The MC in Mumbai Derek Sippy had by his own admission a terrible time of it calling in the players and officials for the second set of quarter-finals on Friday evening with a scheduled start time of around 9pm. A lengthy and emotional speech from honoured VIP guest and Indian national acting treasure Anil Kapoor, more of which elsewhere, had already delayed things before Sippy took the mike.
With the usual booming delivery he first of all introduced the referee on Table Two as Germany’s Marcel Eckardt. There was a long pause before Malta’s Terry Camilleri slowly walked out into the arena staring intently at Sippy, who reacted eventually: “I got that wrong – it’s Terry Camilleri!”
With Camilleri and Eckardt finally announced for their right tables the players were next. “On Table Two…The Gentleman, Joe Perry!” roared Sippy. The only slight problem being Perry was playing on Table One against Ricky Walden, with Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Mark Davis due to be called out on Table Two. “It’s all going wrong tonight,” lamented Sippy, and no one – including Kapoor and tournament director Mike Ganley standing, or more accurately hopping alongside – was about to disagree.
Earlier in the week the referees had enjoyed a joke at Sippy’s expense by telling that Olivier Marteel’s nickname was ‘The Belgian Truffle’ which he duly relayed to the audience, and the hapless MC , who seemed to be heavily reliant on Wikipedia for some of his background work, also introduced Jan Verhaas as ‘Belgian’ and player Yu Delu as ‘Noodles’.