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Billiard Monthly March 1913

 

The Billiard Monthly : March, 1913
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A Journal of Interest and Value to Amateur Billiard Players
No. 29, March, 1913 Price 1/6 per annum to any part of the world. Single Copies 1d

THE BILLIARD MONTHLY PORTRAIT GALLERY

XXIX.—SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

Photo of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (26k)

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE:
Who was an entrant for this year’s B.A. Amateur Championship.

Sir A. Conan Doyle and the B. A. Amateur Championship

Photo of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (17k)

The brilliant writer demonstrates his versatility in a new role.
B.C.C. Amateur Championship

The results in the various heats of the above competition
to date are as follows:—

Mr. J. H. King 500 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 408
Mr. G. M. Roberts 500 Mr. C. J. Rivett-Carnac 270
Mr. W. Burlinson 500 Colonel G. Ommanney 472
Mr. H. Crosland 500 Major R. T. Russell 312
Mr. R. Hill-New 500 Mr. Alfred J. Peters 212
Mr. A. Hatchard 500 Mr. Lewis Stroud 280
Mr. W. J. Gask 500 Mr. V. W. Robinson 255
Mr. A. W. Sellar 500 Mr. Herbert Fowler 481
Mr. Guy Chetwynd 500 Mr. J. H. Kino 402
Mr. W. J. Gask 500 Mr. C. A. Morris 336

The heats are of 500 up, and the final (1,000 up) takes
place at the B.C.C. headquarters on Wednesday, March 5,
afternoon at 3.30 p.m., and evening at 8.30 p.m. A limited
number of invitation tickets will be issued and may be
obtained on early application to the Secretary, Great Windmill
House, Piccadilly Circus, W.

The Billiard Monthly : March, 1913

Things that Matter in Billiards

XXVI.—BILLIARD INSTRUCTION FOR BOYS

An interesting and novel suggestion is made by a reader
of The Billiard Monthly to the effect that it might be a
good thing if billiard instruction were included in school
curricula. At superficial sight the idea may appear to some
to be bordering on the fantastic, but we have no doubt, for
our own part, of its soundness and practicality. The
object of school tuition is, we take it, to fit boys and girls
for life’s career, in all its healthful aspects, and also to
exercise and strengthen their intellectual and observant
faculties whilst they are still young The old notion that
school training need concern itself with nothing beyond the
acquisition of pen and book knowledge has long since passed
away, and the most approved modern school is the one that
turns out fit young citizens—fit in muscle as in brain and in
dexterity as in knowledge.

It was with ideas such as this that the late Mr Cecil
Rhodes made his famous bequest of sixty Colonial Scholarships
to Oxford University, such scholarships not to be
available to mere bookworms, but to those students who, in
addition to literary and classical attainment showed the
greatest proficiency in snorts and pastimes of all kinds. A
clear route to the University is thus made through the
pleasant avenues of the cricket and football field, the golf
courses and river oarsmanship.

There may be those who are disposed to argue that such
national sports as are above indicated are on a different
plane altogether from billiards, which is not an athletic
pursuit and not calculated, consequently, to build up the
stamina of the race. Well, if billiards is not athletics, it is
not, at least, very far from being so, and its advantages
both from the health and educational standpoints have often
been pointed out by men well qualified to express an opinion.

There are thousands of men to-day who would have comparatively
little exercise if it were not for the billiard practice
that they indulge in during the long winter evenings
in their homes. Miles are walked in the course of an evening
in this way, and the great variety of body positionings
that a game of billiards necessitates is quite as good in its
way as the same amount of time spent over a series of
Sandow exercises.

The case from the intellectual side is still stronger and
has been well stated by Sir J. J. Thomson, who, addressing
the British Association at Winnipeg (Canada) made the
following remarks concerning the intimate connection of
mathematics with the game of billiards:—
“I once had an illustration of the powers of the concrete
in stimulating the mind, which made a very lasting
impression on me. One of my first pupils came to me
with the assurance from his previous teacher that he knew
little and cared less about mathematics and had no
chance of obtaining a degree on the subject. For some
time I thought this estimate was correct, but he happened
to be enthusiastic about billiards, and when we were
reading a part of mechanics which deals with the collision
of electric bodies, I pointed out that many of the effects
he was constantly observing in billiards Were illustrations
of the subject we were studying. From that time he was
a changed man. He had never before regarded mathematics
as anything but a means of annoying innocent
undergraduates. Now, when he saw what important
results it could obtain, he became enthusiastic about it,
developed very considerable mathematical ability, and,
although he had already wasted two or three years at
college, took a good place in the Mathematical Tripos.”

Billiards, when properly studied and practised, is, indeed,
a highly-intellectual pastime and pursuit. No person who
is not intellectually-alert can succeed at the game, and for
proof that accomplished billiard players would be capable
of highly-intelligent work, apart from the game, if they
turned their thoughts in other directions, it is only necessary
to look at their eyes. The idea may seem whimsical to
those who have not considered it, but the present writer has,
during many years, noticed that eyes of an exceptionally
fine class and quality are almost invariably associated with
the professional and best amateur billiard players It is
not sought to argue here that the possession of fine eves
intrinsically influences billiard play, or that billiard play
has the effect of enhancing eve lustre, but what we do venture
to say is that, other things being equal, it may be
taken for granted that there are very few clouds in the
mind of an expert billiardist, and if we were selecting a
youth from a school to train for an important position in
business life, we should unhesitatingly give preference to
one who could, amongst his other records, point to marked
success at the school or college billiard table.

