The World Snooker Championships have been underway for the last two weeks and have seen the best players in the world of snooker battle it out for the most prestigious prize in the sport. Held since 1927, and since 1977 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, the annual snooker season revolves around this event. The tournament revolves around 32 players. The top 16 ranked in the world automatically qualify, and the rest go through a series of qualifying matches to determine the other 16 players. Players from 19 different countries were in the qualifying rounds this year. With the 2020 snooker championships taking place in August last year, the players have had less time to prepare for the current season instead of the traditional April and May. Nonetheless, the tournament has so far proven exciting to watch and analyse.

The first round started on 17 April and included 32 players from 7 different countries, all four in the United Kingdom, as well as Norway, Australia and China. One upset in the first round was Stuart Bingham beating world number 9 Ding Junhui, by 10 frames to 9. Bingham has been a professional player for 26 years and was world number 2 at one point but has recently dropped below the crucial 16th placed, however, this tournament has proved that he is still an effective player and can still win against younger players. Perhaps the underdog of the tournament, at the time of writing, Bingham is currently winning his semi-final match against Mark Selby 12 frames to 11. 17 frames are required to win the semi-final. If Bingham wins, he will proceed to the final, which is very unusual for players who didn’t automatically qualify. Bingham has only been champion once before, in 2015

The second round commenced on 22 April and came off to a rocky start, as the world number 2 Ronnie O’Sullivan, perhaps the most well-known snooker player, was defeated 12-11 in a close match against Anthony McGill. O’Sullivan won last year’s tournament, and his being defeated so early came as a shock to many. One much larger defeat was that of John Higgins to Mark Williams 7-13. Both formidable players, Higgins has been world champion 4 times previously, and Williams has been champion 3 times previously. Another notable match was that of Shaun Murphy beating Yan Bingtao, who won the Masters tournament earlier this year.

The quarter-finals occurred on 27 and 28 April. World Number 1 Judd Trump was knocked out here, losing to Shaun Murphy 13-11. Neil Robertson, Mark Williams and Anthony McGill were also knocked out here leaving, in ranking order, Mark Selby, Kyren Wilson, Shaun Murphy and Stuart Bingham. Selby has won 3 times before, Wilson has yet to win, and Murphy has won once before, in 2005.

Currently, the semi-finals are ongoing. Bingham is leading against Selby 12-11, and Wilson is leading against Murphy 10-6. 17 frames are required to win the match. The winners of these matches will play in the final, where the first to 18 frames win the tournament. Will the underdog Bingham come out victorious? Or will the youngster Wilson win his first Championship? Or perhaps Selby or Murphy can come from behind in their semi-finals and win the day in a comeback? We shall know by May 3rd