Sport Ronnie O'Sullivan in action

The world champion scored 556 points without reply at Alexandra Palace

Snooker: Relieved Higgins to meet Murphy

John Higgins, pursuing his third world title, secured his place in the final of the World Championship with a 17-13 defeat of the 23-year-old Northern Ireland left hander Mark Allen in a match in which he experienced far more anxiety than seemed possible when he led 15-6.

Snooker: Allen strikes back to slow Higgins’ charge

John Higgins remained on course for a place in the World Championship final at the Crucible but Mark Allen denied him a day off after a gutsy fightback last night.

Snooker: Higgins breaks clear to dominate semi-final

By John Skilbeck at the Crucible

Snooker: Murphy foils Hendry

Shaun Murphy held his nerve to knock Stephen Hendry out of the World Championship yesterday.

Snooker: Hendry falls to earth after turning back clock with 147

Stephen Hendry will be richly rewarded for his 147 maximum break but he is in danger of slumping out of the World Championship this lunchtime. His opponent Shaun Murphy was stirred into action by Hendry's perfect clearance in the seventh frame of the morning, his second in the event's history. But Murphy surged back from 5-2 down to lead 8-6 with two frames remaining of last night's session.

Snooker: Rocket finds 'perfection' as he blasts into the final

Becoming Hendry the VIII has been a target for Scotland's seven-times champion since his last world title in 1999, but the only eight Stephen Hendry is likely to remember from this year's World Championship is the 8-0 whitewash he suffered yesterday morning at the genius hands of Ronnie O'Sullivan in the second session of their semi-final.

Snooker: O'Sullivan finds form late in day to halt Hendry

Ronnie O'Sullivan put an uncertain start behind him to share the opening eight frames of his World Championship semi-final with Stephen Hendry. O'Sullivan won the final three frames of the initial session to level the best-of-33 match 4-4 against the seven-times champion.

Pocket Money, by Gordon Burn

As this year's snooker World Championship enters its second week, it does so without Dennis Taylor (long retired) and Steve Davis (knocked out in the first round). Scroll back 23 years, though, and 18.5 million viewers watched that pair's epic 18-17 final, decided on the final black past midnight. Gordon Burn spent the following year with snooker's travelling circus, and his reissued account of a game at what turned out to be its zenith remains acutely observed and beautifully written. At that time, says Clive Everton in an up-to-date postscript tinged with regret at what might have been, "snooker was on honeymoon with the world". The characters – there seemed to be far more then than now – and sheer gusto of the era leap off the page, though Burn also charts the first whiffs of mismanagement that were to become a mighty pong. His latest book is titled 'Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel'; if it's half as good as this factual chronicle of yesteryear, it will be a classic.

Snooker: Ebdon claims first place in last eight

Peter Ebdon became the first player into the quarter-finals of the World Championship with victory over Mark King last night in Sheffield. The 2002 champion ground out a 13-9 win over left-hander King and will face either Shaun Murphy or Ali Carter in the last eight at the Crucible.

Snooker: Liang outclasses Doherty to bring more Chinese joy

A Chinese 21-year-old took centre stage at The Crucible for a second successive night yesterday when a low-profile qualifier, Liang Wenbo, making a stunning tournament debut, produced the biggest shock of this year's World Championship so far by ousting Ken Doherty, the world No 4, 10-5.

Snooker: Higgins shrugs off early nerves to thwart Stevens' fightback

Six returning title-holders have perished in their opening match here but despite fears to the contrary, John Higgins convincingly avoided becoming the seventh with an eye-catching performance on day one of the World Championship.

Snooker: O'Sullivan seeks five in a row

Ronnie O'Sullivan is hoping to become only the second player ever to reach five consecutive Wembley finals when he begins the defence of his Masters title tomorrow. His opening match against Stephen Maguire pits the provisional World No 1 and No 2 against each other.

Wealth Check: the Pommy planning to transport his cash pile home

The problem: An expat's assets have to be transferred to the UK

The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies

The prevailing view among scientists, says Paul Davies, is that life and consciousness are interesting bonus features of our universe, not essential components. Davies, however, thinks otherwise. His provocative and fascinating book argues that intelligent life is the reason why our universe exists.

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