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The Billiard Monthly : April, 1913
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A Journal of Interest and Value to Amateur Billiard Players
No. 30, April, 1913 Price 1/6 per annum to any part of the world. Single Copies 1d

THE BILLIARD MONTHLY PORTRAIT GALLERY

XXX.—W. SMITH

willieSmith
W. SMITH:
The young Darlington professional who defeated George Gray.
The Billiard Monthly : April, 1913

Then and Now

The Rules of Sixty Years Ago

1.—The game is twenty-one in number, though sometimes
played twenty-four, fifty, sixty-three, one hundred, or
more; but twenty-one is the regular game.

2.—At the commencement both persons string for the
lead and choice of balls, except when any points are given;
then the person receiving the odds plays off at the beginning
of the match, and the winner of each game leads afterwards.

3.—In stringing, the person who brings his ball nearest
the cushion in baulk has the option of playing first or not,
and choice of balls, except when his ball touches the other,
or goes into a pocket; in either of which cases the adversary
has the option.

4.—At the beginning of the game, the red ball is to be
placed on the spot at the further end of the table, and
replaced there on being put into a pocket, knocked off the
table, or when the balls are
broken after a foul stroke, but
should any ball be on, or so
near the spot, as to prevent
the red being placed there without
touching the other, in that
case the red must be placed in
the centre of the table.

9.—A coo (!) is when your
ball goes into a pocket, or
jumps off the table without
touching either of the Others.

18.—Foul strokes are made
as follows:—When the striker’s
ball touches either of the
others; touching any ball while
rolling; moving another ball in
any way while taking aim, or
in the act of striking; pushing
the balls together when playing
with the butt of the cue; playing
with both feet off the floor;
playing at a ball before it has
done rolling; or by playing
with the wrong ball. In this
latter case, should a hazard or
cannon be made, the adversary
can have the balls broke and
lead off; and should no score
be made by such stroke, he can
take his choice of balls and
play.

19.—In breaking the balls,
you take them all off the table
place the red on the spot, and
both parties play from the baulk.

20.—If the balls have been changed, and it cannot be
ascertained by whom, the game must be played out with
them as they then are; or even if two strokes have been
made before the mistake is discovered, it must still be
played out in the same way.

21.—Should the striker, in making a cannon or hazard,
knock his own or either of the balls off the table, he cannot
score the points made by such a stroke and the opponent
plays but the balls are not broken.

23.—Should the striker, when in hand, play at a ball in
baulk, his adversary has the option of scoring a miss, or
having the balls replaced, and the stroke played again, or
of breaking the balls.

24.—If the striker’s ball touch another, he must play and
should he make a cannon or hazard, the adversary can
claim it as foul or he can allow the points to be scored,
and the person to play one, but
should the striker not score, it
is at the option of the opponent
to break them or not.

26.—If the last player should
alter the direction of the balls
while rolling, with cue, hand,
or otherwise, the striker may
place it where he thinks
proper.

27.—A line-ball is when either
the white or red is exactly on
the line of baulk, in which case
it cannot be played at by a person
whose ball is in hand, it
being considered in baulk.

28.—If the striker’s ball is
over the pocket and he should,
in the act of striking, miss it,
but in drawing his cue back
knock it into the pocket, he will
lose three points, it being a
coo.

30.—If the striker should
touch his ball by accident when
taking aim, it is not a stroke,
and the ball is to be replaced;
but should he touch it in the
act of striking, then it is a
stroke.

33.—In a match of four the
game is thirty-one, and each
person is at liberty to offer his
partner advice.

36.—All cramp games are
played sixteen up.

The Billiard Monthly : April, 1913

Things that Matter in Billiards,

XXVII.—THE USE AND ABUSE OF SAFETY PLAY

The extraordinarily free use of safety tactics in the championship
match just terminated between Inman and Reece
draws attention to the general question of safety play in
billiards. During the first week Inman gave no fewer than
97 misses, or ball placings after contact that represented
misses, and Reece 76. In addition, Inman went 22 times
to the table without scoring and Reece 68 times. The
result was the extremely meagre week’s scoring average to
Inman of 24.09 and to Reece of 21.81, or not greatly more
than one expects from the best amateur champions, and
ludicrously below the possibilities of aggressive championship
play, as displayed, for example, by Stevenson, in the final
heat of the professional tournament in 1907, when the then
champion averaged 89.83 during the entire week.

This is not to say that even Stevenson or others in championship
matches have been content to play the aggressive
game, and our criticism in this connection is not levelled
against any particular player, but against the theory that
seems to obtain amongst professionals that in a championship
struggle it is safety rather than courage and attack
that is likely to lead to success.

Turning up past records, we find that when Stevenson
beat Dawson for the old championship in 1900, he gave 40
misses to Dawson’s 29, and averaged 37.96 to Dawson’s
27.03. On the other hand, when Dawson beat Stevenson
in 1901 and 1903, he gave 54 and 45 misses to Stevenson’s
51 and 55, and averaged 37.31 and 31.27 to Stevenson’s
23.92 and 30.13. When Stevenson and Inman played their
first championship match, Stevenson gave 119 misses in the
nine days and Inman 123, and their averages, when the
match was broken off from an unavoidable cause, were
25.13 and 25.00.

These figures taken together would seem to show that,
other things being equal, success is by no means assured
to the player who systematically closes up the game. In
two cases misses and averages are about equal, and in the
two other cases they cancel each other, for when Stevenson
gave eleven more misses than Dawson in 1900 he won by
9,000 to 6,406, but when he gave ten more than Dawson in
1901 he lost by 5,796 to 9,000.

