World Billiards Championship (English billiards)

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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.

Cue sports skill games using cue stick to strike billiard balls

Cue sports, also known as billiard sports, are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick, which is used to strike billiard balls and thereby cause them to move around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by elastic bumpers known as cushions.

English billiards

English billiards, called simply billiards in the United Kingdom, where it originated, and in many former British colonies such as Australia, is a cue sport that combines the aspects of carom billiards and pocket billiards. Two cue balls and a red object ball are used. Each player or team uses a different cue ball. It is played on a billiards table with the same dimensions as a snooker table and points are scored for cannons and pocketing the balls. English billiards has also, but less frequently, been referred to as "the English game", "the all-in game" and (formerly) "the common game".

The IBSF World Billiards Championship is the premier, international, non-professional tournament for the game of English billiards. Dating to some form to 1951, the event has been sanctioned by the International Billiards and Snooker Federation since 1973.

Contents

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]

World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, the United Kingdom, is the governing body of men's professional snooker and English billiards. It owns and sets the official rules of the two sports and engages in promotional activities on behalf of the sports.

History

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 3inches (from the original 358in), 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.

William Cook was a professional player of English billiards in the 19th century. He won the World Championship on several occasions.

Maltese cross cross symbol associated with the Knights Hospitaller (the Knights of Malta)

The Maltese cross is a cross symbol, consisting of four "V" or arrowhead shaped concave quadrilaterals converging at a central vertex at right angles, two tips pointing outward symmetrically.

Prince of Wales title granted to princes born in Wales

Prince of Wales was a title granted to princes born in Wales from the 12th century onwards; the term replaced the use of the word king. One of the last Welsh princes, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in battle in 1282 by Edward I, King of England, whose son Edward was invested as the first English Prince of Wales in 1301.

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 Results

[2] [3]

Initial, self-declared World Champions

DateWinnerScoreRunner-upScore
1825 Flag of England.svg Edwin Kentfield Declared Champion
1849 Flag of England.svg John Roberts Sr. Declared Champion

Challenge "spot-barred" World Championships

DateWinnerScoreRunner-upScore
February 1870 Flag of England.svg William Cook 1,200 Flag of England.svg John Roberts Sr. 1,083
April 1870 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg John Roberts, Jr. 1,000 Flag of England.svg William Cook 552
May 1870 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 1,000 Flag of England.svg Alfred Bowles 752
November 1870 Flag of England.svg Joseph Bennett 1,000 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 905
January 1871 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 1,000 Flag of England.svg Joseph Bennett 637
May 1871 Flag of England.svg William Cook 1,000 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 985
November 1871 Flag of England.svg William Cook 1,000 Flag of England.svg Joseph Bennett 942
April 1872 Flag of England.svg William Cook 1,000 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 799
February 1874 Flag of England.svg William Cook 1,000 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 784
May 1875 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 1,000 Flag of England.svg William Cook 837
December 1875 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 1,000 Flag of England.svg William Cook 865
April 1876 Flag of England.svg William Cook  Declared Champion 
May 1877 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 1,000 Flag of England.svg William Cook 779
July 1878 Flag of England.svg William Cook  Declared Champion 
November 1880 Flag of England.svg Joseph Bennett 1,000 Flag of England.svg William Cook 949
January 1881 Flag of England.svg Joseph Bennett 1,000 Flag of England.svg Tom Taylor 910
September 1881 Flag of England.svg William Cook  Declared Champion 
February 1885 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr.  Declared Champion 
March 1885 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 3,000 Flag of England.svg William Cook 2,908
June 1885 Flag of England.svg John Roberts, Jr. 3,000 Flag of England.svg Joseph Bennett 1,360

Unofficial "all-in" World Championships

DateWinnerScoreRunner-upScore
October 1887 Flag of England.svg Billy Mitchell 15,000 Flag of England.svg William Peall 13,733
March 1888 Flag of England.svg William Peall 15,000 Flag of England.svg Billy Mitchell 5,753

"Championship of the World" Tournaments

DateWinnerScoreRunner-upScore
January 1889 Flag of England.svg Billy Mitchell
February 1890 Flag of England.svg William Peall
March 1891 Flag of England.svg William Peall

Billiard Association tournament World Championships

All-in

DateWinnerScoreRunner-upScore
April 1892 Flag of England.svg William Peall 5,000 Flag of England.svg Billy Mitchell 1,755

Spot-barred

DateWinnerScoreRunner-upScore
April 1892 Flag of England.svg Billy Mitchell 3,000 Flag of England.svg John North 2,697
February 1893 Flag of England.svg Billy Mitchell 9,000 Flag of England.svg John North 7,525
January 1894 Flag of England.svg Billy Mitchell 9,000 Flag of England.svg Charles Dawson 8,163

Billiard Association challenge World Championships

DateWinnerScoreRunner-upScore
January 1899 Flag of England.svg Charles Dawson 9,000 Flag of England.svg John North 4,715
April 1900 Flag of England.svg Charles Dawson 9,000 Flag of England.svg Harry Stevenson 6,775
January 1901 Flag of England.svg Harry Stevenson 9,000 Flag of England.svg Charles Dawson 6,406
April 1901 Flag of England.svg Charles Dawson 9,000 Flag of England.svg Harry Stevenson 5,796
November 1901 Flag of England.svg Harry Stevenson  Declared Champion 
March 1903 Flag of England.svg Charles Dawson 9,000 Flag of England.svg Harry Stevenson 8,700
1908 Flag of England.svg Melbourne Inman  Declared Champion 
March 1909 Flag of England.svg Melbourne Inman 9,000 Flag of England.svg Albert Williams 7,662
April 1909 Flag of England.svg Harry Stevenson  Declared Champion 
October 1910 Flag of England.svg Harry Stevenson 18,000 Flag of England.svg Melbourne Inman 16,907

Billiard Association tournament World Championships

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

Post-WWII challenge World Championships

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

WPBSA World Championships

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

World Billiards Ltd World Championships

DateFormatWinnerScoreRunner-upScore
2012Short [7] Flag of India.svg Rupesh Shah 6 Flag of Australia.svg Matthew Bolton 2
Timed [8] Flag of India.svg Pankaj Advani 1,895 Flag of England.svg Mike Russell 1,216
2013Short [9] Flag of England.svg David Causier 6 Flag of India.svg Alok Kumar 1
Long [10] Flag of Singapore.svg Peter Gilchrist 1,500 Flag of England.svg David Causier 1,085
2014Short [11] Flag of India.svg Pankaj Advani 6 Flag of Singapore.svg Peter Gilchrist 2
Timed [12] Flag of India.svg Pankaj Advani 1,928 Flag of England.svg Robert Hall 893
2015Short [13] Flag of England.svg David Causier 6 Flag of England.svg Robert Hall 1
Long [14] Flag of England.svg David Causier 1,500 Flag of Singapore.svg Peter Gilchrist 1,277
2016Short Flag of England.svg David Causier 8 Flag of India.svg Dhruv Sitwala 6
Timed Flag of England.svg Mike Russell 2,224 Flag of England.svg David Causier 1,115
2017Short Flag of England.svg David Causier 8 Flag of India.svg Sourav Kothari 4
Long Flag of England.svg David Causier 1,500 Flag of Singapore.svg Peter Gilchrist 779
2018Timed Flag of India.svg Sourav Kothari 1,134 Flag of Singapore.svg Peter Gilchrist 944

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References

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