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Masterclass launches first round Ho Chi Minh


Published by frits bakker

© Five&Six
Eddy Merckx started with a loss, but recovered with a brilliant 40 in 8, 5.000 on average

HO CHI MINH - The best winner in the end was Ruben Legazpi with 2,142, the best runner-up Eddy Merckx with even 2,804 and the Masterclass in this first round of the main draw at the Ho Chi Minh World Cup was impressive. Dick Jaspers and Berkay Karakurt remained unbeaten with three wins out of three, Ruben Legazpi finished with 5 match points, 11 group winners and runners-up won two matches, good for 4 match points. The best run of 32 players came from Marco Zanetti with 18, the best match from Eddy Merckx with 40 points in 8 innings (5,000 on average).

The top four in the world rankings is moving up to the next round. The nrs. 5, 6, 9, 10 and 11 were eliminated for the first knock-outs with 16. The notable names to go home: Torbjörn Blomdahl, Martin Horn, Sameh Sidhom, Haeng Jik Kim, Jung Han Heo, Tayfun Tasdemir and reigning world champion Phuong Vinh Bao. Dutchman Glenn Hofman, coming-man in the last World Cups, now was thrown out of the tournament with 3 match points after a rock-solid preliminary round.

Four Koreans, three Turks, three Vietnamese and two Belgians advance to the last 16 with 1 Italian, 1 Greek, 1 Spaniard and 1 Dutchman.

Dick Jaspers won his matches in 15, 18 and 26 innings, Burak Hashas moved up from Group A with 2 match points, but a better average than Jérémy Bury and Hyeong Kon Kim. The Korean won his first match in 11 innings against Bury, but then lost to Jaspers 40-13 and Hashas 40-25 in 20.

Standings Group A:

1 Dick Jaspers 6-2,033-9

2 Burak Hashas 2-1,655-11

3 Jérémy Bury 2-1,603-8

4 Hyeong Kon Kim 2-1,591-9 

Quyet Chien Tran was only defeated in his third match by Glenn Hofman (40-30 in 23). The Vietnamese had already qualified, the Dutchman could not avoid elimination as he lost to Dong Ryung Kim 40-38 and played a draw against Chiem Hong Thai in 30 innings. Tran was group winner with 1.718.

Standings Group B:

1 Quyet Chien Tran 4-1,718-8

2 Dong Ryong Kim 4-1.325-8

3 Glenn Hofman 3-1.421-10

4 Hong Chiem Thai 1-1.294-12

Frédéric Caudron had a lightning start in Group C with wins against Thanh Luc Tran in 18 and Myung Woo Cho in 19 innings. The young Korean recovered, winning twice in 19 and still finished as frontrunner, because Caudron had a sudden setback against Jung Han Heo (40-14 loss in 20).

Standings Group C:

1 Myung Woo Cho 4-1,842-12

2 Frédéric Caudron 4-1,649-8

3 Thanh Luc Tran 2-1.587-9

4 Jung Han Heo 2-1,461-7

Torbjörn Blomdahl's elimination was the sensation in Group D. The Swede started with a loss to young Dutch man Sam van Etten (40-24 in 21), also went on the rack against Nguyen Chi Long (40-31 in 25) and only won his last against Myeong Jong Cha. The revelation of the World Cup, Nguyen Chi, became group winner ahead of Cha. Sam van Etten failed to win another match after his victory over Blomdahl.

Standings Group D:

1 Nguyen Chi Long 4-1,467-12

2 Myeong Jong Cha 4-1,204-6

3 Torbjörn Blomdahl 2-1,417-11

4 Sam van Etten 2-1,144-7

The excellent start in Group E came in the first round from Ruben Legazpi who beat Eddy Merckx 40-35 in 16 innings. The Spaniard played a draw against Bao and won his last against Chi Thanh Tran in 15 innings. Eddy Merckx had a brilliant come-back after his first loss. The Belgian first beat Tran 40-9 in 8 (5,000 and the best game of the day). Then Bao also went on the slaughter bench 40-10 in 17.

Standings Group E:

1 Ruben Legazpi 5-2,142-9

2 Eddy Merckx 4-2,804-13

3 Phuong Vinh Bao 3-1,500-7

4 Chi Thanh Tran0-1,024-5

Jun Tae Kim and Tolgahan Kiraz qualified in Group F at the expense of Martin Horn and Chang Hoon Seo. Jun Tae Kim was also best in average with 1.949. The same as Kiraz, the Korean achieved four match points. Martin Horn squandered his chance by losing against Jun Tae Kim 40-34 in 20.

Standings Group F:

1 Jun Tae Kim 4-1,949-9

2 Tolgahan Kiraz 4-1,666-6

3 Martin Horn 2-1,591-11

4 Chang Hoon Seo 2-1,306-9

Berkay Karakurt, in Group G, finished like Dick Jaspers with the maximum match points with wins over Duc Minh Tran, Haeng Jik Kim and Tayfun Tasemir in 27, 27 and 19 innings. Korean Duc Minh Tran continued his rise and eliminated no less than world stars Haeng Jik Kim and Tayfun Tasdemir. Moreover, Tran was the best in average.

Standings Group G:

1 Berkay Karakurt 6-1.643-14

2 Duc Minh Tran 4-1.803-11

3 Haeng Jik Kim 1-1.450-12

4 Tayfun Tasemir 1-1,449-13

Marco Zanetti launched himself with an unexpected loss against Pierre Soumagne (40-34 in 23). The Italian already took revenge against Nikos Polychronopoulos 40-36 in 24 and put the crown on his work against Sameh Sidhom 40-22 in 19 and a stunning run of 18. The Greek was second with 3 match points, Sidhom third also with 3 match points.

Standings Group H:

1 Marco Zanetti 4-1,727-18

2 Nikos Polychronopoulos 3-1,681-8

3 Sameh Sidhom 3-1,478-7

4 Pierre Soumagne 2-1,451-8

Dick Jaspers meets Turkish youngster Burak Hashas in the first knock-outs with 16, Frédéric Caudron faces Myung Woo Cho, whom he defeated in the first group matches on Friday. A standout match is also Tran-Tran, the renowned Quyet Chien Tran against revelation Duc Minh Tran. Other matches include the Turkish/Greek clash Berkay Karakurt-Nikos Polychronopoulos and the Korean encounter Jun Tae Kim-Dong Ryong Kim.

Final rounds knock-out with 16:

12.00 in Vietnam (7.00 West Europe)

Dick Jaspers-Burak Hashas

Nguyen Chi Long-Eddy Merckx

Myung Woo Cho-Frédéric Caudron

Jun Tae Kim-Dong Ryong Kim

14.30 (9.30 West Europe)

Ruben Legazpi-Myeong Jong Cha

Marco Zanetti-Tolgahan Kiraz

Quyet Chien Tran-Duc Minh Tran

Berkay Karakurt-Nikos Polychronopoulos

Quarter-finals Saturday at 17:00 and 19:30 Turkish time (12:00 and 14:30 in Western Europe), all live on AfreecaTV.

Dick Jaspers, in his favorite position: on top with full matchpoints

Berkay Karakurt, just like Jaspers all 6 matchpoints

Duc Minh Tran, the Vietnamese revelation, still in the World Cup

Marco Zanetti, marvelous run of 18 to qualify

Frédéric Caudron, sublime start, minor finish, now facing Myung Woo Cho again

Ruben Legazpi showing great form with 5 matchpoints

Quyet Chien Tran facing the Vietnamese clash now: Tran-Tran