In Scotland this idea of billiard training for schoolboys
and University students has already taken root and has been
carried out with success for some years past. It is recognised
by the advocates of the movement that billiard practice,
rightly directed, possesses considerable mental, physical,
and even moral value Where better than at the billiard
table can the essentials of cool calculation, self-control,
and good sportsmanship be acquired’ And if this
idea be worth carrying out at all we suggest that it would
be worth doing well Why should not the familiar long
dining tables at boarding schools be replaced by three or
four combined dining and billiard tables, practice at which
during suitable hours might be permitted, under the supervision
of a competent instructor, to all students who, by
their attention to their book studies and by their general
conduct showed themselves deserving of what would doubtless
prove to be a highly-coveted concession. Thus the
dining-hall of mid-day would be transformed into the well equipped
billiard and recreation hall of study intervals and
wet or winter holiday afternoons, to the great enjoyment of
the boys and to the advantage, much more than to the
detriment, of their later lives.

Up-Heely-A!

Up-Heely-A! is one of the
old Norse customs which
still survive in Shetland.

Once every year the descendants
of the Vikings
assemble at Lerwick to
salute the memory of their
warrior ancestors, and, incidentally,
to enjoy themselves
with symbolism, guizing,
torchlight processions,
bonfires, dancing, and feasting.

In the ancient times
the Christmas festivals were
continued until late on in
January, and “Up-Heely-
A!”
was the Norse term for
finishing up, or the end of
the festivities. The special
feature of the annual “Up-
Heely-A!” celebrations now
is the burning of the galley.

When an old Norse King or
Jarl lay dying he was carried
on board his galley, the
galley set afire and sent
adrift on the beloved sea
the hero-jarl going to his
Valhalla with his war
song on his lips. Every
year a replica of the Norse
galley is built at Lerwick,
carried in splendour through
the town, piled high with
flaming torches, which have
been used in the procession,
and sent blazing adrift on
the North Sea as of old—but
minus the human freight.

In this year of grace 1913

the leading feature of the
“Up-Heely-A!” procession
of guizers was of all things
on earth or sea twelve Billiard
Girls. These Billiard
“Girls” took the many thousands
of Shetlanders who
were gathered at Lerwick
from all the islands by
storm, and were admitted to
be the finest of all the
guizers. The Shetland
Times says the Billiard
Girls gave lead to any of
the other guizers. And The
Shetland News describes
them thus:—

1. BILLIARDS (12).—
This was generally regarded
as the most prettily dressed
squad. Got up as
girls, they wore a short
green skirt, a facsimile of
two billiard cues being
crossed in front. Numerous
red and white balls,
emblematic of the
“ivories,” adorned the
dress, and six network pockets
added to the completeness
of the get-up.

Each member also carried a
genuine cue, and it is recorded
that they took as
many “Misses” as they
could get! The hats worn
resembled the well-known
green lamp-shade, and one
or two of the squad had
miniature electric lamps
affixed to their head-gear.

We are indebted to Mr.
Solotti, of Lerwick, for
particulars of the festival
and for the photographs
which we reproduce in this
number. In passing it
may be permitted us to
wonder what the shades of
the old Norse Jarls had
thought when their descendants
presented to them in
this novel way the English
firm of Burroughes and
Watts.

L. K.

Scoring Against the Clock

In the course of some articles that are appearing in newspapers
just now, signed by John Roberts, the following
occurs:—”I have made a few records against the clock.
In 1906 I once made an aggregate of 1,486 points during a
single session of one hour fifty-nine minutes, the actual
time occupied in scoring the points being exactly an hour
and a half. In 1909 I made a break of 519 in 27 minutes,
and during the whole of the match in which this break was
made I scored an aggregate of 23,509 points in 48 hours’
actual play, or an average of 979 points per session of two
hours for two weeks in succession. These figures have only
been beaten by spot stroke performances, as the ‘anchor’
records are outside ordinary billiards, and going back to the
‘all in’ days, I find that Peall and Mitchell once completed
an exhibition game of 1,000 up in 44 minutes, which must
be pretty well a record for a game of this length.”

On February 11 Charles Dawson,, past champion, and De
Kuyper, the hand stroke billiardist, kindly collaborated in
an entertainment to the patients of the Royal Hospital for
Incurables at Putney Heath. On February 12, De Kuyper
played F. Jordan (rec. 500) 1,000 up, and the hand player
won by 51, making three breaks over the century.

A Memorable Week for Inman

Unfavourable News, Robbery, and Success

Probably no professional billiard player has experienced
so chequered and varied a spell of fortune as that which
fell to Melbourne Inman, the present champion of English
billiards, during the week ending February 22. Whilst at
the top of his form against W. J. Peall on the Wednesday
afternoon, he received disquieting news on the telephone
from a medical man as to the state of his wife’s health
(Mrs. Inman being at that time in a nursing home); when
he reached his house at night he found that he had been
robbed of £500 worth of presentation jewellery; but when
Saturday came round he was just able, notwithstanding setbacks
that would have floored most men, to complete the
giant task that he had given himself of scoring 24,000
points during 24 sessions, and in doing so to win from the
elder Peall the same money value that his enterprising manservant
had walked off with. He conceded Peall half the
game and the final scores were:—Inman, 24,000; Peall,
23,880; so that not only had Inman to average 1,000 points
per session, but he had also to sit down what time his
opponent was making close on half the same number.

Ponder this, ye amateurs, who sometimes hold up the table
for well on towards an hour in scoring a hundred.

