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Billiard Monthly February 1913

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A Journal of Interest and Value to Amateur Billiard Players
No. 28, February, 1913 Price 1/6 per annum to any part of the world. Single Copies 1d

THE BILLIARD MONTHLY PORTRAIT GALLERY

XXVIII T. NEWMAN

tomNewman19
T. NEWMAN:
Probably the finest player of his age in the profession.

The Billiard Monthly : February, 1913

The B.C.C and B.A. Amalgamation and Chairmanship Proposals

The following communication from Mr. G. H. Nelson,
secretary of the B.C.C. was issued to the Press on January
8:—

For reasons which seemed to them sufficient, the Council
of the Billiards Control Club have hitherto abstained
from replying to the many and repeated references in the
public Press to their position in the matter of the proposed
amalgamation with the Billiard Association.

This reserve they would prefer, on general grounds, to
maintain; but the terms in which the more recent allusions
to the subject have been couched notably the article by
“Hazard” in the “Sporting Life” of December 31st last
have suggested to the Council that their powers of usefulness
may conceivably be impaired by the attitude of simple negation
which they are incorrectly assumed to have taken up.

Since frequent mention has been publicly made of the
point which led to the failure of the recent negotiations,
there can, it is submitted, be no advantage in treating it
as other than a known fact. I refer, of course, to the
chairmanship of the two bodies subsequent to amalgamation.

The Billiards Control Club Council were originally given
to understand that the proposals for amalgamation could
not be entertained unless a certain member of the Billiard
Association was accepted as a permanent chairman of the
future joint council. This condition was plainly an impossible
one, and upon the occasion of the meeting between
the sub-committee of the B.A. and the B.C.C., a modification
of this proposal was put forward, and our representatives
were informed that the member in question must be
the chairman for the first year, with a council under him
of equal numbers of B.A. and B.C.C. members, in which he,
as such chairman, would have casting-vote.

At this point it became necessary to say that the members
of the Council of the Billiards Control Club were not willing
to serve under the chairmanship of the member of the
B.A. referred to, that the fact of the unwillingness was
known to and admitted by the sub-committee of the B.A.
before they attended the meeting of the representatives on
November 7th, 1912, and that it was openly referred to at
the meeting itself. Notwithstanding this knowledge, the
chairmanship of the gentleman in question was over and
over again insisted upon as an absolute sine qua non. There
was no question of the “plums of office”; no reference to
any other shares in those refreshing fruits (except the
secretary of the B.A., as to whom it was quite
agreed that he should be provided for); and no indication or
suggestion whatever that the “B.C.C. object to any of the
plums going in the direction of the B.A.”

The point upon which the negotiations broke down was
the insistence upon the chairmanship, and casting-vote
being conferred upon the B.A. nominee. This proposition
duly reported to a subsequent meeting of the B.C.C
Council as one from which no departure could be considered
the members of the latter body were reluctantly obliged
to regard as barring the way to any further pour-parlers.

This result is to be regretted. At the same time it is the
opinion of the Council of the Billiards Control Club that
the formulation by arrangement between the two bodies of
one set of rules for billiards is in the highest degree advisable
in the interests of the game.

 

Billiards Control Club

Autumn Handicap on Average

The results in the above competition (the heats of which
are 500 up) are:—

  • Mr. P. G. Ernst (av. 8) beat Dr. G. W. Isaac (av. 8) by 85.
  • Mr. A. N. McNicoll (av. 6) beat Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    (av. 7) by 23.
  • Rev. D. J. Thomas (av. 5) beat Mr. Alfred J. Peters (av. 7)
    by 103.
  • Mr. G. M. Roberts (av. 9) beat Mr. S. L. Mann (av. 8) by 73.
  • Mr. W. J. Gask (av. 9½) beat Mr. A. E. Fox (av. 7) by 217.
  • Dr. C. S. Murray (av. 8) beat Mr. W. J. Jacomb-Hood (av.
    5) by 16.
  • Mr. J. H. Kino (av. 7) beat Mr. A. W. Webb (av. 7) by 75.
  • Mr. C. S. Morris (av. 7) beat Mr. W. Herbert Fowler (av.
    10) retired.
  • Mr. R. K. Inman (av. 5) beat Mr. C. Baker (av. 5) by 4.
  • Rev. R. du F. Bryans (av. 7) beat Mr. W. Bessemer
    Wright (av. 7½) by 103.
  • Colonel G. Ommanney (av. 8) beat Mr. A. Hatchard (av.
    10) by 175.
  • Mr. W. Burlinson (av. 10) beat Mr. H. Sharman (av. 5) by
    130.

In the 2nd Round the results are as follows:—

  • Sir J. Dimsdale (av. 6) beat Mr. M. Roberts (av. 8) by 24.
  • Mr. P. G. Ernst beat Mr. Spencer H. Gollan (av. 9) by 136.
  • Mr. A. N. McNicoll beat Rev. D. J. Thomas by 11.
  • Mr. G. M. Roberts beat Mr. W. J. Gask by 54.
  • Mr. J. H. Kino beat Dr. C. S. Murray by 108.
  • Mr. C. A. Morris beat Mr. R. K. Inman by 61.
  • Colonel G. Ommanney beat Rev. R. du Bryans by 153.
  • Mr. W. Burlinson beat Mr. H. Sharman by 130.

