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Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

The six wild cards will be decided by a final qualifying tournament involving India's top 8 ranked players and 8 qualifiers, 4 each from two qualifying events.

The first qualifying event will be held at the Megapool Snooker Academy in New Delhi from 22nd August, and the second qualifying event will be at the Karnataka State Billiards Association venue in Bangalore from 1st September.

Entries for the first event so far include Lucky Vatnani, Khizar Raoof and Faisal Khan.

I'm not certain whether non-Indian players can enter, and whether players can enter only one or both qualifying tournaments. Entry fee is 2000 rupees.

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

65 entries now listed for the first qualifier. Thinking about it, surprised to see Faisal Khan needs to compete as I'd expected he'd be in the top 8 in the rankings and automatically qualified for the next stage. He's 6th is the current Cue Sports India rankings (which have no official status but are a pretty good guide to form in the Senior ranks - current 1-2-3 is Pankaj Advani, Lawman Rawat, Aditya Mehta).

A list of 'Favourites' (with Cue Sports India ranking, state and affiliation if not state affiliated):

Faisal Khan (6th, Maharashtra, Railways)
Pushpinder Singh (13th, New Delhi, Railways)
Nitesh Madan (22nd, New Delhi) Runner-Up at national junior championship
Rajat Khaneja (23rd, Chandigarh)
Himanshu Jain (24th, Andhra Pradesh)
Divya Sharma (29th, Haryana)
Malkeet Singh (71st, Uttar Pradesh) National Junior Champion
Rahul Sachdev (unranked, Maharashtra) 3rd, national junior championship
Vishal Vaya (unranked, Maharashtra) 4th, national junior championship
Ishpreet Chadha (80th, Maharashtra) quarter finalist, national junior championship and 3rd in Junior Billiards

Lucky Vatnani (Andhra Pradesh) is currently ranked only 57th, mainly through not entering many tournaments, and some other players I think might do well are a couple of local New Delhi players Varun Madan and Altamesh Saifi, plus I.V. Rajeev (Andhra Pradesh) who is more often in Billiards tournaments and National Junior Billiards Champion Dhvaj Haria (Gujarat).

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

The draw's been published, more players of note added:

Sundeep Gulati (10th, New Delhi) Indian 8 Ball Pool Champion
Aayush Kumar (16th, Punjab)
Manjot Singh (18th, Punjab)
Akshay Kumar (30th, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh)
Vijay Goel (31st, New Delhi)
Lalrina Renthlei (78th, Mizoram) 2011 National Junior Champion

Plus Manish Jain (47th, West Bengal, Railways) who is more often in Billiards tournaments.

A lot of byes in the first round, think every player I've mentioned has one, highest CSI ranked player I could see without was Deepinder Singh (58th, Punjab), and I think there's clearly seeding going on looking where players are in the draw:

1 Sundeep Gulati
9 Rajat Khaneja
16 Vishal Vaya
17 I V Rajeev
24 Divya Sharma
32 Dhvaj Haria

33 Lucky Vatnani
41 Akshay Kumar
48 Lalrina Renthlei
49 Himanshu Jain
56 Ishpreet Chadha
64 Aayush Kumar

65 Nitesh Madan
73 Vijay Goel
80 Risheb Pandya (116th, Maharashtra, Indian Olympic Committee)
81 Manish Jain
88 Pulkit Thukral (60th, New Delhi) 3rd behind Sundeep Gulati and Varun Madan in 2012 New Delhi Championship
96 Khizar Raoof

97 Malkeet Singh
104 Varun Madan
105 Pushpinder Singh
112 Rahul Sachdev
113 Anuj Uppal (85th, New Delhi) 7th at Indian National Championship 2011
128 Faisal Khan

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

One early loser amongst the ranked players, as Manjot Singh lost 4-2 to the talented but frustrated Jammu & Kashmir player Sumesh Turki (Sumesh has been on Twitter recently complaining about the lack of practice facilities for him in Jammu despite having represented Jammu & Kashmir for the last 10 years).

