Joel Walker (snooker player)
Joel Walker is an English former professional snooker player. In 2010 he turned professional in 2012 through Q School. In 2010 Walker won Rileys Future Stars competition, won £5,000 and coaching sessions with Ronnie O'Sullivan; the same year he was invited to compete in the World Open. He defeated Julian Logue 3–1 in the first qualifying round, but lost 1–3 against Tony Drago in the next round. Walker competed at the Players Tour Championship, with his best result coming at the fourth event in Sheffield, where he reached the last 64 and lost 0–4 against Robert Milkins, he finished 137th on the Order of Merit. He tried unsuccessfully to turn professional through the Q School, with his best result coming in the second tournament, where he reached the last 16, but lost 1–4 against Simon Bedford. Walker competed at the Players Tour Championship in the 2011/2012 season, his best result came at the second and third UK event, where he reached the last 128, but lost 1–4 against Stephen Lee and 0–4 against Ding Junhui respectively.
He finished 531st on the Order of Merit. Walker turned professional in 2012 after coming through Event 3 of the Q School and gained a two-year tour card for the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 snooker seasons, he won five consecutive matches in the event. Walker's first match as a professional was a 5–4 win over Cao Yupeng, who had reached the last 16 of the World Championship two months earlier. Walker lost to Peter Lines by the same scoreline in the next round, he did not win a qualifying match for a ranking event during the rest of the season. Walker fared better in the minor-ranking Players Tour Championship events as he played in all ten tournaments, with his best result coming in the Scottish Open, where he beat Andrew Pagett and Stuart Bingham, before losing 2–4 to Liang Wenbo in the last 32, he was placed 76th on the PTC Order of Merit, finished his first year on tour ranked world number 90. In his opening match, Walker defeated Ian Burns 5–2 to qualify for the 2013 Wuxi Classic in China. In Walker's first appearance in the main draw of a ranking event, he defeated Alex Davies 5–2 in the first round to progress to the last 32 stage, where he lost 5–2 against Ben Woollaston.
Walker failed to qualify for the next four ranking tournaments, lost in the last 128 match of the UK Championship. He started 2014 by reaching the last 32 of the German Masters, went further at the Welsh Open, defeating Pankaj Advani, Mark Davis, James Wattana and defending champion Stephen Maguire to reach his first major quarter-final, he led world number three Ding Junhui 4–2 and missed several chances to wrap up a win which would have doubled his previous career prize money earnings to be defeated 5–4. After Walker was edged out of the second round of World Championship qualifying 10–9 by Jamie Jones he ended the year ranked world number 80, outside of the top 64 in the rankings and would be relegated from the tour. However, he performed well throughout the season in the European Tour events, reaching the last 16 of the Kay Suzanne Memorial Cup and the quarter-finals of the Antwerp Open; as a result, he finished 35th on the Order of Merit to claim the second of eight spots which were available to non-qualified players to play on the main tour for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons.
The first ranking event Walker could qualify for during the 2014/2015 season was the International Championship thanks to a 6–4 win over Ken Doherty. Walker drew Martin Gould in the first round and made a century and two further breaks above 50 to level at 4–4 after being 4–1 down, but lost two frames in a row to exit the tournament, he eliminated Alan McManus 6–1 and Tom Ford 6–3 at the UK Championship and led world number 11 Stuart Bingham 3–0, but went on to lose in a deciding frame. Walker was knocked out of the first round of the Welsh Open and Indian Open 4–2 by Mark Joyce and 4–0 by Matthew Selt. Before the start of the World Championship, Walker stated his desire to become the first player from Sheffield to play in the event, but he lost 10–6 to Stuart Carrington in the first qualifying round. Walker made his debut in the Australian Goldfields Open thanks to beating Jamie Cope 5–2, Adam Duffy 5–3 and Gary Wilson 5–3 in the qualifiers, but was thrashed 5–0 by Stephen Maguire in the first round.
