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  • International Championship 2012

    Right, another month has passed and a new snooker week is about to start. I'm not sure why this event doesn't have a section of its own, but I guess it doesn't really matter, because we usually don't get much discussion for the Chinese events...

    It should be a good one anyway, the first best-of-11 ranking event since I've been following snooker, other than last year's UK Championship. It's going to be early morning snooker again, but I think I'll be watching most of the action.

    The draw seems surprisingly unbalanced in this event. Let's have a look at it...

    Quarter 1:

    Ronnie O'Sullivan v. M.White/Lu H.
    Graeme Dott v. Dominic Dale
    Matthew Stevens v. K.Doherty/Zhao X.
    Neil Robertson v. Ryan Day

    A strong seed missing in the first quarter, with O'Sullivan's absence, so that only leaves Neil Robertson of the really big players, and we know how vulnerable he can be in the Chinese events. So, who will take advantage? Perhaps it's time for Graeme Dott to have a good run. It should be an interesting 1st round battle between two former Chinese winners, the 2007 Shanghai Masters and China Open champions. Dott has already reached two ranking quarter-finals this season, so I make him the favourite in this part of the draw. The two young players could also take advantage of the weakened opposition, particularly Lu Haotian who is getting more and more experienced with each wildcard appearance.

    Neil Robertson has not enjoyed a great season so far, at least not in the major events, and it's unlikely he will play his best here. But then again, this is quite a big event, with a lot of money available, so it just might get him interested. Ryan Day could be a tricky opponent in the 1st round, a player with lots of firepower on his day, and a good traveler as well. Matthew Stevens also still waits for his first strong run since the WC, and this could be a good opportunity. The draw already looks like it's opened up, even before the tournament has started, so I guess Doherty will fancy his chances as well.

    Quarter 2:

    Shaun Murphy v. Andrew Higginson
    Ding Junhui v. Zhou Yuelong
    Martin Gould v. Marco Fu
    Mark Williams v. Mark Davis

    The second quarter looks much stronger on paper, with a couple of really big names, but I think it looks stronger than it actually is. Murphy and Ding can both be disastrous in China, particularly Ding who has lost in the 1st round of both Chinese events this season. Luckily for him, there isn't a Mark King or a Mark Davis lurking around in his part of the draw, so he should come through if he shows decent form. Murphy is probably in greater danger, facing Andrew Higginson in the 1st round, but he played well in Shanghai to reach the semi-finals, so he should be considered the man to beat. If Murphy and Ding do meet this time, I think that would be sufficient motivation for Ding to try to find some magic, particularly as he's had a bit of a rivalry with Murphy in recent seasons.

    We have four more strong players here... Marco Fu is making his first Chinese appearance of the season here, with quite a poor record in China in the past. He played well to reach the semi-finals in Australia, so he does still have the ability to go far in tournaments. On the other hand, Martin Gould is still not comfortable in these early rounds as the seeded player, so it should be an interesting match. I think both players are at their best once they can play themselves into a tournament. Mark Davis on the other hand is usually a strong starter, and a very consistent performer these days, with two ranking semi-finals to his name already this season. He did lose in the 1st round in Shanghai however, against Mark Williams. I guess Williams is getting back to some sort of form, it took a strong Trump to take him out in Shanghai. And with such a strong record in China, I think Williams is the favourite here, not just in this quarter, but probably the entire top half as well.

    Quarter 3:

    Judd Trump v. F.O'Brien/Chen F.
    Stuart Bingham v. A.Mehta/Zhu Y.
    Mark Allen v. Robert Milkins
    John Higgins v. Cao Y./Wang Y.

    I think the bottom half is much stronger in this tournament, because it features most of the players with good records in China. First we have the two beaten finalists in Wuxi and Shanghai, Bingham and Trump, probably in another round of their recent rivalry. I think they probably will meet in the 2nd round, as they both have quite a reasonable draw. Obviously an in-form Trump is the stronger player, but it will be interesting to see how he responds to losing the Shanghai final from 7-2 up. The qualifiers and wildcards here don't look too dangerous, but you never know when the favourites will be out of sorts.