In the 3rd Round:

  • Sir John H. Dimsdale beat Mr. P. G. Ernst by 32.
  • Mr. G. M. Roberts beat Mr. A. N. McNicoll by 137.
  • Mr. J. H. Kino beat Mr. C. A. Morris by 59.
  • Colonel G. Ommanney beat Mr. W. Burlinson by 301.

Semi-Final.

  • Mr. G. M. Roberts beat Sir John Dimsdale.
  • Colonel G. Ommanney beat Mr. J. H. Kino.

Final:

  • Mr. G. M. Roberts beat Colonel G. Ommanney.
The Billiard Monthly : February, 1913

Billiard Players in Council

Suggested Reversal of Red and White Ball Values

To the Editor.

My letter which you inserted in your last issue only partly
conveys my meaning. There are three points which I am
greatly interested in at the present moment, and I should
like to hear other opinions thereon. My first is that the
rules should bar nothing except the push. My second is
(as was mentioned in my last letter) that the red ball and
the white should change values.

My opinion is that the red, having no penalty when potted,
should represent the minor score, viz., two points. The
white when potted is dead to the player, so that the object
white has a limited life. This is my strong point in favour
of making the white count more than the red, instead of
less, as it does now.

I agree that this would mean a vast change to the game.

Well, the rules of late have had a lot of altering, but, under
the present different rules, the game is still not perfect.

My third point is of rather a personal character, as it
concerns my colleagues as well. We markers, under the
Billiards Control Club Rules, are in rather a delicate position,
as we have to claim all fouls on our own authority and
at times our only support is the rules.

GEO. CLARKE,

Head Marker, Junior Carlton Club.

January 4, 1913.

 

February, 1913

The “Billiard Room” of the House Agent

(From Punch)

There was no possible mistake about it. “Billiard room” those were the words; and as a billiard-room was
a sine qua non, and the rest of the description of the house
seemed satisfactory and its situation was agreeable, I chartered
a car at enormous expense—no one can call tenpence
a mile anything but enormous expense—and hurried away
with an “order to view.”

It was not a bad house. The agent’s printed words
and the edifice cannot be said exactly to have run in double
harness; but it was not a bad house. I don’t say I should
myself have called it precisely “old world,” but then I am
rather fastidious about epithets; and it was obvious that if
one of the alleged seven bedrooms was used as a dressing room
the number of the bedrooms would be reduced to six;
that is to say. the house possessed either seven bedrooms
and no dressing-room, or a dressing-room and six bedrooms,
but under no conditions seven bedrooms as well as a dressing-
room, as the specification would have you think. Still,
it was not a bad house.

Having seen all over it I asked the “caretaker on premises” if I might now look at the billiard-room.

“Billiard-room?” she said vaguely.

I showed her the agent’s list, with the smiling announcement
in black-and-white.

She read it, but was still nonplussed. At last a light
broke in. “Oh, yes,” she said, “I suppose they mean
the attic”; and she again led the way upstairs to a point
on the top landing beneath a trap-door in the ceiling.

“They mean that,” she said. “Would you like to go
up? There’s a ladder close by.”

I declined. A half-size bagatelle-board might conceivably
be insinuated through this trap and erected on the unstable
floor; but nothing bigger or heavier; and as for light…..

The Billiard Monthly : February, 1913

Things that Matter in Billiards

XXV.—A PLEA FOR STANDARDIZATION

Can any game be mentioned in which there is such a
lack of standardization as is the case with billiards? Here
is a great national pastime, with two governing bodies, three
sets of rules, three kinds of balls, and tables and appliances
made with little or no regard to standardization, except in
so far as the occasional use of pocket templates is concerned.

In the different sets of rules points are omitted
by some that are covered by others and some essential
points are not covered at all. With the three kinds of
balls, widely differing results are obtained in actual play, and
this even may also apply to balls of a given kind of manufacture
when one set differs from another in weight or other
essential feature. Full-size tables are not always constructed
in the same proportion, the pocket openings vary both as
to size and shouldering on different tables and sometimes
even on the same table; cues are any weight from 14 to 20
ounces and differently balanced; and cushions vary in resiliency
as much as cloths do in thickness and nap.

The Rules

If the day of single control in billiards is not yet, and
championships must be played and other things done under
different auspices, one would think that at least the various
rules as to the game might be codified by common arrangement.

This is a point that affects the ordinary amateur
player vitally and the present anomalies, inconsistencies, and
contradictions irritate him not a little. Scarcely a week
passes in which The Billiard Monthly is not asked by some
subscriber for a ruling as to this or that difficulty arising
in the course of play, and not infrequently the cause of disagreement
betwixt two players is found to be referable to the
circumstance that one player has consulted one set of rules
and his opponent another. Need the case in favour of
codification be further carried?

The Balls

In advocating a standard billiard ball one feels to be on
less secure ground and the difficulties in the way of a realization
of this ideal are obviously greater than in the case of
the rules, as important commercial considerations are
involved. The manufacture of the ivory, bonzoline, and
crystalate balls represents separate enterprises, and
each of the three classes of balls has strong support
amongst the followers of the game. Ultimate standardization
could only be the result of the abolition of ivory as a
playing medium and the amalgamation of the bonzoline and
crystalate business interests, and, as we have already said,
this represents—at the present moment at all events—an
ideal that is impossible of attainment.

