World Billiards Championship (English billiards)

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The World Billiards Championship is an international cue sports tournament in the discipline of English billiards. It has been played annually since 1980, is one of the oldest sporting World Championships in the world, dating in earnest to the mid-19th century.[clarification needed] The event was known as the World Professional Billiards Championship until 2010.

History[edit]

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. But, ironically, Carr died on the eve of the match, and Kentfield hence assumed the title. He would remain unchallenged for 24 years.

John Roberts, Sr. won 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.

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 358–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., 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 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.

As of 2012, the WPBSA World Championship was merged with the former IBSF World Billiards Championship. Under the name World Billiards Championship, tournaments were held in both points and timed format.

World Championship Results[edit]

Initial, self-declared World Champions[edit]

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

Challenge "spot-barred" World Championships[edit]

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

Unofficial "all-in" World Championships[edit]

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

"Championship of the World" Tournaments[edit]

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

Billiard Association tournament World Championships[edit]

All-in[edit]

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

Spot-barred[edit]

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

Billiard Association challenge World Championships[edit]

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

Billiard Association tournament World Championships[edit]

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

Post-WWII challenge World Championships[edit]

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

WPBSA World Championships[edit]

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

World Billiards Championships[edit]

Date Format Winner Score Runner-up Score
2012 Points[4] India Rupesh Shah 6 Australia Matthew Bolton 2
Timed[5] India Pankaj Advani 1,895 Qatar Mike Russell 1,216
2013 Points[6] England David Causier 6 India Alok Kumar 1
Timed[7] Singapore Peter Gilchrist 1,500 England Dave Causier 1,085

References[edit]

General
Special
  1. ^ Everton, Clive (6 September 2009). "Pankaj Advani seals World Professional Billiards Championship win". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Knock-out Round". Cue Sports India. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Russell Takes Billiards Crown Again". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Subbaiah, Sunil. "Rupesh Shah wins second world title". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Pankaj Advani wins World Billiards title". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Pathak, Vivek (25 October 2013). "David Causier, the new champion for World Billiards (Short format)". International Billiards and Snooker Federation. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "IBSF Long up Billiards Championships Long up – Leeds / England 2013". International Billiards and Snooker Federation. Retrieved 20 April 2014.