He was whitewashed in the opening round of two other ranking events, 6–0 by Joe Swail at the UK Championship and 4–0 by Marco Fu at the Welsh Open. Walker entered Q School as he dropped off the tour at the end of the season by being placed 80th in the world rankings, he only won one match during the two events to confirm his relegation. In the second event of 2017 Q School, Walker was two victories away from rejoining the professional tour, but lost 4–3 in the fifth round to Joe Swail. Snooker Database Joel Walker at CueTracker: Snooker Results & Statistics Database Pro Snooker Blog profile
The Tempodrom is a multi-purpose event venue in Berlin. Founded by Irene Moessinger, it opened in 1980 next to the Berlin Wall on the west side of Potsdamer Platz, housed in a large circus tent. After several changes of location it is now housed in a permanent building in the Kreuzberg neighborhood. Moessinger had become a nurse when she came into an 800,000 mark inheritance from her father, her initial funds were exhausted and the following year the Berlin Senate agreed to contribute funds to keep the operation going. The original location attracted noise complaints, in 1985 the Tempodrom moved to a site in the Tiergarten, where it remained until displaced by construction of the new German Chancellery. At this time a new construction of the current building was proposed, the tents moved to a temporary site during construction. In May 1999, the venue moved to another temporary location near the Ostbahnhof. In 2001, a permanent venue was constructed on the site of the old Anhalter Bahnhof, whose war-damaged ruins had been demolished in 1960.
While a small section of the old station façade was retained, the entire train shed was removed, leaving a large open area. The new Tempodrom was erected in the center of this area, with a playing field lying between it and the façade remnant, a wooded area extending in the other direction towards the Landwehr Canal; the firm of Von Garkan, Marg und Partner was retained to design the new building. The basic floor plan is square, accommodating three performance spaces as well as a bistro and various offices and restrooms, underneath a wooden-floored terrace which hosts a beer garden in season; the two arenas are both circular, with the larger, centrally located space covered by a 37 metres steel and concrete panel roof intended to echo the form of the tents of the original site. This space can accommodate 3,500 patrons; the third space is the "Liquidrom", a thermal bath/spa establishment featuring a 43 feet diameter salt water bath fitted with underwater speakers to provide a multi-sensory spa experience, three saunas at temperatures of 55, 80 and 90 degrees Celsius, a steam bath room along with various massage services.
The 135,000 square foot building was completed in 2001 at a cost of nearly $36 million, over twice the original budget. Scandal over the overruns led to the resignation of State Senator Peter Strieder, in charge of the Urban Development department; the Tempodrom corporation went into bankruptcy in 2005 and was operated by a receiver, with Moessinger retiring as director. She and former Director Norbert Waehl were tried for embezzlement but were acquitted in 2008; the Tempodrom is now operated by the Bremer KPS Group, who took over in April 2010 in the face of a foreclosure threat by Landesbank Berlin. Tempodrom hosts a wide variety of events. German Masters, snooker tournament Media related to Tempodrom at Wikimedia Commons
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Gary Wilson (snooker player)
Gary Wilson is an English professional snooker player from Wallsend in North Tyneside and Wear. Wilson soon started showing promise. At the age of 8 he had been put into a team performing in the local league, despite some clubs refusing to allow a child to play. Aged 9, he made his first century, appeared for the first time at the BBC1's snooker game show series Junior Big Break: Stars of the Future, he played exhibition matches with John Parrott and Willie Thorne and defeated Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan in level matches. Wilson went on to win a number of national titles, including the UK Under-18 championship twice, was regarded as one of the most promising junior players in the country.in 2003 Wilson made his international debut in at the European U-19's Championship in Latvia. The same year he started his professional career by playing Challenge Tour, the second-level professional tour at the time, won the fourth event in 2004 to finish fourth in the rankings and secure his place on the main tour for 2004/2005 season.
Wilson's biggest achievement that year however was the victory at the World Under-21 Snooker Championship in Ireland. Having won all seven of his round robin matches, dropping just two frames along the way, he went all the way to the final, defeating the likes of Pankaj Advani, Aditya Mehta and Liang Wenbo. In the final Wilson saw off Kobkit Palajin with top breaks of 142 and 135 to win 11–5. In his debut season Wilson reached last 64 of the China Open; these results were just enough to ensure. The next season, Wilson twice reached the last 64 stage of the tournaments, however the rest of his performances was unsuccessful and following defeat to James Tatton in the World Championship qualifying he fell off the tour. In 2013 Wilson commented: "At the end of it, when you looked at the rankings it was only by one match and I was gutted; the thing is, at the time, this is not an excuse, the game was nowhere near as popular as now. It was going through a bad patch and there were only six tournaments in all compared to now when there are 20–25 tournaments per season.
It meant if you had two bad tournaments and you were not doing too well you did not have much time to recover. It is so different now." Wilson was to spend the next four years attempting to regain his tour place via the PIOS tour, having come close to finishing inside the top 8 on several occasions. He was forced to start working as a taxi driver at the time to make a living. Following the introduction of the Q School Wilson again came close to winning a tour card, twice reaching the fourth round in 2011 and once in 2012, he took part in the 2012 IBSF World Championship in Bulgaria, having finished top of the English amateur rankings. He lost 8 -- 10 to Muhammad Asif. During the 2011/2012 season Wilson entered a number of PTC events, defeating the likes of Peter Ebdon and Marco Fu and reaching the last 32 twice; the next season was better, as he performed and reached the last 16 of Scottish Open. Wilson said, "I knew if I went quite far in that last event I would be able to turn professional off that, so losing the world amateur final did not end my dreams".
