The World Snooker Federation (WSF) is today pleased to announce Russia as the latest country to become a WSF member.
Russia has seen the popularity of snooker increase significantly in recent years with both male and female players making an impact on the international stage.
Following positive talks with representatives of the Federation of Billiards Sport of Russia (FBSR), the WSF is now delighted to be able to welcome Russia to its international network. Both parties are confident that this will help further promote the development of snooker in Russia and provide opportunities for its elite players to compete at the sport’s most prestigious events.
Earlier this month 21-year-old Ivan Kakovskiy made his debut at the professional Betfred World Snooker Championship, impressing many by claiming three frames against six-time World Championship finalist and current World Seniors Snooker Champion Jimmy White. His selection was merited after he claimed his fifth national title in six years, having emerged from a 57-player field at the Polygon Billiards Club in Moscow.
At the 2019 World Women’s Snooker Championship, 11-year-old Ksenia Zhukova became one of the youngest women to win a match at the sport’s biggest tournament for female players, successfully qualifying from the group stages before losing to former world under-21 champion Varshaa Sanjeev at the last 24 stage.
Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “It is a great honour for us to welcome Russia to our federation. There is real passion for billiards sports in Russia and the team at the FBSR should be highly commended for the way in which they are developing young talented players in the region. I look forward to the day when a player from Russia qualifies to the full World Snooker Tour.”
Sergei Riabinin, Vice-President of the FBSR said: “We are very happy to join the WSF and believe that this will help our best players to reach the professional World Snooker Tour in the future.”
Ivan Kakovskiy claimed his fifth Russian National Snooker Championship in the last six years earlier this week in Moscow.
A total of 57 players took to the tables at the Polygon Billiards Club for the five-day event. Kakovskiy, still only 20 years old, began his campaign by easing through Group A – qualifying top without losing a frame.
The defending champion continued his relentless progress in the subsequent knockout phase, winning his last 32 and 16 fixtures without reply. He did drop the first frame of his match – and the tournament – during a quarter-final tie against Andrey Karasov, but recovered with breaks of 42, 78 and 55 to advance 3-1. An effort of 58 then helped the St. Petersburg cueist defeat Aleksey Koren 3-0 in the last four.
His opponent in the final was Evgeniy Sozykin, who began the challenge well by taking the opening frame. Runs of 53 and 88 aided Kakovskiy to square and then gain the lead, although Sozykin levelled up with frame four. However, Kakovskiy wasn’t to be denied yet another title as he finished strongly with breaks of 52 and 58 to win 4-2.
Earlier in the year the promising youngster reached the quarter-finals of the European Under-21 Championship and the last 16 of the European Amateur Championship.
In the Russian Women’s Championship played at the same venue, Anastasia Nechaeva followed suit by retaining the title and securing her fifth overall success in the event.
Nechaeva finished second in her group to qualify for the knockouts before coming back from one frame down to eliminate Aleksandra Bogatyreva 2-1 in the last eight.
Further victories over Polina Astakhova (2-0) – the teammate whom she won the European Ladies Team Championship alongside in the summer – and Dasha Sirotina (3-1) in the final saw her triumph once again.
Thank you to Panov Alexey from the Moscow Billiard Federation for his assistance in compiling this article. You can follow Panov on Instagram via snooker_moscow.
The images are courtesy of the Polygon Billiards Club Facebook page.