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World Billiards Championship (English billiards)

The WPBSA World Billiards Championships are a pair of international, professional cue sports tournaments in the discipline of English billiards. The formerly singular championship has been divided, since 2010, into separate timed and points divisions, like the amateur world championships. In its various forms, and usually as a single World Billiards Championship, the title is one of the oldest sporting world championships, dating in earnest (though irregularly) to 1869.

The rules adopted by the Billiards Association in 1899 are essentially the rules still used today. The tournaments have been played on a regular annual schedule since 1980, when it became administered by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA). The event was known as the World Professional Billiards Championship until 2010, and has had other names in the past, e.g. Billiards Championship of the World. In addition, the World Ladies Billiards Championship has been played since 1931 (with interruptions) and organized by World Ladies Billiards and Snooker since 1998.[1]

Contents

HistoryEdit

In the early 19th century,[clarification needed] Jack Carr and Edwin Kentfield were the prominent players in the game of English Billiards. Carr challenged Kentfield to a championship game. Carr unfortunately died on the eve of the match, and Kentfield hence assumed the title. He would remain unchallenged for 24 years.

John Roberts, Sr. took on the title,[clarification needed] when after many years trying to build his name, he challenged Kentfield to a game. There was much controversy over the table and the pockets, and Kentfield decided not to play the game. He preferred to be a retired champion, rather than a beaten one, and Roberts Sr. therefore assumed the title of World Champion by default again.

Two youngsters then rose onto the Billiards scene. William Cook, and Roberts's son John Roberts, Jr. were very much the understudies, but Cook beat Roberts Jr. in a match in 1869, and challenged Roberts Sr. for the title. Due to this being the first actual match for the World Championship, the players themselves drew up a special set of rules for the game. Roberts managed to get the pocket width reduced to 3–inches (from the original 3​58–in), and the "D" and spots were adjusted so that Cook's spot stroke strength was weakened. Cook was nonetheless considered the favourite, and the 20-year-old had improved much from his win over Roberts Jr. the previous year. At 1:38 a.m.,[when?] Cook defeated Roberts to win the title, and won a newly created trophy, £100 and a Maltese cross. The Prince of Wales even attended the match at St. James's Hall. This match ended the dominance of Roberts Sr., as the wave of new players took over the game.

That initiated the World Championship, and it led to many challenges for the title. Roberts Jr. and Cook were the dominant players of the era. There were occasional uncontested matches. The rule said that a player had to accept a challenge within two months of it being issued. If it were ignored, the challenger became World Champion.

There was still the issue of the rules however. Many players preferred the "spot-barred" style, but some preferred the "all-in" rules. The spot-barred prevented repeat potting of the red, a tactic of the all-in variant that made the game boring for spectators. The tactic was a great strength for William Peall in particular, and he was naturally in favour of the all-in game.

There were three all-in competitions held separately from the title that Roberts held. Roberts was never challenged for that title. Billy Mitchell and Peall excelled in the late 1880s.

In 1892, the Billiards Association (later Billiards Association and Control Council or BA&CC, a precursor of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association or WPBSA) took the chance to take control of the situation. They sanctioned two championships, a spot-barred and an all-in. Roberts ignored the competition, but the tournaments went ahead regardless. The "championship table" that Roberts Sr. had created was abandoned, and the normal table was instead used. Peall held the all-in title unchallenged, whereas Mitchell dominated spot-barred.

In 1899, after 5 years without challenges, the Billiards Association changed the rules of the game. After two spot strokes, the red would be replaced on the centre spot, to limit the repetition of "all-in" play. Peall accepted this, although at the detriment of his personal fortunes, voting for the introduction of the new rule. This collectively gave rise to the modern version of English billiards, still played (with minor changes) today.

Until 1910, there were many challenges, but in 1911, the competition was altered so that it became an annual tournament, to cope with the influx of new professionals.

In 1934, the tournament was won by Walter Lindrum, and the championship then collapsed. There were two matches held for the title in a span of decades, in 1951 and 1964.

In the 1970s, the challenges began to return. Rex Williams was dominant in this period.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association had been formed by 1980, and attempted to control the professional billiards game on a tournament basis. Fred Davis won at the age of 67 to become World Champion. During the 1980s, (and again in 2003), the championship has been played on many shorter games.[clarification needed]

Since 1980, the title has been held almost annually. Mike Russell has been the most successful player in that era, closely followed by Geet Sethi. A small number of Australian players had some success in the 1980s, most notably Robby Foldvari (winner 1986, runner-up 1987) and Eddie Charlton (twice runner-up, 1984 and 1988), and there are now a number of Indian players besides Sethi involved in the game, especially Pankaj Advani. He has won several world championships.

