Thursday 30 December 2021

Best of the Year: 2021

 It has been another year of greatly reduced gigs, for very obvious reasons.

Nevertheless, amid the cancellations some gigs still went ahead, including a number of live, online transmissions.

The online gigs (T-Rextasy, The Skids, Big Country, Gary Numan and Midge Ure) were very good, but nothing can match the real live experience.

Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that a lot of people had forgotten how to behave in public after the lockdowns and several gigs were tainted by sheer doltery.

Some venues need to rapidly tighten up their policies on vaping, serving virtually endless amounts of drinks during the gigs and morons talking loudly and repeatedly over the shows.

The worst offenders this time could be found at the gigs featuring The Bluejays, The Wandering Hearts, Amy Macdonald and, worst of all, Paul Weller.

An extraordinary about of people appear to be exempt from wearing masks too. I don't believe it - but that's another story.

Here is a quick spin through the gigs I saw during 2021.

Calling Planet Earth
The Wandering Hearts
Amy Macdonald
Bootleg Blondie
The Bluejays
Bowie Experience
Holy Moly and the Crackers
Nine Below Zero
The Skids
Emma Stevens
Totally Tina
Jane Weaver
Paul Weller

The gig of the year was undoubtedly Soft Cell, who were fabulous from start to finish - and the audience was perfectly behaved too.

Soft Cell

What will 2022 bring, I wonder? I have tickets for shows which have been repeatedly pushed back for years now but hopefully they will eventually go ahead.

Friday 24 December 2021

Project 30 Tournament Update

Project 30 Tournament Update

KO Championship

Round One

Sean Cassidy 0-1 Richard Harris

Kevin Waterman 0-1 Stephen Ollis​

Round Two

Sean Marsh 1-0 John Garnett (the first game was drawn and we required a replay)

Dave Baillie 1-0 Peter Harker

Matt Jackman 1-0 Royce Parker

Richard Harris v Stephen Ollis

Rapidplay Championship

The top two players from each group will advance to the semi-finals (winner of group A vs. runner-up of group B and vice versa.)

The semi-finals will be four Rapidplay games and the final will be six games.

Group A

Sean Marsh

Matt Jackman

Richard Harris

Kevin Waterman

Sean Cassidy


Matt Jackman 2-0 Richard Harris

Matt Jackman 2-0 Sean Cassidy

Matt Jackman 0-2 Sean Marsh

Matt Jackman 1-1 Kevin Waterman

Sean Cassidy 0-2 Sean Marsh

Kevin Waterman 0-2 Sean Marsh

Richard Harris 0-2 Sean Marsh

Richard Harris 1.5-0.5 Sean Cassidy

Remaining Fixtures

Kevin Waterman - Richard Harris

Kevin Waterman - Sean Cassidy

Current Standings

Sean Marsh 8/8

Matt Jackman 5/8

Richard Harris 1.5/6

Kevin Waterman 1/4

Sean Cassidy 0.5/6

Group B

Dave Baillie

John Garnett

Royce Parker

Peter Harker

Stephen Ollis


​Da​ve Baillie 1.5-0.5 John Gar​nett

Dave Baillie 1.5-0.5 Stephen Ollis

John Garnett 2-0 Stephen Ollis

John Garnett 2-0 Peter Harker

Peter Harker 2-0 Stephen Ollis

Remaining Fixtures

Dave Baillie - Peter Harker

Dave Baillie - Royce Parker

Royce Parker - John Garnett

Royce Parker - Stephen Ollis

Royce Parker - Peter Harker

Current Standings

John Garnett 4.5/6

Dave Baillie 3/4

Peter Harker 2/4

Stephen Ollis 0.5/6

Royce Parker 0/0

Wednesday 22 December 2021

CHESS Interview

The new issue of CHESS Magazine has an interview with me.


Click here for the free sample, which has the interview, some of my book reviews and also a photograph from my recent CSC Stoke Training Day.

Tuesday 21 December 2021

Project 30 Chessmas Quiz

Thank you to everyone who braved my annual Chessmas Quiz tonight.

Congratulations to the Piper Team, who followed up their London success with another victory!