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Chess Pages of Mike Donnelly 




(* denotes new content since the last update.)


Number 1 View now  *

Download now *


Number 2 View now *

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2. ARCHIVE OF MONTHLY ARTICLES (from January 2017)*

Old archive (August 1999-December 2016).






5. COVENTRY CHESS CLUB (formerly Whoberley CC) The club has teams with a wide range of strengths in the various local leagues and has won every Cup and League competition at some point in the last few years. Contact details.

6. BOOK AND SOFTWARE REVIEWS (from 2007 to date)

Archive of book and CD reviews 1998-2006.


8. MY STUFF  Games, results, chess offices held and chess problems. *


Chess sites  *

Chess problem sites


11. NEW AND SECOND- HAND CHESS BOOKS Tony Peterson. Specialist in rare and secondhand chess books and magazines. Very large stock . Contact details. 

  IM Sergey Bystrov.  Specialist in a wide range of Russian books plus some non-Russian books. Now offering a greater range. Contact details.


(a) Correspondence Chess News (CCN).


(c) Thomas Johansson's site


13. PERSONAL TRAINING BCF Regional Master Andy Baruch (formerly Whoberley board 1) is now available for face to face personal training in the Coventry, Warwickshire and surrounding areas. Players ranging from beginner to County level who wish to improve should contact Andy by clicking here



 Wing Tsun Kung Fu (Coventry).


Wing Tsun in the Midlands




I little bit about myself: I live in the historic town of Kenilworth (very close to the medieval castle) in Warwickshire, England. I have just retired, after a period as a consultant, from full time work as a Technical Manager at a biotechnology company that manufactures hydrogels for woundcare, monitoring electrode, and cosmetic applications. Previously I was a research scientist working in a diverse number of scientific areas (science publications, committees, science journal refereeing etc). In my spare time I enjoy chess, the history and culture of the Ancient Greeks, various types of music and until recently Wing Tsun martial art (achieving grade 11).

Just over a decade ago I shifted from playing over-the-board (otb) chess as well as correspondence chess to playing only correspondence chess (current rating of 2465  ICCF rating history *). In 2016 I returned to some relatively regular otb chess in local leagues playing at about 1850 elo (a somewhat reduced level  from that of a decade or so ago (approximately 2090 elo) and also from my highest many years ago of about 2300, grading history ).


I will attempt to offer a wide range of chess material on this site including game and opening based articles, games for downloading from famous players I have known or competed against, chess problems and some current and past results. This will include both otb and correspondence play.

In addition to more advanced articles I will also occasionally provide articles for beginners to mid-club strength of player.



Every now and then I exchange e-mails with Senior International Master Trevor Thomas, who was a mainstay of the English Correspondence Chess Team some years  ago.  In the latest update he indicated how small the World really was with some information on famous players such as Adrian Hollis (whose recent Memorial Event I played in) and also Simon Webb. Sadly he also informed me of the very serious illness of his friend Keith Richardson. Later in the year I will present some outstanding games by Keith analyzed in detail as a small memorial to this fine player. I had met Keith several times, played him several times and also discussed with him at length the future of correspondence chess on more than one occasion.

Trevor has also recently supplied one of his excellent correspondence games in which he set out to revenge a loss by Keith against the B.Kuperman of Israel. This set me thinking as the game is from the pre-computer age.  The game is really outstanding and shows to what heights the human mind can reach in playing correspondence chess.

To compliment this game I have also annotated another slightly earlier correspondence game by another outstanding player and former English International John Toothill. John achieved the International Master title back in 1981 and was part of the English Team that won the final of the 9th Olympiad and also finished runner-up to the mighty Russia Team in the 10th Olympiad final. Some of the variations of this game too are fascinating to play through so the same general comment may be made as about Trevor's game.


All material for downloading from this site is zipped. Use WinZip or similar to extract. Monthly articles are in .pgn format (from May 2000, previously in .txt format) whilst games for downloading are in .pgn format (or .cbv occasionally). 

Contributions, suggestions for articles and comments to improve this site are welcome: mail me!

SCCA Magazine

The SCCA magazine is published quarterly and consists of 24xA4 pages packed with correspondence chess news, articles, reviews and games.

SCCA members receive the magazine as part of their annual subscription (8). This entitles them to download pdf files (the e-mags) from a secure area of the SCCA website.

If you prefer to receive a printed copy of the magazine, an extra 5 per annum covers print costs and UK postage and you get the four issues mailed directly to you.

The SCCA magazine is unbeatable value! You can try a complimentary copy by contacting the membership secretary.


Local Players (June 25 ):

(a) Coventry Chess Club Summer Cup 2017: Getting on for 30 players entered this event mostly from Coventry Chess Club but also some from Kenilworth Chess Club. Play featured many hard fought games with the majority of players playing good chess often far above what their gradings would suggest. Organization was excellent too with Simon Weaver  dealing with all matters in a very efficient and friendly manner. Some of the key games between the highest graded players involved intense clock incidents. For instance Ed Goodwin had 2 seconds left in his game against Dave Ireland (who had < 1 minute left) when a draw was agreed. Ed also had about 2 seconds left in his game against me essentially running out of time in trying to win the exchange up and offering a draw-I had about 8 seconds left. In my game against Dave, whilst I had about 5 minutes left to Dave's 20+ minutes, I was not able to visualize the complex win, found latter in extended analysis, when a pawn up. A draw was agreed in what appeared to be an impenetrable blockade although a long term piece and pawn sacrifice would have won.