The Table

The same cannot be said as to the present variations in
table proportions, cloths, and cushions, and there would
seem to be no logical or business reason why all tables
should not be built on the uniform two-square principle—
the length between cushions being exactly twice the width
—and with pockets to standard templates which should never
vary on tables of equal size. On the smaller tables the
pocket openings and balls should naturally bear the fame
relation to each other as on the full-size, and in all cases
where composition balls were used there should at least be
no difficulty in fixing an invariable diameter. With ivories
the same uniformity cannot be obtained because of the
adjustments that are necessary from time to time. As
regards the cloths and the cushions the question of quality
and cost comes in as a powerful factor, but here again
some improvement might be effected by the discouragement
of the startling variations as to nap and resiliency that are
at present observable.

The Cues

Perhaps the individual preferences and prejudices of
players operate more powerfully in the matter of cue selection
than in any other branch of the game, and it may at
once be said that if a player is not thoroughly suited with
a cue the fault lies with himself and with no arbitrary conditions
or circumstances such as rule in connection with
some of the other accessories of the game. There are
players who like heavy cues and others who are partial
to very light ones. Some prefer one balance and some
another. Others, again, like a thick butt, or broad tip, or
both, whilst the more slender butt or the finer tip have also
their special votaries.

At the same time it would, in the opinion of many, be a
distinct gain to billiards if all cues were uniformly proportioned
as to length, weight, substance, thickness, taper, and
balance. If only big men used light cues and small men
heavy ones, or vice versa there might be a case for difference,
but the physical make of the cueist has nothing to do
with his cue selection, and it is a matter of fancy or habit
and nothing more. Meanwhile the result is disastrous, as
anyone who tries to play with a cue of different weight,
balance, and grip from that to which he has accustomed
himself, knows from painful experience.

The Conclusion

To sum up we should like to say that the game of billiards
is intrinsically so difficult and beset by so many
snares and pitfalls that it is a pity that these difficulties
should be arbitrarily increased by lack of uniformity in the
playing media. When the student has grasped, as the
result of long and dolorous experience, how easily a stroke
can be missed by inattention to any one of a dozen necessary
principles, it is more than a little hard upon him that he
should have to face, in addition, except when playing on a
familiar table or under familiar conditions, a succession of
physical difficulties, many of which need not be infused into
the game at all. Ideal standardization may not be yet, but
if ruling bodies and manufacturers would address themselves
without, delay to such improvements in the desired
direction as are both obvious and feasible they would earn
the gratitude of all to whom the game of billiards appeals
in its scientific as well as in its recreative aspect.

 

A Suggested Scoring Alteration

Writing to The New Witness, “X. L.” says:—

My suggestion would be that each successful shot should
count 1, whether a winning or losing hazard off the white
or red, or a cannon. A cannon-pocket would thus count 2
instead of an arbitrary 4 or 5, and a “cannon-floorer”
which can only be a fluke, would reckon 4, instead of an
arbitrary 9 or 10.

I have chatted this subject over with one or two friends
of late. One of them keeps a billiard room. He saw my
point, but suggested that the unit should be 3 instead of 1.

I saw his point, too, and countered it with the proposition
that he should charge, under the new regime, should it
ever be introduced, a shilling for 50 instead of for 100 up.

Where the table is paid for by the hour billiard room proprietors
would not be affected.

Another opinion, gleaned from a distinguished amateur,
was antagonistic. He emphasized the skill required in
manipulating the balls with a view to obtaining control of
the red. It seems to me that clever losing-hazard play off
the white should, if anything, be more generously rewarded
than losing-hazard play off the red, since, if you happen to
drop the red by accident or design, it is replaced on the
table, but the object white, once lost, is lost altogether so
far as that individual break is concerned. Hence the necessity
for the exercise of greater skill in keeping it in play.

I don’t deny that there is force in my friend’s argument,
but I do not think it is impregnable.

To the foregoing J. C. Squire replies in the same paper:—

The real and irrefragable case is based on the undoubted
fact that, within limits, variety appeals to the normal
human mind more than uniformity. “X. L.” may be a
severely logical man with a passion for exact mathematics;
most of us are not. Amongst people who are interested in
Rugby football there are always a certain number who
object strongly—on the grounds that the performance isn’t
relatively worth the points —to the allocation of four points
to a drop goal. They are the same people who are extraordinarily
angry if a side is beaten by two goals to three
tries. The try’s the thing, they say; and they believe that
only tries should count. Grant them their desire and they
would probably push their demands further, and want to
award points to each try in inverse proportion to the distance
between the spot at which the scoring player
grounded the ball and the middle point between the goalposts.

Limit the number of consecutive red losing hazards if you
like; but leave, oh leave us a few of our sportive differences,
our varieties, our freaks, our approximations, our surprises.

Let “X. L.” keep a guard upon his austere and
frigid mind, or he will next find himself requesting that
after every stroke a player should be compelled to declare
before a commissioner of oaths whether or not his shot was
a fluke; the balls, in the event of an admission of fluking,
being spotted. And let him remember that games: are but
models of greater things, and that just as there is one glory
of the sun and another glory of the moon, so also is there
one glory of the red and another of the white.

Sir A. Conan Doyle and the B.A. Amateur Championship
(By “Pyramid” in The Daily Chronicle.)

The entry of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the B.A. Amateur
Championship is especially gratifying to those who desire
to see the amateur championship placed on its proper pedestal.

Not so much because he occupies a unique position
in the literary world and a foremost place in the world of
sport generally, but more by reason of the splendid example
set to others in his own social circle who are known to have
the best credentials for competing for the blue riband of the
amateur billiards world.

