Nigel can only play with one hand and will (try to) challenge Mark Williams to play him one-handed as well. This is something Mark occasionally does even in ranking events, although only for the odd shot. Here is a recent example.

Hopefully Willo will accept the challenge. Should be great!!!

If you have the opportunity, get yourself there, have fun and support a good cause!

 

Hartlepool – 23.11.2018

Hartlepool - Mill House 23 November 2018

According to what transpired on social media, it was another great night, with Ronnie having 6 centuries in 8 frames he played… 

He also gave the fans plenty of time.

This is a short video that was shared on twitter:

This was Ronnie’s reaction – on twitter – to the night

Great night at Hartlepool last night, thanks for everyone who came out to watch, top crowd,🙏 I was on good form last night, and I don’t think it can get any better then that 😜

And when asked if he had a 147, he answered this

No, but some super snooker was played, cue ball was inch perfect all night😜 that’s what I love about this game😜

I’ll add more if/when I find it …

Ronnie in Gateshead – 22 November 2018

Ronnie was in Gateshead yesterday for the second night of a three stands tour.

This is what happened, as reported by Jason Francis on twitter:

8 frames made 4 tons on the bounce then 85 and finished with his 5 th ton a brilliant 147 maximum genius. Hartlepool tomorrow

Apparently those tons were 137, 130, 130, 122 an.d 147

Those images were shared on social media.

and this was Ronnie’s reaction:

Amazing crowd tonight in Gateshead, it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to perform for you all, and such friendly people, big up to the northeast

This is a short video posted by a fan on twitter – probably the last balls of the 147

And another one

As well as this one – a full frame here – captured in an … original way

Also  this video emerged from Ronnie’s performance yesterday in Halifax, thanks to krdlr who found it!

 

 

Ding and Higgins in Tibet …

I promised to talk about exhibitions, and these ones, involving Ding Junhui and John Higgins are certainly worth mentioning.

Indeed, as reported on weibo, Ding and John are in Tibet. Here is the (automatic google) translation of the article:

Lhasa Public Welfare Joy Launch Ding Junhui Shu Bao Xi Jin Sixiu Tibetan Dance

Star Online  Posted on 2018-06-30 15:01:45 Report
Number of readings: 946

Superstar Online News 2018 “Ride” Snooker “Fighting to the Peak” series of charity events was first held on the morning of June 30 in Beijing Middle School in Lhasa. The event was hosted by the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation and the Tibet Development Foundation for Assistance, the Tibet Autonomous Region Sports Bureau, China Vision Sports Entertainment Co., Ltd., the Lhasa Sports Bureau of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and Daqing Guoyu Culture Media Co., Ltd. Group Co., Ltd. provides public welfare support for snooker events; it is worth mentioning that this is a world-class snooker tournament.

At 10:00 on June 30 in the morning, Vice Chairman of China Soong Ching Ling Foundation Dunquan, Deputy Secretary-General Aid Tibet Development Foundation Songshi Zhen, Beijing State-Ju Lee Chun Holdings Ltd chairman save the country, Reid Holdings Ltd chairman Huangyu Bing, etc. Leaders and world’s leading players in the 80s, “China Dragon” Ding Junhui with 13 large ranking champions and “Wizards” with 4 world champions joined as the ambassadors to enter the city of Lhasa Beijing Middle school sports hall. The

Throughout the course of the activity, two snooker star with the same students had a very pleasant interaction: not only quiz on general knowledge of snooker, Ding Junhui and Professor Higgins also personally pitched snooker combat skills, even They also took a counter-attack against the killing. The two star players showed a completely different temperament on the playing field, playing the best of their ability, provoking children’s laughter and screaming, and the scene atmosphere was continuously pushed to a new climax. In addition to interacting, they also donated snooker tables and other billiard equipment to the school.
The students on the other side also prepared wonderful performances for the guests. There are not only fashionable modern dances but also Tibetan folk dances. Tibet is known as the “sea of ​​song and dance,” and Higgins from a foreign country was deeply attracted by this beautiful dance. He could not help but take out his mobile phone to take pictures. At the end of the event, the enthusiastic children invited guests to join in, so everyone danced in a circle and laughter filled the entire Beijing high school.
In fact, this is not the first time Ding Junhui has been to Lhasa. He joined his family and went into the nearest place to heaven a year ago. Unlike previous travels, Ding Junhui, who traveled as a public welfare ambassador, took on different responsibilities and had different hopes: “Snooker is a quiet and focused sport. With the development of billiards in Tibet We hope that more children will join this healthy sport and that they will reap the joy of growing up.”

This is probably the highest altitude ever attended Higgins snooker activity, and has 43-year-old “witch doctor” admits that for him really is not a small challenge: “Last night I could not sleep over and over again, intolerable headache But today I saw such enthusiastic children. They are fantastic. I’m proud of them.” In the last Tibetan dance, Higgins was very devoted and also jumped like a model, and he spoke with impatience: “I’m a great dancer and I’m jumping very well!” (Mr. Alex)

And there were more images shared on weibo as well.

Now, I know that the way China has treated Tibet and its people has not always been friendly and fair, far from it. Things have happened there in the past that were really atrocious, be it about the people’s rights, their living conditions, the crushing of their culture and traditions, the environmental damage and more. But I do hope that as China evolves – even if there is a lot of things that need to be done and improved yet – Tibetan people and their culture will find their right place in the country. I hope – and believe – that initiatives like this one are a sign that we are getting there, or at least closer. So, well done Ding and John.

And, just as a reminder, our European past is far from perfect: think Crusades, Inquisition, pogroms, Shoah, colonialism, slavery (including massive deportation of Irish Children to English rules territories in 17th and 18th centuries), countless wars and destructions … Actually our present is far from perfect.

Post WW2 China was devastated by floods, epidemics, extreme poverty and ignorance for most of its citizens and political disarray. The challenges the country was facing were gigantic. The ones they face today are still huge. Mao Zedong revolution was brutal, caused a lot of death, suffering and injustice. But so was the French Revolution if you come to think of it. I don’t ever condone or excuse violence and hatred, but I do believe that the answer to it isn’t returning violence and hatred.  So I’m glad to see initiatives like the one above, even if it’s only a drop in the see…

Kilkenny, Ireland – 28 June 2018

Ronnie has now won the Irish Tour 2018 series against Mark Allen as he leads by 4-1 ahead of the last leg to be played in Belfast tomorrow. Here is Conor’s report on the evening.

Fifth leg in Kilkenny started off with Ronnie making a century against his amateur. The match against Mark started then and Ronnie had back to back centuries to take a 2-0 lead. Ronnie took the next to stretch the lead to 3-0 and Mark had a fantastic century clearance to reduce the deficit at the interval to just two frames at 3-1. Mark came quickest out of the blocks after the interval taking the next two frames to level at 3-3 which included a wonderful 105 break. Ronnie however got in first in the next two frames with some incredible safety and long potting to close out a 5-3 win with a 137 total clearance and a 98 in the last two frames. John Virgo had prior engagements so the great Tony Knowles stepped in as trickshot maestro and MC. Last night of this tour on Saturday night in Belfast!

And he also shared those lovely pictures with us …

Once again thank you Conor!