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Carom Billiard - Carom - Belgian Championship Multi - Blankenberge (BEL)

Patrick Niessen: superb technique and subtle scoring

Posted by on January 11, 2013

Patrick Niessen: superb technique and subtle scoring

© Dirk Acx
Patrick Niessen, still in the running for one or two titles.

BLANKENBERGE – His superb technique, the subtle scoring on the lines and along the rail are a joy to behold. Patrick Niessen (47), Dutch federation trainer, living in Tricht, not far south of ’s-Hertogenbosch, has not been European champion in balkline five times for no reason. He is still rightfully considered one of the world’s best balkline players.

In the Belgian multidiscipline Nationals, he is in the running for three titles: the free game, 47/2 and 71/2. In the free game he only needs to beat Maarten Janssen, in 47/2 he is in a race with Eddy Leppens, and in 71/2 his last remaining competitor is Frédéric Caudron.

His chance for a 47/1 title went out the window earlier today, when he was outclassed by Caudron: 200 – 10 in 4 innings.

Hours later, Niessen still shakes his head in desperation, thinking back to that match. Both players were then undefeated, the winner was almost a lock for the title.

,,I still don’t know what happened to me'', says Niessen, who rules out stress or a counterproductive respect for his opponent as possible causes. ,,People say that, but I have played Caudron so often by now, that does not bother me a bit.''
,,I have no explanation'', he says. ,,I had this in two European finals I have played and lost. I am slouched in my chair like a man without a spine, watching my opponent score points. It is beyond belief.''

This tournament, it only happened to him in that one match against Caudron. Other than that, Niessen plays like he did last year. His runs are high and so are his averages, his balkline is exactly what the afficionado’s of the classic disciplines came to Blankenberge for.

This evening he beat Philippe Deraes in 47/1, once again thanks to a mighty run to finish, with balls glued to the lines, hardly ever needing to be corrected by their master.

,,I have practised hard, very hard for this tourney'', he said later. ,,Four months ago, I quit my work to totally focus on billiards. That usually means three hours of practice a day, and even more for this championship. The compact, precise game I play needs lots of hours. Technical players cannot do without.''

Billiards is his life now. He is the federation coach in Holland, he teaches a lot. ,,In the Netherlands, I work with a splendid group of youngsters: Gert-Jan Veldhuizen, Sam van Etten, Jim van der Zalm, Guido Kaufeld, Ferry de Jong, all guys with a future. It is very rewarding to work with those young men.''

Peter De Backer had a draw with Francis Forton in 1-cushion this session, and now has 7 points from 4 matches. He still has a shot at the title, but he’ll have to beat Caudron in his last match (on sunday) to win it.

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