If the records of all the championship matches that have
been played were overhauled, and if the figures as to misses
and averages or totals were extracted from them, we think
that the futility of persistent safety tactics as appreciably
influencing the issue would be clearly demonstrated. A
safety move naturally provokes a retaliatory safety move,
just as brisk play begets brisk play. One player—when
the contestants are of equal calibre—naturally takes his cue
from the other, and when this is the case the only result
of slow and hesitating play is to weary spectators and
demoralize the combatants. To see two brilliant players,
who have, in free play, made breaks approaching a thousand,
hesitating and doubtful with regard to the simplest
shots, and almost in a convulsion of anxiety between the
delivery of the stroke and the pocketing or other intended
objective of the cue ball, is in itself an eloquent commentary
on the nerve-destroying class of play that prodigal
safety tactics infallibly lead up to.

This being said, however, let no reader of The Billiard
Monthly imagine that we have any desire to decry safety
play in principle, or that we consider that it has no uses,
and should, by mutual arrangement betwixt players, be
abolished. On the contrary, we would go so far as to say
that of two evils —excessive safety strokes and no safety
strokes at all—we should prefer the former. But we would
have such safety strokes, whether in social or club games,
or in exhibition, money, or championship matches, confined
to positions in which a score is not, according to the
capacity of the player, fairly and reasonably on.

A familiar example of what we mean may be given.

The white is inadvertently potted and the red is left in a
position from which the chances are two to one against a
score. No player who knew anything at all about the game
would neglect, under these circumstances, to make the
double or single baulk, run a coup, or in some other way
play for safety. When, again, the balls are running persistently
badly for a player and courageous attack fails
to mend matters, a well-judged safety move may easily
lead up to a scoring position, as the result of failure by
the opponent to reply, and—which is even more important—
to a re-establishment of confidence and equanimity. But
the monotonous reiteration of safety in events small or
large, and which is born of the superstition or bogey that
if the other man only gets in this once he will go on scoring
for ever, is another thing altogether, and one which, in the
interests of the game of billiards as a public spectacle, is
not, in our judgment, a feature to be at all encouraged.

Boxers who sawed the air around each other without
coming to practical exchanges, or batsmen who blocked,
blocked, blocked, until the bowling became loose, would
be subjected to remarks from the spectators. Boxing, we
know, stands on a somewhat different plane from billiards,
as it is practically blow for blow instead of the possibility
of a big break in reply to a single faulty stroke, but in
cricket the argument is reversed. Once let the ball find
its way to the wicket and the batsman is done for, so
far, at any rate, as half the match is concerned, whereas
in billiards numberless chances of retrieval will still occur
until the game is far advanced. True, the downfall of one
batsman does not necessarily mean the loss of the match,
as is the case in billiards, and there is no such thing as an
individual cricket championship, but when all points are
taken into consideration we think it will be conceded that
any game or sport suffers from undue timidity on the part
of its exponents, and that, given certain obvious and necessary
exceptions, the players themselves suffer in an equal
degree. The time has not yet arrived for the point to be
legislated upon, but professionals may do well to remember
that the old cushion-crawling (much honoured in its time)
has already passed away and that limitation of consecutive
non-miss safety dispositions would be equally within the
province and powers of the governing authority,

 