    The second part of this quarter is very intriguing. John Higgins comes to this event on the back of some great form from Shanghai, but also with the curse of being the most recent winner. A lot of players will be looking looking to take him out. I'm sure we're all interested in how Cao Yupeng plays this season, after a good run in the WC. He did alright in Australia, reaching the last16, but I'm sure a home win against John Higgins would really raise his profile. Mark Allen could be a real dangerman here... He played good stuff in the PTC in Belgium, but he is still waiting for his first good run in the major events this season. It's been well established that he doesn't care for China, but he's usually produced good snooker on his travels, and I have a feeling he might get through here. Robert Milkins is also not to be underestimated of course. He showed us what he could do at the World Open last season, where he beat Higgins on his run to the semi-finals.

    Quarter 4:

    Stephen Maguire v. J.Burnett/Niu Z.
    Stephen Lee v. Peter Ebdon
    Ricky Walden v. B.Pinches/Lu N.
    Mark Selby v. Allister Carter

    The last quarter is also slightly weakened, because Stephen Lee would have been a strong contender to get through. First we have the controversial pairing of Maguire and Burnett... Well, Burnett has two good scalps to his name this season, Robertson and Selby, and he is a former finalist in Shanghai, so he won't be an easy opponent. On the other hand, Maguire hasn't produced anything yet in the major events, and this is really the kind of quarter he should be winning if he wants to be a major player again. Peter Ebdon? Good form recently, a final in Australia to go with his China Open title, but also a loss to Maguire in the 1st round in Shanghai. Best-of-11 is not exactly a long format, but it is longer than usual, and it will probably suit both Ebdon and Maguire.

    The final part of the draw features the most promising match of the 1st round, Selby against Carter. Neither player has played their best in the major events this season, and I guess it's not a very nice draw for Selby who is looking for a good result here. It will be interesting to see how Carter plays as a qualifier, after several years in the top16. He's had a habit of losing early in tournaments recently, but he's also had a couple of good runs, even in China. These two are both former Shanghai Masters champions, and when Carter won in 2010 he thrashed Selby in the semi-final. In fact, this is not a particularly common pairing, even though both players were at the top of the rankings in recent seasons. Ricky Walden is another former Shanghai champion, and of course the reigning Wuxi Classic champion, a real China specialist. I'm sure he will play a good tournament, so it should definitely take an in-form Selby or Carter to take him out. I can't see anyone else going through here, but Lu is certainly someone I would like to see again, so I hope he gets on TV here.

    Possible QF lineup:

    Graeme Dott v. Ryan Day
    Ding Junhui v. Mark Williams
    Judd Trump v. Mark Allen
    Stephen Maguire v. Mark Selby


    There we are, it looks quite promising... I'll be up in the morning to watch it. I just hope it's not an empty arena again.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Odrl View Post
    Right, another month has passed and a new snooker week is about to start. I'm not sure why this event doesn't have a section of its own, but I guess it doesn't really matter, because we usually don't get much discussion for the Chinese events...

    It should be a good one anyway, the first best-of-11 ranking event since I've been following snooker, other than last year's UK Championship. It's going to be early morning snooker again, but I think I'll be watching most of the action.

    The draw seems surprisingly unbalanced in this event. Let's have a look at it...

    Quarter 1:

    Ronnie O'Sullivan v. M.White/Lu H.
    Graeme Dott v. Dominic Dale
    Matthew Stevens v. K.Doherty/Zhao X.
    Neil Robertson v. Ryan Day

    A strong seed missing in the first quarter, with O'Sullivan's absence, so that only leaves Neil Robertson of the really big players, and we know how vulnerable he can be in the Chinese events. So, who will take advantage? Perhaps it's time for Graeme Dott to have a good run. It should be an interesting 1st round battle between two former Chinese winners, the 2007 Shanghai Masters and China Open champions. Dott has already reached two ranking quarter-finals this season, so I make him the favourite in this part of the draw. The two young players could also take advantage of the weakened opposition, particularly Lu Haotian who is getting more and more experienced with each wildcard appearance.

    Neil Robertson has not enjoyed a great season so far, at least not in the major events, and it's unlikely he will play his best here. But then again, this is quite a big event, with a lot of money available, so it just might get him interested. Ryan Day could be a tricky opponent in the 1st round, a player with lots of firepower on his day, and a good traveler as well. Matthew Stevens also still waits for his first strong run since the WC, and this could be a good opportunity. The draw already looks like it's opened up, even before the tournament has started, so I guess Doherty will fancy his chances as well.

