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6-Red Snooker National Championship starts in Kolkata

India Blooms News Service | | 28 Dec 2015, 07:47 pm
Kolkata, Dec 28 (IBNS): The West Bengal Billiards Association is organizing the 5th Indian National 6-Red Snooker Championship at the Bengal Rowing Club from December 29, 2015 to January 6, 2016.
In the absence of any Asian selection tournament by the Billiards & Snooker Federation of India [BSFI] this year, the Kolkata BRC 6-Red Nationals would be the sole qualifier for the 2016 Asian 6-Red Championship. The top two players of this tournament will be joining Pankaj Advani, a direct entry by virtue of being the current World 6-Red Champion, to represent India at the 2016 Asian 6-Red Championship.
“6-Red Snooker is like cricket’s T20 – fast-paced and exciting. It is becoming more and more popular across the world. We have received more than 170 entries from across the country. All the top-ranked players of India will be seen in action here,” said Pradip Saraogi, President of the West Bengal Billiards Association. 
The Championship will see the participation of players from all states as well as from the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board and the Railways Sports Promotion Board.
For the first time, Double-elimination brackets will be used in place of straight knock-out. This will save a player from sudden death and an opportunity to come up from the loser’s bracket in the event of losing his or her first match.
In the Men’s section, 144 players divided into 12 groups will play double elimination. From each group, the last-4 players will join the last year’s top-16 players to make a total field of 64 players for the round-robin league. In the Women’s section, 19 players, divided into two groups, will play double elimination. From each group, the last 4 players will play straight knock out from quarter finals.
In the Men's category, Bengal's very own Sourav Kothari and Brijesh Damani who are currently ranked India No. 1 & 2 respectively, shall be vying for the top honours along with Aditya Mehta, Arjuna Awardee and India’s only professional snooker player, and the defending champion Varun Madan. 
Among the other well-known names in the fray will be Kamal Chawla [RSPB], Faisal Khan [RSPB], Rupesh Shah (PSPB), Manan Chandra [PSPB], Alok Kumar [PSPB], Dharminder Lilly [Punjab], Rafath Habib [RSPB], Shahbaaz Khan [PSPB], Manish Jain (WB) and teen sensation Ishpreet Chadha (Mah). Also in the fray will be the World U-21 Billiards Champion S. Shrikrishna.
In the Women’s segment, defending champion Vidya Pillai, who is the current World No.3 in Snooker, will face tough competition from Amee Kamani also a bronze medalist in the 2015 World Ladies Snooker, Neena Pravin, Meenal Thakur, Arantxa Sanchis and others. The local challenge will be shouldered by State Snooker champion Suniti Damani, State No 2 Neeta Kothari and holder of 4 National titles in 2015 - the junior sensation Doyel Dey.
DD Sports will telecast live the finals of both Men and Ladies from 1pm-8pm on January 6, 2016.