The Billiard Monthly : April, 1913

Jottings of the Month

  • W. H. Sparrow, A. Brown, and E. Hoskin may contest
    the professional championship of North London.
  • Owen has regained the Liverpool professional championship
    from F. Scott with 1,000 to 646.
  • Harverson has continued to show exceedingly fine form
    in contests against leading local amateurs in various parts
    of the country.
  • A young brother of F. Lindrum (Walter Lindrum, aged
    14) is said to have made an all-round break of 180, another
    of 126 at the top of the table, and a third of 115 chiefly off
    the red.
  • Following Inman’s record break of 894 against Newman
    at Soho Square, Reece made his own personal record of 773
    against Inman at Glasgow.
  • Mr. R. Thomas (holder, Penzance) defeated Mr. S. Chegwidden
    (Redruth) at Truro, on March 15, in the challenge
    round of the amateur championship of Cornwall. Final
    scores: 1,000—598.
  • In the two weeks commencing April 14, Harverson will
    play Newman 16,000 up at Soho Square and concede 2,000
    start. This event, for which Messrs. Burroughes & Watts
    have offered a prize of £25, should prove very interesting.
  • The competition for the Committee Cup of the Globe
    Club was concluded on March 18. The final heat between
    Mr. L. Jacobs (135) and Mr. W. E. Fry (90) was won by
    Mr. Fry with 4 to spare. Scores: Mr. W. E. Fry (90), 200;
    Mr, L. Jacobs (135), 196.
  • Indications of Reece’s good play this season, prior to the
    championship, are yielded by the following figures:—Played
    13, won 11, lost 2. Winning aggregate 20,345 in 11 games;
    losing aggregate 627, in 2 games. Breaks: 773, 751, 740,
    527, 497, 485, 451, 422, 416, 412, and 409. 222 off the red.
  • Mr. J. P. Mannock is promoting a handicap which will be
    decided at his rooms at the Bedford Head Hotel, Tottenham
    Court Road, commencing Monday, April 7. Entry
    will be confined to players qualified to receive no more than
    100 points start in 500 up from the amateur champion.
  • At the Denny Institute, Dumbarton, on February 15,
    Mr. Charles McCallion made a break of 105, beating the
    record for this Institute. The tables are by Burroughes &
    Watts, and that firm presented Mr. McCallion with a
    special cue in recognition of his performance.
  • The final of the Press Handicap was played at Leicester
    Square on March 20. The winner was Mr. E. D. Allen,
    of the Cricket Reporting Agency Staff (rec. 140), who
    defeated Mr. S. H. Piggott (rec. 180) by 3 points in 250 up.
  • The dinner in connection with the event will be held at the
    Salisbury Hotel, Salisbury Square, E.C, on April 12, under
    the chairmanship of Mr. T. A. Edge.
  • The annual University contest ended on March 5 in the
    victory of Cambridge by two games to one.
  • Up to date, Inman and Stevenson have not been able
    to agree as to a meeting.
  • On April 21, Stevenson will meet W. J. Peall at Leicester
    Square and concede 11,000 in 22,000 for £100 a side.
  • The new Welsh Billiard Association has officially recognised
    T. Carpenter, of Cardiff, as the champion of Wales,
    and the winner of a Welsh championship tournament in
    April will meet Carpenter.
  • In the amateur championship round between Mr. S. H.
    Fry and Mr. G. A. Heginbottom, Fry made the new record
    amateur championship break of 236.
  • The final of J. P. Mannock’s handicap at the Bedford
    Head Hotel resulted in G. Sutcliffe (rec. 80) defeating F.
    Wagstaff (rec. 135) by 39 points.
  • The refereeship in the championship match was shared
    by such first-class amateurs as Mr. G. H. Nelson, Mr. A. J.
    Peters, Mr. G. D. Roberts, Mr. A. J. Gask, etc.
  • The committee of the Stock Exchange Billiard Association
    are promoting a members’ championship which commenced
    on March 31. The heats are 500 up (final 750).
  • Hoskin, while playing Brady a match of 7,000 points up
    for £50 at Soho Square, on March 26, made a break of 307,
    which is his best on a “standard” table, his previous
    highest being 191.
  • The game of 7,000 up between J. W. Collens and J.
    Pearson, for £25 a side and the professional championship
    cup of Liverpool, was concluded at Messrs. Ashcroft’s
    Rooms on March 8. Scores: J. W. Collens, 7,000; J. Pearson,
    6,459.
  • The final heat in the Stock Exchange Handicap was
    decided at the Association headquarters, Old Broad Street,
    on March 18, when R. E. Norton (190) beat H. Collard
    (30) by 92 points, thus gaining first prize. Scores: R. E.
    Norton, 250; H. Collard, 158.
  • The following is the draw and order of play for the first
    round of the Stock Exchange Billiard Association Championship:—
    March 31, P. Wood v. R. J. Bullett; April 1,
    P. Harwitz v. W. D. Waite; April 2, S. Harwitz v. J. A.
    Hunt; April 3, V. L. Harrington v. F. E. Yates. Heats
    500 up, B.C.C. rules.
  • The usual West End Club Markers’ Handicap, promoted
    every year by Messrs. Burroughes & Watts, will commence
    at the Soho Square Salon on Monday, April 28, and there
    will be three heats of 500 up each daily until completed, for
    prizes amounting to £50, besides which a place will be
    reserved for one of the competitors in next year’s Preliminary
    Professional Tournament.
  • In the amateur championship of Northampton Mr. W.
    Reesby defeated Mr. W. Gooing in the final by 36 points,
    1,000—964.
  • The London Charity Handicap was concluded on March
    18 at the Temple Restaurant, Tudor Street, E.C, when the
    final game was played between A. N. Raker (scratch) and
    W. Green (rec. 150), and resulted in a win for the latter
    by 105 points.
  • The Cambridge University cue was won by Mr. S. C. L.
    Hatch (Trinity), who defeated Mr. C. E. Newham (Jesus)
    in the final by 164 points in the usual game of 500. The
    Oxford cue was won by A. Hurst Brown (Christ Church),
    who defeated E. F. Pretty (Magdalene) by 213 points, 500 —
    287.
  • T. Aiken, en route for Australia, arrived at Port Said on
    March 18, by the P. & O. liner “Malwa.” He is due in
    Melbourne on April 14, and will play George Gray and
    Others.
  • The Birmingham Licensed Victuallers’ Tournament was
    brought to a conclusion on March 4 at the Royal Exchange
    Hotel, Birmingham. The finalists were: J. Bicker (rec.
    570) and F. Hadley (rec. 100), the game being 800 up.
    Bicker won by 18.
  • The provision of a billiard table in a home where there
    are grown-up sons is almost a paternal duty. Once a
    youth becomes proficient on his father’s private table he
    wants no better amusement in the evening than “giving
    his father points” in a good long game.
  • Dixon has returned as head marker to Leicester Square
    on Lloyd leaving for Canada. Lloyd called the scores in the
    championship match just concluded at the Holborn Hall.
  • The final heat of the Victoria Club Committee Cup on
    March 8, between J. Cash (116) and C. Branstone (125)
    was won very easily by the giver of start by 43 points.
    Scores: Mr. J. Cash (116), 200; Mr. C. Branstone (125),
    157.
  • B. Elphick has won the championship of the Billiards
    Professionals’ Association for the fourth time.
  • In the return match on March 26, at Swansea, between
    the Swansea and Llanelly Liberals, the result was as
    follows:—Llanelly, 1,522; Swansea, 1,281.
  • The match of 7,000 (level) for £25 aside between Brady
    and Hoskin, at Soho Square, concluded on March 28 in a
    victory for Hoskin by 2,000 points.
  • W. Smith (Darlington) took part in three exhibition
    matches on March 24 and 25 at the Talbot Hotel, Whitby,
    and in each match defeated his opponent.
  • In the Bentham and District League, Ingleton Liberal
    Club met Ingleton Literary Institute on March 22, the scores
    being: Liberal Club, 730; Literary Institute, 661.
  • The match between T. Newman and J. Harris, at Manchester,
    resulted in a victory for Newman by 2,951 points.
    Final scores: Newman, 13,000; Harris (rec. 1,000), 10,049.
The Billiard Monthly : April, 1913

The Perfect Billiard Ball

(By Reuben Roy.)

