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UMB World Artistic Championship 2023

After 11 years of not having a World Artistic Championship, the world has a new champion, and his name is David GONZALEZ from Mexico. He took the crown in his first appearance at a world championship with an overall average of 73,35%, which is not really far from the world record!

But step by step: In the beautiful billiard arena of Turkish billiard federation in Ankara a lot of great quality matches were played during the last 4 days and leading up to the two semifinals and the final on Saturday.

In the spectacular first semifinal the highly experienced multiple European champion Thomas Ahrens from Germany met David Gonzales from Mexico. Gonzales, 38 years young and not very much known on international stages until now, played a brilliant world championship. High averages based on very good technical skills and an enormous mental strength made Gonzales a little bit a favorite. But this head-to-head thriller was decided in the absolute last moment at position 7 of the fifth set to Gonzales’ advantage.

The second semi-final was between Frenchman Kevin TRAN and the “local hero” CIN Baris from Turkey. Tran started with an incredible 100% in the first set, but Cin was only 1 position (8pts) behind! Until the last position the players stayed close together, always on a level close to 80%, and also this thriller was decided in favor of Tran only in the very last moment at position 7 of the fifth set.

The final was not, as most finals, a matter of lower performance because of nerves. Gonzales (MX) and Tran (FR) started both very good and so the match between Europe and the Americas was very close on a n extreme high level (90% to 83%). The tension and excitement for the audience was pretty high and lasted until mid of the 4th set. Then Tran made a few misses and Gonzales kept nearly his level. So, after 4 positions in the last set, Gonzales made the final 10 point, which could not reached by Tran and so a new champion was born. The cheers of the Mexicans present were long, loud and very nice to hear.

This artistic event in Ankara provides a good reason to hold artistic championships in the coming years. At this level, artistic billiard is a discipline full of excitement, brilliant technical skills and solutions on the edge of physics.