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Chess Pages of Mike Donnelly 


REGIONAL MASTER (BCF 2003, Bcf 185+);


(* denotes new content since the last update.)



Monthly Article 1:

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Monthly Article 2:

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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/DVD 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 2463  ICCF rating history ). In 2016 I returned to some relatively regular otb chess in local leagues currently playing at about 1950 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 2275 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.



The concept of "Hypermodern style of play" now approaches a century since its implementation to the amazed chess world by Nimzovitch, Tartakower, Reti  and other just after World War 1. The concept was soon taken up by future World Champions Alekhine and Capablanca amongst other chess legends. The concept is essentially  controlling the centre from the wings in direct contrast to the teachings of the Steinitz and Tarrasch who taught the centre should be directly occupied.

With about 100 years of experience it would seem both concept are actually fully valid as a means of conducting a game of chess. Nevertheless the hypermodern style of play seems set for a further surge in popularity as players try and get away from the massive amounts of theory in numerous openings. For instance the Reti Opening has become one of the most popular opening of top players in the last year or two . Here they play for "position" rather than repeat long, often computer generated, lines of play in other openings.

This month I present two games submitted by Regional Master Andy Baruch which are both fine examples of this style of play and demonstrate how effective this style can be.


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 (preferably one or two annotated games), 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.


English Counties Correspondence Championship (Ward-Higgs-Division 1) 2017-18 (April 25 2018): 

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 about 25 titled Correspondence Chess Grandmasters, Senior International Masters, International Masters, CCMs and CCEs (both male and female) spread throughout the various teams.

The Warwickshire team is headed up by SIM J.J.Carlton (2255) on bd 1, IM C.Shephard (2469) on bd2, M.Davis (2294) on bd 3, M.Soszynski (2238) on bd4 and , M.Squires (2314) on bd 5, with many good players on lower boards.

Recent results have now caused large changes in the results table: Yorkshire A currently lead with 7.5 points (with 4 games left) together with Surrey A also on 7.5 points (but with 3 games left). Warwickshire A are in third on 6.5 points (also with 3 games left). East-Wales A, the early leaders for some time, are not to be dismissed yet and are now down in 4th place on 6 points but have no less than 9 games left..

Last season's final positions were: West Wales A won with the fine score of 10.5/15 and no losses. Three teams finished on 9.5 points: Surrey A were placed second based on number of wins (although 2 losses), Warwickshire A and Yorkshire A were placed joint third with just 1 loss each..

Correspondence Chess Olympiad 21-Preliminaries (April 25 2018):

 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.

 There are only  few games remaining to be completed in this competition. On board 4 I currently have two left and to date have scored 4.5/7 (+2 =5 -0) with these games no doubt influencing which two countries will qualify for the final of this event. The other game remaining on board 4 is Kumar (IND 2353) v Ikegami (JPN 1903) although this will not affect who qualifies. 

The battle for the two qualifying places is now just as close than when last reported: USA lead with 31 points (62% with 4 games remaining); Spain have 31 points too (60% with just 3 games remaining); and England have 31 points (59% but with only 2 games remaining)..

Local Player News (April 25 2018):

(a) Kenilworth CC player Ben Graff  will have his first book entitled "Find Another Place" published by Troubadour in the next few weeks (also available to pre-order on Amazon). Whilst the main theme is in short "families are their stories" there are also a few chapters on chess. The book has received excellent reviews from another local player and author Carl Portman, as well as book reviewer Cherrie Walker.

(b) Kenilworth Chess Club players have won two event in recent weeks: The Coventry League Divisional Cup by winning all matches in this competition, as well as the Coventry League KO Cup by the fine margin of board count after a drawn match against the strong Rugby CC side.

With the various Leamington Leagues now nearing completion current positions are: Kenilworth A team finished 3rd in Division1; the Kenilworth B team after successively destroying Banbury B and C teams hopes of winning Division 2 in recent matches, finish 4th. The fate of the Kenilworth C team in Division 2 is unclear as despite a good win in the last match they are only one point above bottom club Solihull C who have 3 games left to complete.

(c) Sutton Coldfield player Marek Soszynski, in conjuction with Jerzy Konikowski, havs just published a welcome addition to chess theoretical works with an opening book entitled "Sabotaging the Sicilian, French and Caro-Kann with 2. b3". A review is now uploaded to section 6 of this web-site. 

This web site March 25 2018):

(a) Lynette Brown (Mum of young chess enthusiast Luke Brown) has e-mailed with a kind message to say Luke has found this web site helpful in his chess endeavours. He has also pointed out another useful web site which was new to me and has now been added to the web links page (section 9 of this site).

(b) Data provided by the web hosting company indicate this web site nowadays receives about as many visitors per month (roughly 500 in each case) from North America and Asia as occurs from Europe (mostly the  UK and Germany). The site also receives some visitors from a very large list of other countries, such as to be perhaps expected, Russia and Greece (both strong chess nations), but also including surprisingly Saudi Arabia and Suriname amongst numerous other lesser chess nations.  

Personal Training (March 25 2018) 

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.

Next main update due on or about May 25 2018.

(minor updates may occur during each month)