A couple of local players Puneet Kaushik and Avinash Kumar are amongst those into the 3rd round so far, Kaushik next against Lucky Vatnani or Shreshth Roshan, Kumar's next opponent is Anuj Uppal. Also through is Arun Chhabra, a member of the Executive Board of Punjab Snooker who's more normal role these days is organising tournaments :hatoff:

Top quarter of the draw has finished Round 2, so one of the players in these Round 3 matches will qualify for the next stage:

Sundeep Gulati v Arun Chhabra
Vishal Vaya v Rajat Khaneja
I.V. Rajeev v Divya Sharma
Dhvvaj Haria v Sumesh Turki

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

One Round 3 result in the top quarter, Rajat Khaneja 4 - 3 Vishal Vaya

A couple more local players from New Delhi got through to the 3rd round, Bunty Retra and Neeraj Bansal

Matches for the 2nd quarter third round (1 result):

Lucky Vatnani v Puneet Kaushik
Akshay Kumar v Lalrina Renthlei
Himanshu Jain 4 - 2 Ishpreet Chadha
Aayush Kumar v Bunty Retra

Third round matches for the 3rd quarter

Nitesh Madan v Sahil Nayyar
Vijay Goel v Rishabh Pandya
Manish Jain v Pulkit Thukral
Khizar Raoof v Neeraj Bansal

and third round matches for the bottom quarter (1 result)

Malkeet Singh v Varun Madan
Pushpender Singh v Rahul Sachdev
Anuj Uppal 4 - 2 Avinash Kumar
Faisal Khan v Deepinder Singh

As mentioned before, one player from each quarter goes through to the Wild Card qualifiers

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

Top Quarter results

Round 3
Sundeep Gulati 4 - 0 Arun Chhabra
Rajat Khaneja 4 - 3 Vishal Vaya
Divya Sharma 4 - 1 I.V. Rajeev
Dhvvaj Haria 4 - 1 Sumesh Turki

Round 4
Sundeep Gulati 4 - 2 Rajat Khaneja
Divya Sharma 4 - 1 I.Dhvvaj Haria

Round 5
Sundeep Gulati 4 - 0 Divya Sharma

2nd Quarter results

Round 3
Lucky Vatnani 4 - 1 Puneet Kaushik
Lalrina Renthlei 4 - 3 Akshay Kumar
Himanshu Jain 4 - 2 Ishpreet Chadha
Aayush Kumar 4 - 1 Bunty Retra

Round 4
Lucky Vatnani 4 - 2 Lalrina Renthlei
Aayush Kumar 4 - 2 Himanshu Jain

Round 5
Lucky Vatnani 4 - 0 Aayush Kumar

3rd Quarter results

Round 3
Sahil Nayyar 4 - 3 Nitesh Madan
Rishabh Pandya 4 -3 Vijay Goel
Manish Jain 4 - 0 Pulkit Thukral
Khizar Raoof 4 - 1 Neeraj Bansal

Round 4
Sahil Nayyar 4 - 3 Rishabh Pandya
Manish Jain 4 - 2 Khizar Raoof

Round 5
Manish Jain 4 - 0 Sahil Nayyar

Bottom Quarter results

Round 3
Varun Madan 4 - 1 Malkeet Singh
Pushpender Singh 4 - 1 Rahul Sachdev
Anuj Uppal 4 - 2 Avinash Kumar
Faisal Khan 4 - 0 Deepinder Singh

Round 4
Varun Madan 4 - 3 Pushpender Singh
Faisal Khan 4 - 0 Anuj Uppal

Round 5
Faisal Khan 4 - 0 Varun Madan

So, Faisal Khan, Sundeep Gukati, Manish Jain and Lucky Vatnani go through to the final qualifying competition for the wild card places.

Surprised to see Lucky is still on the entry list for the second pre-qualifying competition, presumably he'll withcdraw now!

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

I think now I know why highly ranked Faisal Khan had to qualify, as apparently the same is the case with Kamal Chawla (ranked 5th on Cue Sports India's rankings, so 3rd best of the non-pros). The only explanation that makes sense for both of them not to be in the top 8 is if they are only taking into account the Indian National Championship - Chawla lost in the last 16 to eventual champion Manan Chandra, Khan had a surprise loss at the same stage to Dharminder Lilly. This would also mean that the No.1 amateur Laxman Rawat isn't through either - he lost to Lilly at the Last 32 stage.

