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article imageOp-Ed: Snooker - the Iranian connection

By Alexander Baron     Dec 4, 2011 in Sports
York - As the UK Snooker Championship kicks off in York, a 17-year-old Iranian wins the world amateur title. Could there be a lesson here in the light of recent disturbing developments on the political scene?
Yesterday, Saturday, the UK Snooker Championship began at the Barbican in York, and 5 times World Professional Snooker Champion Stephen Hendry crashed out in the first round, losing to Stephen Maguire by 6 frames to 3. Without taking anything away from the victor, this could be because the matches have been shortened. Defending champion John Higgins (who is also World Champion) complained earlier that “the tournament's reputation had been tarnished by the decision to shorten matches to best-of-11 frames until the semi-final”. Previously, matches had been the best of 17 frames.
Although a frame of snooker is not akin to flipping a coin, the standard across the board is now so high that in a one frame shoot out even a good club player could get lucky and beat the World Champion; by the same token, the longer a match, the more the pendulum swings in favour of the stronger player. Earlier this year, Higgins regained the world title with an 18-15 win over Judd Trump. When the legendary Joe Davis won the first ever World Professional Snooker Championship, in 1927, he beat Tom Dennis 20 frames to 11, and when he won it for the 15th and final time, in 1946, the score was 78-67 against Horace Lindrum. It is doubtful if even John Higgins would want to play over the best of 145 frames!
Meanwhile, eight thousand kilometres away in India - where snooker was invented - a 17 year old Iranian has picked up the world amateur title.
Hossein Ayouri beat Lee Walker of Wales in what was described as a marathon 10 hour final to win the IBSF World Snooker Championship by 10 frame to 9. Not only that, but there were no histrionics, no angry crowds, and no talk of either sanctions or nuclear weapons.
There must be a lesson here for our leaders; if the world's nations could settle their differences on the billiard table instead of on the battlefield or by bombing the living daylights out of each other, we might make some progress at last. In the meantime, please sign the petition against war with Iran.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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