World Balkine champ 1929

After resting for a year in Belgium in care of Edouard Horemans the championship was brought back to this country by Schaefer,after a hard struggle in the international tournament played at the Level Club in New York,Feb 4-13.The triple tie for second place in games won and lost was decided by the grand averages.At the close of the final games checks were handed out for these amounts:To Schaefer 2000$,Cochran 1400$,Horemans 1100$,Matsuyama 1000$,Hagenlacher 500$,Grange 250$.It was announced that in addition Schaefer would receive a salary of 6000$ for one year,during which his title would not be subject to challenge and Cochran as winner of second place,would receive a salary of 3000$ for one year.
Generally the play fell far below the average for international tourneys since 1921.Schaefer’s grand average of 26,63 compared with 51,23 which he registered in 1921.His high run of 205 compared with a cluster of 318 in 1921 and 400 in 1925.In explanation of this apparent falling off in the play of the four veteran cue wizards,it is only fair to state that most of the games were close,closer than usually and as a result there was more safety play than usual.

Felix Grange the champion of France was a disappointment all through.He never had a chance.The verdict of practically everyone who watched his play was that he did not belong in a championship tourney.Regret was expressed that Roger Conti could not have been prevailed upon to represent France in the competition.As for the little Kinrey Matsuyama who won admiration by his steady,persistent efforts didn’t have a chance either.He flashed brilliantly at the start and won three games for a temporary lead before he met Cochran and Schaefer.He astonished everybody by getting the better of Horemans in the openning game and added to the astonishment by defeating Hagenlacher after the latter had gained a lead of 205 points.

Erich Hagenlacher flashed the best brand of play seen in the tourney.He should have won and has no one to blame but himself.His high run of 264 led all the others.He was the only to defeat Schaefer.He lost to Matsuyama because of his fondness for cigarettes(he was a heavy smoker).He attempted to smoke but “Matsy”objected.This so upset him that he curled up  and went to an unglorious defeat.In his game with Horemans,Erich went to pieces again and lost when he should have gained an easy victory.

In view of the low averages made in the tourney,there was increased regret over the fact that Willie Hoppe was not a participant.Many were inclined to the belief that “Hoppe would have won in a walk”.Two weeks before the tourney started Hoppe defeated Matsuyama by 800 points in a 3000 points match in Boston in a grand average of 50.


1 Jake Schaefer 26.63 205
2 Welker Cochran 25.43 158
3 Edouard Horemans 22.69 193
4 Kinrey Matsuyama 21.56 122
5 Erich Hagenlacher 23.35 264
6 Felix Grange 14.64 118

Billiards Magazine 1929