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18 June 1917|
Tufnell Park, London
|Died||28 July 2002
|Best ranking finish||Last 24 (1977 World Snooker Championship)|
Jack Karnehm (18 June 1917, Tufnell Park, north London, England – 28 July 2002, Crowthorne, Berkshire) was a British snooker commentator, who was regularly heard on BBC television from 1978 until 1993, and a former amateur world champion and professional national champion at the game of English billiards. Karnehm was also a professional snooker and billiards player.
Besides his commentary, perhaps his major contribution to the game was his development of the swivel-lens glasses, which enabled Dennis Taylor to win the World Snooker Championship in 1985. These were spectacles which were set at a compensatory angle, so the player could look along the shot through the optical centre of the lens. The originals had been designed by Theodore Hamblin, and pioneered by Fred Davis in 1938. Karnehm, who had served a five-year spectacle-making apprenticeship, made many pairs in his family business, but his upside-down design was a considerable improvement - it offered wider peripheral vision - and helped Taylor win the 1985 world title. It has helped countless players since.
Despite being best-known to snooker audiences, Karnehm's passion was billiards. As a non-professional player, he was a ten-time London Amateur Billiards Champion, and also won the English Amateur Billiards Championship in 1969. That October, he took the World Amateur Champion title.
In 1980, Karnehm beat Williams to win the UK Billiards Championship, his only professional title. Karnehm also turned professional in snooker in 1971, his best result coming when losing 5-4 to Chris Ross in the U.K. Championship of 1977. Karnehm was also a noted snooker coach, and, in 1985, released an instructional video, Understanding Modern Snooker He continued to coach and was still President of the Radstock Billiards association until 2000. He died suddenly in 2002 aged 85 after an afternoon working on his garden in extreme heat.
- UK Billiards Championship - 1980
- Karnehm, Jack (1994). Understanding Modern Snooker (VHS [PAL]). UK: Beckmann. ASIN B00004CK8J.
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