    Quarter 2:

    Shaun Murphy v. Andrew Higginson
    Ding Junhui v. Zhou Yuelong
    Martin Gould v. Marco Fu
    Mark Williams v. Mark Davis

    The second quarter looks much stronger on paper, with a couple of really big names, but I think it looks stronger than it actually is. Murphy and Ding can both be disastrous in China, particularly Ding who has lost in the 1st round of both Chinese events this season. Luckily for him, there isn't a Mark King or a Mark Davis lurking around in his part of the draw, so he should come through if he shows decent form. Murphy is probably in greater danger, facing Andrew Higginson in the 1st round, but he played well in Shanghai to reach the semi-finals, so he should be considered the man to beat. If Murphy and Ding do meet this time, I think that would be sufficient motivation for Ding to try to find some magic, particularly as he's had a bit of a rivalry with Murphy in recent seasons.

    We have four more strong players here... Marco Fu is making his first Chinese appearance of the season here, with quite a poor record in China in the past. He played well to reach the semi-finals in Australia, so he does still have the ability to go far in tournaments. On the other hand, Martin Gould is still not comfortable in these early rounds as the seeded player, so it should be an interesting match. I think both players are at their best once they can play themselves into a tournament. Mark Davis on the other hand is usually a strong starter, and a very consistent performer these days, with two ranking semi-finals to his name already this season. He did lose in the 1st round in Shanghai however, against Mark Williams. I guess Williams is getting back to some sort of form, it took a strong Trump to take him out in Shanghai. And with such a strong record in China, I think Williams is the favourite here, not just in this quarter, but probably the entire top half as well.

    Quarter 3:

    Judd Trump v. F.O'Brien/Chen F.
    Stuart Bingham v. A.Mehta/Zhu Y.
    Mark Allen v. Robert Milkins
    John Higgins v. Cao Y./Wang Y.

    I think the bottom half is much stronger in this tournament, because it features most of the players with good records in China. First we have the two beaten finalists in Wuxi and Shanghai, Bingham and Trump, probably in another round of their recent rivalry. I think they probably will meet in the 2nd round, as they both have quite a reasonable draw. Obviously an in-form Trump is the stronger player, but it will be interesting to see how he responds to losing the Shanghai final from 7-2 up. The qualifiers and wildcards here don't look too dangerous, but you never know when the favourites will be out of sorts.

    The second part of this quarter is very intriguing. John Higgins comes to this event on the back of some great form from Shanghai, but also with the curse of being the most recent winner. A lot of players will be looking looking to take him out. I'm sure we're all interested in how Cao Yupeng plays this season, after a good run in the WC. He did alright in Australia, reaching the last16, but I'm sure a home win against John Higgins would really raise his profile. Mark Allen could be a real dangerman here... He played good stuff in the PTC in Belgium, but he is still waiting for his first good run in the major events this season. It's been well established that he doesn't care for China, but he's usually produced good snooker on his travels, and I have a feeling he might get through here. Robert Milkins is also not to be underestimated of course. He showed us what he could do at the World Open last season, where he beat Higgins on his run to the semi-finals.

    Quarter 4:

    Stephen Maguire v. J.Burnett/Niu Z.
    Stephen Lee v. Peter Ebdon
    Ricky Walden v. B.Pinches/Lu N.
    Mark Selby v. Allister Carter

    The last quarter is also slightly weakened, because Stephen Lee would have been a strong contender to get through. First we have the controversial pairing of Maguire and Burnett... Well, Burnett has two good scalps to his name this season, Robertson and Selby, and he is a former finalist in Shanghai, so he won't be an easy opponent. On the other hand, Maguire hasn't produced anything yet in the major events, and this is really the kind of quarter he should be winning if he wants to be a major player again. Peter Ebdon? Good form recently, a final in Australia to go with his China Open title, but also a loss to Maguire in the 1st round in Shanghai. Best-of-11 is not exactly a long format, but it is longer than usual, and it will probably suit both Ebdon and Maguire.

