English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : November 1998

The Amateur Billiard Player : November 1998

WORLD PROFESSIONAL BILLIARDS CHAMPIONSHIP

Ahmedabad, India (25th – 30th September 1998)

The Players and Seedings

Australia
Robert Foldvari (5)
England
Peter Sheehan
Ian Williamson (10)
Chris Shutt (15)
Bob Close (9)
Mike Russell (1)
Roxton Chapman (4)
Peter Gilchrist (3)
David Causier (6)
Eire
Eugene Hughes (16)
India
Ishmit Malik
Sushrut Pandia
Mukesh Rehani
Ahsan ul Haque
Chandresh Shah
Arvind Savur
Dhruv Sitwala
Arun Agrawal
Dinkar Akolkar
Satish Amarnath
Rupesh Shah
Manoj Kothari
Adiyta Goenka
B. Bhaskar
Nalin Patel
Michael Ferreira (13)
Alok Kumar (14)
Subhash Agrawal (11)
Ashok Shandilya (8)
Devendra Joshi (7)
Geet Sethi (2)

The Florsheim World Billiards Championship commenced on
Thursday 25th September at the Fortune Landmark Hotel,
Ahmedabad. With the draw seeded, the leading eight players were
exempt until the third round. The only English representative on the
opening day being Peter Sheehan, with the remainder of the line-up
involving local competitors.

First Round
1 x 2 hr. session
I. Malik (India)
582 (8.1)S. Pandia
250 (3.5)
M. Rehani (India)
97, 80, 70, 57, 50
824 (17.2)A. ul-Haque (India)
281 (5.7)
C. Shah (India)
113, 95, 66
648 (14.7)A. Savur (India)
96
519 (11.8)
P. Sheehan (England)
120, 105, 101, 97, 82, 40unf
794 (19.4)D. Sitwala (India)
52
348 (8.3)
A. Agrawal (India)
90, 82, 74, 68, 66
730 (17.0)D. Akolkar (India)
377 (8.5)
R. Shah (India)
134, 97, 86, 74
561 (18.7)S. Amarnath (India)
312 (10.4)
M. Kothari
w/o  A. Goenka
scr.  
B. Bhaskar
bye     

Peter Sheehan, the 23-year-old manager of the Widnes Snooker Centre,
found little opposition from local player Dhruv Sitwala, making three
centuries in the two hour match to win comfortably by 446 points.

Second Round
2 x 2 hr. session
M. Ferreira (India)
90, 82, 74, 56, 56
1,228 (12.8)C. Shah (India)
63, 61, 51, 50
900 (9.4)
I. Williamson (Eng)
105, 99, 90, 89, 88, 72, 58
1,037 (29.6)B. Bhaskar (India)
107, 77, 60, 56
619 (17.2)
R. Shah (India)
153, 141, 133, 125, 102, 102, 96
1,576 (42.6)B. Close (England)
79, 55, 52
663 (18.4)
S. Agrawal (India)
99, 88, 75, 73, 51
1,223 (11.0)M. Kothari (India)
91, 89, 81, 70, 58, 54
1,081 (9.7)
N. Patel (India)
310, 171, 144, 90, 79, 77, 91unf
1,739 (25.7)I. Malkik (India)
562 (8.3)
C. Shutt (England)
197, 147, 118, 111, 105, 59, 59
1,269 (17.6)M. Rehani (India)
109, 76, 62, 60
1,096 (15.2)
P. Sheehan (England)
213, 188, 151, 137, 111, 103, 79
1,726 (22.1)E. Hughes (Eire)
89, 60, 58, 54
791 (10.1)
A. Agrawal (India)
104, 103, 87, 75, 74, 70, 61, 57
1,155 (18.0)A. Kumar (India)
98, 92, 82, 63, 58
983 (15.1)

Eugene Hughes had been elevated to 16th seed due to the absence of
Mark Wildman, Rex Williams and Norman Dagley—who where all
ranked above him—and so escaped the requirement to play a first round
match. However, he may have felt the need for some match practice as
Peter Sheehan had edged to a 77 point advantage at the end of the first
session. After the interval Sheehan proceeded to sweep aside the
challenge of the Irishman with a string of big breaks. These included a
best of 213, and four other centuries, to record an average of 41 for the
last two hours, winning easily by almost a thousand points.

Bob Close made a surprise exit at the hands of unseeded Rupesh Shah.
He was always chasing the Indian player, who became stronger as the
game progressed, making six century breaks. Four of these, including
his best of 153, were made in the final session, where he averaged 53.3
to complete a great victory.

Chris Shutt made a good start in his match against Rehani, making
early breaks of 197 and 111. Following this with a break of 118 he
established a lead of almost 200 points at the interval. This turned out
to be the winning margin, as Chris held on to his advantage with Rehani

unable to make any significant impression on the Teessider.
The highlight of the round was a fine break of 310 by Nalin Patel,
which was made after he had already assured himself of a
comprehensive victory over fellow-countryman Ishmit Malkik.

