This Tuesday I was at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield to watch the first round match of Ding Junhui vs. Marco Fu. The match was best out of 19 frames played over two sessions, and I was only in the morning session (you never know when the evening session will finish - well past midnight is not unusual, and you don't even know how many frames is going to be played. Moreover my only purpose of the trip is that now I can claim that I've been there.)
I have to get up rather early to go there by train. I just don't know who invented the complex UK train ticket pricing system. Not only two single tickets can be much cheaper than a return ticket, but also it can be much cheaper if you find some intermediate stops and buy two tickets separately (even though, in my case, the more expensive "single" ticket automatically produced by the system involved exactly the same station changes and same trains). Maybe next year I will set an algorithms exam question on that.
The match venue. It wasn't quite full, although it has rather few seats. In fact there's already more people than I expected. I mean who bother watching two Chinese players in a first round match on a Tuesday morning? I was allocated a seat at the "top of the mountain" at the corner. It isn't that bad, since (1) the top is only the 15th row anyway, (2) that gave me better legroom (yeah you have to sit there and keep quiet for time longer than many flights), (3) I can see both tables, and (4) I probably wasn't caught on camera.
The referee was Michaela Tabb, popular among fans for reasons I better not elaborate here. Fu didn't start too well, and went from bad to worse, trailing 1-5 at a point. But then all of a sudden he got 3 consecutive frames with two centuries. So it was 4-5 at the end of the session. For some reasons the British fans there (at least the few beside me) seem to be quite supportive of Fu.
At the evening Fu finally lost 9-10, but that's not too bad and it looks like he can get to top 16 next year.
練乙錚 - 法治上海化 政治西藏化
7 hours ago