The robbery to which we have referred included the theft
of the diamond sapphire horse-shoe pin won at the championship
last year against Reece, and a fur overcoat worth
between £50 and £40. It took place at 6.30 on the evening
of the 19th at Inman’s house at St. John’s, Grange Road,
Gunnersbury. A relative was in a bedroom on the first
floor, twelve yards from the front bedroom, where the
jewellery was secured in a drawer in the dressing-table,
which was opened by a false key. The stolen property
includes fifteen rings, including a diamond marquise ring,
four half-hoop diamond rings, a diamond cluster ring, a
half-hoop cluster ring, another with yellow stones and sapphires,
and others with a half-hoop of rubies, half-hoop of
sapphires, diamond and turquoise, one set with a large
single stone diamond, and another with diamonds and
emeralds, gipsy gold bracelet, chain bracelet, pearl bracelet,
gold bow brooch, antique paste brooch, pair of gipsy earrings,
earrings of turquoise and sapphires, diamond sleeve
links, gold dress chains, diamond, sapphire, cat’s eye, and
cluster pins, one in the shape of a horse-shoe set with diamonds,
gold lever watch.

The wanted man-servant is described as being aged 21
years, height 5ft, 6in. or 7in., complexion and hair fair,
eyes blue, clean shaven, thick build, a German known as
“Joan,” and wearing a blue serge suit and dark grey cap.

He was recommended to Inman as a man of high testimonials.

The Mystery of the Three Grey Pellets

(Not by Sherlock Holmes.)

I had called upon my friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, one
morning and found him perched cross-legged on a pile of
cushions and buried in a volume of Browning. Poetry in
the morning is strange food for any man to break his mental
fast with, but for Holmes to be so feeding his craving
appetite almost amounted to the abnormal; and although
long experience of my friend’s peculiar habits might have
taught me to be surprised at nothing that he did, I confess
to feeling more than amazed at this extraordinary spectacle.

Never in all the years I had known him had I
observed any of the softer passions successfully appealing to
his cold precise nature; and while I have no doubt he had
inherited with all humanity a certain natural proneness to
Emotion generally, by deliberate cultivation he had so
diminished his natural inheritance in this department that
Volition and Intellect might truly be said to be the sole
occupants of his remarkable mind. “Poetry? Holmes in
love!” The thought staggered me.

“My dear Watson,” said Holmes, looking up, “I have
no objection, of course, to the feelings which my present
study excites in you, but I should suggest a little more
reserve in your intellectual processes. At the present rate
of governmental interference with the individual I anticipate
that in ten years such a public exposure of the mental
digestive organs as you are now giving will be regarded as
indecent and a punishable offence.”

“But my dear Holmes,” said I, “this is too much! I
have not opened my mouth.”

He chuckled to himself. “Only a doctor, my dear fellow,
could suggest that the way to an understanding of
the mind lay through peeping into the open mouth. Did
you not stare with wide-open eyes as you caught sight of
Browning’s poems in my hand? Did you not hastily look
round at my shelves?—obviously to reassure yourself that
they were filled with philosophy, scientific works, records
of crimes, and so forth. Did you not next run your eyes
rapidly round the room in search of a photograph or other
indication of the invasion of my life by some charming
feminine adventurer? Then did you not hastily scan my
features to see if you could find there the glimmering dawn
of some soft and tender feeling? It is all so simple to an
observer of detail,” he finished, with a half-suppressed
yawn, and throwing the book on the floor by his side.

“But, my dear Watson, I am not in love. Nor do I read
Browning to stimulate my emotions. I enjoy him because
I am fond of mathematics. Browning to me is as interesting
and serves the same purpose as the Differential Calculus.

Indeed as an introduction to the Differential and
Integral Calculus I am inclined to the opinion that ‘Sordello’ might….”

But at that moment there was a tap at the door, and a
young man in uniform, laden with three long black tin
cylinders, entered and saluted.

“Good-morning, John,” said Holmes. “What brings
you here?”

“I have got a mystery, Mr. Holmes, sir,” said the uniformed
person in a loud whisper, “and I thought as how
you would like to hear of it, if you was not too busy, sir.”

“Certainly, John,” said Holmes; “sit down. This is
my friend Dr. Watson who has occasionally helped me in
my cases. Doctor, this is John, the Billiard Marker from
my club. John has got a surname like other people, I am
informed, but up till now even I have been baffled in all
attempts to discover it.” John grinned. “But to business.
What is the mystery, John?”

“Well, Mr. Holmes, sir, it’s like this here: Three members
of the club entered for the Amateur Championship
this year, and though I coached them carefully myself—
and, though I says it, Mannock could have taken no more
pains than what I did—every one of them gents was
knocked out in the first round. And I take it hard, sir!”
sighed the Marker mournfully. “I take it very hard!”

“Naturally,” said Holmes. “Proceed.”

“Not that they were all top-notchers, sir. But the gent
what belongs to this here cue,” tapping one of the long tin
cylinders, which I now recognised as cue cases, “is
entitled on his handicap card record to be in the semi-final;
and the gents what belongs to them other cues had a fair
chance of getting into the third round. And it’s a mystery,
Mr. Holmes, sir, a fair mystery what caused it not to come
off.” Here John lowered his voice: “I think myself, sir,
as there’s been foul play, and I’ve brought something with
me as will show you that I ain’t talking through my hat
neither.”

The Marker produced from a pocket three much-creased
envelopes each of which contained a small grey pellet flattened
on one side, with some preparation, apparently of an
adhesive nature, painted on the flat surface. Holmes examined
the pellets with interest, went to a drawer in his desk
from which he took a similar pellet, and compared all four
under his glass. The examination seemed to satisfy him.

He replaced his own pellet and resumed his seat, signing
to John to continue.

“One of them envelopes came to each of the gents, sir,
exactly on the morning of the day on which he was to play
his tie. And every one of them gents behaved in the same
way when they opened the envelope.”

“Ah!” said Holmes, bending forward eagerly, “and
how did they behave, John?”

“They tore the envelope open, sir,” looked at the pellet,
and said, angry-like,’ Damn! ‘and tossed the envelope and
the pellet in the wastepaper basket. I picked up the first
out of curiosity, sir, after the gent had gone Out. I did not
know what to make of it, but stuck it behind the marking board
for no reason at all. Well, the gent lost his tie that
night, got an awful beating—and went abroad immediately.