The qualities, which distinguish a good ball, are its
perfect elasticity, its exact sphericity, and a centre of gravity
so precisely coincidental with the centre of the ball itself
that, placed in motion on a level surface, beyond the impulsion
and direction given to it, it should possess no preponderance
of motive inclination one way or another.

The centre of gravity of a circular disc is the middle
point of a line passing through its centre as cut by a
transverse section. Thus, the centre of gravity of a ball
perfectly spherical, having all its particles of the same density,
would be found also to be the centre of the ball itself.

A ball thus perfect in its parts will roll always on the line
of its equator, as if turning on its poles with the rotary
exactness of a carriage wheel on its axis. A ball, having
its centre of gravity distinct from its own centre, will
describe a crooked line, and will strike aside of the mark
towards which it is sent, although the plane on which it
rolls may be regular enough; and the reason is, that in
either case, the ball rolls on the line of its circumference,
taking its centre of gravity for the centre, which, if not the
centre of the ball itself, will necessarily divide it into two
unequal parts, so that it will roll on a circle greater or less
than its equator, and its action will necessarily be proportionably
irregular.

To ascertain any irregularity in the density of a ball,
such as described, a very simple method has been recommended,
founded on the principle that a ball perfect in its
qualities, dropping from a certain height without impulsion
of any kind to effect its fall, will touch the earth with the
same point downwards as when it commenced its fall, the
resistance of the air being equal on all sides, and no inclination
in itself to affect its equilibrium. Hence, if a suspected
ball be marked with a spot on any part of its circumference,
and it be carefully placed on the surface of a vase of clear
water, with the mark exactly uppermost, it will descend
through the lesser density of the water in exactly the same
position; that is, with the mark still uppermost; on the contrary,
inexactness in the equilibrium of its parts from its
centre will be discoverable by the altered position of the spot
in the course of its descent—the preponderating side, of
course, finding the base. If, after several trials, the same
result be obtained, the decision may safely warrant the
rejection of the ball.

Another desideratum: the balls must be all of the same
size and the same weight to a nicety. A set of balls perfect
in all these respects is valuable, but the principal table
manufacturers have large stocks of balls on hand, and by
paying a fair market price match sets can be selected as
near as possible to perfection.

 

Professional Results of the Month

  • Sparrow, 5,000, v. Holliwell (rec. 600), 3,443.
  • Falkiner, 7.000, v. Hoskins (rec. 1,000), 6,602.
  • Newman, 8,000, v. Smith, 6,848.
  • *Inman, 9,000, v. A. F. Peall (rec. 3,000), 8,091.
  • Falkiner (rec. 5,000), 10,000, v. Stevenson, 9,668.
  • Reece (rec. 600), 9,000, v. Inman, 7,018.
  • *Smith (rec. 2,250), 9,000, v. Aiken (rec. 1,500), 8,559.
  • Falkiner (rec. 3,750). 9,000, v. Stevenson, 8,161.
  • Smith, 8,000, v. Breed (rec. 2,000), 7,353.
  • Reece, 9,000, v. Diggle, 5,658.
  • *Inman, 9,000, v. Newman (rec. 2,250), 8,471.
  • *Inman, 18,000, v. Reece (rec. 1,000), 16,627.

 

Questions and Answers

A Suggestion

230.—”Your paper is a well-finished one and very appropriate
for billiard enthusiasts, but a contribution each month of general
interest would improve it I think. If you will permit me I will
make a suggestion. In the next month’s number give a visitor’s
impression of his visit to a billiard factory with a description of
how billiard tables are made. The following month could contain
the same visitor’s description of his visit to the mill where
billiard cloths are made. The next could contain a short story
of difficulties and perils encountered in foreign lands in obtaining
ivory for billiard balls., etc.”

Thanks for your suggestion

We have already given several articles and pictures descriptive of
billiard-table making processes, but agree that something of a
more intimate nature might yet be published, and we shall hope
to do so later.

The Billiard Pointer

231.—”Several references to what is known as the ‘billiard
pointer’ have appeared in The Billiard Monthly. Can you kindly
state in a few words exactly what it is that this instrument purports
to do?”

It indicates the exact point upon, or away from,
an object ball at which aim should be taken for any class of
stroke and reveals whether the correct aim has been taken or
precisely to what extent it has been at fault. As we have before
stated, we consider it to be a sound and practical instrument
and one calculated to be of great value to all serious players
who will take the slight trouble that is necessary in order
effectively to utilize it.

The Marker and the Game

232.—”How long have the rules authorized the marker to
declare strokes to be foul?”

The B.C.C. rule (20) as to a
referee’s duties includes the following:—”He is, moreover,
responsible for the proper conduct of the game, and must of his
own initiative intervene should he observe any breach of the
rules.” We should take this as authorizing the referee to spot
the balls without appeal after a foul stroke, which ought to be
so dealt with.

Playing With Wrong Ball

233.—”Two are playing. The player has finished his break
and stood off from the table. His opponent, when he goes
to the table, discovers that the wrong ball has been played with.
Having finished the break, and gone from the table, can a foul
be then claimed? Should not the claim of a foul, as stated in
the rule, be made whilst in play, and not after a break has been
finished? Or how are we to read the rule if this is not so?
The argument is: As the claim of a foul was not made in play
no part of the rule can be claimed after an opponent has finished
his break and gone from the table.”

