Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is the 15th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.3 million people. The city is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.
Sofia has had several names in the different periods of its existence. Its ancient name, Serdika or Serdica, derives from the local Celtic tribe of the serdi who inhabited the region since the 1st century BC. Serdica was a Roman capital during the tetrarchic system of government. During the middle ages, it was one of the major commercial centres of the Bulgarian Empire, along with Tarnovo.
Geographically, Sofia is surrounded by mountains on all sides. A number of low rivers cross the city, including the Vladaiska and the Perlovska. The city is also known for its numerous mineral and thermal springs. Artificial and dam lakes were built in the last century.
Sofia has a humid continental climate with long winters and long summers. The average temperature during the championship period should be around 5° C. Those who are visiting must ensure proper warm clothes.
Tourism: Sofia is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Bulgaria and one can enjoy many places during the stay. Among its highlights is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the symbols of Bulgaria, constructed in the late 19th century. The city is also known for the Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library house the largest national collection of books and document (1,714,211 books and some 6 million other documents) and is Bulgaria’s oldest cultural institute. Sofia holds Bulgaria’s largest museum collections and Vitosha Boulevard has numerous fashion boutiques and luxury goods stores.
World Snooker Championship: Everybody by now is well aware of the unfortunate cancellation of the event scheduled for Egypt, and we are pleased to present the 2012 World Snooker Championship in Sofia, Bulgaria. The IBSF wishes to thank Bulgarian Snooker Federation for hosting the event at such short notice, and to all those unseen volunteers that have made this happen.
The Championship will witness some thrilling performances from over 190 participants, 100 Men, 41 Women and 50 Masters (age 40+) players exhibit their skills over the next 10 days in the format as below:
Men: 20 Groups of 5. Top 3 in each group will advance to knockout stage. From those 30 players, top 4 will be seeded to last 32 stage and remaining will play the round of 64.
Women’s: 8 Groups of 5 Top 3 from each group will qualify for knockout. Top 8 of those 24 players will be advanced to Last 16 stage and remaining will play to win and meet those top 8 in the successive round.
Masters: 10 Groups of 5 the top 3 of each group will move into last 32 stage with a bye to top two players of knockout stage. Matches will be played on 16 Shender tables using Strachan 30oz cloth with 1G Snooker balls by Aramith.
Playing schedule and Group stages are available on IBSF website. There will be Live Scoring for all matches and provisions have been made for Live Streaming on three match tables. Links of the same will be made available on IBSF website, Facebook and Twitter once the championship starts.