The China Open deserves to be regarded as more than just a warm-up for the Betfred.com World Championship but its slot in the calendar hardly helps its cause.

There’s been two months between the Welsh Open and the Beijing event but only two weeks between China and the Crucible.

Playing well at the China Open is no guarantee of success in Sheffield. The last player to win the final ranking event before the World Championship was John Higgins in 1998. He captured the British Open and then the Big One a few weeks later.

This year’s China Open is sponsored by Sanyuan Foods, a huge company, and the players will be treated to a red carpet opening ceremony on Sunday.

Peter Ebdon defends the title he won against the formbook a year ago when he emerged from a serious slump to beat Higgins 10-8 in the final.

Some players in the field haven’t had a competitive game for over two months, Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby included.

Others, such as Tony Drago, have been enjoying success in the qualifiers while a number of players will end their seasons in Beijing rather than at the Crucible.

The first prize is a not inconsiderable £55,000.

Eurosport’s live coverage starts at 7.30am UK time on Monday with Mark Davis v Tian Pengfei in the wildcard round.


mathmo said...

Hi Dave,
Do you know which match eurosport are planning to show in the afternoon?


Dave H said...

We get what we're given. I think it's Rory McLeod's match.

Anonymous said...

i think the China Open should be given higher status and played sooner in the season.

its time the china open plays to the UK Championship format with best of 17 frame matches.

Anonymous said...

I'll never forget last years presentation ceremony when for some strange reason they presented John Higgins with a toy car, a plastic bull, a bunch of flowers and a million pieces of paper!!

Anonymous said...

Longer matches are the last thing snooker needs!

jamie brannon said...

There are a few decent wildcards,but there should be none. I hope the tornado can blow through, he should do, but I fancy Tian Pengfei to beat Mark Davis.

Anonymous said...

"Longer matches are the last thing snooker needs!"


thats what snooker needs despratly.

during the golden age we had best of 25 and 23 ranking finals we had best of 17 semi finals and we had best of 31 UK Final.

then we reduced frames and snooker lost popularity.

it goes hand and glove snooker was ment to be played over longer matches short matches does not work.

Anonymous said...

Snooker became big on TV because of Pot Black - played over one frame

Anonymous said...

-3.37 pm thats utter rubbish snooker really boomed after 1985 final and it was a best of 35 frame match, longer matches make for more drama, i so think that the uk must be back to 31 or at least 25

Anonymous said...

And how many frames of that match do people remember?

Anonymous said...

Snooker became big because of Jim Davidson's Big Break. That was top notch TV, on our screens every Saturday, and a great advert for our game. We got to see the great characters in our game, something sadly lacking from today's players.

Anonymous said...

Snooker peaked before big break

Anonymous said...

There are no characters in the game today, where are all the Cliff Thorburns, Eddie Charltons and Graham Miles?
Replaced by robots.
Be careful you don't blow a fuse Ronnie O'Robot!!

Anonymous said...

"Snooker became big on TV because of Pot Black - played over one frame"

pot black introduced us to the players let the public get to know who the players was but in terms of popularity the sport exploded with the World Championship and before 1985 because if it wasn't popular beforehand 18 million after midnight wouldn't have tuned in.

Rick said...

Variety is the spice of life I say, lets have all kinds of different formats: international team events, pairs, with or without the time clock, long matches, short matches, even aggregate to count might have a place somewhere (maybe in the team event?). Perhaps even a tournament where the crowd is allowed to express itself freely during the match (though maybe China is already like that lol). A random draw event, maybe even a dreaded round robin event or a pro handicap event which might suit the bookies, one price for all!! 15 reds, 6 reds, pro-celebrity snooker, try everything and the wide spectrum will surely catch the publics imagination somewhere along the line. Then we can cut out the ones which dont work and keep a varied programme of things which do.

Anonymous said...

Snooker got big because of the 1978 world championship, where every ball potted was shown live on the bbc. After this the sport was booming.

Anonymous said...