Wilson had one of the strongest starts to the season among the new players on tour. In the first tournament, the Wuxi Classic, he defeated James Wattana to qualify for his second venue appearance. After failing to qualify for both the Australian Open and Shanghai Masters, Wilson had his best result to date at the inaugural Indian Open, defeating Jimmy White, Dominic Dale and Marco Fu on the way to last 16, where he again lost in the deciding frame, this time to Michael White. Following his first round defeat at the International Championship to Wattana, Wilson went on to reach last 32 of both the UK Championship and German Masters. During the qualifying match for the latter tournament against Ricky Walden in December, Wilson made his first maximum break in professional competition, he performed at the European Tour events, winning his first round matches at every tournament. The highlight was his first semi-final at the Rotterdam Open where he was leading eventual tournament winner Mark Williams 3–1 but lost 4–3.
Thanks to these performances Wilson finished 24th on the Order of Merit to qualify for the Finals, where he was whitewashed 4–0 by Fu. Wilson's season came to a disappointing end as he was beaten 10–4 by James Cahill in the opening round of World Championship qualifying. However, he had made enough money during the year to give up his taxi driver job and concentrate on playing snooker full-time in the future. Wilson qualified for the 2014 Wuxi Classic, the opening ranking event of the season, where he lost 5–3 to Alan McManus in the first round, he couldn't regain his momentum from last year as he failed to progress beyond the last 64 stage of any tournament in the first half of the season. Wilson's breakthrough came in February at the Welsh Open, as he defeated Zhang Anda, John Astley and Joe Perry, he knocked out Neil Robertson 4–2 to reach his first major quarter-final, stating afterwards that he had proven that he could handle the big occasions. Wilson took an early 2–1 lead against Ben Woollaston, but lost four frames in a row to be beaten 5–2.
In the opening round of the Indian Open, Wilson was edged out 4–3 by Adam Duffy. At the China Open, Wilson eliminated Liang Wenbo 5–3, Ricky Walden 5–2 and Dechawat Poomjaeng 5–1 to play in his second ran
Snooker is a cue sport which originated among British Army officers stationed in India in the half of the 19th century. It is played on a rectangular table covered with a green cloth, or baize, with pockets at each of the four corners and in the middle of each long side. Using a cue and 22 coloured balls, players must strike the white ball to pot the remaining balls in the correct sequence, accumulating points for each pot. An individual game, or frame, is won by the player scoring the most points. A match is won. Snooker gained its own identity in 1884 when army officer Sir Neville Chamberlain, while stationed in Ooty, devised a set of rules that combined pyramid and life pool; the word "snooker" was a long-used military term used to describe inexperienced or first-year personnel. The game grew in popularity in the United Kingdom, the Billiards Association and Control Club was formed in 1919, it is now governed by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. The World Snooker Championship has taken place since 1927, with Joe Davis becoming a key figure in the early growth of the sport winning the championship fifteen times from 1927 to 1946.
The "modern era" began in 1969 after the BBC commissioned the snooker television show Pot Black and began to air the World Championship in 1978, leading to the sport's new peak in popularity. Ray Reardon dominated the game in the 1970s, Steve Davis in the 1980s, Stephen Hendry in the 1990s. Since 2000, Ronnie O'Sullivan has won the most world titles, with 5. Top professional players now compete around the world and earn millions of pounds; the sport has become popular in China. The origin of snooker dates back to the latter half of the 19th century. In the 1870s, billiards was a popular activity amongst British Army officers stationed in India and several variations of the game were devised during this time. One such variation originated at the officers' mess of the 11th Devonshire Regiment in 1875, which combined the rules of two pocket billiards games and life pool; the former was played with fifteen red balls and one black positioned in a triangle, while the latter involved the potting of designated coloured balls.
The game developed its own identity in 1884 when its first set of rules was finalised by Sir Neville Chamberlain, an English officer who helped develop and popularise the game at Stone House in Ooty on a table built by Burroughes & Watts, brought over by boat. The word "snooker" was a slang term for first-year cadets and inexperienced military personnel, but Chamberlain would use it to describe the inept performance of one of his fellow officers at the table. In 1887, snooker was given its first definite reference in England in a copy of Sporting Life which caused a growth in popularity. Chamberlain came out as the game's inventor in a letter to The Field published on 19 March 1938, 63 years after the fact. Snooker grew in popularity across the Indian colonies and the United Kingdom, but it remained a game for the gentry, many gentlemen's clubs that had a billiards table would not allow non-members inside to play. To accommodate the growing interest and more open snooker-specific clubs were formed.