We do not agree. We
should say that the striker scores all his points (under B.C.C.
rules) or all except those for the last stroke (under B.A. rules),
and that play then proceeds, according to rule, as though the
foul had been claimed during the break. This is obviously just,
as the striker has made a mistake and deserves to be penalized
for it. The B.C.C. rule, page 14, section “Foul Strokes,”
paragraph H, reads as follows:—”By playing with the wrong
ball all points made previous to the claim of foul to be scored.”
Under “Penalties,” page 15, paragraph 2, the rule runs:—” For a foul stroke… his (i.e., the striker’s) ball shall be
placed on the centre spot, the, red shall be spotted, and his opponent
shall play from the D.” Taking these two rules together
we should say that the striker in the case that you name scores
the points that he has made, but the balls are spotted and the
opponent continues the game from the D. The B.A. rules are
somewhat different. On page 12, section 33, the rule is given
as follows:—” If the player play with… his opponent’s
ball his opponent may play from the position of either white ball,
have the balls replaced and compel his adversary to play the
stroke with the right ball, such stroke to be foul, or he may
either break the balls himself, or direct his opponent to do so.

Should the player exacting the penalty elect to play from the
position of his opponent’s ball, the ball shall be changed at once.

Should the striker discover the error before his opponent claims
a foul, all scores made shall count to the striker, and he shall
continue his break in the ordinary manner.”

Getting to the Top

234.—” Having worked incessantly at the top of the table, I
am now becoming fairly successful there in practice, and have
made a forty-seven break without going to baulk. But I find
that in actual play I frequently go through a whole evening
without getting a single chance at the top. Yet I notice that
professionals seem to reach there after two or three strokes.
Can you make a suggestion that is likely to help me?”

All
professionals do not reach the top of the table readily, and the
best are often kept away from it for considerable spells of time.

It is not a position that can be immediately forced after any run
of the balls. The simple route is by way of a drop cannon—
direct or cushion—off the white on to the spotted red, or by
way of the potting of the red following the previous favourable
placing of the white. But even these simple shots can easily be
mulled if the contacts are not exactly right. Either a favourable
or a difficult juxtaposition of the gathered balls may result,
according as to whether the gathering stroke is carefully or
ineffectively managed. To make the drop cannon or to pot the
red is not enough and may even be worse than failure to score,
for an attempt to commence top-of-the-table movements from a
bad top-of-the-table gathering may hand over to your opponent
instead of yourself the position towards which you have been
so carefully struggling.

Fancy Strokes

235.—”There is a stroke that is tolerably certain to come off,
but I have never seen a professional attempt it when on. I
mean when the two object balls are one behind the other against
the centre of the top cushion and the striker is in hand. Play
at the upper shoulder of a pocket will result in a cannon along
the top cushion.”

We saw this done once by Diggle, just as
we saw a cannon made by Stevenson (when the two balls were
nearly touching and both banked against the centre of the top
cushion) by playing down the table and up again. But these
strokes are few and far between amongst professionals, who
fear to tread where amateurs do not hesitate to rush in. Unless
seeming to be necessary for the continuation of an already long
break a miss would be preferable, as mere disturbance of the two
balls might easily open up a game for the opponent instead of
leaving him with a stiff proposition to tackle.

 

The Professional Tournament at Soho Square

Table of Results to Date
W L Aggregate Average Points.
Inman 5 0 45,000 39.03 64
Smith 4 2 51,033 29.52 69
Reece 3 2 44,373 42.73 52
Aiken 3 3 49,463 36.79 55
Newman 2 3 42,556 28.87 47
Peall 3 3 47,801 22.77 58
Diggle 0 5 36,114 32.07 30

Merit breaks earning 3 points each:—

  • Inman: 894, 787, 570, 471 (unfinished), 469, 453.
  • Reece: 751, 527, 499, 497.
  • Smith: 431, 365, 348, 325, 323.
  • Aiken: 531, 420, 389, 362.
  • Newman: 380, 374, 351, 341, 309.
  • Peall: 299, 258, 250, 246, 228, 226, 203, 203.
  • Diggle: 541, 412.

 

The Stock Exchange Championship

The first heat of the Stock Exchange championship was
played at Leicester Square on March 24, when Mr. W. H.
L. Goolden (holder) defeated Mr. E. Escombe by 56 points.

The best breaks were 26, 29, 28, and 21 by the winner,
and 21, 24, 32, and 46 by the loser. Final Scores: Mr.
Goolden, 500; Mr. Escombe, 444. The second heat, between
Mr. Colin Smith and Mr. W. H. L. Goolden (holder), took
place on March 25, Mr. Smith winning by 500—353. The
best breaks were 20 (twice). 21 (twice), 27, 28 (twice), 47,
24, 26, and 20 (unfinished) by the winner, and 58, 23
(twice), and 22 by the loser.

The third heat brought together Mr. W. Burlinson and
Mr. C. A. Morris, the former winning by 143. The winner’s
best breaks were 31, 46, 20, and 17 (unfinished), and the
loser’s 30 and 35. Scores: 500—357.

The final, of 1,000 up, was commenced on March 26
by Mr. Colin Smith and Mr. W. Burlinson and at the
half-way stage Mr. Colin Smith was leading by 287,
having made breaks of 34, 53 (twice), 60, 19, 16, 14 (twice),
22, 36, 29, and 31. Mr. Burlinson’s chief breaks were 18,
13, 29, and 39. Scores: Mr. Smith (in play), 500; Mr.
Burlinson, 217.

The challenge round was concluded on March 28, when
Mr. Colin Smith defeated Mr. W. Burlinson by 357 points.

The winner’s best breaks were 12, 22, 35, 26, 71, 22, 25, and
24 (unfinished), and Mr. Burlinson’s best breaks were 21,
37, 26, 22, 20, 33, 29, and 20. Final scores: Mi’s Colin
Smith, 1,000; Mr. W. Burlinson, 643.