Today's players do have character, they just don't get the chance to show it. By the way, it's great to see the provisional calendar on the WS website.

Anonymous said...

surprised youve not been blogging about the agipi this year dave

CHRISK5 said...

Just checked out the provisional 2010/2011 calendar.

Interesting that the new 'ranking event' in Germany is only pencilled in for a miniscule 4 days! - you would think it should have been a 6 or 7 day event to classify for legit ranking status.

Also,the marathon World Championships still schedueled for 17 days - instead of a preferred & reduced 14 days.

I realise it's only the provisional calendar.

Let's hope it gets some suttle changes before it's the confirmed scheduele for 2010/2011.

southerner said...

I've just checked the World Snooker site, and there is no provisional 2010/11 calendar there!

Dave H said...

It's here: http://www.worldsnooker.com/china_open10_news-136122.htm?tid=152

It might have been an idea if they'd have explained what the events were and which would be televised etc, but it basically means at least 12 TV tournaments plus the new Pro Tour and the players playing all year round

We'll see now if that's really what they want after years saying it is

Rick said...

Looks like there is no team event this year then which is a bit disappointing as I had heard rumours of it returning, used to really enjoy those international set-tos.

jamie brannon said...

Also I look forward to the next snooker scene on the new calendar. Why have they changed the name of the Grand Prix, it didnt work before and I'm not keen on the World moniker being used outside the Crucible.

Also good decision to go back to the SECC for it.

What I want most explaining in the mag or in one of your posts is the complextites of the three Pro Tours.

I can see what 11 of the TV events are (World Champ, UK Champ, Masters, World Open, Premier League, China Open, Shanghai Masters, European Masters, Welsh Open, Sky Shootout, Players finals) but the other one I can't.

All in all it looks tasty, and the August start is good news as not too long a wait.

Thinking about it the Wuxi Classic may be the other one as that is the same event as the Jiangsu Classic I think.

Just so I can fulfil my need to be pedantic, the latest Snooker Scene says that O'Sullivan was the last player to win back to back ranking events, he is but he did more recently than 2004. In 2008 he won the World title followed by the Northern Ireland Trophy.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

(Cheers Chris) but we didn't have to wait long. The provisional calendar is out! This is a fantastic statement already by the new board. For so many reasons. Dave, am sure your pouring over the material like many of us, so just for now, can you tell me what the difference is between

Player Tour Championship
World Player Tour Championship
Euro Players Tour Championship

Will the new World Open (Grand Prix,) carry ranking points, and welsh,china,shanghai,uk,masters and world all stay. New German tournament tells me that this is the end of the world series innovation - which frankly didn't work anyway. This is a much better model.

Briefly, how do the BBC or IMG Sports fit into this now, and is it the end of Prestatyn for a qualifying venue. Everything seems to be coming to the Academy which makes sense.

I have so many questions but, suffice it to say, that'll do for now. It's just fantastic to be looking at a calendar in the future (that probably won't be changed much/unlike the previous boards,) and for all snooker to be on the one calendar and not having to go elsewhere to check dates for example...Premier snooker league.

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

I'll be explaining the background to the calendar next week after I'm done with the 3 cuashion billiards - the Agipi event as mentioned, which is live on Eurosport 2 this weekend

jamie brannon said...

Call me naive, but I can't see why they would not vote for this. Then again there was that Altium thing.

Anonymous said...

I suspect 110 will be against it, in revenge for he Altium flop.
From what I have read a few 40 to 64 ranked players might vote against also.
I would hope they will think again.

Anonymous said...

jamie, youre naive

CHRISK5 said...

I knew the Grand Prix was getting rebranded again - I agree with Jamie that the World Open & it's brand clashing with the World Champs is quite mystifying.

Surely,names like Classic,International,Matchplay or even Global Open would have made it's title distinctively different.

The 3 new World,European & Player Championships format would work - if they carried some kind of ranking merit.

Without any ranking points or merit from those 3 tour events - They would basically be glorified invitationals! (wait & see though)

It's seems a reasonable package overall - but could be better.

