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Yan Bingtao Becomes 2014 IBSF World Champion

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Away from the UK Championship action in York this afternoon, 14-year-old Yan Bingtao has become the 2014 IBSF World Champion, with an 8-7 victory against Pakistan’s Muhammad Sajjad earlier today.

Already a familiar name on the main tour following victories against the likes of Stuart Bingham, Yu Delu, Barry Pinches and Liang Wenbo this season, he won the last two frames today, the decider with a break of 60 to succeed countryman Zhou Yuelong as world amateur champion.

Yan earns a two-year tour card from the 2015/16 season and will be the latest young Chinese talent looking to emulate the achievements of Ding Junhui on the professional circuit.

Although just 14 years old, by our calculations here in the York media room, he misses out on becoming the youngest ever winner of the event by around six weeks, Welshman Michael White edging him out following his 2006 victory.

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Hossein Vafaei Ayouri Beats Boileau For IBSF World U-21 Title

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Congratulations to Iran’s Hossein Vafaei Ayouri, who has today defeated Ireland’s Josh Boileau 8-3 to win the 2014 IBSF World Under-21 Championship in Al Fujairah, UAE.

As well as being another prestigious amateur title to his name, the victory carries with it a two-year tour card from the 2015/16 season, but for Vafaei the priority will be to resolve the visa issues that have left him unable to compete on the professional circuit for the past two seasons.

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Lu Ning Captures World U-21 Title

A little late, but congratulations to China’s Lu Ning, who last Friday defeated compatriot Zhou Yuelong 9-4 to win the 2013 IBSF World Under-21 Championship on home soil in China.

At 19-years-old, Lu was the elder of the duo by four years and perhaps his added experience proved decisive, though both players have of course appeared as wildcards at a number of professional tournaments already in their careers.

There can be little doubt that Lu was a deserved winner, having made a tournament high break of 135 on his way to victory in the tournament, as well as a further two century breaks.

The victory earns Lu a place on the main tour for the 2014/15 season, while a shout out is also due to British pair Oliver Lines and Jordan Winbourne, who met in the quarter-finals, before Oliver lost to Zhou in the last four.

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Latvia Withdraws From Staging ISBF World Championship

A brief line via snookerusa.com, which is today reporting that Latvia will no longer stage the IBSF World Championship later this year, citing a lack of funding and support.

The news is confirmed at the IBSF website, which states:

“The IBSF wishes to inform all member countries that due to circumstances outside of their control the Latvian Republic Billiards Federation (LRBF) has WITHDRAWN from hosting this years IBSF World Snooker Championships (Men, Women & Masters).

The IBSF is negotiating with other potential hosts and will inform the members of the results as soon as possible.”

More news will of course follow as and when we have it. For those not so familiar with the event, this is the World Amateur Championship, with a main tour place available to the winner for the 2014/15 season. The event was won in 2012 by Muhammad Asif.

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Tour Structure 2013/14: Making 133

With the 2012/13 season now at an end, attention turns to the new campaign as the 2013 Q School gets underway this Saturday, with 12 more tour spots up for grabs.

But what about the other places? It had previously been announced that the tour would increase to 128 players for the new season, but I can now confirm that it will in fact rise to 133, click below for all of the details…

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