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Big Points in Three Cushion by Andreas Efler
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Handbuch des Billardspiels - Dreiband von Dr. G. Hüpper
Handbuch des Billardspiels - Dreiband von Dr. G. Hüpper
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Book Review

Im Juni 2002 veröffentlichte der weltweit erfolgreichste Autor von Billard-Büchern, Mr. Robert Byrne, eine außerordentlich positive Rezension meines Dreiband-Werkes in dem führenden amerikanischen Billard-Magazin "Billiards Digest", über die ich mich persönlich sehr gefreut habe. Einige zusammengefasste Zitate: "Das neue, bislang umfassendste Werk über Dreiband-Billard ist ein beeindruckendes Buch mit einer erstaunlichen Menge von Kostbarkeiten – genug, um einen zu bewegen, die Sprachschule zu besuchen (um Deutsch zu lernen) – eine riesige Leistung!"
"Dr. Hüpper zeigt unter anderem Stöße, an die die meisten Spieler, selbst sehr gute, in der Partie kaum denken würden. Einige davon werde ich besprechen - es hätten hundert mehr sein können." – "Tatsächlich könnte ich ein ganzes Buch schreiben über interessante Dessins, alle gestohlen von Dr. Hüpper."
Es folgen die von Byrne vorgenommenen Dessin-Analysen aus dem 1. Band des Handbuchs (Zeichnungen von R. Byrne neu gestaltet). Ich bin sicher, dass sie Ihr Interesse finden.

Robert Byrne on Billiards:

Surprising shots from Dr. Hüpper

There is an embarrassment of riches in an impressive new three-cushion book by Gemany's Dr. Gerhard Hüpper. It's odd that the most comprehensive books on pool an three-cushion were both published in the year 2001. Unfortunately for American players, one is in French and the other in German.
Now comes Dr. Hüpper with his Handbuch des Billarspiels Dreiband (Handbook of Three-cushion Billiard Play). His colossal large format effort is divided into Book 1, on shots, and Book 2, on special problems, psychology, position play, and systems. Together they total 540 pages and 1,800 precise diagrams. It's almost enough to drive a person to language school. For information, contact Litho-Verlag, T. Lindemann (that's the publishers name) at Mittelstraße 4, 34466 Wolfhagen, Germany
In this article, I will diagram a few shots from Dr. Hüpper's book that most players, even most
good players, might not think of in a game. There are a hundred more I could have selected.

In Diagram 1 is a shot that is not as hard as it looks, even from the unpromising position shown. It's not so difficult to contact two rails first and then get a fairly full hit on the first object ball. The topspin on the cueball helps send it across the table for two or three more rails. If the cueball doubles the end-rail and then crosses the table to hit another side rail, you end up with six rails.
This happens to be one shot that I would'nt overlook myself, as it is one of my favorites. I shoot it even when it's not the easiest option, because I enjoy the reacion it gets from onlookers, especially my opponent. If I make it, I don't mind so much losing the game.

Two shots are suggested in Diagram 2. The solid line shows a shot that Sang Lee once made in a game against George Ashby. Dr. Hüpper recommends (if I can believe my dictionary of the German-English language) maximum right English off the first rail to give the best angle of approach into the second rail.
The dashed line requires a slight right massé with the cue elevated about 20 degrees and a soft stroke. If the cueball hits the long rail twice, there is a good chance of getting the third rail after hitting the first ball.

In Diagram 3 is a shot that probably wasn't available to
Willie Hoppe and Welker Cochran because the cloth in the old days wasn't fast enough and the rubber wasn't as lively as it is today on heated European tables.
Because I am almost as old as Hoppe and Cochran would be if they were still alive, I seldom think of shots like this, which are only possible on the new style of equipment.

A variation of the long back-up can be seen in Diagram 4. I am not convinced that in the given position it is a higher percentage shot than jacking up a bit and curving the cueball for a twice-across shot as indicated by the dashed line. The twice-across shot, of course, is ruled out if the red is a few more inches away from the end-rail, which would put it in the way of the cueball's path to the first rail.

I've always been attracted by the ingenuity of time shots in which the secong object ball is deliberately relocated. The Germans call them Begeg-nungsball (encounter the ball) In French the shot is a rendezvous. Dr. Hüpper gives 22 examples, two of which can be seen in Diagram 5.

The position in the final Diagram 6 comes up a lot. Nothing is easy. Sometimes it's best to hit the object full and a little to the left with heavy draw an right English in an attempt to bring the cueball
down to the lower long
rail with the hope that the spin is sufficient to carry the cueball around the table.

Another possibility is to follow the cueball straight through the object ball with high right and hope for the best.

Sometimes it's possible to hit the first object ball so thin on the right side that the cueball hits the end rail first, then the long rail close to the corner and finally a third rail just before the red
ball, but that would be very tough in the diagrammed position.

Dr. Hüpper suggests an option that doesn't involve the risk of breaking your arm: a diagonal
backup using moderate right English. Why didn't I think of that?

I could go on - in fact I could write an entire book of shots, stolen from Dr. Hüpper


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