Thursday 23 January 2020

Project 30, Year 3: Semi-finals

The draws for the semi-finals of the two main Project 30 tournaments have now been made by star juniors Evie and Jessica.

Royce Parker defeated Kevin Waterman in the last remaining quarter-final game of the KO tournament and we now have these pairings:

Matt Jackman v Royce Parker

Richard Harris v Sean Marsh

Each of the rounds will feature one game played at the normal time limit (36 moves in 90 minutes followed by an extra 15 minutes on each clock to play to a finish). Colours will be decided immediately before the games in the usual fashion.

Drawn games will require a replay with colours reversed, which can be played at any time limit agreed by both opponents. If both players cannot reach agreement the aforementioned timings will be used.

The Rapidplay semifinals will be played with these pairings:

Mike Pointon v Peter Harker

Matt Jackman v Sean Marsh

This round will feature six games (three with each colour) with 30 minutes on each clock. Players winning their mini-matches will progress to the next round. Players losing their mini-matches will be eliminated. In the event of a 3-3 tie, the players will contest two five-minute games and keep on doing so if further scores of 1-1 are recorded.

The final will feature eight games, with all of these rounds following the same tiebreak method as the other rounds (if required).

The games in both sections need to be played by the end of April 2020.

The full Quarter-final results can be found here.

Saturday 18 January 2020

Judy Collins at The Sage

Judy Collins
The Sage
It is hard to imagine I will be able to come close to the number of gigs I attended in 2019, but at least I have made a start.

Despite being just a few months short of turning 81, Judy Collins shows little sign of slowing down. Indeed, following last year’s release of two box sets covering her years with Elektra (1961-1984), she has now brought out a brand new album, Winter Stories,  recorded with Jonas Fjeld and Chatham County Line. Jonas was originally going to be with Judy Collins for the Sage evening but for reasons unknown to me it was announced he 'will no longer be performing.' Instead it was just Judy on guitar and Russell Walden on piano, although Judy took to the stage - and piano - solo for most of the second set.
Sage 2 is the perfect venue for an intimate gig. I was surprised to see it wasn’t sold out; logically, there cannot be very many UK tours still to come for Judy Collins.

It was an evening of instantly recognisable songs, the likes of which we remember listening on the radio many years ago without ever thinking we would one day be able to hear them 'live.'

They included Chelsea MorningTake Me Home, Country Road - bookended with parts of Leaving on a Jet Plane - Goodnight Irene, River, Highwayman, Suzanne, Both Sides Now and, to finish the second set, Send in the Clowns. The encore brought a sing-along Amazing Grace and then it really was goodnight Gateshead.
Little stories between the songs brought out snippets of Judy's extraordinary life in music, all the way from the earliest years of singing in small clubs, through the excesses of the 1960s (although it was drink rather than drugs that would plague her life for so many years), including her time in a sanatorium during a dangerous brisk with TB, up to the desire to keep on performing at such an advanced age ('the doctors say for every cigarette you smoke, God takes away a minute of your life and gives it to Keith Richards'.) There were also stories of other major personalities with she worked over the years, such as Leonid Cohen, and a confession Judy found Bob Dylan's early forays into performing folk songs to be rather bad.

The audience was quiet and very respectful; 'anything with a screen' was disallowed by the pre-show announcements, which explains the lack of photographs in this review.

Even though some of the extreme of the vocal range have become more of a challenge with the advancing years, this was a wonderful evening of folk and pop with a legendary singer and a great start to the new year of gigs. 

Monday 13 January 2020

Project 30, Year Three: Quarter-final Update

The third year of Project 30 is progressing well and it is now time for an update on the results.
Quarter-final KO Results

Matt Jackman 1-0 Sean Cassidy

John Garnett 0-1 Sean Marsh (First game drawn; Rapidplay replay required)

Kevin Waterman v Royce Parker

Richard Harris 1-0 Bye

Quarter-final Rapidplay Results

Matt Jackman 3-1 Richard Harris (Richard won the first game)

Mike Pointon 2.5-1.5 Royce Parker (Royce won the first game and the second was a draw)

Sean Cassidy 0.5-3.5 Sean Marsh (The first game was a draw)

Peter Harker 4-0 Bye

The games in both sections need to be played by the end of January 2020

The draw for both sections will be made very soon.
The results from the first round can be found here.

Incidentally, the much-delayed KO Final of Year Two of Project 30 was played this month and after a very tough battle the result was:

Matt Jackman 0-1 Sean Marsh

The Final of the Year Two Rapidplay featured the same two players and the final result was:

Sean Marsh 5 Matt Jackman 1 (Draws in games three and four)