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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.

Contents

  • History 1
  • World Championship Results 2
    • Initial, self-declared World Champions 2.1
    • Challenge "spot-barred" World Championships 2.2
    • Unofficial "all-in" World Championships 2.3
    • "Championship of the World" Tournaments 2.4
    • Billiard Association tournament World Championships 2.5
      • All-in 2.5.1
      • Spot-barred 2.5.2
    • Billiard Association challenge World Championships 2.6
    • Billiard Association tournament World Championships 2.7
    • Post-WWII challenge World Championships 2.8
    • WPBSA World Championships 2.9
    • World Billiards Ltd World Championships 2.10
  • References 3

History

In the early 19th century, 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. took on the title, 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 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 (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.

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

[1][2]

Initial, self-declared World Champions

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

Challenge "spot-barred" World Championships

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 Championships

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" Tournaments

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

Billiard Association tournament World Championships

All-in

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

Spot-barred

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 Championships

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 Championships

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 Championships

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 Championships

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[3] 1,253
2010 Mike Russell[4] 1,738 Dhruv Sitwala 1,204
2011[5] Mike Russell 1,500 David Causier 558

World Billiards Ltd World Championships

Date Format Winner Score Runner-up Score
2012 Points[6] Rupesh Shah 6 Matthew Bolton 2
Timed[7] Pankaj Advani 1,895 Mike Russell 1,216
2013 Points[8] David Causier 6 Alok Kumar 1
Timed[9] Peter Gilchrist 1,500 Dave Causier 1,085
2014 Points[10] Pankaj Advani 6 Peter Gilchrist 2
Timed[11] Pankaj Advani 1,928 Robert Hall 893

References

  1. ^ "The Professional Champions of English Billiards". The English Amateur Billiards Association. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Roll of Honour". Cue Sports India. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Everton, Clive (6 September 2009). "Pankaj Advani seals World Professional Billiards Championship win". London:  
  4. ^ "Knock-out Round". Cue Sports India. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Russell Takes Billiards Crown Again". worldsnooker.com.  
  6. ^ Subbaiah, Sunil. "Rupesh Shah wins second world title".  
  7. ^ "Pankaj Advani wins World Billiards title".  
  8. ^ Pathak, Vivek (25 October 2013). "David Causier, the new champion for World Billiards (Short format)".  
  9. ^ "IBSF Long up Billiards Championships Long up – Leeds / England 2013".  
  10. ^ "Advani stuns Gilchrist to clinch World Billiards title".  
  11. ^ "Advani: first ever player to bag billiards triple double".  
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