Quarter-Final Drama: International Championship and the Race to York Unfold

Picture Source: World Snooker
The International Championship in China has reached the quarter-finals, and the subplot of the Race to York unfolds. The outcomes in Tianjin over the last three days will determine the 16 seeds automatically advancing to the MrQ UK Championship.

As of Monday’s standings, players outside the top 16 will enter the qualifying rounds in Leicester (November 18-23). The top 16 qualifiers will then join the top 16 seeds for the televised phase at the York Barbican (November 25 to December 3).

The top 14 players on the provisional seeding list, including Robert Milkins, are secure. Ding Junhui, currently in 15th place and among the quarter-finalists in Tianjin, is not entirely safe. Hossein Vafaei in 16th place is the most vulnerable, having lost in the last 64 in China. He can only hope to cling on to his position.

Tom Ford is Vafaei’s closest challenger, needing to reach the final to surpass him. Stephen Maguire, Zhang Anda, and Jordan Brown are also in contention, but winning the title is their only path to securing a place in York.

The International Championship prize money breakdown is as follows:

  • Winner: £175,000
  • Runner-up: £75,000
  • Semi-finals: £33,000
  • Quarter-finals: £22,000
  • Last 16: £14,000
  • Last 32: £9,000
  • Last 64: £5,000
  • High break: £5,000
  • Total: £825,000

The last spot in next week’s Champion of Champions is at stake. Ding can claim it by winning the title in China or if Ronnie O’Sullivan, Barry Hawkins, or Ali Carter take the top prize. However, Ford, Maguire, Zhang, and Brown all have a chance to secure that place and potentially knock Ding out with a victory this week.

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