China championship qualifiers review

If you ask any player in the modern game what is their least favourite experience and the response would be the qualifiers. Whether you are a player who is fighting to get onto the tour or remain on it, the nerves start to jangle when they have to travel to a venue where in reality they would rather escape through the nearest fire exit. History has produced the likes of the Norbreck Hotel or Prestatyn holiday camp where players were cramped into qualifying cubicles in large, cold rooms for hours on end, playing multiple opponents that ultimately could lead to defeat when they crawl though, mentally battered and bruised to the first round.

Another location that has made the headlines in recent days is the Barnsley Metrodome. This is a place that people loathe to travel to but unfortunately if they want to get to the first round of the China Championship, this is a must. With qualifiers come heartache and several of the greats have fallen by the wayside as a result. Early casualties have been Stuart Bingham beaten by Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown, 5-3 and Ali Carter lost to Alexander Ursenbacher from Switzerland. Bingham especially has a few qualifying scars this season with Bingham losing two of three of the first events of the season. He also missed out on the Riga Masters. The 2015 champion will now have to wait for the Six Reds Championship in Thailand at the start of September and the Shanghai Masters the following week for a chance to win more silverware.

Jordan Brown who had an impressive 5-3 victory over Stuart Bingham

Other players who nearly fell over the snooker precipice are John Higgins who crawled across the line against the rejuvenated Andy Hicks, 5-4 and Barry Hawkins who found himself behind in his match against Barry Pinches but fortunately came back in the match to win, 5-3. However it wasn’t to be the same outcome for Jimmy White who sadly lost to the rapidly improving Hossein Vafaei from Iran. White twice led in the match 3-1 and 4-2 but Vafaei reeled off the last three frames to win 5-4. This left White still trying to reach the first round of a 2019/20 event. Better news for Jimmy is that he is the newly crowned world seniors champion after a 5-3 victory over Darren Morgan at the iconic Crucible Theatre. player Kurt Maflin kept up his impressive start to the season with a 5-2 victory over Billy Joe Castle. Kurt fired in breaks of 54, 71,74 and 75 on route to victory and here is what he had to say to reporter Curtis Braithwaite after the game….

Unfortunately qualifiers are a must for players and the cruel aspect makes or breaks a player. Some might agree and others not with the system but it definitely creates players that are hardened to the knocks of snooker and can inevitably progress a player to the new or established territory of the match tournament setup. Any player’s career will have ups and downs but it the wins that they want to remember and not the defeats. This sport can be cruel but any player knows that they will have to play out of their skin to raise a trophy. Otherwise they will be buried beneath the snooker history books of time, a distant memory and forgotten.

Performance of the week goes to Alexander Ursenbacher who produced a fine display of long potting and kept his cool to win the deciding frame against Ali Carter and here is that match for you to enjoy….

China Championship qualifying results

Thursday August 15

Chris Wakelin 5-2 Lee Walker

Kurt Maflin 5-2 Billy Joe Castle

Mark Davis 2-5 Luo Honghao

David Gilbert 5-2 Peter Lines

Joe Perry 5-4 Alfie Burden


Mark King 5-1 Rod Lawler

Anthony Hamilton 5-4 Alex Borg

Mark Allen 5-1 Eden Sharav

Hossein Vafaei 5-4 Jimmy White

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 5-0 Soheil Vahedi


Martin Gould 5-3 Ashley Carty

Ryan Day 5-4 Duane Jones

Mark Williams 5-1 Andy Lee

Mike Dunn 5-2 Thor Chuan Leong

Friday August 16

Lu Ning 5-1 Igor Figueiredo

Scott Donaldson 5-1 Adam Stefanow

Martin O’Donnell 5-3 Steve Mifsud

Xiao Guodong 5-1 Peifan Lei

Barry Hawkins 5-3 Barry Pinches


Ali Carter 4-5 Alexander Ursenbacher

Peter Ebdon 3-5 Sam Baird

Zhao Xintong 5-3 David Grace

Liang Wenbo 3-5 Mitchell Mann

Lyu Haotian 5-3 Louis Heathcote


Liam Highfield 5-2 Si Jiahui

John Higgins 5-4 Andy Hicks

Andrew Higginson 5-4 John Astley

Stuart Bingham 3-5 Jordan Brown

Michael White 3-5 Joe O’Connor

Saturday August 17


Li Hang 5-0 Bai Langning

Sunny Akani 5-0 Simon Lichtenberg

Graeme Dott 5-4 Jackson Page

Noppon Saengkham 5-0 Nigel Bond

Robbie Williams 5-1 Fraser Patrick


Yuan SiJun 5-4 Craig Steadman

Shaun Murphy 5-2 Fan Zhengyi

Ben Woollaston 5-3 Zhang Jiankang

Fergal O’Brien 4-5 Kishan Hirani

Luca Brecel 5-1 Zhang Anda


Matthew Selt 5-1 Kacper Filipiak

Neil Robertson 5-3 Gerard Greene

Ricky Walden 5-3 Xu Si

Matthew Stevens 5-3 Jamie O’Neill

Stephen Maguire 5-3 Ian Burns

Sunday August 18

Gary Wilson 3-5 Jak Jones

Mark Joyce 5-4 Elliot Slessor

Marco Fu 5-4 James Cahill

Daniel Wells 5-2 Chang Bingyu

Anthony McGill 5-1 Chen Zifan


AlanMcManus 4-5 Tian Pengfei

Kyren Wilson 5-1 Jamie Clarke

Michael Holt 5-1 David Lilley

Stuart Carrington 4-5 Harvey Chandler

Zhou Yuelong 5-0 Riley Parsons


Robert Milkins 4-5 Sam Craigie

Jimmy Robertson 2-5 Dominic Dale

Jack Lisowski 5-0 Oliver Lines

Michael Georgiou 4-5 Hammad Miah