Snooker World Championship 2020

You can read my opinions and reporting of the biggest snooker even of the year. Delayed 3 months because of the virus.

Best game so far: Yan Bingtao - Elliot Slessor

Schedule for August 4th

Timezone: CET

Mark Allen (NI) v Jamie Clarke (Wal)
Shaun Murphy (Eng) 3-6 Noppon Saengkham (Tha)

Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Martin Gould (Eng)
Mark Selby (Eng) 5-4 Jordan Brown (NI)

Mark Allen (NI) v Jamie Clarke (Wal)
Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Alexander Ursenbacher (Swi)

Results first round

Stuart Bingham (Eng) 10-7 Ashley Carty (Eng)
Kyren Wilson (Eng) W/O Anthony Hamilton (Eng) - Hamilton withdrew from tournament
Ding Junhui (Chn) 10-9 Mark King (Eng)
Judd Trump (Eng) 10-8 Tom Ford (Eng)
Mark Williams (Wal) 10-5 Alan McManus (Sco)
John Higgins (Sco) 10-5 Matthew Stevens (Wal)
Neil Robertson (Aus) 10-5 Liang Wenbo (Chn)
David Gilbert (Eng) 8-10 Kurt Maflin (Eng)
Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) 10-1 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Tha)
Yan Bingtao (Chn) 10-7 Elliot Slessor (Eng)
Jack Lisowski (Eng) 9-10 Anthony McGill (Sco)

August 4th

The first Swiss player in the Crucible

Alexander Ursenbacher is the first player from Switzerland to play in the World Snooker Championship. He has a tough opponent in Barry Hawkins, who already appeared in the final here. However this doesn't mean a lot in current conditions, as this is just the first round, and anything can happen.

Mark Allen also starts his Championship run, and depends on his mood, he can go really far. His opponent will be another first timer, in Jamie Clarke

Murphy and Saengkham continue their fight, but the former World Champion has to act quickly otherwise it can turn into an up-hill battle easily.

August 3rd

Selby-Brown what a bore fest

Don't watch that match if you want to die from boredom. I hope everybody watched Lisowski-McGill instead...

Slessor brings Rocky to snooker

Elliot Slessor after being 1-7 the first session, brought fighting spirit the snooker table. Trailing 8-1 and 9-2, he went on and won 5 frames, and truly getting to the distance where his opponent started to sweat. All afternoon Yan only needed one frame to win, yet he just couldn't find it, and Slessor chipped away the giant lead, one frame at a time. It's really sad that a live audience couldn't see this match, which will sure be one of the most memorable of this year's tournament, no matter what.

Meanwhile Ronnie O'Sullivan completed his match (10-1), and set a new record for fastest match.

Lisowski and McGill are playing a close game, and they will finish it this evening.

Murphy almost came back against Saengkham, but the Thaiwanian hold him back and he finished with a nice 6-3 lead over the 2005 World Champion.

Mark Selby will starts against Crucible debutant Brown.

Today games: from boring to unpredictable...

Jack Lisowksi and Anthony McGill start and finish their game today. Also there is a 100% chance that we see Ronnie O'Sullivan play 2 frames. Murphy plays against another Thailander, while Selby faces a Crucible debutant, and Bingtao ends the hope of another one (Slessor).

August 2nd

Maflin is the first winner from qualifier

So far only players from the top 16 has won in the first round, until now. Kurt Muflin, leading all matches - I think - defeated last year semi-finalist, David Gilbert. Watched other matches, but this sure is a surprise.

O'Sullivan has giant lead, and Higgins is in the second round

The O'Sullivan-Un-Nooh games was really disappointing as The Rocket took a quick 4 frame lead, and expand it to 7 (8-1). Un-Nooh made lots of mistakes and O'Sullivan just punished him. Basically most of the time, when Un-Nooh missed, his opponent just started to build a break. Average break was 70 for O'Sullivan, for Un-Nooh it was 30.