Much is known of Sir Arthur’s ability as a cricketer and in
other forms of sport, but very little of his capacity as a billiard
player. I am, however, told by those qualified to express
an opinion that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is no mean
cueist.

Tuition from Mr. Mannock, the well-known billiard
coach, and some practice games with good players at the Billiards
Control Club, of which he is a member, to say nothing
of concentrated practice on his own table, have made of
Sir Arthur a very fine player indeed. He is, I am informed,
of the sound rather than the brilliant type of player; but
that is in his favour, for your brilliant exponent is rarely
consistent. And sound consistency in billiards, more especially
in championship contests, is a more valuable asset in
the winning of games than mere occasional flashes of brilliance.

Sir Arthur, I am told, is a fine hazard striker, but is no
means a “slave” to the stroke made famous by the young
Australian, George Gray. On the contrary, his repertoire
of strokes is fairly extensive, and, if favourably drawn in
the approaching competition, he is likely to run pretty well
into the event.

Altogether, the participation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
in the big amateur billiards event of the year must have an
enormous effect for good on a game of which he has become
one of the keenest devotees. One may express the hope
that it will mark the dawn of a new era in what ought to
be the finest sporting function of the year in billiarddom.

Another notable entry is that of Mr. S. H. Fry, whose return
to the game after an absence of several years is particularly
welcome. Since he won the billiard championship
in 1900 (he was also champion in 1893 and 1896) Mr. Fry
has earned a world-wide reputation at golf, among his great
achievements at the sister game being his victory in the
St. George’s Challenge Vase in 1901 and his second to Cecil
Hutchings in the amateur championship at Hoylake the
following year.

If Mr. Fry gets back to the form displayed a little over ten
years ago—and he has been putting in a vast amount of
practice recently— one would hardly look beyond him to
supply the winner of the southern section of the amateur
billiards championship. Moreover, he would also prove a
serious menace to the holder of the title itself— Mr. C.
Virr, of Bradford.

Questions and Answers

Commencing Billiards at Fifty

213.—”Is it possible for a man of thirty to take up the game
of billiards and make a decent show?”

Certainly, or of fifty
either. We know a gentleman who is well on his way towards
making a 100 break and who had not touched a cue before he
was fifty. With a proper study of contacts, angles, and ball
rotation, anyone who can keep a cue easily swinging along the
line of the intended travel of the cue ball and deliver it on the
intended portion of the cue ball is bound to make frequent
breaks. The real difficulty is for the man of fifty who has been
playing badly since he was 20 to make any improvement. At
the same time, we think that the “personal equation” comes
in more with a player at fifty than at twenty, and that, however
well he may play, he is less sure, under certain circumstances,
of developing his real game.

Nomination Billiards

214.—”Two gentlemen were playing a game of nomination.
If they play a jenny cannon from baulk and double red at same
time (cannon nominated), they are allowed five whether cannon
is made before or after the double. The shot in dispute
was nominated as ‘in off red, from baulk to left hand corner
pocket,’ the red being near centre pocket and white about 18
inches from top left hand pocket. The shot, being played, resulting
in a very slight cannon and in off, for which I gave five
away. Was I right?”

There are no rules governing nomination
games, but if a lucky pot is allowed when making a cannon,
we think a lucky cannon should also count when nominating an
in-off, even though this helps the in-off. Our own opinion is
that the only satisfactory non-fluke game is one in which the
player stops after any score not played for.

Another “Push” Point

215.—”When the player’s ball is close to the ball he is playing
on, how is it to be decided when he has made a foul stroke?
When taking a fine shot may the cue pass beyond the object
ball?”

We think that the answer to question No. 218 applies
to this question also, and we can only repeat that a striker who
knows anything about billiards knows at once whether he has
“pushed” or not. In making a very fine stroke the cue can go
right past the cue ball without pushing. When the stroke is
foul both balls move freely away, but with a fair full stroke the
cue ball lags, and with a fair fine one the object ball has comparatively
little motion imparted to it.

Balls Touching at Snooker

216.—”What should be done at snooker when the white remains
touching a coloured ball (say, pink, all reds gone). The
player should play at pink. If he does he necessarily fouls. Can
he play away and not be penalised for missing? Or should the
pink be spotted as in the Russian game? There is no rule in
the Billiard Association set for this occurrence in snooker pool.”

The B.C.C. rule as to cue ball touching in snooker is as follows:—”If the cue ball is touching a red or coloured ball when
such red or coloured ball is playable, the striker cannot give a
miss. If the cue ball is touching a red or coloured ball when
such red or coloured ball is not playable, the striker may play
directly or off a cushion on a ball that is playable, provided he
plays away from the touching ball and does not move it, and
may score any points that he makes.”

Consequently, in the
diagram that you send, with only pink and black on the table and
the cue ball touching pink, the cue ball must be played away from
and back on to pink without moving it in the first instance if
the six away is to be avoided.

What is Check Side?

217.—”Under ‘Questions and Answers,’ No. 202, I observe a
definition of side which, I think, is worthy of comment. From
your reply I gather that if a player in making the opening miss
put the wrong side on his ball, this also would be ‘running
side,’ as it receives no ‘check,’ etc. Theoretically, and for all
purposes of argument, I am of opinion that we may only describe
both left hand side and right hand side as’ running ‘side when
the ball approaches the cushion exactly at a right angle. I
would, therefore, suggest that the side used in playing the opening
miss is ‘check’ side, and this will make itself apparent if
in attempting the stroke the player plays his ball several inches
out of baulk.”