The provisional calendar is only a half-baked subplot though.

Yet to be revealed is the more important stuff (ie) exact formats for each event - whether the ranking system is to be modified -the size of the pro circuit etc.

Anonymous said...

Where's the Grand Prix?

Anonymous said...

Players 'running' the sport has been the reason it's not been as successful as it should have been

Watch them wreck it again

Anonymous said...

7:19PM Its on tomorrow (Sunday)
6am bbc1 live from Melbourne.

CHRISK5 said...

Firstly - I really do like the idea of the rebranded Grand Prix event moving from October to September.

However,even if the World Champs & 'World Open' are massively different in frame formats - dresscodes - one having a shot clock or not.

Whichever way you camouflauge it.

Having 2 tournaments on the (ranking) calendar with almost identical title names - is just plain wrong baby.

In fact,it really is the no-no or faux-pas of brand identity & marketing!

If that can't be 'sorted' - then what hope is there for all other aspects falling neatly into place ? (very little I imagine)

Snooker is getting sabotaged from within if it can't think of 10 or 15 other tournament names that would be more appropriate than the World Open.

Greg P said...

Calm down Chris. Yeah it's a bit of a gaffe to give it such a similar name. But it's not the end of the, er, world.

You've got a good point though I hope Barry sees this.

Anonymous said...

CHRISK5 - who exactly are you? I can say with reasonable confidence that your views are far removed from the average die hard snooker fan.

And what's all this about "the preferred 14 days" for the World Championships? The preferred is 17 days and if you're not in that camp then you're not a fan.

CHRISK5 said...

Anon @ 12.46pm - Hilarious - I'm not a fan of snooker because I think 17 days WC is too long ?!

Those that are 'intelligent' snooker followers realise that the major events still need tweaking a bit.

You seem to advocate that nothing should change.

Next time,display your real name & tell us what your views are - instead of hiding behind Anon.

At least I display my name & tell it how it is - Any changes I advocate for snooker are well thought out with many reasons & purposes for doing so & put them across in a highly intellectual manner.

For what it's worth,I know more about Snooker & everything else than you could ever dream of.

Anonymous said...

Blimey there are some incredibly touchy people on here lately. There is a difference between having a debate and just slagging someone off.

Anonymous said...

So your real name is CHRISK5, my name is Kevin make you feel hard does it by putting names up..


"For what it's worth,I know more about Snooker & everything else than you could ever dream of"


CHRISK5 said...

Anon Kevin - No - my real name is not CHRISK5 - It's a shortened abbreviation of my real name.

I'm also CHRISK5STAR & have many other aliases.

My geniune initials are CK.

Come on Kevin - Rise to the challenge of displaying your name on every contribution & comment on the many debates that are taking place right now - at the top of the blog page.

You would gain much more credibility if you put petty remarks aside & just contribute snooker only opinions.

Also,going back to the original issue - 17 days WC - Many players have advocated it reducing to seven days & also a one-day Final!?!?

With that comparison - I would say 14 days is a middle of the road sensible policy.

Kevin said...

Make you feel better Chris ffs you dont half go on.

"I'm also CHRISK5STAR & have many other aliases"

Why use other aliases its no better than ticking the anonymous box..

Anonymous said...

I am 12:46pm, snookerbacker knows who I am, the intials CK mean nothing to me nor does CHRISK5STAR but I do know this - I'm sick of seeing your name in the comments section of this blog.

"For what it's worth,I know more about Snooker & everything else than you could ever dream of."

Very foolish words. You have no idea who you're dealing with.

Dave H said...

Let's keep it friendly

It is the holy festival of easter ater all

CHRISK5 said...

Dave - I do hope Anon/Kevin or whoever it is - heeds your wise words of advice. (though I doubt it)

This guy is letting jealousy & envy cloud his judgement - of my quite reasonable & valid snooker views.

Does he think I'm too traditonalist or radical ? - The answer is......both of them!

Kevin said...

Dear Chrisk5 it was not not me who replied to you at 10:25am.