Then the second gent got an envelope delivered to
him on the morning of his tie, and cursed when he opened
it, and threw it away suddenly. And I picked it up to see
what had made him swear and found it was one of them
pellets. And I remembered the first, and kept them both.

And that gent lost his tie, Mr. Holmes—by half the game.

And he went abroad too, sir. And then the day of the
third gent’s tie came round, and he got an envelope; and
he opened it, and damned, and threw it away, just like the
others. And when I got hold of it I found the same kind
of pellet. And the last gent lost his tie, gentlemen, and
packed up and followed the others abroad. And there’s all
the envelopes and the three little pellets, Mr. Holmes. And
now I ask you what is it? “There’s foul play on, sir, but
what is it?”

Holmes handed me the envelopes. “Do you observe
anything remarkable about these envelopes, Watson?” he
asked.

I examined them carefully. “They have all been
addressed by the same person,” said I, “they all bear the
postmark’ Greek Street, Soho,’ and on the inner flap the
letter S has been repeated three times, S.S.S.—evidently the
sign or badge of some secret society.”

“That’s just my opinion, sir,” said John. “Greek
Street, Soho, is the worst quarter in London, full of
foreigners. And some of them foreigners have got our
members into their power and sent them them there pellets
as a warning. And, of course, it put the poor gents off
their game seeing as how they would be thinking all the
time they was playing of escaping to the continent out of
the clutches of their enemies.”

“A very plausible theory,”observed Holmes, with a
smile,” I congratulate you, John.”

“But what does S.S.S. stand for?” I asked.

“Possibly Society for the Suppression of Side,” suggested
Holmes wriggling in his chair, as was his habit when in
high spirits. Many billiard players think the ordinary
amateur too much inclined to fancy shots instead of playing
a plain stroke and building up his game on simple lines.
Foreigners, I understand, are purists in sport as in language.

“But let me see those cues, John. I suppose you
brought them round on purpose to be examined?”

“Yes, sir,” said John. “I have been to the Match-room
to fetch the cues back to the club, and I thought as how
you’d like to look at them.”

Sherlock Holmes had the tips of the gentlemen’s cues
under his powerful glass. The Marker watched him
intently. At last Holmes turned from his examination.

“Your theory won’t fit the facts, John, I am sorry to
inform you,”he said.”Your members have lost then
games through carelessness, pretentiousness, and gross neglect
of opportunities offered. For instance, the chalk used
by all of them I find to be wretched stuff that would not
grip the ball in any circumstance.”

“It’s Spinks chalk, sir,”said John—the best chalk!”

“It is a cheap colourable imitation,” said Holmes, “but
not the genuine article. Take my glass and look for yourself.
You see it is a common white chalk doctored with
a green colouring. Remember the billiard proverb, John
‘All is not Spinks chalk that is green.’ Then your friends
have each of them attempted to win admiration and
applause by screwing, using side unnecessarily, and other
fancy strokes, instead of playing a plain game. Result: the
leathers of their two-piece tips have come apart and are
too loose to permit of accurate striking. Striking with
such tips is not merely a tempting of providence, it is
deliberate suicide. These people could do nothing other
than fail.”

“But what about S.S.S. and the three grey pellets?”

said John. “And the foreigners from Soho?”

“See!” said Holmes, flipping the tip off one of the cues
with his fingers, and popping one of the pellets into his
mouth.

“For God’s sake, Holmes, stop!” I shouted, starting
forward. “You may be poisoned!”

“Think of Hove, Mr. Holmes,” cried John.

But Holmes smiled, and, taking the pellet from his
mouth, placed it flat side down on the top of the cue,
pressed it with his thumb, and handed the cue to the
Marker. “I have no billiard balls here,” he said, “but
try that tip on those dumb-bells, John, and see if it holds.”

John struck the heavy dumb-bells a blow. Then he gazed
with wonder at the tip “Why, sir, it’s as firm as a rock,
and just newly on! Is it a real tip?”

“A good tip for you, my lad,” said Holmes. “And now,
Watson, pass me that street map, please. And those envelopes.

You will note all three envelopes are addressed in
a careful business hand by the same clerk; and, therefore,
from the same place. And also the paper is of a high-class
quality, obviously from a good house. Now, looking at the
map, we find that Greek Street, Soho, runs from Shaftesbury
Avenue to Soho Square; and it is more likely that we
shall find the business house whence those envelopes emanated
in one of these two respectable thoroughfares rather
than in Greek Street or the other low quarters of Soho.

But Greek Street post office is at the Soho Square end of
the street and somewhat out of the way for Shaftesbury
Avenue people. That limits our search, therefore, to the
Square, according to my hypothesis, and there may be
some firm in that Square that is interested in billiards
and that recommends Spinks Self-Sticker—a tip in
one piece that you can put on in one second and use
immediately. Each of these envelopes contained a
sample Spinks Self-Sticker tip and a gentle and kindly
hint from this firm, which, had your friends taken,
would probably have put them where you expected them
to be in the tournament. One cannot be too careful of
one’s tip. And this tip made in one piece is the only tip
that will withstand excessive side. But never mind, John.

The club’s honour is still safe. I play my own tie to-day,
and I play with the new tip, and shall win with it.”

“I believe you will, Mr. Holmes,” said John, rising to
go. “And I was sure you would solve the mystery of the
three grey pellets, sir.”

“But why did those gentlemen all go abroad, Holmes?”

I asked.

“Where would you go if you had make an ass of yourself,
Watson?”

The acumen of my friend was a source of never-ending
wonder to me.

LAURENCE KIRK.

 

Questions and Answers

Billiard Tuition

219.—”For some months I have been studying the columns
of The Billiard Monthly, but have failed to find either there, or
anywhere else, any advertisement of any professional who teaches
billiards. I would like a few lessons from a professional of
class, but have no idea of any name or scale of charges. Can
you give me any information at all? I should be much obliged
if you would.”

