Daniel Kandi produced a string of impressive breaks on his way to securing an eighth Danish National Snooker Championship at the Copenhagen Pool and Snooker House last weekend.
The 36-year-old from Sæby went into the event as the defending champion and top seed. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament was rescheduled and shortened, but that didn’t bother Kandi who lived up to his billing as the favourite, dropping just three frames across five rounds.
In the first round he defeated Casper Petersen 3-0 before constructing breaks of 128 – the competition’s highest – and 92 as he eliminated Hari Prasad Subedi by the same score line in the last 16.
Returning for finals day, renowned trance DJ Kandi lost the opening frame of his quarter-final tie with Allan Norvark, but an effort of 78 in the next got him on course for a 3-1 victory. Another final berth was later assured following a 3-1 triumph over Allan Bruun, where Kandi once again demonstrated his scoring prowess with runs of 125 and 63.
His opponent in the championship match was the number two seed and debut finalist Per Micki Christensen. Kandi was relatively comfortable throughout; breaks of 65 and 102 – his third century of the weekend – helped him establish a 3-0 lead, and although EBSA Level 1 Coach Christensen got on the board after a tight pink ball finish in frame four, the champion retained the title with a 96 in the next.
During this event in 2018, eventual victor Kandi compiled a 147 maximum break – the first time the feat had been achieved in a competitive match in Denmark.
2020 Danish National Snooker Championship – Results from the quarter-finals onwards
Daniel Kandi 3-1 Allan Norvark
Allan Bruun 3-2 Michael Orbech Larsen
Martin Sondergaard 2-3 Asif Iqbal
Jakob Lund Andersen 2-3 Per Micki Christensen
Kandi 3-1 Bruun
Iqbal 0-3 Christensen
Kandi 4-1 Christensen
Image used courtesy of Mikkel Bo Rasmussen/1st Down Photo
Welcome to our new, monthly international round-up feature that focuses on the latest tournament news from nations who are members of the World Snooker Federation structure.
Earlier this month we brought you news of how Declan Lavery and Gary Britton won their respective Northern Ireland and Channel Island Championships, and there have been several other national champions crowned across Europe during April.
Photo: Mikkel Bo Rasmussen / 1st Down Photo
Daniel Kandi continues to dominate the snooker scene in Denmark; defending the recent national championship at the Copenhagen Pool and Snooker Club.
Played across the Easter period, the top 16 ranked players from the Danish rankings were joined by 16 qualifiers for the straight knockout event. The 35-year-old Kandi, who also triumphed at the multi-nation Nordic Championship earlier in the year, became the first player ever to win the title without dropping a single frame.
Following 4-0 wins in the opening two rounds, Kandi defeated Ejler Hame (4-0), Kenneth Kjærsgaard Pedersen (4-0) and Gilbert Albertsen (5-0) in the quarters, semis and final respectively.
A competitor at Q-School in the past, Kandi made headlines in this tournament last year when he constructed a 147 on his way to the championship – the first maximum break in a Danish tournament. Kandi’s latest success is his seventh national title.
Ales Herout emerged from a thrilling climax as the winner of the 2019 Czech Republic National Snooker Championship.
After two qualifying events had whittled down an initial entry of over seventy players to 36, the final stages of this annual competition were held at the Arenia Snooker Academy in Trebic.
Herout – ranked as the Czech number one player going into the tournament – relinquished just one frame on route to the semi-finals where he ended the hopes of former winner Daniel Mily, 4-2. In the final he met Heath Williams, who likewise had a reasonably comfortable path through, except for a 3-2 win against another former winner, Lukas Krenek, at the quarter-finals stage. In the previous round Krenek had dispatched defending champion Jan Matejicek.
Williams established a 3-1 lead in the final but Herout followed suit to force a ninth and deciding frame. After Williams had missed the last yellow when poised for glory, Herout coolly cleared the table to secure the accolade for the third time.
Later in the month Williams recovered from this narrow loss to win the Czech Republic Seniors Championship for players over-40 after defeating reigning champion Jean-Marie Hustin 4-1 in the final.
Bratislav Krastev bounced back from his disappointment of losing the final last year by getting his hands on the Bulgarian National Snooker Championship trophy once again.
Held at the National Snooker and Billiards Academy in Sofia, Krastev – a qualified WPBSA coach – didn’t drop a frame in the groups stage as he qualified for the last 16 knockouts.
