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Japanese two times world champion Kobayashi (77) passed away

Posted by on November 25, 2019

 Japanese two times world champion Kobayashi (77) passed away

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Nobuaki Kobayashi, in his first years he appeared at the World championships

TOKYO/RANDERS - On the eve of the three cushion World championship in Randers, Denmark, came the message from Japan this Monday that former world champion Nobuaki Kobayashi in Tokyo, his hometown, suddenly passed away. The cause of his death is not yet known. In billiard circles it was known that Kobayashi was ill for some time, but Raymond Ceulemans, with whom he played for years at the highest level in global three cushion, said he was recently seen in a Japanese billiard room. Kobayashi, born on March 26, 1942 in Tokyo, became world champion in Ceulemans' golden years: in 1974 in Antwerp, where Kobayashi defeated Raymond Ceulemans in his home land in the final one 1 carom, and in 1984 in Krefeld, Germany, followed by Ludo Dielis and Raymond Ceulemans.

Raymond Ceulemans describes the Japanese as a great and legendary champion. ''I was told the sad news today and I am very sad about it. We have played together for so many years at the big championships. He was an extremely amiable person, a great example for many champions. Japanese three-cushion became famous thanks to Kobayashi and Komori, two greats from those years. When we played championships in South America, I often went out with Kobayashi to play exhibitions. We spent time together, especially when we were in Japan. Komori, who was one year older, passed away three years ago, so now we have lost the all time most famous Japanese player."

Ludo Dielis, the other Belgian multi-champion: ,,This is a very sad day, because we lose a great friend. I have learned to know him and he became one of my top 3 friends in billiards. We met many times in Japan and he brought young players like his son and Yusuke Mori to Belgium for their development.''

Kobayashi's most appealing world title is still the first he won in Antwerp in 1974. Raymond Ceulemans had just won 11 global three cushion titles in a row from 1963 in Neuss, Germany. The Belgian grandmaster was the big favorite in his backyard of course, but was knocked down by Kobyashi in a historic finale to the sadness of hundreds of spectators. Ceulemans: ''It was one of the most shocking world championships, because I lost on that one carom. Many people, including my fans, spoke about it for months. The newspapers were filled with the news for weeks: Kobayashi had broken the long series of my world titles."

Ten years later, Kobayashi defeated the two Belgians giants Ceulemans and Dielis again in Krefeld, but in that era the Japanese stood on the podium many times in the shadow of the unbeatable Raymond Ceulemans. "In 1965, Koya Ogata was the first Japanese to appear at a World championship in Hilversum," remembers Ceulemans. ,,Then we met Nobuaki Kobayash: twice he won the world title.'' He mostly became known as the eternal second behind the maestro. In 1970 in Las Vegas, in 1972 in Buenos Aires, in 1973 in Cairo, in 1976 in Ostend, in 1977 in Tokyo, in 1978 in Las Vegas, in 1979 in Lima and in 1985 in Heeswijk-Dinther and finally in 1988, where the world champion was designated in 6 World Cups: Kobayashi became second behind Torbjörn Blomdahl.

The Japanese couple Kobayashi/Komori became world champion on national teams as well, three times, in the event that has been played in Viersen for many years now: in 1981, 1985 and 1992. Only one Japanese player, apart from Kobayashi, became world champion three cushion individual: Ryuuji Umeda in Cuenca, Ecuador 2007.

At the World championship in Randers, was young Japanese player Yusuke Mori one of the first to receive the news of Kobayashi's death. ''I played billiards with him only one month ago and last week he came to watch a tournament. He seemed to me in good physical condition."

Nobuaki Kobayashi has a son, Hideaki, who plays three cushion in the Korean PBA tournaments.

The world championship is played in Randers this week. Here is Nobuaki Kobayashi (left) with Raymond Ceulemans (right) to celebrate Marco Zanetti's world title in Randers in 2002.

Nobuaki Kobayashi in his later years in one of the Japanes billiard rooms



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My Comments


Message 1/2 - Publish at November 26, 2019 8:31 AM

Nobuaki Kobayashi
I have many fond memories of this great champion. He greatly improved my 3-Cushion game at "Big Box Billiards",Tokyo back in 1981 when he turned me on to his secrets of stroking techniques and also by gifting me my first Helmstetter Carom Cue. We would exchange System Ideas when he would come to Korea and while I was at his room in Shin Okubo, Shinjiku, Japan. We remained friends for many years after. He was a true Samurai Warrior on the Green Felt. Hope to see you again to toast a shot of Sake when I pass on to the Great Billiard Gods...
RIP Master Kobayashi!!

Message 2/2 - Publish at December 2, 2019 4:59 PM

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