The professional and referee at Messrs. Burroughes
and Watts’s is Mr. A. Williamson, and his charges
(including use of table) are 7/6 per lesson for a course of six.

He is an excellent tutor. All the professionals give lessons at
varying charges up to a guinea or more per lesson, and we could
send you the addresses of any to whom you might wish to write.

Billiard Tuition for Boys

220.—”It has occurred to me that an interesting article might
be written in The Billiard Monthly on the subject of’ Billiards
for Boys.’ The point to me is: Why should not boys be
instructed in the game of billiards at school in the same way as
they are in cricket and football, for which games special instructors
are provided?”

We will certainly go into the subject of
billiards for boys. There are already, to our knowledge, billiard
tables in several schools—in a large one at Brighton, for example
—but we take your point to be that there should also be professional
instruction. As we have said, we will get some data
on the subject.

Worn Spots on Cloth

221.—”Can you inform me, through The Billiard Monthly,
if anything can be done to improve the appearance of a cloth
worn white about the spots?”

We are of the opinion that
nothing can be done effectually to improve the appearance of a
cloth that has worn white round the spots. The use of a little
“Dolly” dye, however, might not injure it, but such would
probably be only a temporary remedy.

Dealing With Screw-Backs

222.—”Sometimes I get quite good screw-backs, but at other
times the cue ball jumps, and once or twice I have run the
risk of cutting the cloth. Is there any safe rule with regard
to screw-backs?”

The safest rule that we know of is also the
safest for billiards in all its phases: “Overdo nothing.” The
unnecessary use of side; too low cueing; excessive force—all of
these are bad things. Never use side when a plain stroke will
produce equally good results—as in two cases out of three it will
do—rarely strike the ball lower than midway between its centre
and the cloth; and never use No. 6 strength when No. 4 would
do quite nicely. With regard to your specific question, you have
probably overlooked an important point, namely, that when the
butt of your cue is raised the tip must be raised in proportion if
a mis-cue beneath the ball is to be avoided, as the strikable centre
of the ball is now more than one inch from the cloth.

Avoiding Kisses

223.—”One thing that I have never yet been able to understand
in billiards is how certain ‘kisses’ that invariably occur
with me never seem to happen With some other players. Take
the gentle run-through into a corner pocket, for example, with
both balls against the top cushion and only six inches separating
the cue ball from the object ball and the object ball from the
pocket?”

The cueing here must be low as well as gentle
so as to retard the cue ball and give the object ball time to
take both shoulders and clear away before the cue ball can reach
it. It is this principle of a lagging cue ball that prevents kisses
in some other positions where the collision would otherwise be
inevitable. In other cases, again, the kiss is avoided by a finer
or fuller contact with the object ball.

Playing Back Into Baulk Upon Balls Outside

224.—”Can two balls out of baulk be played upon from hand
if a cushion inside of baulk is struck first?”

Certainly. The
cue ball is played out of baulk before reaching the object balls,
and that is all that the rules require.

Swerve Shots

225.—”I know that it is necessary to aim fuller with running
side and finer with check side whenever the cue is raised, but
does not this also apply when no side at all is used and the cue
is raised?”

No. You may seem to be using no side, but
you are not standing according to the intended line of the cue.

You will find that it is quite possible for the cue ball to be sent
straight up the table with the cue raised, and if this can be
done once it can be done always under the same conditions.

An Important Point in the Use of Side

226.—”When playing slow side up the table from hand is it
the usual practice to increase or reduce the amount of side by
altering the cue contact or the ball contact?”

It is entirely
a question of where it is proposed to direct the first object ball.

If the usual amount of side will both make the cannon as desired
and direct the first object ball as desired, well and good, but
where this is not the case the cue tip must be adjusted nearer
or farther from the centre of the cue ball when taking aim, and
the aim must also be modified slightly, as the cue ball works off
with the nap before reaching the object ball in proportion to the
amount of side with which it is laden.

Contact With Cannon Ball

227.—”Is it considered to be better, when playing for a drop
cannon and trying to get ‘inside’ the cannon ball, to play finer
than half-ball or to spot a little wider?”

Unless it is necessary
to play finer in order to ensure good position for object ball, it is
always better to spot a little wider and play half-ball. Indeed,
it is a sound billiard principle to take the edge of the object ball
as the aiming point as often as possible, other things being
equal.

Safety Misses Under B.A. Rules

228.—”How many consecutive safety misses may be given
under Billiard Association rules?”

There is no limit to safety
misses under B.A. rules.

Second Miss in Commencing a Game

229.—”Is it permissible, after having given a miss out of
baulk at the beginning of a game, to give a direct miss into
baulk as the second stroke by the same player?”

No. The
rule on this subject (B.A. 4) is: “When commencing a game the
red ball shall be placed on the billiard spot and the striker play
from the D. His ball shall be forced out of baulk and shall not
be brought back into baulk without having previously struck a
ball or cushion. This rule shall not prevent the striker first
playing at a cushion in baulk.”

