Former European Amateur champion and main tour professional Kristján Helgason won his 14th Iceland National Snooker Championship on Saturday.
A member of snooker’s top tier for a total of eight years in the past, Helgason made history in 2000 when he came through World Championship qualifying to appear at the Crucible Theatre; becoming the first player from his nation to do so.
Since his exit from the professional circuit in 2004 he has mainly appeared in big amateur events, winning titles such as the Nordic Snooker and European 6-Red Championships. At last year’s World Snooker Federation Championship in Malta, Helgason reached the semi-finals before losing to Adam Stefanow in a deciding frame.
Throughout the Icelandic Snooker Association’s domestic season eight open ranking events were held with the top 16 players qualifying for the national championship. Once again, defending champion Helgason was simply in a class of his own at the Billiardbarinn venue in the capital city of Reykjavik.
After receiving a walkover in the opening round, he eliminated Unnar Bragason (5-0) and Ásgeir Jón Guðbjartsson (7-1) in the quarter and semi-finals respectively. In the final Helgason faced Jón Ingi Ægisson; the duo had previously teamed up together to win the European Masters Team Championship in 2017.
Helgason took the opening frame although Ægisson responded well in going 2-1 up. However, Helgason showed his pedigree and broke away by reeling off the next eight frames in a row to run out a 9-2 victor. During the match he made nine half-century breaks – one in every frame he won.
Both Helgason and Ægisson will travel to Serbia at the end of May to compete in both singles and team action at the European Billiards and Snooker Association’s 6 Red and Team Championships.
Results – from the quarter-finals onwards
Kristján Helgason 5-0 Unnar Bragason
Ásgeir Jón Guðbjartsson 5-2 Guðni Pálsson
Jón Ingi Ægisson 5-4 Gudbjörn Gunnarsson
Bjarni Jónsson 3-5 Örvar Guðmundsson
Helgason 7-1 Guðbjartsson
Ægisson 7-6 Guðmundsson
Helgason 9-2 Ægisson