If the effect of the stroke is to widen the angle
of return in the desired direction, we think that it should be
classed as running side.

What is a Push Stroke

218.—”I am sending you a sketch of a shot which occurred
during a match at our own club. The balls were left as shown
by the last player, and his opponent played off the red into the
pocket. The other player at once claimed a push stroke and
started playing before appealing to the marker or hearing his
decision. The marker gave it as a fair stroke. Was he right
or wrong? Could you also give me a definition of a push stroke,
as no one seems very clear on that point.”

The stroke you instance
is quite easy without the push. If the cue is off the cue
ball when the cue ball touches the object ball it is not a push.
Nor is it a push if the stroke is played very finely. On the other
hand, when the two balls take practically the same course and
keep almost close together, the stroke is probably a push In
the case you describe this test could not apply, and the marker
evidently observed the manner of playing the stroke. A striker
who understands billiards always knows whether he has pushed
or not, as he feels the triple contact, and if he is a sportsman he
at once stops playing, whether a foul is claimed or not.

 

Professional Results of the Month

  • *Newman (rec. 2,250), 9,000, v. Reece (rec. 1,000), 8,475.
  • Smith (rec. 1,000), 10,000, v. Aiken, 9,645.
  • Harverson, 8,000, v. Falkiner (rec. 2,000), 7,334.
  • Pindar, 7,000, v. Breed, 6,404.
  • *Smith (rec. 2,250), 9,000, v. Peall (rec. 3,000), 6,431.
  • Diggle (rec. 1,250), 18,000, v. Inman, 17,372.
  • Reece, 9,000, v. Falkiner (rec. 2,250), 7,581.
  • *Inman, 9,000, v. Aiken (rec. 1,500), 7,278.
  • Reece, 9,000, v. Diggle, 4,472.
  • *Newman (rec. 2,250) 9,000, v. Smith (rec. 2,250), 7,569.
  • Carpenter 9,000, v. Llewellin 4,916.
  • Reece 4,000, v. Harverson 3,436.
  • Smith 9,000, v. Taylor (rec. 2,000) 8,009.
  • Smith (rec. 1,000) 10,000, v. Aiken 9,654.

*Professional Tournament.

Playing against Aiken on January 14 Inman carried an
unfinished break to 570 and scored another break of 368.
In the same session Aiken made a 531.

The Billiard Monthly : February, 1913

The Professional Tournament at Soho Square

RESULTS TABLE UP TO DATE
W L Aggte Ave Pts
Inman 2 0 18,000 34.14 23
Aiken 2 1 25,278 36.09 36
Smith 3 2 42,033 27.42 52
Newman 2 2 34,085 29.79 38
Peall 2 2 32,955 22.55 44
Reece 1 2 26,373 38.16 25
Diggle 0 3 21,266 28.62 17

Merit Breaks:—Inman, 570, 471 (unfinished); Aiken, 531,
420, 389; Smith, 431, 365, 323; Newman, 380, 374, 341,309;
Peall, 299, 258, 246, 229, 226, 203; Reece, 751, 489; Diggle,
412.—Sporting Life.

The Billiard Monthly : February, 1913

The Futility of Barred Strokes

Although the barring of certain strokes in billiards may
have tended to the development of other possibilities of the
game—as in the case of the winner-cannon movement at
the top of the table when the spot stroke was practically
barred—such restrictions are practically futile so far as
their main purpose is concerned, and this has been neatly
proved during the month by Smith, of Darlington,
who would apparently be able to make almost as many
losing hazards as he liked, even if the continuous stroke off
the red into the middle pockets—although this is not at all
likely, by the way, to happen—had to go the way of the
spot stroke and the close cushion cannon.

Smith’s method is to keep both the white and red balls
in something like playable position for the middle pockets,
instead of following the much less scientific and interesting
system of getting the white out of the way and specializing
on the red alone. We do not know whence Smith got this
idea, but we venture to hazard thereon a guess. It will be
remembered that when Inman returned from his recent tour
it was stated that he had a new stroke off which one could
score so long as one felt inclined. It may have been a
coincidence merely, but in his first match in the tournament
on his return, Inman made prolific losing hazard use of both
the red and the white ball by directing them again and
again to points a little below the centre of the table. It
may again have been a coincidence, but his opponent during
that second week of the tournament was Smith, whom
Inman beat by over 1,500 in 9,000 up, after having furthermore
conceded him 2,250 start. Smith, consequently, had a
good deal of looking-on in this game, and probably observed
and thought a good deal as well. At any rate, when he
came to meet Reece he managed to pull off a victory by a
few points (after being conceded 1,250 on actual points
scored), and in subsequent matches against Diggle and Peall
he simply ran away with the score.

The device by which Smith is thus preparing himself for
any possible (although not probable) eventualities of the
future, is simple in the extreme, and is, indeed, an application
to the lower part of the table of a similar movement to
that which has now become crystallized as “form” at the
top of the table. The white ball is made the medium not
only of evading rules, or possible rules, restricting the consecutive
use of the red ball, but also of aiding materially in
the maintenance of a break. By its aid the cue ball, whether
by means of gentle cannon, or losing hazard, can see its way
back to hand, with the object balls restored to their destined
positions below the middle spot and between the central
line and the middle pockets, or in positions for top-pocket
losers which will soon restore them to the lower reaches of
the table. Occasionally a red “pot” may be required, but
in Smith’s game this rarely happens. His method is pure
billiard artistry, and he is ever searching for the simplest
and easiest sequence of strokes. Yet the movement is
endowed with ample variety and is of such a nature that it
could never be barred, either by rules of the game or by that
still severer censorship which is known as “public opinion.”