Third Round
2 x 2 hr. session
M. Russell (England)
292, 198, 197, 184, 175, 151, 149, 120
2,119 (44.1)N. Patel (India)
685 (14.3)
C. Shutt (England)
196, 193, 97, 89, 84, 74, 67, 55, 53
1,480 (21.1)A. Shandilya (India)
113, 106, 102, 88, 67
1,261 (17.7)
P. Gilchrist (England)
218, 104, 100, 93, 87, 80, 72, 69
1,470 (31.9)P. Sheehan (England)
250, 192, 130, 98, 96, 87
1,115 (24.2)
D. Causier (England)
171, 120, 97, 97, 93, 92, 89, 66, 65
1,411 (21.1)A. Agrawal (India)
112, 99, 91, 89, 89, 75, 62, 61, 51
1,244 (18.8)
R. Foldvari (Aus)
152, 145, 133, 92, 92, 83, 71, 65unf
1,269 (27.6)M. Ferreira (India)
71
598 (13.0)
R. Chapman (Eng)
81, 74, 70, 67, 62, 54
755 (21.0)I. Williamson (Eng)
96, 94, 75, 67, 66, 57
703 (20.1)
D. Joshi (India)
210, 166, 136, 107, 102, 99, 93, 91
1,382 (39.5)R. Shah (India)
192, 109, 98, 96, 91, 76, 76, 71
1,109 (31.7)
G. Sethi (India)
308, 242, 173, 122, 99, 92, 92, 70
1,676 (30.5)S. Agrawal (India)
120, 91, 91, 78, 77, 75, 54
994 (17.7)

The third round saw the appearance of the “big guns” and in his first
match of the competition, Mike Russell set the standard to which the
other competitors would have to aspire, with a demolition of Nalin
Patel. He essentially won the match in the first session when he recorded
a break of 292 and five other centuries to leave his opponent training
by 1,190 points at the interval. Russell continued in similar fashion
after the restart to compile an aggregate of 2,119 in the four hour match.
Chris Shutt accounted for No.8 seed Ashok Shandilya, in a match very
similar to his previous game. A series of small breaks saw him grind
out a 250 point lead at the halfway stage. On the resumption, both
players found top gear, with Chris making early breaks of 196 and 193
to fend off a determined challenge by Shandilya, who made three
centuries himself.

No.3 seed, Peter Gilchrist looked to be in danger of joining Shandilya
as a spectator for the remainder of the competition, as Peter Sheehan
powered to a lead of 362 points just before the interval. This included
breaks 250, 192 and 98 by the youngster from Widnes. However,
Gilchrist responded with an unfinished break of 190, carrying this to
218 after the resumption, to bring him back within striking distance.
From this point Gilchrist dominated the game, and although Sheehan
added a break of 130, he could not match the consistency of the Teesside
player, who eventually won by 226 points.

David Causier completed a successful day for Teesside with a narrow
167 point victory over Arun Agrawal. The match was close throughout,
but Causier with breaks of 171, 120, 97 and 92 in the final session just
proved to be the stronger.

Fresh from his victory in the IBSF “Amateur” Championships Robby
Foldvari found himself matched against three-times World Amateur
Champion, Mike Ferreira. Foldvari established an early lead, helped
by a break of 145, and thereafter steadily drew away. Further breaks of
133 and 152 in the final session ensured victory for the Australian by
671 points.

Roxton Chapman only just managed to survive a gruelling encounter
with Ian Williamson, scraping home by just 52 points in a low scoring
match. Hardly a thrilling encounter from a spectator´s point of view,
most attention was focused on the adjoining table, where Geet Sethi—
playing in his home town—took on Subhash Agrawal. With a stylish

performance, Sethi became the second player in the tournament to
pass the triple century mark with a break of 308 in the first session.
Leading by 529 at the interval, Sethi added another break of 242 shortly
after the restart, and with the match won, he cruised to a comfortable
682 point victory.

Devendra Joshi with a top break of 210, and Rupesh Shah with a best
of 192, provided some consistently high scoring in an entertaining
match. However, Joshi always had the edge and with four additional
century breaks, finished 273 points clear of his countryman.

Quarter-finals
2 x 2 hr. sessions
M. Russell (England)
399, 276, 198, 156, 133, 124, 105, 98
1,947 (69.5)C. Shutt (England)
191, 166, 162, 144, 127, 59, 56
1,161 (41.4)
R. Foldvari (Aus)
376, 252, 137, 131, 112, 89, 53
1,254 (50.1)R. Chapman (Eng)
109, 82, 77, 72, 56, 51
668 (25.7)
D. Causier (England)
184, 99, 95, 85, 84, 76, 68, 63, 54
1,401 (21.2)P. Gilchrist (England)
170, 163, 152, 103, 78, 77, 71
1,204 (18.0)
G. Sethi (India)
394, 213, 196, 175, 137, 126, 113, 111
2,190 (50.9)D. Joshi (India)
148, 83, 77, 53, 53
774 (18.4)
Photo of Geet Sethi (9k)

Geet Sethi takes the World
Professional Championship for
the fourth time.

