The power cut a couple of minutes before the start of the Ding Junhui/Shaun Murphy match had officials for the tournament, broadcasters and venue scampering around the building desperately trying to establish the seriousness of the situation, and more importantly how long it would take to fix. In the end, the emergency response team all performed admirably, and a delay of 75 minutes was a result for all parties. It was originally feared it might take several hours to regain the electrics, something that would have impacted on the Ronnie O’Sullivan/Rob Milkins match and may well have resulted in one of the clashes being played very late or very early. But in the end none of that was necessary, and BBC cameraman Jim Cemlyn-Jones got his big moment, doing an impromptu acoustic guitar set in the manner of Cliff Richard - and not so much The Office’s David Brent, as he didn’t have to go home for his guitar. It was in the car.
All of the players both involved, in to practice, and former greats waiting around to commentate insisted they had never seen anything like it before. Murphy headed off to practice before rejoining the dimly-lit party in the arena led by MC Rob Walker, and Ding was taking pictures in the gloom while refuelling on an apple. No, not that one.
Dennis Taylor, the 1985 world champion, was taking it all in his stride. “I haven’t ever seen this happen in a big tournament, never,” he said. “But I do remember plenty of exhibitions during the strikes back in the 1970s which we had to do by candlelight.”
It is uncertain whether that solution would have got past the Ally Pally management on health and safety grounds.