In 2011 WPBSA formed World Billiards (Limited) to administer the sport worldwide. As of 2012, the distinction between professional and amateur players was removed and the WPBSA World Professional Championship was merged with the former IBSF World Billiards Championship and simply became the World Billiards Championship. Tournaments were held in both points and timed format.

World Championship ResultsEdit

[2][3]

Initial, self-declared World ChampionsEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
1825   Edwin Kentfield Declared Champion
1849   John Roberts Sr. Declared Champion

Challenge "spot-barred" World ChampionshipsEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
February 1870   William Cook 1,200   John Roberts Sr. 1,083
April 1870   John Roberts, Jr. 1,000   William Cook 552
May 1870   John Roberts, Jr. 1,000   Alfred Bowles 752
November 1870   Joseph Bennett 1,000   John Roberts, Jr. 905
January 1871   John Roberts, Jr. 1,000   Joseph Bennett 637
May 1871   William Cook 1,000   John Roberts, Jr. 985
November 1871   William Cook 1,000   Joseph Bennett 942
April 1872   William Cook 1,000   John Roberts, Jr. 799
February 1874   William Cook 1,000   John Roberts, Jr. 784
May 1875   John Roberts, Jr. 1,000   William Cook 837
December 1875   John Roberts, Jr. 1,000   William Cook 865
April 1876   William Cook   Declared Champion  
May 1877   John Roberts, Jr. 1,000   William Cook 779
July 1878   William Cook   Declared Champion  
November 1880   Joseph Bennett 1,000   William Cook 949
January 1881   Joseph Bennett 1,000   Tom Taylor 910
September 1881   William Cook   Declared Champion  
February 1885   John Roberts, Jr.   Declared Champion  
March 1885   John Roberts, Jr. 3,000   William Cook 2,908
June 1885   John Roberts, Jr. 3,000   Joseph Bennett 1,360

Unofficial "all-in" World ChampionshipsEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
October 1887   Billy Mitchell 15,000   William Peall 13,733
March 1888   William Peall 15,000   Billy Mitchell 5,753

"Championship of the World" TournamentsEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
January 1889   Billy Mitchell
February 1890   William Peall
March 1891   William Peall

Billiard Association tournament World ChampionshipsEdit

All-inEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
April 1892   William Peall 5,000   Billy Mitchell 1,755

Spot-barredEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
April 1892   Billy Mitchell 3,000   John North 2,697
February 1893   Billy Mitchell 9,000   John North 7,525
January 1894   Billy Mitchell 9,000   Charles Dawson 8,163

Billiard Association challenge World ChampionshipsEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
January 1899   Charles Dawson 9,000   John North 4,715
April 1900   Charles Dawson 9,000   Harry Stevenson 6,775
January 1901   Harry Stevenson 9,000   Charles Dawson 6,406
April 1901   Charles Dawson 9,000   Harry Stevenson 5,796
November 1901   Harry Stevenson   Declared Champion  
March 1903   Charles Dawson 9,000   Harry Stevenson 8,700
1908   Melbourne Inman   Declared Champion  
March 1909   Melbourne Inman 9,000   Albert Williams 7,662
April 1909   Harry Stevenson   Declared Champion  
October 1910   Harry Stevenson 18,000   Melbourne Inman 16,907

Billiard Association tournament World ChampionshipsEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
1911   Harry Stevenson 18,000   Melbourne Inman 16,914
1912   Melbourne Inman 18,000   Tom Reece 9,675
1913   Melbourne Inman 18,000   Tom Reece 16,627
1914   Melbourne Inman 18,000   Tom Reece 12,826
1919   Melbourne Inman 18,000   Harry Stevenson 9,468
1920   Willie Smith 16,000   Claude Falkiner 14,500
1921   Tom Newman 16,000   Tom Reece 10,744
1922   Tom Newman 16,000   Claude Falkiner 15,167
1923   Willie Smith 16,000   Tom Newman 15,180
1924   Tom Newman 16,000   Tom Reece 14,845
1925   Tom Newman 16,000   Tom Reece 10,092
1926   Tom Newman 16,000   Joe Davis 9,505
1927   Tom Newman 16,000   Joe Davis 14,763
1928   Joe Davis 16,000   Tom Newman 14,874
1929   Joe Davis 18,000   Tom Newman 17,219
1930   Joe Davis 20,198   Tom Newman 20,117
1932   Joe Davis 25,161   Clark McConachy 19,259
1933   Walter Lindrum 21,815   Joe Davis 21,121
1934   Walter Lindrum 23,553   Joe Davis 22,678