 

The B.C.C. Professional Championship

From the point of view of attendance, the B.C.C professional
championship match just concluded at the Holborn
Hall, between M. Inman and T. Reece, eclipsed any of its
predecessors. The play was also good in the second week,
and at times quite engrossing in its interest, but the first
week was disappointing from the spectacular point of view
on account of the excessive use that was made by both contestants
of safety tactics, and the subduing effect that such
tactics had upon the players themselves.

The last session but one in this match will long be
remembered in connection with championship encounters,
Reece wiping out Inman’s great lead with a break of 535
and other good contributions, only to lose it badly again in
the same session, when Inman came along with a string
of big breaks, including one of 522, or only thirteen less
than Reece’s. It was reminiscent of Stevenson’s day in
the 1911 championship, when the then champion produced
a 528 and 532 in successive sessions.

The story of the play—Good Friday being left blank,
and an extra day being substituted on March 31—has been
given as below by The Sporting Life in a more concentrated
and practical manner than any mere descriptive
language could convey: —

Inman: First Week
Inns Scored By Misses Ave
Monday afternoon 37 739 11 19.97
Monday evening 24 669 9 27.87
Tuesday afternoon 40 491 17 12.27
Tuesday evening 19 673 4 35.42
Wednesday afternoon 25 759 9 30.07
Wednesday evening 17 653 6 38.41
Thursday afternoon 35 1054 6 30.11
Thursday evening 34 550 10 16.17
Saturday afternoon 35 735 9 21.00
Saturday evening 27 537 16 19.88
293 6860 97 24.09

Century breaks in order of compilation (21):—296, 115,
128, 183, 144, 132, 163, 176, 132, 126, 154, 170, 141, 141,
208, 116, 110, 178, 177, 122, 111.

Reece: First Week
Inns Scored By Misses Ave
Monday afternoon 37 612 8 16.54
Monday evening 24 434 6 18.08
Tuesday afternoon 40 881 14 22.02
Tuesday evening 19 703 2 37-00
Wednesday afternoon 24 645 6 26.87
Wednesday evening 17 425 6 25.00
Thursday afternoon 36 582 8 16.16
Thursday evening 34 501 8 14.73
Saturday afternoon 34 944 8 27.76
Saturday evening 27 644 10 23.85
292 6371 76 21.81

Century breaks in order of compilation (22):—191, 112,
250, 187, 153, 135, 227, 108, 111, 249, 104, 148, 125, 154, 140,
112, 155, 160, 160, 199, 173, 109.

Of the total number of innings taken by the players 119
of Inman’s were drawn blank and no fewer than 144 of the
Lancastrian’s resulted in no score, but even when these are
deducted one finds that the average rate of the scoring in
the remaining hands works out to no more than 39.42 per
innings by Inman and 43.04 by Reece. Again, the aggregate
time occupied in actual play during the five days
amounts to 24 hours 45 minutes per session, giving the
moderate yield of (roughly) 541 points per hour.

Complete Analysis of Match

Inman Reece
Scored Ave Scored Aver
Monday afternoon 750 19.97 620 16.54
Monday evening 678 27.87 440 18.08
Tuesday afternoon 508 12.27 895 22.02
Tuesday evening 677 35.42 705 37.00
Wednesday afternoon 768 30.07 651 26.87
Wednesday evening 659 38.41 431 25.00
Thursday afternoon 1060 30.11 590 16.16
Thursday evening 560 16.17 509 14.73
Saturday afternoon 744 21.00 952 27.76
Saturday evening 553 19.88 654 23.85
Monday afternoon 768 14.18 796 14.38
Monday evening 765 35.95 303 14.19
Tuesday afternoon 822 21.88 815 22.36
Tuesday evening 384 15.75 696 28.62
Wednesday afternoon 863 53.43 810 50.31
Wednesday evening 359 23.80 862 57.33
Thursday afternoon 1095 30.30 923 24.59
Thursday evening 1065 88.66 180 15.00
Friday afternoon 842 22.40 871 23.21
Friday evening 578 35.75 666 41.37
Saturday afternoon 940 28.18 1035 32.06
Saturday evening 436 18.78 831 36.00
Monday afternoon 1316 48.51 984 34.85
Monday evening 810 40.45 408 21.26
Complete Averages for Match
Innings Scored By misses Ave
Inman 663 17,804 196 26.85
Reece 662 16,446 181 24.84
Three-figure Breaks

The following “century” breaks were compiled during
the game. They are given in the order of compilation:—

Inman (56).—296, 115, 128, 183, 144, 132, 163, 176, 132,
126, 154, 170, 141, 141, 208, 116, 178, 177, 122, 111, 147,
115, 112, 144, 112, 120, 172, 171, 120, 126, 105, 124, 223,
187, 307, 107, 119, 146, 414, 104, 211, 218, 111, 413, 138,
160, 167, 195, 107, 522, 152, 339, 187, 238, 265, 101 (unfinished).

Reece. (57).—191, 112, 250, 187, 153, 135, 227, 108, 111,
249, 104, 148, 125, 154, 140, 112, 155, 160, 160, 199, 173,
109, 132, 191, 127, 111, 101, 343, 240, 200, 148, 190, 223,
246, 161, 160, 230, 253, 350, 104, 178, 268, 104, 228, 117,
157, 129, 237, 101, 260, 180, 174, 133, 120, 535, 176, 146.

Breaks of “500” or over in all championship matches
under the auspices of the Billiard Association and Billiards
Control Club now stand as follows:—

  • 648 by Stevenson v. Diggle, April 2, 1900.
  • 534 by Dawson v. Stevenson, January, 1901.
  • 528 by Stevenson v. Inman, April 28, 1911.
  • 532 by Stevenson v. Inman, April 28, 1911.
  • 535 by Reece v. Inman, March 31, 1913.
  • 522 by Inman v. Reece, March 31, 1913.

