It’s Friday, which means a look back at some of the snooker news you may have missed over the last seven days.
Yan Bingtao Claims Maiden Ranking Title
The biggest snooker news of late was obviously the conclusion of the first ranking event of the campaign at the Riga Masters.
Yan Bingtao took advantage of non-entries, withdrawals, and no-shows to walk away with ranking silverware for the first time in his fledgling career.
The 19 year-old produced some top snooker and was fully deserving of the Latvian crown that could act as a stepping stone to greater success in the future.
In the final at the Arena Riga on Sunday, Yan beat Mark Joyce 5-2 to collect a £50,000 champion’s cheque, also guaranteeing a spot in this season’s lucrative Champion of Champions invitational.
The Passing of John Dee
There was more sombre snooker news as simultaneous to Yan’s breakthrough on Sunday was the filtering through of the death of one of the sport’s longest serving journalists.
John Dee, best known as the correspondent for the Telegraph newspaper from the 1980s through to the 2000s, died at the age of 82.
Dee was also the editor of Cue World magazine, had affiliations with many other major publications, and was a familiar figure behind the scenes at most of the tour’s events for decades.
Originally from Gloucester, Dee was an avid follower of the game and a player in local leagues.
Several other snooker journalists and players of the game paid their respects in the immediate aftermath of the announcement of his passing this week.
From the beginning of my proper involvement in Snooker John Dee was a permanent fixture. Helpful , dry sense of humour and passionate about the sport. RIP John – great memories.
— Barry Hearn (@BarryHearn) July 29, 2019
I’ve written this about John Dee, one of snooker’s longest serving journalists, who died yesterdayhttps://t.co/6QpucCuW5k
— David Hendon (@davehendon) July 29, 2019
Very sad to hear about John Dee… a proper snooker journalist #RIP
— Nigel Bond (@NigelBond00) July 29, 2019
World Championship Dates Remain Unchanged
In other snooker news, World Snooker revealed this week that there would be no changes made to the schedule for this season’s World Snooker Championship.
Calls had been made to address the calendar after the late decision was made by the British government to change May’s first bank holiday Monday to Friday 8th of May, in celebration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
The sport’s blue riband tournament has traditionally concluded on the bank holiday Monday, when most people across the UK enjoy a day off work.
But now hundreds of people, who have already purchased tickets for the final day of the 2019/20 campaign, will be left effected – albeit the option of getting a refund has been made available.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “It’s a very disappointing decision by the UK government to change the date of the bank holiday at such short notice.”
“To commemorate VE Day is an admirable principal, but why couldn’t this decision have been made years ago to give all affected parties enough time to plan?
“Tickets for the World Championship final are like gold dust, and no doubt we have many fans who have been lucky enough to get hold of them who now may have their plans scuppered because they have work commitments on the Monday.
“That’s why we will be offering them a full refund if they cannot be in Sheffield on that day.
“With more notice we could have planned for this change long before the tickets went on sale.
“It is a decision which will affect many businesses and individuals across the events industry.”
What’s to Come…
The action returns this Sunday with the start of the International Championship in Daqing.
Whereas Riga lacked the majority of top 16 stars, the £175,000 on offer for the International Championship means most of the top stars are in attendance.
Mark Allen is back as the reigning champion with the likes of world champion Judd Trump and recent World Cup winner John Higgins making their first appearances of the season in ranking events.