A Few Cue Tips

  • When sending your ivory red ball to be re-dyed it is as
    well to send the set to be adjusted, if necessary, to the
    same size.
  • In making a double baulk don’t be content with merely
    getting the balls behind the line. It is just as easy to treat
    the contact with the red as a cushion pot in pyramids and
    direct it to a given (and safe or scorable) point.
  • Don’t be afraid to look fixedly at the object ball in striking
    from fear that you will lose your original aim. Your
    cue, it you keep it gentry going once or twice, will adjust
    itself to the line of aim if the bridge has been made right.
  • If your opponent, being ahead of you and feeling comfortable,
    employs his time while you are playing in talking
    to someone, take no notice of him and continue scoring.
    He will stop talking if you put another aspect on the game.
  • Very slow (but not timid) near screws cannot be too
    much practised; for these the cue ball must be struck as
    low as necessary and the contact must be rather less full.
    The minimum disturbance then takes place and better control
    can be exercised over the ball or balls.
  • To show how little strength is needed to send an object
    ball a yard, put the red on the billiard spot and the cue
    ball a foot behind it—in the line of the corner pocket.
    Now play to leave the cue ball only three inches beyond the
    spot with a central stroke, holding the cue very lightly, and
    pocket the red.
  • When you have nothing better to do take an object lesson
    in free ball rotation by raising the butts of two cues and
    allowing a ball to run down and between them and on to
    the table. The tips should be just so far apart as to permit
    the ball to take the cloth smoothly. Note the beautifully
    free way in which such a ball strikes and propels another.
  • If you do not feel comfortable and unconstrained when
    addressing the ball be sure that something is wrong. Perhaps
    your cue hand is tucked in or pushed out, or you are
    holding the cue too short or too long, or you are twisting
    your body away from the cue instead of leaning over it.
    At any rate you must feel perfectly easy if you are to strike
    successfully.
  • All-round cannons, disturbing or scoring from double
    baulk, are not the difficult shots that they often appear to
    be. Aim taken at a given point of a given cushion on the
    same table and played in the same way always brings the
    cue ball to the same spot in baulk, and from a few such
    known points all the other positions in baulk can be provided
    for.
  • Invaluable potting practice at short range may be obtained
    as follows:—Mark two dots on the cloth twelve inches and
    twenty-four above the middle spot in baulk and four other
    dots three inches apart to the left or right of the farther
    dot at right angles. Now place the red ball on the nearer
    spot, the cue ball on the baulk spot and pot with such
    contact as will direct the red ball over the four extra dots
    or midway between them. Then, in actual play, take your
    first glance to the pocket at a point twelve inches beyond
    the object ball and play for the same contact that the practice
    has shown you to be the right one.

In and Out Form at Billiards,

One of the most surprising things about billiards is the
in and out form shown by all classes of players. Ask any
leading professional why, during some period of a match,
he was in such bad form, and his invariable reply is: “Oh,
I could not hit a ball.” This not being able to hit a ball
properly comes at times to all players, including even such
experts as Roberts, Stevenson, and Gray.

I have asked these players for an explanation of this,
and they ruefully told me they wished they knew what it
was. I have heard Stevenson put it down to staleness. On
the other hand, George Gray used to tell me the only cure
for it was a good spell of hard work at the table. Moreover,
I have seen him practise what he preached with results
in the way of world’s records.

There is no doubt that loss of form in hitting a ball badly
is greatly accelerated by a natural consequential loss of confidence
which anyone knows brings dire results. You are
very liable in trying to remedy this fault, to create many
other faults. To start asking yourself what is the matter,
seems absolutely fatal to all hope of big breaks. It may
sound surprising, but it is a fact that when making big
breaks you have no time whatever to think of the mechanical
part of the performance.

The player’s brain seems to be required entirely for sighting
the balls, sorting out the angles, and aiming. Indeed,
I recollect a very eminent professor once saying that at
most games a player does not really take aim with his
eyes, it is the brain that does the aiming. At golf, to start
thinking, on the point of striking, of your stance or grip is
a pretty certain sign that a ball will be badly hit.—G. Nelson
in The Yorkshire Evening News.