For the fifth consecutive time Mr. J. P. Mannock ably
managed this great annual event; leading members of the
Billiards Control Club acted in succession as referees; and
the scores were smartly called by A. Lloyd.

 

A Few Cue Tips

  • Care should be taken, when carrying a cue around, that
    the point be carried over the table.
  • To use a cue efficiently it is necessary that the player
    stand firmly on his feet. This is by no means always done.
  • Beginners should always avoid playing with the cue
    behind the back, as it will take years to learn to strike
    with accuracy.
  • Unless quite sure of the stroke, avoid very gentle play,
    which, following failure, would be sure to set up a game for
    your opponent.
  • Play briskly and confidently, but never hurry your stroke.
  • There is no stroke in billiards, however simple, that cannot
    be better played by taking care.
  • Very fine strokes at any distance are treacherous. If
    you could not quite easily run a coup past the object ball,
    even a feather contact would be too risky.
  • Aptitude and confidence in playing with the left hand are
    soon acquired by practising against one’s self and playing
    left-handed with one white ball and right-handed with the
    other.
  • It is rarely that, in a very full follow through with side,
    the cue is held perfectly parallel with the intended run of
    the ball. These strokes should, consequently, be carefully
    practised without side.
  • If, when shaping for a comparatively simple stroke, you
    feel some doubt as to the result, do not strike. Straighten
    yourself up and chalk your cue, and then try again. This
    time you will succeed.
  • Avoid trying to accomplish too much in one stroke. If
    a second score of some kind is foreseen, make the immediate
    stroke as simply as possible, and leave the ideal position to
    shape itself up a little later.
  • In practising the safety play that is necessary after one
    miss, decide how you would not like the balls to be left
    for yourself, and endeavour, by gentle contact with one of
    the object balls, to leave them there.
  • Everything that happens to the balls in billiard playing
    is according to the fixed and immutable laws of rotation,
    concussion, etc. To ascertain and follow these laws is to
    take the line of least resistance and the one that leads to
    success.
  • Cushion cannon play is not so difficult as it looks. The
    worst danger is a cover, but close approximation of the balls
    greatly aids both precision and strength. The stroke, or
    tap, should be extremely gentle, yet crisp, and the object
    balls kept in front of the cue ball.
  • Before playing any half-ball stroke, always glance through
    the object ball from a point half-an-inch inside the edge at
    which you are aiming. This will show you the direction
    that the object ball will take and enable you to guide it to
    a scoring position or to vary the intended stroke if anything
    undesirable is looming in the way.

Final of the B.C.C. Amateur Championship

A very interesting and exciting match between Mr, A.
Sellar and Mr. H. Crosland took place at the headquarters
of the Club in Great Windmill Street, on the afternoon and
evening of March 18, which resulted in a win for Mr.
Sellar by 31 points. At the half-way Sellar led by 202, but
in the evening Crosland scored the faster and drew to
within 20 of Sellar at 618-636, when the latter made two
very pretty breaks of 80 and 45; however, Crosland came
along again, and was only beaten by 31 as stated. The
final scores were:—

A. W. Sellar

31, 77, 24, 31, 39, 96, 22, 27, 83, 44, 45, 20

1,000 H. Crosland

39, 34, 32, 40, 20, 23, 25, 22, 24, 59, 59, 87, 25, 44, 28, 28, 24, 21

969

Sir Hubert Medlicolt kindly presented the Cup, and in
doing so congratulated the winner and offered sympathy to
the loser. Sir Hubert said it was always a pleasure to
witness matches at the Billiards Control Club, and he considered
now that the West End clubs had so many competitions
at headquarters and that the Club had extended
the area of entries for this handsome challenge cup, he was
sure next year would see a much larger entry. Sir Hubert
concluded by paying a very high tribute to the sportsmanlike
manner which always characterized the matches he had
witnessed at the Club. A vote of thanks to Sir Hubert
terminated the proceedings.

H. Crosland ran out a winner against Guy Chetwynd
by 283 points. The winner’s best breaks were 22, 26, 33,
37, 55, and 83 (78 off the red). The loser’s best runs were
22 and 25.

Previously, H. Crosland was opposed to G. M. Roberts,
whom he defeated by 91 points. The winner made breaks
of 21, 24, 33, 35, 50, and 52, while the loser made runs of
23, 25, 26, 29, 36, and 40. The final scores were:—H.
Crosland, 500; G. M. Roberts, 409.

 

Finals in the B.A. Amateur Championship

The championship of England having been won by Mr.
H. C. Virr, who defeated S. H. Fry by 2,000 to 1,656; that
of Scotland having been won by Major Fleming, who
defeated S. J. Gill by 2,000 to 1,106; that of Ireland having
been won by Mr. H. Nugent, who defeated J. M. Meldon
by 2,000 to 1,781; and that of Wales having fallen to Mr.
W. E. Thomas without contest, the play-offs for the United
Kingdom were next engaged in, and resulted as below:—

H. C. Virr (England) 2,000
Breaks: 100, 67, 55, 104, 91, 53, 171 (all-red
record), 90, 55, 60, 70. Sessional averages:
15.0, 18.0, 12.5, 13.0.

W. E. Thomas (Wales) 1,209
Breaks: 60, 52, 51. Sessional averages: 9.0,
11.0, 6.25, 9.0.

J. Nugent (Ireland) 2,000
Breaks: 53, 70, 63, 54. Sessional averages: 10,
16, 14, 12.

Major H. L. Fleming (Scotland) 1,597
Breaks: 75, 156, 79, 53, 61. Sessional averages:
10, 13.3, 10, 8.

Final

H. C. Virr (holder) 3,000
Breaks: 76, 79, 87, 75. 56, 72, 70, 83, 52, 124,
73, 74, 51, 73, 96, 60, 74. Sessional averages:
13.8, 16.6, 20.8, 17.1, 20.