 

The Billiard Monthly : February, 1913

B.A. Amateur Championship

The following is the draw and order of play in the London qualifying
competition of the Billiard Association amateur
championship, which will be begun at Olympia, Addison
Road, Kensington, W., on Monday, February 3. The heats are
1,000 up, play commencing at 3 and 8 p.m. daily. Ivory
balls will be used.

First Round
  • Byes —C. H. Mortimer, H. Evans, Sir A. Conan Doyle,.
    G. W. S. Willins, A. W. Sellar, R. H. New. L. Stroud, S. H. Fry, S. L. Mann, A. W. T.
    Good, R. M. Hilton, J. S. Stafford, B. J. Munro.
  • Monday, February 3.—Heat 1 W. B. Marshall v. L. J.
    Petre.
  • Tuesday, February 4.—Heat 2: W. J. Hart v. V. R. Gill
  • Wednesday, February 5.—Heat 3: W. R. Wall v. A. S.
    Gurney.
Second Round
  • Thursday, February 6.—Heat 4 C. H. Mortimer v. H.
    Evans
  • Friday, February 7.—Heat 5 Sir A. Conan Doyle v. G.
    W. S. Willins.
  • Saturday, February 8.—Heat 6. A. W. Sellar v. R. H.
    New.
  • Monday, February 10 —Heat 7: Winner of Heat 1 v.
    winner of Heat 2.
  • Tuesday, February 11 —Heat 8: Winner of Heat 3 v. L.
    Stroud.
  • Wednesday, February 12.—Heat 9: S. H. Fry v. S. L.
    Mann.
  • Thursday, February 13.—Heat 10: A. W. T. Good v. R.
    M. Hilton.
  • Friday, February 14.—Heat 11: J. S. Stafford v. B. J,
    Munro.

The entrants for the Northern Section of the B.A.
Amateur Championship are: G. A. Heginbottom (Stalybridge), Sergt.-Major G. Briggs (Clayton, Army and Navy
champion in 1908-9-10), F. Todd (Durham), E. J. Bagnall
(Middleton), T. Siddall (Cheetham Hill, Manchester), and
T. A, Hill (Newcastle-under-Lyme).

The Billiard Monthly : February, 1913

B.C.C. Amateur Championship

The draw for the first heats in the B.C.C. amateur
championship resulted as follows: G. M. Roberts v. C. J.
Rivett-Carnac, Col. G. Ommanney v. W. Burlinson, H.
Crosland v. Major R. T. Russell, R. Hill New v. Alfred
J. Peters, Lewis Stroud v. A. Hatchard, W. J. Gask v. V.
W. Robinson, H. C. Virr v. G. Chetwynd, Sir A. Conan
Doyle v. J. H. Kino, A. W. Sellars v. W. Herbert Fowler,
S. Saunderson v. E. H. S. Berridge. W. Bessemer
Wright and C. A. Morris drew byes.

It will be noted that H. C. Virr, the present holder, has
teen drawn in the first heats. This happens as the Council
have this year altered the conditions, whereby the holder
has to play through all the heats.

The final game is to take place on Wednesday, March 5,
afternoon at 3.0, and evening at 8.15, 1,000 points up.