Jottings of the Month

  • T. Aiken leaves early this month for Australia.
  • Breed retains the championship of the Midlands, having
    beaten Osborne on February 8 by 7,000 to 6,422
  • At Croydon, Dawson beat the local professional, H.
    Wilcox (received 200) by 800 to 752. His breaks included
    197 and 115.
  • Sir John H. Dimsdale, Dr Frank Smith, and Messrs
    M. H. Spielmann and W. Bessemer Wright are now members
    of the Executive Council of the Billiards Control Club
  • For the Stock Exchange handicap at Leicester Square
    in the latter half of this month, Mr. Colin Smith, Mr W.
    H. L. Goolden (the holder by one point) and Mr W. Burlinson
    are entrants
  • W. H. Sparrow and H. Holliwell (rec 600) meet in a
    match of 5,000 up for £20 a side at Soho Square, March
    17-20. Holliwell (Motor Club) and G. Clarke (Junior
    Carlton Club) will probably also meet at the same place
    in April for £25 a side.
  • The newly-elected committee of the Billiard Association
    consists of (in addition to president and vice-presidents)
    Col. C. M Western, Messrs Charles Dowdeswell, T. A
    Edge, S. Eumorfopoulos, J. E. Fyfield, Chas. E. Johnson,
    G. W. S. Willins, Ridgwell Cullum, and J. S. Stafford.
  • Col. Atkinson has retired from the position of hon treasurer.
  • Playing at the Uxbridge Constitutional Club, Harverson
    made breaks of 301, 183, and 140 unfinished towards the
    750 that he required. He has played remarkably fine
    billiards this winter in England as he did at the Antipodes
    during the Australian winter in the middle of last year
  • Prince Alexander of Teck writes warmly acknowledging,
    on behalf of the Middlesex Hospital, of which he is chairman,
    the recent gift by Messrs Burroughes & Watts, Ltd,
    of a full-size table and appurtenances to the Cancer Department
    of the Hospital. “I was much struck,” his Royal
    Highness says, “by the amount of pleasure the patients
    were deriving. It means much to them to have something
    to divert their minds.”
  • Newman will meet Harris (14,000 level) at Manchester
    on March 17.
  • The Beaufort Club Handicap Cup was won by W. Morgan
    (rec. 65), 200, v. L Marks (rec 125), 187.
  • In the annual handicap at the Victoria Club a silver cup,
    weighing 200 ounces, and £100 in addition, is being competed
    for
  • The rubber in the three matches (18,000 up each) between
    Inman and Diggle (rec. 1,250) was won by Inman with
    18,000 to 17,249
  • The Charity Handicap promoted by the Liverpool Amateur
    Billiard Association was won by W. H. Pearson (rec. 200),
    1,000, v. W. Foster (Birkenhead, rec. 120), 903.
  • The Amateur Championship of Cornwall, played at Penzance,
    was won from Mr. J. Bailey (Penzance, holder), who
    had only to win to make the cup his property, by Mr R. H.
    Thomas (Penzance) by 172 in 1,000 up
  • H. Stevenson is back in England and appears at Leicester
    Square on March 3 against Falkiner. The Grays are now
    back in Australia, but are reported to have the intention of
    returning to, and settling down in, England in the autumn.
  • The final for the Shropshire Billiard Handicap was played
    on February 17. The finalists were W. P. Price (owes 70)
    and P. Scholz (scratch) Price played an excellent game,
    making breaks of 49, 37, and 30. Scores W. P. Price, 200;
    P. Scholz, 120.
  • There have only been three breaks of one hundred or
    upwards in the London Section of the B.A. Amateur Championship,
    made by W. R. Wall, 103; J. S. Stafford, 101,
    and W. B. Marshall, 100; but in the Midland Section, J. G.
    Taylor made a break of 210 (150 off the red), which is a
    record for the competition in any year, and for which he
    has received the B.A. gold medal. In the Northern Section,
    Sergt.-Major Briggs (Manchester) made a break of 108.
  • In the first heat of the Inter-Hospital Championship,
    held at the headquarters of the Billiards Control Club, the
    University Hospital were opposed to the St. Mary’s Hospital,
    and were defeated by 51 points. For St. Mary’s,
    K. M. Nelson scored 200, v. A. Scott, 124; W. N. Harrison,
    108, v. H. W. Davies, 200; and G. L. Iredale, 200, v. I. S.
    James, 133.—Total, 508 v. 457.
  • Playing Diggle in the Professional Tournament at Soho
    Square on February 5, Inman increased his best break
    record from 625 to 787. The first score of the break was,
    singularly, a fluke. In recognition of his great performance
    Messrs. Burroughes & Watts handed Inman a substantial
    cheque, as they had done a month before to Reece, who made
    a break of 751, and scored 2,737 in the course of two
    sessions. Inman’s 787, by the way, was not only a personal
    record, but also a B.C.C. record with ivory balls under
    present rules, and a record for the whole series of Burroughes
    & Watts’s tournaments.
  • A Welsh Billiard Association is to be formed.
  • John Roberts, who has recovered from a serious illness, is
    now in India.
  • The Press Handicap is still proceeding in the smaller hall
    at Leicester Square.
  • Inman occupies first place in the big London tournament,
    and with three games to play has to be beaten in every heat
    to be ousted from first prize.
  • Mr. W. Reesby, playing Mr. W. Gooing, won the final of
    the Amateur Billiards Championship of Northampton, the
    final scores being: Mr. W. Reesby, 1,000; Mr. W. Gooing,
    964.
  • Stevenson and Gray, in one of their matches in India, had
    an offer from a well-known firm of 500 rupees to the one
    who made the highest break, it being stipulated that Gray
    should make 33 per cent. more than Stevenson. Gray’s
    highest break was 353, to Stevenson’s best of 229, Gray thus
    winning the prize by 9 points.
  • At the headquarters of the Billiards Control Club the
    Royal Automobile Club opposed the Constitutional Club in
    the Inter-Club Volunteer Snooker Pool Championship, for
    the B.C.C. challenge cup, at present held by the Wellington
    Club, and ran out easy winners by 443 points.
  • The match between young Taylor and J. Harris
    (Manchester), in which the former received 1,000
    start, concluded in a most unsatisfactory manner with the
    scores: Taylor, 8,000; Harris, 5,400. Harris would not try
    to play in the last three sessions, complaining that the
    pockets were not standard.
  • The Albert Club Handicap Cup was won by F. Oliver
    (rec. 118), 200, v. J. T. Crossley (rec. 65), 166.
  • During the afternoon session at the Soho Square Tournament
    on February 20, both Reece and Diggle returned three figure
    averages, Diggle averaging 142 and Reece 111.
  • In his Tournament match against Diggle, Reece, winning
    by 9,000 to 8,173, registered the extremely fine average for
    the week of 57.87 against the also fine average of 51.84
    recorded by Diggle. The heat was played February 17 to
    22.
  • Playing against Newman in the Professional Tournament
    on February 24 and 25, Inman beat all ivory records
    with a break of 894. The previous official record under
    existing rules (apart from Gray’s) was Stevenson’s 802 in
    1905, besides which there have been the 821 by Roberts on
    a table not previously tested and the 823 by Dawson under
    Rimington-Wilson rules.
  • Inman put up a great game and several great breaks in
    the match of 24,000 up in which he undertook to concede
    W. J. Peall 12,000, or half the game, and which came to a
    conclusion at Leicester Square on February 22. The outcome
    of this match, which was for £500 a side, will be found
    in the Professional Results of the month on another page.
  • There have been previous exhibitions of long-sustained big
    scoring, notably that in which, between May 24 and June 5,
    1909, John Roberts scored 23,509 in 48 hours, or 979 per
    session of two hours for two weeks. In 1891 Roberts conceded
    North 12,000 in 24,000, spot barred, and won by 25
    points. He afterwards, in the same season, gave Peall the
    same start and won by 2,294 points.
  • The Yorkshire Professional Championship, which has
    been the subject of some interesting preliminary contests
    during the month, was won on February 22 by Pindar, who
    scored 7,500 to Bree’s 5,531.
  • At the Twickenham Philanthropic
    Society’s Fancy
    Dress Ball, Miss Marjorie
    Bugby won the first prize
    for the most original costume.
    Her dress represented
    a Burroughes and
    Watts Billiard Table, with
    three pockets arranged
    down each side and a D
    above the waist. As hat,
    Miss Bugby wore a lampshade
    similar to those used
    in the Shetland pageant.