Post-WWII challenge World ChampionshipsEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
1951   Clark McConachy 9,274   John Barrie 6,691
1968   Rex Williams 5,499   Clark McConachy 5,234
June 1971   Leslie Driffield 9,029   Jack Karnehm 4,342
1971   Rex Williams 9,250   Bernard Bennett 4,058
January 1973   Leslie Driffield 9,204   Albert Johnson 4,696
September 1973   Rex Williams 8,360   Jack Karnehm 4,336
September 1974   Rex Williams 7,017   Eddie Charlton 4,916
1976   Rex Williams 9,105   Eddie Charlton 5,149

WPBSA World ChampionshipsEdit

Date Winner Score Runner-up Score
May 1980   Fred Davis 5,978   Rex Williams 4,452
November 1980   Fred Davis 3,037   Mark Wildman 2,064
1982   Rex Williams 3,000   Mark Wildman 1,785
1983   Rex Williams 1,500   Fred Davis 605
1984   Mark Wildman 1,045   Eddie Charlton 1,012
1985   Ray Edmonds 3   Norman Dagley 1
1986   Robby Foldvari 3   Norman Dagley 1
1987   Norman Dagley 3   Robby Foldvari 1
1988   Norman Dagley 7   Eddie Charlton 4
1989   Mike Russell 2,242   Peter Gilchrist 1,347
1991   Mike Russell 1,352   Robby Foldvari 957
1992   Geet Sethi 2,529   Mike Russell 718
1993   Geet Sethi 2,139   Mike Russell 1,140
1994   Peter Gilchrist 1,539   Mike Russell 645
1995   Geet Sethi 1,661   Devendra Joshi 931
1996   Mike Russell 2,534   Geet Sethi 1,848
1998   Geet Sethi 1,400   Mike Russell 1,015
1999   Mike Russell 2,000   Peter Gilchrist 832
2001   Peter Gilchrist 1,287   Mike Russell 863
2002   Mike Russell 2,251   Peter Gilchrist 1,273
2003   Mike Russell 6   Peter Gilchrist 4
2004   Mike Russell 2,402   David Causier 1,349
2005   Chris Shutt 1,620   Mike Russell 1,365
2006   Geet Sethi 2,073   Lee Lagan 1,057
2007   Mike Russell 2,166   Chris Shutt 1,710
2008   Mike Russell 1,823   Geet Sethi 1,342
2009   Pankaj Advani 2,030   Mike Russell[4] 1,253
2010   Mike Russell[5] 1,738   Dhruv Sitwala 1,204
2011[6]   Mike Russell 1,500   David Causier 558

World Billiards Ltd World ChampionshipsEdit

Date Format Winner Score Runner-up Score
2012 Short[7]   Rupesh Shah 6   Matthew Bolton 2
Timed[8]   Pankaj Advani 1,895   Mike Russell 1,216
2013 Short[9]   David Causier 6   Alok Kumar 1
Long[10]   Peter Gilchrist 1,500   David Causier 1,085
2014 Short[11]   Pankaj Advani 6   Peter Gilchrist 2
Timed[12]   Pankaj Advani 1,928   Robert Hall 893
2015 Short[13]   David Causier 6   Robert Hall 1
Long[14]   David Causier 1,500   Peter Gilchrist 1,277
2016 Short   David Causier 8   Dhruv Sitwala 6
Timed   Mike Russell 2,224   David Causier 1,115
2017 Short   David Causier 8   Sourav Kothari 4
Long   David Causier 1,500   Peter Gilchrist 779
2018 Timed   Sourav Kothari 1,134   Peter Gilchrist 944

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ List of winners, retrieved May 1, 2017
  2. ^ "The Professional Champions of English Billiards". The English Amateur Billiards Association. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Roll of Honour". Cue Sports India. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  4. ^ Everton, Clive (6 September 2009). "Pankaj Advani seals World Professional Billiards Championship win". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Knock-out Round". Cue Sports India. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Russell Takes Billiards Crown Again". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  7. ^ Subbaiah, Sunil. "Rupesh Shah wins second world title". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Pankaj Advani wins World Billiards title". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  9. ^ Pathak, Vivek (25 October 2013). "David Causier, the new champion for World Billiards (Short format)". International Billiards and Snooker Federation. Archived from the original on 21 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  10. ^ "IBSF Long up Billiards Championships Long up – Leeds / England 2013". International Billiards and Snooker Federation. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Advani stuns Gilchrist to clinch World Billiards title". The Times of India. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Advani: first ever player to bag billiards triple double". The Hindu. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  13. ^ "World Championships (150-up)". wbeventsonline.com. World Billiards. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  14. ^ "World Championships (long up)". wbeventsonline.com. World Billiards. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.

External linksEdit