J. Nugent 1,956
Breaks: 96, 56, 70, 75, 84, 58, 68, 68, 50, 71.

Sessional averages: 9.3, 7.7, 12.7, 17.8, 12.

 

Inman’s Appreciation of Reece

In an article contributed by him to The News of the
World, at the half-way stage of the championship match
played at the Holborn Hall during the last fortnight of
March, Inman says.—

In the match that I am now playing with Reece my task
is exceedingly difficult, but it is one that I did not underestimate.

This season Reece is distinctly a better player
than he was. He has strengthened his open game considerably,
and is by no means so impetuous. There has
been no development in his top-of-the-table game, which
he always plays well, whilst his close cannons are perfection.

He has twice this season made breaks of over 700
against me, and with that knowledge I went to Holborn
Hall prepared for a harder battle than ever. And I was not
mistaken, for whilst I am fortunately possessed of a lead, it
is anything but a winning lead. Reece has hung on excellently,
and made a number of sound counter safety moves,
and several times has beaten me handsomely at a game that
people say I play as well as most professionals. I should
estimate Reece’s improvement this season to be at least
150 in 1,000—and should I have the good fortune to win I
shall have defeated undoubtedly the second best player.

This is not to flatter Reece, but I know my men, having
played them.

Reece’s strong point—and one that the heavy-napped cloth
admirably suits—is his nursery cannon play. He has made
several runs this week, and the manner in which he avoids
the foul push, even when the balls are quite close and skims
or brushes his ball by the others, is wonderfully attractive.

It is, however, a dangerous game, and sometimes he has set
up problems that have beaten him, or have only been solved
by good masse play. Considering the circumstances, and
that I have at stake my title of champion, which has a
financial value, I have played my average game. There has
been a great deal of safety play, but take that away and
some useful breaks are left. At the start it took me a long
while to gauge the conditions. I was missing the drop
cannon, and making other bad blunders, which compelled
me to feel my way when danger threatened to tighten the
game. Reece was possibly in the same position, and
followed suit, which accounts for the safety play which has
been criticised by amiable gentlemen who, I fear, have not
realized how highly important the game is to Reece and
myself. I am playing for £200 of Mr. Robert Topping’s
money, and Reece for the same amount, staked by a Northcountry
sportsman, Mr. Kenworthy, and we are both doing
our best to win. I may say at once that it is not my intention
to, alter my methods. The public have shown no signs
of tiring of them, and from what some have said I have
reason to believe that a great many people enjoy watching
the finesse. They apparently recognise the value of a
good defence. The heavy nap to the cloth and soft ivory
balls, which take a dead angle and have no spring in them,
are against an all-round player, and as I score a great number
of my points in that way, my game has been difficult to
play. Such conditions are more suited to Reece’s quieter
top-of-the-table and close-cannon methods. I have, however,
accommodated myself to them.

On this point I must have a little grumble with the
Billiards Control Club, and it is one that good amateur
players will appreciate. It is not right that professional
players should each year find themselves faced with different
and unexpected playing conditions. Either the cloth should
be superfine or heavily napped for all time, not one and then
the other. It is the same with the balls. We never know
whether they are to be of Indian or African ivory, which
are altogether different materials when you have to play
billiards with them, the effects of certain shots played the
same way being quite different. Surely the B.C.C. can
select a roll of cloth and keep it for the championship as
they can a few sets of balls. There is quite enough to be
thought of in a big game without that worry, and plenty of
wear and tear. It may cause some surprise and raise a
smile, but it is none the less true, that at the end of a
billiard season I generally am something like a stone lighter
than at the start. I am getting finer every day, and with
Reece after me I shall be nicely conditioned by the end of
May. After a big battle with him I feel like a hare that
has been well coursed. I wonder what Reece is like!

It is popularly supposed that Reece and myself are eternal
enemies, and certainly he does tell some stories at my
expense: All my wins are obtained by the interposition of
good fortune, and he says that I am the luckiest man alive.

A little time since he said that if I fell over Clifton Suspension
Bridge a barge laden with eiderdown quilts or pillows
would be sailing underneath to break my fall, and that I
would drop off to sleep on them, to find myself eventually in
some pleasant West-country resort, having travelled there
free of charge. He says that once I “biked” to a race
meeting, and, with my usual luck, found such a nice wind
at my back that I was blown there. The same wind blew
all the men’s straw hats off, and in the scramble I got a
two-and-a-half-guinea Panama for a two-and-ninepenny,
whilst, after the last race, the wind changed suddenly, and
blew me home. I forget how many winners I backed, but
I know that one man who was going to give me a tip—
which lost—was temporarily deprived of the powers of
speech, and could not do so. At least, that is what Reece
says. As a matter of fact, whilst Reece would slay me a
thousand times with his cue—as I would him—we are not
unfriendly. I know that behind this battling for supremacy
he has excellent qualities, and that, billiard play apart, he
would do me a good turn if he could.

Men who have fought hard generally respect each other.
Reece is a public favourite, and he certainly is more favoured
than myself with applause and encouragement. It is
strange, for I do my utmost to please, and play my best;
but it does not matter in the end, and I do not grumble.

If I can get the stake money, he is thoroughly welcome to
the applause. To attempt to forecast the result of the
match is difficult, but I think that I shall retain my title.

There is, however, always danger to be scented from a
player of Reece’s ability, and a four-figure lead is not much,
as breaks go nowadays. I have lost as many points in a
day as has Reece.

In quoting from an article by G. Nelson, the Yorkshire
professional, we said that this appeared in The Yorkshire
Evening News. It should have been The Yorkshire Evening
Post, and we are glad of the opportunity of making this
correction.