So on that basis, I think the 8 automatically through to the final qualifying are (with Cue Sports India ranking, state, and affiliation if not state affiliated):

Manan Chandra (4th, New Delhi, BPCL)
Shahbaaz Khan (7th, West Bengal, BPCL)
Alok Kumar (8th, Punjab, ONGC)
Brijesh Damani (11th, West Bengal, Indian Olympic Committee)
Shivam Arora (12th, Bihar)
Vijay Nichani (15th, Tamil Nadu)
Amir Hussein (19th, West Bengal)
Dharminder Lilly (20th, Punjab)

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

Players in the second qualifying competition in Bangalore (1st - 4th September) that didn't enter the first qualifying competition (with Cue Sports India ranking and state in brackets) include Kamal Chawla (5th, Madhya Pradesh, Railways), Abhimanyu Gandhi (26th, Gujarat), Sourav Kothari (14th, West Bengal, ONGC), I.H. Manudev (28th, Karnataka), Prem Prakash (37th, Tamil Nadu) and Sheetal Kumar (46th, Karnataka).

Players from the 1st qualifying entered again include Khizar Raoof, Varun Madan, Dhvaj Haria, I.V. Rajeev and Himanshu Jain.

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

105 entries so far for the 2nd qualifying competition, most notable recent entries are Vishal Vaya and Deepinder Singh, both players who reached the 3rd round last time. An absolute raft of local players from Karnataka State including Balachandra Bhaskar, 5th Ranked nationally on Cue Sports India's billiards ranking and 34th ranked snooker player Balaji Reddy.

Other local players who might compete well against the better-known names include D Raj Kumar (another billiards specialist), K.S. Naveen Kumar, Michael Rebello and a couple from nearby Tamil Nadu state, Dilip Kumar and Peter Paul.

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

As noted above, quite a big line-up, now 115 players. One notable late addition, 9th ranked Rafath Habib. Like the first one, some kind of seeding going on but not sure i can work out what it's based on - here are the places in the draw of some of the leading players :

1 Kamal Chawla
8 Parthiban (85, Tamil Nadu)
16 I V Rajeev
17 Prem Prakash
25 Shyam Jagtiani (136, West Bengal) semi finalist at recent Indian 9 Ball Championship
32 Varun Madan

33 Sourav Kothari
48 Dilip Kumar
49 Dhvaj Haria
56 Balaji Reddy
57 K.S.Naveen Kumar
64 Himanshu Jain

65 Pushpender Singh
80 D Raj Kumar
81 Khizar Raoof
88 Balachandra Bhaskar
89 Sheetal Kumar
96 Rafath Habib (9, Tamil Nadu, Railways)

97 Lalrina Renthlei
104 Michael Rebello
112 Subrat Das (116, Orissa) Orissa State Champion
113 I H Manudev
120 Abhimanyu Gandhi
128 Anuj Upal

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

Not too many surprises. Biggest surprise was probably Lalrina Renthlei losing his second round match 4 - 2 to local player A.R. Arjun. Abhimanyu Gandhi lost in the 1st round to Aditya Mahesh, who then lost in the 2nd round to local player M Prabhakar. Likewise, Khizar Raoof lost in the first round 4 - 3 to Nihaal Wadhwa, who then lost in the next round 4 - 2 to 'M Rohan' - I think this is actually local player Rohan Mascarenhas.
Vishal Vaya beat Shyam Jagtiani 4 - 2 in the 2nd round, but really I'd been surprised that Jagtiani was seeded and Vaya not. Likewise Rahul Sachdev's 4-0 win over Michael Rebello.

Nearly all of the 3rd round line-up now known, one player from each group of matches goes through to the next stage:

Kamal Chawla v G Sridhar
I V Rajeev v Deepender Singh
Prem Prakash v L Nagaraj
Varun Madan v Vishal Vaya

Sourav Kothari v Arvind Savur
Dilip Kumar v Rishab Pandya
Dhvaj Haria v Balaji Reddy
Himanshu Jain v K.S. Naveen Kumar

Pushpender Singh v Jasim Tawin
D Raj Kumar v R Loganathan
Balachandra Bhaskar v M Rohan (Rohan Mascarenhas?)
Rafath Habib v Sheetal Kumar or S Magesh

Rahul Sachdev v A R Arjun
J Varun Kumar v Subrat Das
I H Manudev v M Prabhakar
Anuj Upal v R Santosh

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

Frustratingly, I've seen no results but there are (somehow) five qualifiers to the next stage, who are :

Kamal Chawla

Himanshu Jain

Sourav Kothari

Pushpender Singh

J Varun Kumar

The fifth place seems to be available as Amir Hussein is not competing in the final qualifying (he was one of the eight automatically qualified).