B.C.C. Inter-Club Billiard Championship

At a meeting of the House and Handicapping Committee
of the Billiards Control Club, the draw for the above competition,
which is for the B.C.C. challenge cup, at present
held by the Junior Constitutional Club, took place, with the
result that in the first round the Isthmian Club were opposed
to the Junior Army and Navy Club, and the Windham Club
to the Queen’s Club.

In the second round the Wellington Club were to meet
the National Liberal Club, the Junior Constitutional Club
the winners of the Isthmian v. Junior Army and Navy heat,
the Royal Automobile Club the winners of the Windham v.
Queen’s heat, and the Constitutional Club, St. Stephen’s
Club.

All the members of the above-named clubs are elected
honorary members of the Billiards Control Club during the
competition, and are cordially invited to be present to witness
play.

In the first heat the Isthmian Club were beaten by the
Junior Army and Navy Club, after two very interesting
games, the latter running out winners by 93 points. For
the Junior Army and Navy Club, Major R. T. Russell won
his game against H. Carter by 277 points, the scores being:
Major R. T. Russell (Junior Army and Navy Club), 500;
H Carter (Isthmian Club); 223.

In the second game, Hugh Gatehouse won his game
against Lieut. E. H. J. Nicholls by 184, the scores being:
Hugh Gatehouse (Isthmian Club), 500; Lieut. E. H. L
Nicholls (Junior Army and Navy Club), 316. Gatehouse
made breaks of 29, 33, 44, and 47.

In the second heat, the Windham Club beat the Queen’s
Club by 384 points. For the winning club, both representatives
won their respective games, Mr. W. Herbert Fowler
beating Mr. Guy Chetwynd by 168 in the first, and Mr.

Colin Smith beating Col. G. Ommanney by 216 points in
the second game. The best individual breaks were:—Mr.
W. Herbert Fowler, 22, 25, 31 (three times), 34, 40, 45, and
51; Mr. Colin Smith, 31, 34, 37, 46 (twice), and 58; Mr.
Guy Chetwynd, 26, 27, 33 (twice), and 58; Col. G.
Ommanney, 26. The final scores were: Windham Club,
1,000; Queen’s Club, 616.

 

B.A. Amateur Championship

London Section

First Round
W. B. Marshall 1,000 L. J. Petre 785
W. J. Hart 1,000 V. R. Gill 967
W. R. Wall 1,000 A. S. Gurney 199
Second Round
H. Evans 1,000 C. H. Mortimer 955
Sir A. C. Doyle 1,000 G. W. S. Willins 940
A. W. Sellar 1,000 R. H. New 580
W. B. Marshall 1,000 W. J. Hart 812
W. R. Wall 1,000 L. Stroud 920
S. H. Fry 1,000 S. L. Mann 593
J. May 1,000 R. M. Hilton 929
J. S. Stafford 1,000 B. J. Monro 738
Third Round
H. Evans 1,000 Sir A. C. Doyle 624
A. W. Sellar 1,000 W. B. Marshall 815
S. H. Fry 1,000 W. R. Wall 970
J. S. Stafford 1,000 J. May 762

.

Semi-Finals
H. Evans w/o A. W. Sellar (indisposed)
S. H. Fry 1,000 J. S. Stafford 846
Winner
S. H. Fry 1,000 H. Evans 955

Midland Section

First Round
J. Morrison

(Nottingham)

1,000 G. Wright

(Kettering)

742
W. E. Astill

(Leicester)

1,000 Dr.E. J. S. Hughes

(Nottingham)

911
Dr.W. T. Williamson

(Nottingham)

1,000 W. E. Foster

(Kettering)

910
J. G. Taylor

(Walsall)

1,000 G. Samuel.

(London)

665
Semi-Finals
J. Morrison

(Nottingham)

1,000 W. E. Astill

(Leicester)

572
J. G. Taylor

(Walsall)

1,000 Dr. Williamson

(Nottingham)

578
Winner
J. Morrison

(Nottingham)

1,000 J. G. Taylor

(Walsall)

733

Northern Section

First Round
E. J. Bagnall

(Middleton)

1,000 K. Slack

(Manchester)

867
Sergt-Major Briggs

(Manchester)

1,000 F. Todd

(Durham)

837
G. A. Heginbottom

(Ashton-under-Lyne)

1,000 T. Siddell

(Manchester)

746
Semi-Finals
E. J. Bagnall

(Middleton)

1,000 Sergt-Major Briggs

(Manchester)

919
G. A. Heginbottom

(Ashton-under-Lyne)

1,000 T. A. Hill

(Newcastle-under-Lyme)

815
Winner
G. A. Heginbottom

(Ashton-under-Lyne)

1,000 E. J. Bagnall

(Middleton)

882

South Eastern Section

A. Graham (Leigh-on-Sea) unopposed.

Scotland

T. J. Gill

(Portobello)

1,000 T. P. Miller

(Edinburgh)

633
A. Croneen

(Edinburgh)

1,000 T. Brash

(Helensburgh)

531
R. Blair

(Edinburgh)

1,000 J. D. Ritchie 563

Ireland

A. T. Marsh 1,000 F. R. Burke 993
A. T. Marsh 1,000 J. Singleton 485
J. Burns 1,000 J. Collie 967
J. S. Murray 1,000 D. O’C. Miley 667

Wales

Edgar Thomas (unopposed).