And the schedule is now available, has to be read in conjunction with the draws.http://ibsf.info/turnieje/2014/ms/en/ms ... hedule.php
Shows Mens Last 64s being played on Wednesday 26th whilst Masters and Women have the day off.
Lots of action on Thursday 27th as the Last 32 (Women Last 24) and Last 16 matches take place. then quarters and semis on Friday 28th and final on Saturday 29th.
All the number 1 players in each group get Tuesday 25th off whilst the number 1 players in groups A to D (Amir Sarkhosh, Mohsen Bukshaisha, 'Nook' Kritsanut and Gaz Allen) get both 24th and 25th off - an advantage as they get a break or a disadvantage as they get a gap away from being on the championship tables? I've no idea!
Scotland's Gary Thomson finds himself in Group B, which to me looks top to bottom the most competitive group, the other 6 players having a lot of experience at this level - Mohsen Bukshaisha (Qatar), Antonis Poullos (Cyprus), Laxman Rawat (India), Jurian Heusdens (Belgium), Mohamed Khairy (Egypt) and Rory Thor (Malaysia). I'd fancy any of them to beat at least 2 or 3 players from every other group with the possible exception of ...
Group N - which also looks a little loaded - with apologies to Tishan Samarasinghe of Sri Lanka, I think he's the one weaker player there, very unlucky draw for him - the group has Tomasz Skalski (Belgium), Ryan Thomerson (Australia), Omar Alkojah (Syria), Lukas Kleckers (Germany), Sundeep Gulati (India) and Mohamed Shehab (UAE), with 2 going home even though I'd fancy them to go through in nearly any other group ...
Pankaj Advani shouldn't have a problem with the opposition in Group H, but I'd think the battle between Au Chi Wai, Moh Keen Hoo, Paul Schopf and Lucky Vatnani for the other 3 places should be tight.
Not too sure where the opposition will come from for Gareth Allen and Sanderson Lam in Group D, they might not get as much of a challenge as would be good for their overall chances ... perhaps Qatar's Ali Alobaidli, but it looks to me the weakest group overall.
Whereas Ryan Causton needs to be careful in Group K where Dharminder Lilly (India), Jason Devaney (Ireland) and Siyavosh Mozayani (Iran) are all good players, but Nadir Khan Sultani (Afghanistan) and Lim Kok Leong (Malaysia) are both players who might just 'step up' too. I suspect Kusai Sharif of Libya is unlucky to have found himself in this group and will struggle.
Duane Jones and Iran's Ehsan Heydari Nezhad really shouldn't be too troubled in Group Q, but then the rest of the players all look pretty capable, just not quite at Jones' level - Kiashan Moodley (South Africa), Darren Paris (Switzerland), Mhanaa Alobaidli (Qatar), and India's Nitesh Madan and S Dilip Kumar (though I'd expect any of those 5 to struggle if in Group B or Group N).
Other players from the British Isles seem to be in groups where there's a drop off of quality with 3 or 4 weaker players so I don't expect to see Robert Murphy (Group A - Ireland), Nick Jennings (A - England), Michael Collumb (C- Scotland), Jamie Clarke (G - Wales), Michael Judge (J - Ireland), John Whitty (L - England) and Josh Boileau (R - Ireland) having much difficulty getting through, just a matter of winning enough matches for a good seeding. Whitty will face the challenge of a match against China's Zhào Xīntóng, one of the tournament favourites.
EDIT - Just took another look at Group R, and guess Josh Boileau should at least be a bit careful, the obvious threats are Adrian Ridley, Muhammad Asif and Soheil Vahedi, but they should be aware that whilst Sahil Nayyar and Balaj Reddy aren't top ranked Indian players, neither are a pushover. No idea how good or otherwise Fakhrie Gierdien of South Africa is, but top competition break of 128 isn't so bad.