And the next stage has already started!

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

Not sure how they're getting to six wild card players, seem to be going down to four in the final qualifying.

Last 16

Manan Chandra (Petroleum SPB (BPCL)/New Delhi) 4 - 3 Lucky Vatnani (Andhra Pradesh)
Faisal Khan (Railways/Maharashtra) 4 - 2 Manish Jain (Railways/West Bengal)

Shivam Arora (Bihar) 4 - 3 J Varun Kumar (Tamil Nadu)
Himanshu Jain (Andhra Pradesh) 4 - 1 Shahbaaz Adil Khan (Petroleum SPB (BPCL)/West Bengal)

Alok Kumar (Petroleum SPB (ONGC)/Punjab) 4 - 3 Sourav Kothari (Petroleum SPB (ONGC)/West Bengal)
Sundeep Gulati (New Delhi) 4 - 0 Vijay Nichani (Tamil Nadu)

Dharminder Lilly (Punjab) 4 - 2 Pushpender Singh (Railways/New Delhi)
Kamal Chawla (Railways/Madhya Pradesh) 4 - 1 Brijesh Damani (Petroleum SPB/IOC/West Bengal)

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby Wildey

i guess 4 wild card places are earned as in qualifying and the other 2 are picks from the indian promoter

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

Wildey wrote:i guess 4 wild card places are earned as in qualifying and the other 2 are picks from the indian promoter

Funnily enough, I was thinking the same ... but apparently not, the losers in the final matches got to play off for the remaining two places - seems a bizarre way of doing it to me.

Wild Card Playoffs

Manan Chandra 4 - 2 Faisal Khan

Shivam Arora 4 - 2 Himanshu Jain

Sundeep Gulati 4 - 2 Alok Kumar

Kamal Chawla 4 - 2 Dharminder Lilly

Wild Card 'Lucky Loser' Playoffs

Faisal Khan 4 - 3 Himanshu Jain

Dharminder Lilly 4 - 2 Alok Kumar

Of course, Laxman Rawat, the top ranked (by Cue Sports India) non-Pro is otherwise engaged in the Sangsom Six Reds, so missed out on a chance of competing in this.

So the six wild card players are:

Manan Chandra (Petroleum SPB (BPCL)/New Delhi) 2013 Indian Snooker Champion, 3rd in IBSF World Championship in 2006, age 32, CSI rank 4

Kamal Chawla (Railways/Madhya Pradesh) age 34, CSI rank 5

Faisal Khan (Railways/Maharashtra) age 28 in early October, CSI rank 6

Sundeep Gulati (New Delhi) 2013 Indian 8 Ball Pool Champion, age 32, CSI rank 10

Shivam Arora (Bihar) age 27 later this month, CSI rank 12

Dharminder Lilly (Punjab) age 38, CSI rank 20

Two from the capital, but otherwise a good spread of players (for the record, Pankaj Advani is from Karnataka and Aditya Mehta from Maharashtra), so players from the South, central India, from the North East and North West.

Re: Indian Open Wild Card Tournament

Postby roy142857

The latest Cue Sue Sports India ranking is out, the new rankings for the Indian Open Wild Card players are:

Kamal Chawla (Railways/Madhya Pradesh) age 34, CSI rank 4 (up 1)

Shivam Arora (Bihar) age 27, CSI rank 6 (up 6)

Manan Chandra (Petroleum SPB (BPCL)/New Delhi) age 32, CSI rank 7 (down 3)

Sundeep Gulati (New Delhi) age 32, CSI rank 11 (down 1)

Faisal Khan (Railways/Maharashtra) age 28 in early October, CSI rank 12 (down 5)

Dharminder Lilly (Punjab) age 38, CSI rank 17 (up 3)

Aditya Mehta is up to No.2, having overtaken Laxman Rawat. Despite missing our on one of the wild card spots, Brijesh Damani has gone up 6 places to 5th in the rankings