final lg18

Quyet Chien Tran books his second major victory.

Seoul, September 9th

Of all the European top players, one stands out and is simply the best: Frédéric Caudron. Of all the Vietnamese newcomers who do so well on the international circuit, one is “in it to win it”: Quyet Chien Tran. The two met in the final of the 2018 LG+ Cup, and it was a match that will be remembered. The tiny but strong-willed player from Ho Chi Minh city won it by the smallest of margins: 40-39 in 21. He adds the LG+ Cup to his World Cup win in Ho Chi Minh earlier this year, and must now be considered one of the best players in the world.

From the quarterfinals on, the LG looked like a confrontation between east and west: Sánchez – Kang, Merckx – H.J. Kim, Caudron – Seo and Coklu – Tran. Kang drew with Sánchez but played a superior shootout, Kim stayed two points ahead (40-38) of hard-to-beat Merckx, Caudron came back from behind to eliminate Seo and Tran produced an important run of 14 to beat Coklu.

The first semifinal turned into a one-man show, with Caudron in fifth gear. He played the best match of the event, beating Kim 40-17 in only ten innings. In this form, he looks untouchable. He demonstrated it earlier in the week, when Jaspers was put on an 18-point deficit in three innings: 21-3 after 3. He showed it again when he ran 13 and out against Haeng Jik: it was a masterclass.

The second semi took a few more innings, but it was tense and high quality. Dong Koong Kang, winner of this event’s first edition in 2015, followed Tran all the way and at 35-36 there was no telling who would take it at. Tran kept his cool and crossed the line first at 40-37 in 21.  

The final will mostly be remembered for three shots: Tran’s easy double-the rail at 39, he made a mess of that one, Caudron’s very difficult cross-table at 39, hit ever so well but missed by a hair, and Tran’s artistic out-shot. What a beauty that was, and Caudron was out of his chair instantly to congratulate his opponent. It was his second 40-39 defeat at the hands of the Vietnamese in 2018. We may see more interesting battles between these two in the future, and no spectator will complain.

1st place, 61.000 euro: Quyet Chien Tran

2nd, 30.000: Frédéric Caudron.

3d and 4th, 15.000: Dong Koong Kang and Haeng Jik Kim

5th – 8th place, 7.500: Dani Sánchez, Eddy Merckx, Hyun Min Seo, Murat Naci Coklu.

                                

 

 

Seoul , August 31st.  

Fourth edition of the  LG+ CUP 3CUSHION MASTERS : 160.000 dollars at stake

              From 3 to 7 September, the Grand Hilton hotel in Seoul will host the fourth edition of the LG+ Cup. Sixteen players will compete for a prize fund of 160.000 dollars. As this is an invitational event, no world ranking points can be earned. The field has seven European players, eight Koreans and one Vietnamese.

In 2015, Dong Koong Kang was the first LG winner, when he beat Jaspers in the final. A year later, Choong Bok Lee got the better of Quyet Chien Tran to succeed him. Last year, Marco Zanetti had a surprise opponent in Jin Pyo Hong but the Italian was the stronger and he will now defend his title.

The eight Korean players are: Haeng Jik Kim, Jae Ho Cho, Dong Koong Kang, Myung Woo Cho, Hyung Kon Kim, Jae Guen Kim, Sung Ok Oh and Hyun Min Su. The last two are relatively unknown outside of Korea, and it will be interesting to see what they can bring to the table.

Quyet Chien Tran will defend the Vietnamese colors in Seoul. He recently made 40 points in five innings, the second-best refereed match ever, to 40 points.

The European seven are: defending champion Marco Zanetti, world number one and McCreery winner Frédéric Caudron, Verhoeven Open winner Eddy Merckx, Dick Jaspers, Murat Naci Coklu, Torbjörn Blomdahl and Dani Sánchez. 

 

 

The draw is on 3 September, play starts on the 4th. The time difference between Seoul and Western Europe is appr. 5 hours. 

UMB.

(c) 2018 Union Mondiale de Billard