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BILLIARDS series is shorter, ma&se strokes being used when the cannon of laws or rules. Several codes more or less faulty exist, cannot be directly played. To this in professional hands of which perhaps those of the Billiard Association are the there is no great objection, but with ordinary amateurs the best, but they do not command universal respect or acceptdanger of damaging the cloth is so great, and the chance of ance. The want of a club or committee of sufficiently bringing off the stroke so small, that it would be more representative persons who shall be to billiards as the sensible to bar the masse than to bar the push. It is of M.C.C. is to cricket has made itself apparent. course understood that from human and other imperfection Record scores at billiards have greatly altered since the position mere is soon lost, and play has to be modified W. Cook’s break of 936, which included 292 spots, and was with the view of regaining it as quickly as possible. The made in 1873. It may be useful to mention a few of the most recent alteration in play is that the push-stroke is great breaks, since they are in some degree a measure of generally abandoned, perhaps with advantage; the game, development; but too much weight must not be given to therefore, as usually practised is push- and spot-barred. them, for tables vary considerably between easy and difficult A few words about the championship are here appro- ones, and comparisons are apt to mislead. Beall, in addition priate. When Kentfield declined to play in 1849, John to the break of 3304 (1890) already mentioned, has made Roberts assumed the title, and held the position till 1870, 2031 (1888), and has scored 1000 points in 44 minutes. when he was defeated by his pupil W. Cook. The follow- Mitchell has made several breaks over 1000; while ing table gives particulars of every match played for the Memmott, from Australia, a very sound and steady player, championship, from which it will be seen that four men is credited with 423 consecutive screw-back spot-strokes, only have held that position, Roberts, sen., Cook, Roberts, which total 1269 points. Roberts, the champion, has made jun., and Bennett; and that since 1885 no competitor 1392 and 1017 spot-barred, and innumerable breaks has contested the younger Roberts’s claim. between 1000 and 100, of which 155 (made in a game for Points. Date. Players. Won by the championship) is far from being the least remarkable. All the leading players have made very long spot-barred 1200 Feb. 11, 1870 Cook 5. Roberts, sen. . 117 breaks, but as some were made push-in and others push1000 April 14, 1870 Roberts, jun., b. Cook . 478 1000 May 30, 1870 Roberts, jun., b. Bowles 246 barred, whilst tables varied, no useful purpose is served in 1000 Nov. 28, 1870 Jos. Bennett b. Roberts, jun. 95 recording them. 1000 Jan. 30, 1871 Roberts, jun., b. Bennett 363 Respecting the various games of Pool, it may be said that May 25, 1871 1000 Cook b. Roberts, jun. . 15 the old-fashioned Following Pool has been to a great extent 1000 Nov. 21, 1871 Cook b. Jos. Bennett . 58 1000 Mar. 4, 1872. Cook b. Roberts, jun. . superseded by Black Pool, in which hazard-striking has 201 1000 Feb. 4, 1874 . Cook b. Roberts, jun. . 216 more influence than safety play, and players can join and 1000 May 24, 1875 Roberts, jun., b. Cook . 163 leave the game on giving due notice. Single pool, a very 1000 Dec. 20, 1875 Roberts, jun., b. Cook . 135 good game, is now seldom seen, but Pyramids is still 1000 May 28, 1877 Roberts, jun., b. Cook . 223 1000 Nov. 8, 1880 Jos. Bennett b. Cook . played, though nowadays knocking a ball off the table is a 51 1000 Jan. 12, 13, 1881 . Jos. Bennett b. Taylor 90 foul stroke, and is scored against the player. Snooker, a 3000 March 30, 31, and game combining pool and pyramids, is becoming popular, April 1, 1885 Roberts, jun., b. Cook . 92 probably because of its additional element of chance. No 3000 June 1, 2, 3, 4, 1885 Roberts, jun., b. Jos. Bennett 1640 universally accepted rules of this game exist, so players These games were all played on three-inch-pocket tables, must agree before commencing how they will play, or and Roberts has fairly contended that he remained champion follow the custom of the room. till beaten on such a table under the rules in force when he Snooker is described in the volume on Billiards of the won the title or under a new code to which he was a con- “ Badminton Library,” from which the following is extracted :— senting party. The nearest approach to a match for the ‘ ‘ The pyramid balls are set up in the usual way, and the striker championship since 1885 was that between Roberts and always uses the white ball. The black ball is set on the billiard the pink on the centre spot. Blue is placed just below the Dawson (March 20 to April 3, 1899) of 18,000 up, level, spot, apex-ball of the pyramid, brown on the centre spot of the D, with half the game at the Argyll Hall, Argyll Street, London, and yellow and green on the right and left corner spots. ... A red half at the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly. The main departure ball counts one, yellow two, green three, brown four, blue five, from a championship game lay in the table, which had pink six, and black seven. The score, if two persons are playing sides are formed, may be marked on the board as at billiards. ordinary, though not easy pockets, instead of three-inch or A red ball must be taken before a coloured ball can be played at; pockets. The match excited much interest, because Dawson, if the striker, playing on a red, holes it, and takes a coloured ball who had already beaten North for the Billiard Association also, the latter does not count, and is spotted. If, playing on the championship, was the first man for many years to play red, he fails to hole it, but holes a coloured ball, the value of the is scored to the other side. . . . After taking a red, the Roberts even. The performances of the players were often latter striker must play on one of the coloured balls. If he holes one of disappointing, particularly those by the champion, and the them, any other balls that go down by the same stroke count to scores at the close of the first week’s play (Roberts, 9001 ; him. All coloured balls which are holed must be spotted imDawson, 8721) proved how closely the game was contested. mediately ; if the striker plays before all are spotted, the stroke is No red ball is ever put up. . . . If the striker gives a miss, Next week’s play in the room to which Roberts was foul. the. ball is left where it finally stops. If the striker is by law accustomed resulted in his favour, and he secured the game obliged to play on a red ball or on a coloured ball, but from the by 1814 points. Nevertheless, the result showed clearly position of his own ball is unable to do so directly, he is said to that Dawson had greatly lessened the gap which for many be snookered ; he must then make a bond-fide shot at the proper ball off the cushion, the penalty if he misses being the minimum years had separated Roberts from the next best player, and penalty. . . . When all the red balls have been holed the others that he was entitled to challenge the champion on even must be taken in proper pool order.” For greater detail, reference terms. After this Dawson improved materially, and in to the “ Badminton ” volume must be made. To the bibliography of Billiards given in the article in the ninth 1899, for the second time, he won the Billiard Association of the Encyclopaedia Britannica the following should be championship. His position was challenged by Diggle and edition added :—W. Cook. Billiards. Burroughes and Watts.—J. P. Stevenson, who contested a game of 9000 points. Stevenson Buchanan. Hints on Billiards. Bell and Sons. —Modern Billiards. won by 2900, but lost to Dawson by 2225 points; he The Brunswick - Balke - Collender Co., New York.—Vignaux. beat him in January 1901, but Dawson reasserted his Manu'el du Billard. Paris, Delarue.—Bkoadfoot. Billiards. Badminton Library (Longmans).—Locock. Side and Screw superiority before the close of the spring. (Longmans). For those interested in the purely mathematical A matter closely connected with the development of the aspect of the game—Hemming. Billiards Mathematically treated. game is the absence of a satisfactory and authoritative code Macmillan. (w. Br.)