    The final part of the draw features the most promising match of the 1st round, Selby against Carter. Neither player has played their best in the major events this season, and I guess it's not a very nice draw for Selby who is looking for a good result here. It will be interesting to see how Carter plays as a qualifier, after several years in the top16. He's had a habit of losing early in tournaments recently, but he's also had a couple of good runs, even in China. These two are both former Shanghai Masters champions, and when Carter won in 2010 he thrashed Selby in the semi-final. In fact, this is not a particularly common pairing, even though both players were at the top of the rankings in recent seasons. Ricky Walden is another former Shanghai champion, and of course the reigning Wuxi Classic champion, a real China specialist. I'm sure he will play a good tournament, so it should definitely take an in-form Selby or Carter to take him out. I can't see anyone else going through here, but Lu is certainly someone I would like to see again, so I hope he gets on TV here.

    Possible QF lineup:

    Graeme Dott v. Ryan Day
    Ding Junhui v. Mark Williams
    Judd Trump v. Mark Allen
    Stephen Maguire v. Mark Selby


    There we are, it looks quite promising... I'll be up in the morning to watch it. I just hope it's not an empty arena again.

    sure theres not a mark davis in his quarter
    Goddess Of All Things Cue Sports And Winner Of The 2012 German Masters and World Open Fantasy Games and the overall 2011-12 Fantasy Game

    Comment


    • #3
      Well yes, I was thinking of the 1st round basically. There's Murphy and Williams as well, so it's far from easy.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wonder would Pankaj Advani get a bigger audience for billiards than competing in this? After beating J Higgins it wouldn't surprise me if he turned Ding over too.
        They've still got Mehta though,Bingham got enough wad from the prem league

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by trains View Post
          I wonder would Pankaj Advani get a bigger audience for billiards than competing in this? After beating J Higgins it wouldn't surprise me if he turned Ding over too.
          They've still got Mehta though,Bingham got enough wad from the prem league
          hes already withdrawn ironically an asian player withdrawing from an asian tournament
          Goddess Of All Things Cue Sports And Winner Of The 2012 German Masters and World Open Fantasy Games and the overall 2011-12 Fantasy Game

          Comment


          • #6
            thought it was supposed to start at 6:30 this morning?

            EDIT Eurospprt player dont seem to be playing it not even on their special streams
            Last edited by LittleMissAlexa; 28th October 2012, 07:43 AM.
            Goddess Of All Things Cue Sports And Winner Of The 2012 German Masters and World Open Fantasy Games and the overall 2011-12 Fantasy Game

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah, a bit annoying. I suppose Eurosport will be showing highlights of Murphy's match later in the morning, which is not too bad.

              Comment


              • #8
                first century from Zhao Xintong the first of his young career

                at least i thought he did not been updated yet so dont know how many zhao scored
                Last edited by LittleMissAlexa; 28th October 2012, 08:07 AM.
                Goddess Of All Things Cue Sports And Winner Of The 2012 German Masters and World Open Fantasy Games and the overall 2011-12 Fantasy Game

                Comment


                • #9
                  Finally some streaming available. I'll be watching the Chinese match.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cao Yupeng is really struggling today. Wang isn't playing brilliantly either, but he doesn't look like he can lose this match at the moment. The winner plays John Higgins in the 1st round proper, which would be a great occasion for both of them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LittleMissAlexa View Post
                      thought it was supposed to start at 6:30 this morning?

                      EDIT Eurospprt player dont seem to be playing it not even on their special streams
                      ES player is streaming two tv-tables.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Looki View Post
                        ES player is streaming two tv-tables.
                        they didnt start until 10 minutes after i posted that
                        Goddess Of All Things Cue Sports And Winner Of The 2012 German Masters and World Open Fantasy Games and the overall 2011-12 Fantasy Game

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That's better from Cao, a nice 86 to take the frame in one visit. Should put some pressure on Wang.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            i must of been mistaken when i saw 104 in red under the frame score of Zhao Xintong
                            Goddess Of All Things Cue Sports And Winner Of The 2012 German Masters and World Open Fantasy Games and the overall 2011-12 Fantasy Game

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This has turned into a really good match. A century for Cao to force the decider, but Wang hasn't cracked yet, it could go either way.

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