Final positions were (players are from Coventry Chess Club unless otherwise stated):

Dave Ireland  (winner on tie break) and Ed Goodwin (runner-up) on 5/6; myself (Kenilworth) on 4.5/6; Dave Filer 4/6; Stan Whitmore 3.5/6 (Stan played several excellent games and deservedly won the U-120 trophy). The first three players named remained unbeaten as did Mike Johnson (Kenilworth) who scored 3/6. Roy Watson (Kenilworth) scored 2.5/6 after a good start but did play several interesting and entertaining games.

(b) Warwickshire Select in the 4NCL 2016-17.  Andy Baruch reports that the first team narrowly missed out on promotion to Division 1 of the 4NCL hence will remain in division 2 for next season. The second team , however, despite some excellent individual games and team results just failed to remain in Division 2 hence will play in one of the third divisions next season. None of these division are easy as a great number of highly graded players, even IMs and GMs as well as some World Class players make regular appearances.  Kenilworth players such as Andy Baruch, Mark Page and Andrew Patterson are regulars in the Warwickshire Select Team.

English Counties Correspondence Championship (Ward-Higgs-Division 1) 2016-17 (June 25): 

This is the premier correspondence team event in the UK. Many of the highest rated correspondence chess players represent their county in this event and also quite a few highly rated otb players also play. There are over a dozen correspondence chess Grandmasters, Senior International Masters and International Masters (both male and female) spread throughout the various teams. Strong otb player such as Susan Lalic and Peter Batchelor are also playing.

The Warwickshire team is headed up by myself (2465) on board d 1, SIM J.J.Carlton (2255) on bd 2, M.Davis (2296) on bd 3, M.Soszynski (2215) on bd4 with many good players on lower boards.

Leading position have changed rapidly in the last week or two. With several wins in succession West Wales are now leading with 9.5 points and two games remaining. This score overtakes Warwickshire now in second place with 8.5 points and 1 game left. Sadly I have to report Max Davis on board 3, after a fine win in the first game is very seriously ill, hence obviously was not able to convert a winning game in the second game of his pairing. Yorkshire A are currently in third position with 8 points and two games remaining. A very close finish is still on the cards for this event.

Correspondence Chess Olympiad 21-Preliminaries (June 25):

 The England team comprises 4 very experienced titled players players (Grandmaster or Senior International Master) in the following board order: SIM Harvey Williams (2537), SIM Nigel Burne (2488), GM John Pugh (2468), myself (2465), SIM Ajoy Mukherjee (2456) and SIM Dr John Wharam (2449). Only the top two teams playing qualify for the Olympiad final.

On board 4, I face players from across the globe including Japan, India, North and Central America, as well as major European countries. The opposing teams on this board include two Senior International Master and two International Masters with a board average rating of 2340. Play commenced in September 2016 and  takes place on the ICCF web server thus allowing fast play.

A number of decisive games have changed the leading scores dramatically. Dmitriev (2399 EST) with 2 games left unfinished defeated Szabo (2339 HUN) hence both players are now on 4 points. SIM Reinhart (2469 USA) has also beaten IM van Tricht (2349 BEL).

This web site (June 25):

(a) The Memorabilia sections has been updated with a few bits and pieces.

(b) The article presented in section 10 on The Rise of Women in Chess has been corrected.  Having spoken to Kate Donegan during a recent league match I realized I had slightly misspelled her name. The corrected game is now also available for download.

(c) The annotated games from the Nov-Dec 2016 monthly articles of this web site have now also been published on the excellent, completely revised and regularly updated, Welsh Correspondence Chess site ( The link has also been added to the Chess Sites section (section 9. Links).

(d) The archive section of the site has been restructured. All past articles from the years 1999-2016 are now in a single archive.

Personal Training (May 25) 

Players wishing to improve should now contact Regional Master Andy Baruch on his new e-mail address (see section 13 of this site).

Young players also wishing to advance should contact Paul Lam at  Paul has just completed a very successful fund raising campaign for this academy which will be used to fund promising players attendance to distant chess events and other supportive functions.

Adrian Hollis Memorial 2014-16 (May 25):

This is the strongest correspondence chess event I have played in and features 4 Grandmasters including two current ICCF World Championship Finalists in GM Richard Hall 2640 (runner-up in the last World Championship) and also GM Nigel Robson 2602  (also a former IECG World Champion) as well as a previous ICCF finalist in GM John Brooks 2511. All other players in a field of eleven players are ICCF Senior International Masters and the tournament average rating is 2504. The event is now being billed as the strongest ever all British Correspondence event according to the BCCA.

This event has just finished with the last prolonged game now being completed. The event was won by GM Nigel Robson with the remarkable score of 8/10 and who has now moved on to playing in the ICCF World Championship Final. Second equal were SIM Richard Beecham and GM Richard Hall on 5.5 points. I finished 8th (one place above rating expectation) on 4.5 points (9 draws and one loss to GM Robson).


Next main update due on or about July 25 2017.

(minor updates may occur during each month)