It seemed as though the triple century break by Sethi in the previous
round acted as a spur to Russell, who set a new standard in the
competition, falling just one point short of the 400 mark. It seems that
whenever Russell and Shutt meet an entertaining match ensues—and
this encounter was no exception! It took a late break of 276 by Russell
to give him a lead of 225 points approaching the interval. Shutt who
had previously made breaks of 144, 166 and 162, responded by playing
out time with 106 unfinished. On resuming, he took this break to 127,
which left him just 98 points behind and very much in the match. At
this point Russell showed why he is ranked No.1 in the World by
producing a magnificent and timely break of 399. Following this with
breaks of 198, 98, 156 and 124 he produced a second session average
of 81.1. Chris continued to play well—making his top break of 191—
but he was unable to match the power of Russell, and although he
finished with a match average of 41.4 he still found himself 786 points
behind at the final bell.

Robby Foldvari was in devastating form in his match against Roxton
Chapman. He demonstrated that he was a genuine championship
contender with an early break of 376, following this with breaks of
252 and 112 to make a first session average of 95.4, establishing a lead
of 614 points. Although Chapman fought back to outpoint the Australian
in the second session, he was unable to make sufficient inroads into
the deficit, and Foldvari progressed to a meeting with Russell in the
semi-final.

Sixth seed David Causier had every right to be pleased with his win
over World No.3 Peter Gilchrist. Although Peter made four century
breaks, Causier made the highest break of the match with 184, and
supporting this with numerous smaller contributions, proved the more
consistent of the two. This was the second time that Causier has reached
the semi-final of the game´s premier event, going through on this
occasion to meet Geet Sethi.

Causier was given some idea of what he could expect from his semi-
final opponent, when Sethi destroyed the hopes of Devendra Joshi
with early breaks of 213 and 196. Following these with two other
century breaks the three times champion had established an unassailable
684 point lead at the interval. Warming to his task, Sethi also threatened
the 400 break mark in the second session, falling just short with 394.
Joshi saved his best until last, making his only century break towards
the end of the match.

Semi-finals
2 x 2 hr. sessions
M. Russell (England)
489, 104, 86, 84, 51, 50, 50
1,151 (38.4)R. Foldvari (Aus)
121, 103, 83, 76, 61, 60, 60unf
755 (26.0)
G. Sethi (India)
403, 209, 186, 99, 83, 62
1,436 (33.4)D. Causier (England)
177, 114, 97, 95, 70, 67, 62, 51
1,265 (30.1)

IBSF Champion Robby Foldvari was looking to cause a major upset
as he managed to grind out a lead of 102 points at the interval of his
semi-final match against Russell. However, as Russell demonstrated
in the previous round, he is never more dangerous than when under
pressure. On the resumption of play the 29 year-old from Peterborough
proceeded to compile a magnificent break of 489 and, leaving Foldvari
with insufficient time to stage a comeback, cruised into the final.

David Causier was not in the least overawed by his formidable opponent
as he raced to a 400 point advantage over Geet Sethi, who required
breaks of 209 and 186 to establish a lead of just 30 points at the end of
the first session. Causier responded by raising his game even further to
produce breaks of 177 and 114, but a magnificent effort of 403 by
Sethi effectively ended his championship hopes for another year. Much
to the relief of the Sethi´s home-town supporters, he finished just 171
in front of the Middlesbrough player to set up a classic encounter with
Mike Russell.

Final
2 x 2 hr. sessions
G. Sethi (India)
302, 201, 167, 99, 88, 86, 82, 78
1,400 (38.8)M. Russell (England)
275, 201, 165, 104, 80, 74
1,015 (29.0)

The anticipated test between the world´s top two players saw a crowd
of 250 billiards enthusiasts packed into the match arena which had a
seating capacity for 140 people. A further 150 eager spectators, who
had been unable to gain entry, watched outside the hall as the match
was relayed to them on CCTV.

With breaks of 165 and 275,
Russell held an advantage of
109 points approaching the
interval. Sethi, who had failed
to make a century break up to
this stage, played out time with
a break of 33 unfinished to
leave the halfway score
standing a 608-532 in Russell´s
favour.

On the resumption, Sethi took
the initiative by extending his
unfinished break to 302, to the
delight of his many supporters.
However, as we see so often
with Russell, his response was
rapid. With breaks of 104, 74
and 201 he went to the front
once more, but subsequent runs
of 167 and 201 from 39 year-
old Sethi clinched the title and
the £10,400 first prize.
Sethi´s victory was his fourth
World title, the others having
been in 1992, 1993 and 1995.

The professional circuit now moves to the United Kingdom where the
next major tournament will be at the North Ormesby Institute in
Middlesbrough from 16th-19th November.


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