Indian Billiards Championship : In a final which didn’t reach great
heights, Alok Kumar beat Devendra Joshi over four hours, to win the
1999 Indian Billiards championship in January. The championship,
which is open to both professional and amateur players, was played
under the baulk-line rule.
Joshi started the match well and led 206-87 after ten visits. However
from then on Kumar took control, taking the lead on the 16th visit and
going to the interval with the score 536-476 in his favour. In the second
session, Kumar surged ahead to lead 860-491 after 35 visits. Joshi
closed the gap but lost 1,184-992. (Breaks : Kumar 115, 106; Joshi
In the 90 minute play-off for third, Ashok Shandilya beat Mohammad
Asim 671 -441. Shandilya, who had caused a major upset by eliminating
Geet Sethi in the quarter-finals, made a break of 205.
Indian Ladies Championship : The 7th Indian Ladies Billiards
Championship was played at the Indian Institute of Technology
Complex in the first week of 1999. In the final, which was best of 5 x
30 minutes, Farah Khan beat Amrita Mohapatra 3-2 (119-68, 72-110,
116-85, 91-112, 95-88). With this win, Khan won her third title in a
row, but as the scoreline suggests, the match could have gone either
way. “I have never played in such a close contest” said Farah, admitting
that Amrita should have won, but for a crucial mistake at the end of the
fifth and deciding game. So Amitra had to be content with the runner-
up spot for the second year running.