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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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Monthly Article 3:

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

Old archive (August 1999-December 2016).







Contact details for this top local club can be found here

The club runs several teams in both the Leamington and the Coventry Leagues, as well as Social Chess each week .

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 2454  ICCF rating history  1993-2018). In 2016 I returned to some relatively regular otb chess in local leagues currently playing at about 2010 elo (a somewhat reduced level  from that of a decade or more ago (approximately 2100 elo) and also from my highest many years ago of about 2275 grading history ). After some 25 years of playing National and International level Correspondence Chess I completed my last few games in late 2018 and now just play otb chess.


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.



Last month we looked at some very interesting Kings Gambit games specifically featuring the somewhat under-rated Cunningham Defence. These were submitted by Norman Stephenson. The games showed that when played correctly this defence can be a very effective antidote to the complexities of the ancient Kings Gambit  opening. By developing the kings bishop to e7 this allows Black to rapidly castle, removing the king from the central attack and also allows a handy guard to often vulnerable f7 square. The Be7 move also gives Black the option of Bh4+ displacing the White king to f1 (unless the so-called Wild Cunningham with g3 is utilised) , preventing White castling and thus the White king's rook from entering the game early on. However, the timing of the bishop check must be exact as otherwise the bishop can simple be left off-side and out of the game.

This month I present three short games (Brevities XV) in two of which Black is tempted by the bishop check and another were he is not-all lead to interesting sharp play. The first is an old game featuring a very nice finish by the legendary Russian player Dus-Chotimirsky whose main claim to fame is beating both Rubinstein and Lasker in one tournament, the second is a training game of mine  played at a relatively fast time limit. The final game was played in the Reg Gillman Memorial International Correspondence event against the late George Pyrich who was an International Master in this sphere of chess.  Both Reg and George are still missed and did a lot of hard work with great enthusiasm to promote correspondence chess in the decades before computers become all powerful.


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.


Local Players (January 24):

(a) The Kenilworth player Ben Graff , apart from recently displaying his skill as a novel writer, has in the last few months had several very interesting articles published in the magazine "Chess". This  includes a very readable account of his experience of visiting the recent World Championship match in London between Carlsen and Caruana. 

(b) Kenilworth Chess Club has had a good start to the season and at present the A team jointly leads the Leamington League Division 1 with two other teams and the B team leads Division 2 by a long way.  No comment is made however on the teams performance in the Coventry League!

(c) Exactly 20 years ago I played a very interesting game against Roland Smith when we both represented England in a Russian Invitation event. It turns out Roland was a decades long friend of ICCF Senior International Master Trevor Thomas, former England correspondence chess selector now well into his 90s, who had recently lost touch with Roland. The power of internet search engines has now allowed contact to be made and the friendship resumed  

(d) Sutton Coldfield player Marek Soszynski, is now building up quite a reputation as an author and has just published an unusual book about Samuel Reshevsky. This focuses more on the man, his life in and out of Chess, and his personality and the annotated games have been chosen to illustrate various features of his character. A full review is given Section 6 of this web site. Marek is now working on another opening book (see the review section for comments on his earlier opening books).

English Counties Correspondence Championship (Ward-Higgs-Division 1) 2018-19 (January 24): 

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 numerous titled Correspondence Chess players involved this year including some 13 with the Grandmaster title (men and women), Senior International Master, or  International Master titles as well as many CCMs and CCEs (both male and female) spread throughout the various teams. For unknown reasons this years event started a few months late so there are no results yet to report.

The Warwickshire team was headed up by SIM (and former World Championship finalist) J.J.Carlton (2258) on bd 1, IM C.Shephard (2429) on bd2, M.Davis (2230) on bd 3, M.Soszynski (2268) on bd4 and R.T.Farley (2269) on bd 5, with many good players on lower boards.

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..

This web site (December 20):  

A number of sections have been updated including various "Chess Sites" links, the "Summary of Results" section (which now lists all Correspondence events including the last to the be completed), the "Memorabilia Corner" section for 2014-to the present, and the "Games for Downloading" section.

Personal Training (Decemebr 20): 

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 https://coventrychessacademy.wordpress.com/  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 February 25 2019.

(minor updates may occur during each month)