Ishpreet Singh Chande claims double

That Ishpreet Singh Chadha claimed both the sneeker and billiards titles in the junior section of the National championship here, speaks for his growing reputation in the fraternity.

Ishpreet Singh Chadha of Maharastra who won the sub junior National snooker title in Kolkata on January 06, 2015.   -  Sushanta Patronobish

Ishpreet Singh Chadha is adept at weaving his way and snatching his space past the hordes that fill up the streets and roads in Mumbai. The challenge is different when confronted with coloured balls on the green baize. But he is at ease, sinking the balls in the pockets with exceptional dexterity. Snooker is his first love. Billiards is secondary in his pursuit of excellence. That he added both the titles in the junior section of the National championship here, speaks for his growing reputation in the fraternity.

Cue sports champion Pankaj Advani was generous in his praise. “His talent is awesome and for all to see. It is just the beginning and I am sure he will go on to become a big name in snooker and billiards,” said the ace cueist at a brief function to honour the winners in the junior section.

Ishpreet always wanted to create a slot for himself and prove a point. “To myself,” he is quick to tell you. The green baize became an infatuation during a family vacation in Malaysia many years ago. “When I returned I sought coaching lessons at Khar Gymkhana and soon fell in love with the game,” says the 19-year-old.

His time is spent on “computers” and “practising” snooker. The billiards crown that he retained here was “special” for Ishpreet. The last two meetings with Shri Krishna of Tamil Nadu had ended in defeat. “I wanted to beat him and prove a point to myself that I can win.’

Trailing by 130 points, Ishpreet concentrated hard. “I looked to hit big breaks. It helped when he started missing. I realised he was losing his confidence. I play billiards just for practice purpose. It is an extra title. But snooker is what I love. Billiards can get repetitive,” Ishpreet, a second year Commerce student, is candid.

He tried his hand at all sport, barring skating, and found snooker exceptionally attractive. “I knew it was not a very popular game. Very few people understood snooker. My teachers would kindly allow me to take leave and follow my passion. Cricket is what most people watch and read. To me, what mattered was the titles I won, the friends I made. My mother (Bobby) has been my greatest supporter. Hopefully, someday snooker and billiards would gain the recognition they deserve,” Ishpreet is matured beyond his age.

The junior titles under his belt, the Mumbai cueist is now going to try his hand at the snooker crown in the senior section.

The results (read gold, silver, bronze):

Juniors:

Snooker: Ishpreet Singh Chadha (Maharashtra), Ashutosh Padi (Orissa), Nikhil Saigal (Maharashtra).

Billiards: Ishpreet Singh Chadha, Shri Krishna (Tamil Nadu), M. L. Laxman (Karnataka).

Sub-juniors:

Snooker: Shri Krishna (Tamil Nadu), Digvijay Kadian (Haryana), Sheik Najeeb Ahmed (Karnataka).

Billiards: Shri Krishna, Sparsh Pherwani (Maharashtra), H. Mago (Maharashtra).