Meanwhile on the other afternoon table. Higgins comfortable won 10-5 against Stevens. So far only top 16 players have won, and if this continues, this can be one of the most exciting tournament.

Who will be faster?

Today is the day when we see who can win from the fastest player in today's snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh. And we don't need shootout rules either! :)

August 1st

Mark Williams crushes McManus, and he wants to continue playing!

As much as close their first session - where occiasonally McManus outplayed his not so much younger competition - Williams took the driver's seat in the 2nd part of the game.

Williams also said that the virus changed his perspective about his future: "I've made a decision now that I am never packing in," he said. "If I win another tournament brilliant, if not it doesn't matter I'll keep trying for the next one."

Read more about the legend and his decision to carry on playing this wonderful games for a few more years.

Well so much for my predictions...

Maflin has one frame lead vs Gilbert. Ding wins in deciding frame. Mark King came back 3 times from 2 frames, and it was a great match too bad no audience in the Crucible. Higgins has a big lead against Stevens (6-3).

Bingham crushed Carty's first Crucible appearance, probably it was a little bit harder than expected.

What to expect today?

I would say, that David Gilbert (last year in the semi-final with surprising, but great performance), will break the ice, and get a bigger lead than just one frame. Carty will mess with Bingham and will win in a close game in the final frame.

For Higgins-Stevens I truly don't know, while I think Ding-King will be close too, but Ding will come through.

Two of the oldest players of the tournament and they have to play both sessions at evenings. Hope they get their pill in time. Just kidding of course! Based on the little I saw yesterday, it will definitely go to the final possibly frame.

July 31st

Trump is through

Trump won against Tom Ford in a close game, just like last time when they met in the Crucible, 10-8. After trailing most of the day, Trump caught Ford at 6-6. Trump also reached his 100th centuries this season, and he is now only 4 centuries away to break Neil Robertson's records (103). Source: WST

On the other table, two old legends met and after a 2-0 Williams lead, Alan McManus quickly equalized with 2 centuries, and later he gained lead in the first session.

No more audience for the Crucible after day one

One of the most famous sport venue won't have an audience from tomorrow, as the UK government changed their coronavirus policy due to rise in cases. However Barry Hearn is hopeful that maybe people can attend the August 16th final. Source: BBC

I am pretty sad that players have to play in an empty venue. Unlike in football where you can get bored for minutes, snooker is a very active game from the audience point of view.

I watched some of the qualifiers, they were behind closed doors, and it was like an early Chinese games, except at least there were some people there. While the decision is understandable, it will be weird and just sad.

First games are superclose

All 3 games today so far are really close, as Trump, Carty and Mark King trailing by just one frame against Ford, Bingham and Ding.

Trump was unlucky at times, while Tom Ford played really well and lead throughout the first session. I didn't really watch the Bingham match, but it was a big battle and hats off to Carty (who I just call Superman from now on, as he looks like Christopher Reeves' Clark Kent) to make it close.

Hamilton withdraws, O'Sullivan plays drama queen

Anthony Hamilton withdraws from the tournament after going through the qualifiers. The 49 years old player has health concerns, since he has severe asthma. While this is completely understandable in my opinion, however it's not fair to the players who Hamilton beat in the qualifier, since one of them could have taken his place. Plus he gets the 20k GBP. He would have played with Kyren Wilson in the first round, and he would have little to no chance to progess. (source: WST)

Ronnie O'Sullivan drama

Ronnie O'Sullivan should withdraw from this year's World Snooker Championship if he has genuine coronavirus concerns, defending champion Judd Trump says.

Trump said: "I have been around the game long enough to know that if there is a World Championship coming up, he [O'Sullivan] is going to try to get the headlines. "Of all people, Ronnie is probably the only one who doesn't need the money, so I find it quite hard that he can enter it and have a go at what is going on. Just pull out and let someone else have a go."

I agree with Trump, if Ronnie doesn't want to play, he is absolutely free not to. (source: BBC)