The Billiard Monthly : February, 1913

Jottings of the Month

  • W. Pindar is 6ft. 4in. in height and C. Falkiner is 5ft.
    3in. John Roberts is 65 years old and T. Newman is 20.
  • The Irish Amateur Billiards Championship commences at
    Dublin on or about February 20.
  • The Welsh professional champion is now T. Carpenter,
    who decisively beat Llewellin by 9,000 to 4,916 on January 25.
  • In his tournament heat against Peall, Smith averaged 47
    for the entire week—a great performance.
  • Both Mr. P. Wood and Mr. S. Harwitz, two of the most
    heavily penalized of the Stock Exchange Handicap players,
    are now out of the contest.
  • With the view of promoting contentment and good feeling
    among the staff, the Cardiff Guardians have decided to provide
    a billiard table at the workhouse.
  • The annual break handicap held by the Stock Exchange
    Billiard Association, was won on January 24th by E. C.
    Garland, with a break of 32. The highest break was 37,
    by W. D. Waite.
  • It has been arranged for the contest for the Midlands
    Championship and £25 aside between E. C. Breed, Derby,
    and W. Osborne, Leicester, to be played at the Athenaeum
    Rooms, Derby, commencing February 3rd.
  • For a fifteen-guinea trophy, which has been twice previously
    won by Mr. J. Bailey, of Penzance, and the amateur
    championship of Cornwall, play has commenced in the Central
    Club, Penzance.
  • Reece was in great form against Diggle on January 14,
    scoring 751 to 93 in the afternoon session, and at the afternoon
    session on January 16 he averaged 134 against 36 by
    Diggle.
  • In connection with the Sheffield and District Championship
    a special prize was offered for the biggest break. W.
    Hardinge and W. Andrews each made a break of 75 in the
    course of the games, and on January 23rd these two played
    250 up for the prize. Andrews now put together a fine break
    of 103, and ran out an easy winner, as follows:—W.
    Andrews, 250; W. Hardinge, 125.
  • Playing Gray in India, Stevenson seems, from such records
    as are to hand, to have had the greater success of he
    two. The players remained in Bombay a fortnight, and
    then started on a comprehensive tour across country to Calcutta,
    They had obtained introductions to a number of
    native chiefs, and have played exhibition games at some of
    their palaces. They part at Colombo on February 15th,
    Stevenson to go to Burma and Gray to sail home for
    Australia after an absence of three years. There has been
    a good deal of rough travelling to be done. In the first
    week in December last they were playing on the borders of
    Afghanistan, where they had plenty of ice and extreme cold,
    and the week following, in Lahore, under extreme heat.
  • A match for £25 between G. Clarke and H. Holliwell (old
    opponents) is suggested by a supporter of the latter player,
    who is prepared to back his opinion with a stake of £25.
  • One of the entrants for the B.A. Amateur Championship,
    playing 600 up against C. Roberts at Leigh-on-Sea, made
    breaks of 125, 61, 57, 48, and 44.
  • J. Brady and E. Hoskin will play 7,000 up for £25 a-side
    at Soho Square during the week commencing March 24.
  • Amongst the entrants for the B.A. Amateur Championship
    are Sir A. Conan Doyle and Mr. S. H. Fry.
  • In the Stock Exchange Handicap a break of 112 was
    made by Mr. V. L. Harrington. Apart from this and a 40
    by W. Blumenthal, the breaks for the month have been
    somewhat small.
  • Inman and Reece will meet level in two matches in April
    and May for £250 a-side, the gate proceeds to be equally
    divided. They will also meet in the Tournament, at Glasgow,
    and in the championship.
  • The third and final match of 18,000 up between Inman
    and Diggle is proceeding at Leicester Square. Each has
    won one match and on the result of the present one £150
    a-side depends. At the half-way on January 25 the scores
    were: Diggle (rec. 1,250) 9,234, Inman 7,954.
  • In the Welsh markers’ tournament there was a replay
    for the third prize between Tuxworth and Turner, in which
    the former proved successful. The prize for the highest
    break (157) went to Hannam and the red ball break prize
    to Carpenter, who scored 90 by this means.
  • Playing against Newman in the professional tournament
    at Soho Square, on January 2, Reece made a break of 751,
    and scored 2,737 in the course of two sessions. The break
    was both a personal and an ivory ball record under existing
    rules. In recognition of this great combined feat a cheque
    was presented to the player on behalf of Messrs. Burroughes
    and Watts.
  • When playing Reece at Leicester Square on January 17,
    Diggle made remarks whilst playing, which annoyed Reece,
    who protested. Diggle thereupon left the hall for a short
    time, and stated on his return that he had a perfect right
    to talk during his own play if he chose, as there was no
    rule against it. He furthermore said that he was agreeable
    to the session being abandoned and the money returned
    to the spectators!
  • Although met with magnificent play on the part of Reece
    in the 9th heat of the professional tournament Newman,
    who received 2,250 in 9,000 against 1,000 received by Reece,
    won the heat by 535 points. On January 25 he again rendered
    a good account of himself by defeating Smith in the
    Tournament by 1,431 points. It will be remembered that
    in the level match between these players at the end of last
    season Smith was the winner largely by grace of a 736
    break put up towards the close.
  • Carpenter’s successful assault upon the Welsh professional
    championship is mentioned elsewhere in this issue.
  • In one of his breaks, it may be added, he exceeded the 200.
  • Although not so prominently to the fore this season so
    far as leading fixtures are concerned, Harverson has been
    playing with great consistency and ability and has achieved
    several notable wins.
  • Great as was Smith’s week’s average of 47 against
    Peall it pales as a record against the phenomenal 89.83 by
    Stevenson in that memorable season in which the exchampion
    made one thousand breaks exceeding 100.
  • There have been some good breaks in the Professional
    tournament during the month, in addition to Reece’s 751.
  • Reece made one of 497 against Aiken and Aiken replied
    almost immediately to a 570 by Inman with one of 531 on
    his own account.
  • As mentioned in another paragraph Pindar beat Breed in
    their match of 7,000 level at Leeds. As regards speed the
    match illustrated the fable of the hare and the tortoise.
  • Breed is a very quick and attractive player to watch, but a
    trifle less speed and a little more consideration would often
    carry him farther.
  • Breaks have ruled low in the press handicap. There
    have been very few in the thirties and forties and not many
    in the twenties. The highest thus far is 49, by T. W.
    Morris. This handicap, by the way, is being played under
    “Rimington-Wilson” rules, which only allows a miss after
    a double baulk. The red must also be played upon at the
    opening of the game.
  • Inman and Harverson have been in communication during
    the month with regard to a match, but nothing is yet
    settled. The idea is that Harverson should receive 1,500 in
    18,000 for £100 a side and that Inman should take six-tenths
    of the admission receipts. Smith also wants a match with
    Harverson on the basis of 1,000 points conceded in 16,000
    for £100 a side.
  • The Lord Mayor of Leeds (Mr. A. W. Bain) has consented
    formally to open the new club for Leeds shop assistants
    of both sexes, warehousemen, and clerks, on February
    19th. One of the first players at the billiard tables was
    a young lady member, who exhibited a surprising degree of
    skill. Already some of the non-playing lady members have
    announced their intention of taking up the game.
  • In a sense Newman won his tournament heat against
    Reece twice over. The game seemed to be his before Reece
    put on that wonderful 751 and equally wonderful day’s
    total, and to rise superior to such a “back-hander” was
    grit indeed on the part of the winner. By the way, Newman,
    on the afternoon of January 24, in his heat with
    Smith, averaged 112, and altogether he has shown himself
    well worthy of his position in this month’s Billiard Monthly
    portrait gallery.
  • In the B.A. Amateur Handicap at the Temple Restaurant
    several breaks exceeding 50 have been made. P. S. Fewings
    made 54 and 57, A. “Shaw” 60, J. G. Taylor 64, W.
    S. Jones 53, G. Samwell 60, J. L. Taylor 58, and A. C.
    Edwards 56, and eclipsing all these was a fine 137 by Mr.
    A. W. T. Good. The following were the winners of the
    five prizes: First prize (presented by the B.A.), W. G.
    Holmes; second prize (presented by Mr. Eumorfopoulos),
    A. C. Edwards; prizes for players beaten in the semi-finals,
    A. “Shaw” and S. S. Fewings; highest proportionate
    break prize (presented by the president), A. W. T. Good.
  • The Professionals’ Association Handicap and Championship
    will be commenced at the Bedford Head Hotel on February
    17.
  • A Welsh Billiards Association has been formed, including
    such members as A. F. Hill, an old International football
    player, J. L. Perry, Welsh ex-amateur champion, etc.
  • Lancashire and Yorkshire have many billiard champions.
    John Roberts, E. Diggle, and T. Reece are Lancastrians.
    C. Dawson and H. Stevenson are Yorkshiremen. During
    the past ten years the amateur championship has been won
    five times by Yorkshiremen and once by a Lancastrian.—
    Yorkshire Evening News.
  • Members of the B.C.C. who have entered the Billiard Association
    championship event include Sir Arthur Conan
    Doyle, R. Hill New, Lewis Stroud, and A. W. Sellar, while
    the holder of the British and English championship—H. E.
    Virr—is also club champion of the B.C.C.
    Since the portion of this issue that contains page 8 was
    printed we have been informed that the heals in the London
    section of the B.A. Amateur Championship will be
    played at Messrs. Orme’s, in Soho Square, and not at Olympia,
    as at first arranged.
  • Cannot Aiken overcome that habit of tapping the cue ball
    on the top whilst taking aim?
  • The New Year’s Handicap at the Globe Club resulted in
    a victory for Mr. J. Barnett, who beat Mr. G. Summers by
    17. The starts in 200 up of the players were respectively
    128 and 115.
  • Why is the better amateur form so much below professional
    form? Because professionals in their earlier years of
    practice have usually almost the unlimited use of a table.
    Moral to aspiring amateurs: Have your own table.
  • Recent additional members to the Executive Council of
    the B.C.C. are:—Sir John H. Dimsdale, Dr. Frank Smith,
    and Messrs. W. Bessemer Wright and M. H. Spielmann

