Two Vietnamese billiards players enter semi-finals of Survival 2023

Although they were in the same group with two world-class billiards players, Dao Van Ly and Tran Quyet Chien delivered outstanding performances.
Billiards player Tran Quyet Chien

Billiards player Tran Quyet Chien

They secured two slots from the group to progress to the semi-finals of the 2023 Billiards World 3-Cushion Survival tournament, which boasts a total prize pool of $218,000.

After impressively securing the last ticket through a remarkable performance of a brilliant series of nine points in the last minutes of the match, Vietnam's top carom billiards player, Tran Quyet Chien, advanced to the quarter-finals along with the remaining 15 competitors. The 16 players were divided into four groups, each consisting of four players, engaging in a Survival format to determine the top two players from each group who would progress to the semi-finals.

Once again, fate led Tran Quyet Chien to find himself in the same group as a fellow countryman for the third time. This time, it is the billiards player Dao Van Ly. In the previous round, during the first stage, the billiards player known by the nickname Tony Tran was in the same group as Dao Van Ly and then continued to share the group with Bao Phuong Vinh in the play-off round.

Billiards player Dao Van Ly

Billiards player Dao Van Ly

Apart from Dao Van Ly, Quyet Chien's team includes two formidable players: the renowned Blomdahl from Sweden and Kim Haeng Jik from South Korea. At the outset of the match, Dao Van Ly played first but failed to score any points. In contrast, Blomdahl and Tran Quyet Chien each secured 2 points, while Kim Haeng Jik got 4 standard points.

However, starting from the second set of turns onward, Dao Van Ly's launched a 5-point series, which consistently positioned him at the forefront. His ability to accumulate points in every turn, albeit not in extensive series, set him apart. As the first 45 minutes concluded, Dao Van Ly temporarily held the lead with 60 Survival points, trailed by Blomdahl with 28 points, Kim Haeng Jik with 24 points, and Tran Quyet Chien with 8 points.

During the first half, the top-ranked Vietnamese player had a rather subdued performance, repeatedly failing to capitalize on moderately difficult carom shots. As a result, he found himself at the bottom of the group, trailing the group leader Dao Van Ly by 52 Survival points, equivalent to a margin of 13 standard points.

Yet again, Tony Tran showcased his prowess by delivering an outstanding performance during the pivotal phase. Initially, he swiftly executed a series of 13 standard points, granting him 39 points and subtracting 13 points from each of the three other adversaries as per the Survival format. This accomplishment propelled him ahead of Blomdahl and Kim Haeng Jik, securing the second spot within the group.

By the 65th minute of the match, the group's dynamics had become quite evident. Kim Haeng Jik lagged by a mere 39 points, while the remaining three players competed fiercely. Dao Van Ly scored 71 points, slightly ahead of Tran Quyet Chien (67 points) and Blomdahl (63 points) - meaning the player from Da Nang City was only 1 and 2 points ahead of the two trailing opponents. A single misstep in a shot would come at a cost.

Tran Quyet Chien and Dao Van Ly are delighted after winning tickets to the semi-finals

Tran Quyet Chien and Dao Van Ly are delighted after winning tickets to the semi-finals

In the 78th minute, Tran Quyet Chien unleashed a 5-point series, while Dao Van Ly also had a 4-point series. Since then, both Vietnamese players created an advantage with the legendary Blomdahl. At the end of 90 minutes, Dao Van Ly reached 82 points, Tran Quyet Chien got 78 points, excellently winning two tickets of the group to enter the semi-finals when Blomdahl had only 62 points, and Kim Haeng Jik had only 18 points.

In the semi-final round featuring eight players, they are divided into two groups, each comprising four players. These players will compete in a Survival format to determine the top two players who will advance to the final. Fate plays an ironic hand as Tran Quyet Chien is placed in the same group with Dao Van Ly again.

The two Vietnamese contenders will share the table with the world's No.1 player, Dick Jaspers from the Netherlands and Polychronopoulos from Greece. The other semi-final group will consist of four players: Tasdemir from Turkey, Cho Chi Yeon, Kim Tae Jun from South Korea, and Zanetti from Italy.

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