BENGALURU: Top snooker players, including multiple-time world champion Pankaj Advani, will feature in the Bangalore Snooker Academy (BSA) second edition of the All India Open Championship. It will be held between March 5-13 at the BSA in the city.
Besides, the field also includes reigning national champion Aditya Mehta, Sourav Kothari and Dhvaj Haria among others. Once the restrictions were eased, some national-level competitions have taken place across the country, allowing cueists to get some game time after a period of lull. Kothari clinched the all India national A level championship in Hyderabad last month.
It was his first competition after the lockdown, and he defeated Mehta in the semis and Ishpreet Singh in the final.
"Except Pankaj, top players in the country were there in Hyderabad," Kothari told this daily. He expects some tough competition in the coming days too.
"Now, players are well-oiled as they are back to their usual practice. Life also seems to be getting back to normalcy. Everyone has the access to the table now. The competition (in Bengaluru) is going to be top-notch and I'm looking forward to it."
More than 280 players have registered for the competition, which starts with the qualifiers. Thirty-two will make it to the Round of 64. The other 32 in R64 are directly given entry as seeded players — it includes the top 16 men and two women from previous nationals, two from the junior nationals, top four Karnataka players and two host entries. Rest are wild card entries.
Though most of the players could not practice during the lockdown, Haria, who is seeded, was fortunate. He owns a table at his residence in Ahmedabad and spent a few hours every day to get his game right.
"I have made some changes in my game. I have not been playing snooker that much, but now, I am also going into it as well. This tournament is a good test of my skills with top players featuring in the event."