The Whirlwind is attempting to reach the Crucible Theatre for the first time in 14 years.
Jimmy White’s opening qualifying match for the World Snooker Championship ended with a 6-3 victory over Ivan Kakovskiy in Sheffield on Tuesday.
The 58 year-old didn’t score heavily but had enough experience in the tank to get past the Russian national amateur champion.
After the first four frames of the scrappy affair were shared, White finally took control by claiming four out of the remaining five frames – ending with high breaks of 54 and 58.
White, a six-time World Championship finalist, hasn’t competed at the Crucible Theatre since 2006.
The “Whirlwind” is three victories away from a return to the scene of so many of his greatest and worst career moments.
Up next for White is the challenge of Michael Georgiou, the former Snooker Shoot Out champion who will be fighting for his own tour survival.
Jimmy White fended off Russian cueist Ivan Kakovskii with a 6-3 victory to secure his place in the second round of qualifying.
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) July 21, 2020
Elsewhere, it was a busy day at the English Institute of Sport as the World Championship qualifiers finally commenced three months later than scheduled.
A tweaked format means that each qualifying match until the final round of preliminaries will be contested over the shorter best of 11 frames guise.
The first round sees the professional players at the bottom of the world rankings paired with the selection of invited amateurs.
Allan Taylor carried forward his form from Monday’s Challenge Tour Play-Off, which he triumphed in to secure his Main Tour spot for next season.
The Liverpudlian hammered Soheil Vahedi 6-1, while a few other amateur competitors managed to overcome pro opposition as well.
Polish national champion Anton Kowalski edged out David Lilley 6-4, Hayden Staniland denied Riley Parsons, and Welshman Tyler Rees pipped Adam Stefanow in a decider.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for women’s world champion Reanne Evans after she fell at the first hurdle to Andy Hicks.
Irish amateur duo Aaron Hill, who will be promoted to the Main Tour next season, and Ross Bulman also bowed out.
Hill was defeated 6-2 by Chen Feilong while fellow County Cork cueist Bulman agonisingly missed out to Rod Lawler by a single frame.
Among the others to advance to the second round were Jamie O’Neill, Eden Sharav, Ross Muir, and Duane Jones.
Teenage duo Jackson Page and Wu Yize also progressed with respective wins against Chae Ross and Ashley Hugill.
The first qualifying round concludes on Wednesday with the likes of James Cahill, Peter Lines, and Barry Pinches entering the fray.