Chinakhov overmasters van den Berg

Ruslan Chinakhov in his team match against Nick van den Berg Foto: EPBF/DK

In an exciting match of two world class players, Ruslan Chinakhov (RUS) conquered Nick van den Berg (NED) with 9:7.

The match was part of the team clash between Russia and The Netherlands. The setup between two of the strongest European teams was as follows: World 10-ball Champion Huidji See played 10-ball against Vitaly Pavlukhin.  Niels Feijen  stepped up against Konstantin Stepanov in 8-ball. Nick van den Berg competed against Ruslan Chinakhov in 9-ball. The teams could be considered equally strong. The special strength of the Dutch team probably grounded in their huge experience while the Russians were very young and hungry players. So no wonder the match was really exciting. The 10-ball match was over quite quickly. Huidji See was simply too strong for Pavlukhin today and took the first point back to The Netherlands, clearly winning the 10-ball with  8:3. At that time, the match between Chinakhov and  van den Berg was about to be decided. After a lot of ups and downs for both players, especially the break shot decided about the winner in 9-ball. In the beginning, Chinakhov did not break as well as van den Berg. He scratched twice and "El Nino" profited from that. However, as the match went along Chinakhov managed to get back in gear and then van den Berg scratched on his break. This back and forth lead to a 5:5 situation. In the 11th rack, van den Berg broke the balls and had a tough position on the 1-ball. He tried to kick it in but left it hanging over the pocket for Chinakhov. The Russian missed the 5-ball over one rail and seemed to lose it. However, he did not leave a shot for his opponent. Van den Berg tried to play a safety shot but left a shot for Chinakhov. Ruslan Chinakhov took the chance and won that rack and his next one, making the score 7:5 in his favour. The pressure was on for van den Berg. He played a good break shot and was on his way to get the point when he found himself an a bad position for the 5-ball. Instead of playing a good safety shot, he tried to pocket the 5-ball over one rail but missed it. Now Chinakhov had the chance to get on the hill, but he ran out of position and could not claim the point. Van den Berg ran out and made the score 7:6. Then Chinakhov played a break and run and the scoreboard was turned to 8:6. With the next break, van den Berg legally pocketed the 9-ball and put all the pressure back on Chinakhov  at 7:8.  But Chinakhov converted his matchpoint and broke and ran the last rack, winning the match with 9:7.

At that time, the team score between Russia and The Netherlands was 1:1. The 8-ball match between Stepanov and Feijen was 7:6 for Stepanov. Feijen made another rack and put the tension to the maximum. 7:7, race to 8 racks with Feijen's break coming up. The drama unfolded and Feijen scratched. Stepanov had ball in hand….. and missed his first shot!! What a shock for the Russians! Feijen came to the table and took the rack, winning his match with 8:7 and making the Dutch team beat team Russia with 2:1.

Other notable results in this morning's team competition was the  2:1 victory of team Croatia versus team Portugal. In the winner's qualification, team Germany defeated team Spain with 2:1. In the women's team event, team Germany lost to team Austria with 0:2 while Team Portugal remained the upper hand over team The Netherlands, winning in a shoot-out with 3:1.

Today will be continued with the 9-ball individuals competition.

The event  is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website , follow us on twitter @EPBF_News or contact our press office.