Burden bags IBSF crown

Congratulations to Paddington’s Alfie Burden who earlier today won the 2009 IBSF World Championship with a 10-8 victory over Brazilian Igor Figueiredo. This means that he should become the second player after Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham to secure his place on the 2010/2011 main tour…

Unfortunately I have not had the chance to cover the tournament this week but it has been a high-quality event which has seen several familiar faces and former main tour players, as well as newcomers, battle it out to succeed Thepchaiya un-Nooh as the IBSF champion.

In the end that honour has fallen to Alfie Burden, no stranger to the main tour having spent several years on it before losing his place at the end of the 2007/8 season. Things were not easy for him though because to make it to the final he had to beat the likes of former pro Steve Mifsud and talented young Scot Anthony McGill, before he came up against Igor Figueiredo in the deciding match.

Despite impressive wins over Yu Delu, Yasin Merchant and Patrick Einsle to make it to this stage, Igor came into the final as something of an underdog and soon fell 3-0 behind. He fought well however and managed to push Alfie all the way before the Londoner came through to clinch a 10-8 victory and the title of IBSF World Champion 2009. In doing so he became the eighth different English winner of the event, following in the footsteps of names such as Ray Edmonds, Jimmy White and Stuart Bingham.

Alfie was unfortunate to miss out on a return to the tour for this season having finished 12th in the 2008/9 PIOS rankings but he has now more than made amends and will be nominated to reclaim his professional place for 2010/11.

Igor will be disappointed to have seen his fairytale run come to an end but for the player who until April had not played on a full-size snooker table before, he cannot be too unhappy with how things have turned out. Hopefully he will have learned a lot over the last week and will be able to benefit from that experience in the future.