In 1919, the Billiards Association and the Billiards Control Board merged to form the Billiards Association and Control Club and a new, standard set of rules for snooker first became official. The game of Snooker grew in the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, by 1927 the first World Snooker Championship had been organised by Joe Davis who, as a professional English billiards and snooker player, moved the game from a pastime activity into a more professional sphere. Davis won every world championship until 1946; the game went into a decline through the 1950s and 1960s with little interest generated outside of those who played. In 1959, Davis introduced a variation of the game known as "Snooker Plus" to try to improve the game's popularity by adding two extra colours, but it never caught on. A major advance occurred in 1969, when David Attenborough commissioned the snooker television series Pot Black to demonstrate the potential of colour television with the green table and multi-coloured balls being ideal for showing off the advantages of colour broadcasting.
The series was for a time the second-most popular show on BBC Two. Interest in the game increased and the 1978 World Snooker Championship was the first to be televised; the game became a mainstream game in the UK, Ireland and much of the Commonwealth and has enjoyed much success since the late 1970s, with most of the ranking tournaments being televised. In 1985 a total of 18.5 million viewers watched the concluding frame of the world championship final between Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis known as the "black ball final". The loss of tobacco sponsorship during the 2000s led to a decrease in the number of professional tournaments, although some new sponsors were sourced. By 2007, the BBC dedicated 400 hours to snooker coverage compared to just 14 minutes forty years earlier. In 2010, promoter Barry Hearn gained a controlling interest in World Snooker Ltd. the professional sport's commercial arm, pledging to revitalise the "moribund" professional game. Under his direction, the number of professional tournaments has increased, certain tournament formats have been changed in an attempt to increase their appeal, and, by 2013, total prize money had more than doubled from £3 million to more than £7 million for the tour.
The objective of
Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand and known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km2 and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country; the capital and largest city is a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar, its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Although nominally a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup in 2014 established a de facto military dictatorship. Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century. Various Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, the Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as Ngoenyang, the Sukhothai Kingdom, Lan Na and the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which rivaled each other.
European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, one of the great powers in the region. Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai's reign declining thereafter until being destroyed in 1767 in a war with Burma. Taksin reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom, he was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty and founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, which lasted into the early 20th century. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, Siam faced pressure from France and the United Kingdom, including forced concessions of territory, but it remained the only Southeast Asian country to avoid direct Western rule. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, Siam became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to "Thailand". While it joined the Allies in World War I, Thailand was an Axis satellite in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup revived the monarchy's influential role in politics.
Thailand became a major ally of the United States and played a key anti-communist role in the region. Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. In the 21st century, Thailand endured a political crisis that culminated in two coups and the establishment of its current and 20th constitution by the military junta. Thailand is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a military junta. Thailand is a founding member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations and remains a major ally of the US. Despite its comparatively sporadic changes in leadership, it is considered a regional power in Southeast Asia and a middle power in global affairs. With a high level of human development, the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, the 20th largest by PPP, Thailand is classified as a newly industrialized economy. Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia.
The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens. By outsiders prior to 1949, it was known by the exonym Siam; the word Siam may have originated from Pali or Sanskrit श्याम or Mon ရာမည. The names Shan and A-hom seem to be variants of the same word; the word Śyâma is not its origin, but a learned and artificial distortion. Another theory is the name derives from Chinese: "Ayutthaya emerged as a dominant centre in the late fourteenth century; the Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam." A further possibility is that Mon-speaking peoples migrating south called themselves'syem' as do the autochthonous Mon-Khmer-speaking inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula. The signature of King Mongkut reads SPPM Mongkut Rex Siamensium, giving the name "Siam" official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand. Thailand was renamed to Siam from 1946 to 1948. According to George Cœdès, the word Thai means "free man" in the Thai language, "differentiating the Thai from the natives encompassed in Thai society as serfs".
A famous Thai scholar argued that Thai means "people" or "human being", since his investigation shows that in some rural areas the word "Thai" was used instead of the usual Thai word "khon" for people. According to Michel Ferlus, the ethnonyms Thai/Tai would have evolved from the etymon *kri:'human being' through the following chain: *kəri: > *kəli: > *kədi:/*kədaj > *di:/*daj > *dajA > tʰajA2 or > tajA2. Michel Ferlus' work is based on some simple rules of phonetic change observable in the Sinosphere and studied for t