    The Billiard Monthly : February, 1913

    A Few Cue Tips

    • A good practice forcing in-off is from near the middle
      baulk spot off the red on the pyramid into a top pocket. A
      free and straight swing of the cue with high cueing is what
      is needed.
    • The necessity of sending the cue tip right through the cue
      ball is often (and rightly) urged, but the taking of the cue
      well back in making the stroke is almost equally important.
      The rule is that the cue ball should be regarded as the centre
      of the swing.
    • A common billiard error is the use of side in what should
      be plain screw strokes. The only cases in which side is
      needed are when a pocket is blind and when the cannon
      is completed off a cushion. With open pockets and direct
      cannons side in making screw strokes is worse than useless.
    • Remember that when cue and object ball are both in
      baulk, the effort should be made to direct the ball not pocketed
      to the neighbourhood of a middle pocket. This can
      be easily done after a little study of contacts and strengths,
      with the occasional use of side or other compensation.
    • Profitable cannon practice may be obtained by attempting
      to take the second ball inside, outside, and dead centre,
      whilst at the same time directing the first ball in the desired
      direction. The elder Roberts used to say that he would
      rather miss the cannon altogether than play it wrongly.
    • There is only one worse thing than tediously slow play,
      and that is thoughtless hurrying. Good players may seem
      to hurry their game, but if you watch their eyes you will
      perceive that they are taking all likely eventualities into
      account at the same time.
    • Cultivate persistently the extra strength thick contacts
      for position in place of the much more risky gentle ones.
    • It is often much better to send the object ball to a cushion
      and back again than to endeavour to control it within a few
      inches. But the line of travel, to and fro, must, of course,
      be accurately gauged beforehand.
    • Play for position, but do not try to get ideal position in
      one stroke when you can work up to it in two or several
      strokes. Keep the score going with in-offs until a favourable
      cannon opportunity presents itself. On the other hand,
      be prepared to take a little risk with an in-off rather than
      make a cannon leaving nothing definite.
    • Try to dissipate the idea that anything is good enough
      in billiards—that the use of the rest does not matter, that
      mixing ivory with composition play does not matter, that
      careful body positioning and aim do not matter—in short
      that nothing matters. Instead of anything being good
      enough for billiards, nothing, to the minutest detail, can
      be too good.
    • Never strike an object ball in making in-offs or cannons
      until you have forecasted its approximate line of travel. It
      is here that one great secret of break-making lies, as well
      as the antidote for balls lost in pockets or baulk, left safe
      under cushions, or spoiling position by kissing. Also, never
      pot a ball before deciding where the cue ball ought to come
      to rest.