Bengaluru: For Hisataka Kamihashi it was two hours of unbearable tension as he squirmed about in his chair, then got up for a walkabout before returning to his seat in the stands overlooking Table 6 at the IBSF World Snooker Championships here Monday.
The reason for Kamihashi's discomfiture was that his son, 13-year-old Keishin, the youngest player in the competition, was locked in a tense battle with India's Rupesh Shah whose experience and superior craft eventually helped him win 4-0 but three of the four frames were far too close for comfort for the home player.
Keishin, making his debut in the championship, wore his emotions on his sleeve as he skipped around the table like he was in a park back home in Nagoya, moaned and groaned at every miss, and at one time, even sank to his knees in frustration.
Little Keishin was a whiff of fresh air with his innocence as he repeatedly looked up at his dad, winked at him and often smiled bravely, though losing - a refreshing change from stereotypes who hide their feelings behind an inscrutable mask.
For all that, schoolboy Keishin was aware of certain snooker etiquettes like apologising for a fluke shot or politely requesting the referee for a re-spot when Shah fouled when snookered.
Kamihashi himself is playing in the Masters category and proudly said: "I am his (son's) teacher. He started playing just two years ago and plays at the table that I have in my club in Nagoya."
Interestingly, father and son took part in the Japanese National Championship and as fate would have it, faced each other in the quarter-finals.
"Keishin beat me and no, no, I didn't cry, but I was very happy for my son. But sadly, he finished runner-up in the championship," said Kamihashi.
Keishin has lost all five matches he has played so far here and won only two frames, but for a virtual toddler in a man's world, he has exhibited excellent potting ability besides tactical acumen as he received a round of applause from the discerning who watched him play.