Following another trio of wins, the 30-year-old reached the final where he faced reigning champion and long-term rival Georgi Velichkov – the player he had succumbed to twelve months previously. It was the fifth time that the pair had met in a final on the Bulgarian circuit this season and for Velichkov it meant he had reached the final of every single event that campaign. However, multiple-time winner Krastev regained the title, dethroning Velichkov following a 5-2 success in the final. The highest break throughout the competition was made by Velichkov with an effort of exactly 100.
Prior to the event Viktor Iliev won the Bulgarian Under-21 title after defeating Jan Laushman 4-1 in the final.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
It was a high-five for Mario-Zeljo Milosevic after he won his fifth consecutive Bosnia and Herzegovina National Championship at the Union Jack Snooker Club in Sarajevo.
The tournament was the concluding chapter to a qualifying system where the top 16 players from six preceding competitions were invited to take part.
Milosevic, who has future professional ambitions within the sport, topped his group before eliminating Mirza Vukovic (3-2) in the last eight and Robert Kovacevic (3-1) in the last four. Kenan Terzic was his opponent in the final; he secured his berth there following a semi-final victory over Rijad Sisic. Despite going 2-0 down in the final, 20-year-old Milosevic chalked up four frames on the spin to retain the title again.
In a tournament that featured a female competitor and a cueist as young as 8-years-old, Pavel Baciu emerged as the winner of the 2019 Moldavian National Snooker Championship.
Contested in Chisinau, the twenty-eight players involved were split into round robin groups before 16 were confirmed for the knockout phase. Baciu lost just two frames as he came top of his group, putting him through as the number two seed.
Either side of a 3-2 quarter-final win over 10-year-old Vladislav Gradinari, Baciu enjoyed whitewash victories against Munteanu Constantin (3-0) and Alexei Balan (4-0). Meeting Alexandru Sturza in the final, Baciu recovered from losing the opening two frames to sweep the next five for a 5-2 success. Despite tournament wins elsewhere on the domestic scene, it was his maiden triumph in the biggest event on the Moldavian calendar.
Danish cueist Daniel Kandi won the Nordic Snooker Championship for the first time last weekend at the Snookerhallen in Stockholm, Sweden.
The annual event, organised by the Nordic Billiard Council (and this year hosted by the Swedish Billiard Federation), features players from all five Nordic countries. As with previous editions, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden each sent eight representatives to the 40-player tournament.
Split into eight groups of five, the top two from each round robin qualified for the last 16 straight elimination phase. Every country had a player in each group.
Kandi, who won the 2018 Danish National Championship making a 147 maximum break along the way, finished top of group 8 after winning all four matches and dropping just one frame. He then dispatched Finnish pair Janne Häkkinen (4-1) and Antti Tolvanen (4-2) in the last 16 and 8 respectively.
In the semi-finals Kandi made a half century break in each frame as he ended the defence of 2018 champion Belan Sharif (Sweden) with a comfortable 4-0 victory. It meant some revenge for Kandi having lost to Sharif in the final twelve months before.
His opponent in this year’s final was another one of the pre-tournament favourites, Patrik Tiihonen, the 2017 runner-up. The Finnish teenager topped group 6 with three wins out of four and relinquished just two frames when denying Timo Salovaara (Finland) 4-1, Jim Johansson (Sweden) 4-1 and Mats Eriksson (Sweden) 4-0 afterwards.
Tiihonen made a positive start to the best-of-nine frames final when he took the opener with the help of a 68 break, however Kandi chalked up the next three to go 3-1 up at the mid-session interval. On resumption Tiihonen squared the match at 3-3 (60 break, frame 6). Kandi then moved onto the hill after a run of 75, but the younger of the pair forced it all the way when securing frame 8.
In a close and dramatic conclusion, Tiihonen held a small advantage in the decider but failed to pot one of the four remaining reds. It would be his last shot as Kandi kept his nerve with a gutsy break of 42 as he won on the final pink.
Kandi, a competitor at 2018 Q-School in Burton, pocketed 1,000 Euros, whilst Tiihonen received 500. Semi-finalists Sahrif and Eriksson each banked 250.
To see the full results, please either visit cuetracker.net or here.
The final is available to watch in full at YouTube.
Article originally written by Michael Day for The Cue View.