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Chess Pages of Mike Donnelly 

 Senior International Master (ICCF); Regional Master (BCF).

(* denotes new content since the last update.)


Number 1 View now *

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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 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 culture of the Ancient Greeks, Wing Tsun martial art (currently grade 11), and various types of music.

About 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 recent months I have returned to regular otb chess in local leagues playing at about 1850 elo (a somewhat reduced level  from that of a decade 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.



This month I present two annotated games from the "Sunday Chronicle" Tournament held in London in 1946. This tournament outshone the re-established Hastings Tournament in terms of public interest as chess was utilised to rebuild social and political links after the rigors and destruction of World War II. The event was made possible by a large donation by Lord Kelmsley and the hard work of W. Hatton Ward.

Players from the USA, France, Czecho-Slovakia, Spain, Great Britain, Holland, Yugoslavia, Belgium, Switzerland and Portugal took part. Of course there was no representative from Germany and also the promised Soviet players did not turn up a feature which was never apparently explained.

Some very famous players from the pre-war years took part such as the legendary Bernstein, former world champion Euwe and also Tartakover, but much interest was also shown in the "Boy" Arturito Pomar then a mere 14 years old which at that time was usually young for a participant in an international chess event.

To judge by the fine hand-drawn sketches (signed by Poyser) in the original tournament book this article might be initially viewed as a continuation of last months theme of "Chess under adverse conditions". Almost all of the sketches show players wearing heavy overcoats and hats during play. London at that time was struck by one of the coldest spells of weather for many years at a time when there was a severe shortage of the fuel coal due to post-war rationing.

Although the play in a few games was naturally not at a high level due to lack of play during the war there was , due to the presence of some world-class players still quite a few good games featuring interesting ideas and tactics.

The tournament was divided in two sections. Section A was won by Steiner (USA) with 9/11 above Bernstein (France) on 8 and Tartakower on 7.5. Section B, from which I annotate this month's two games, was won by Euwe (Holland) on 9.5/11, followed by Christoffel (Switzerland) on 8 and Denker (USA) on 7. The games selected are the only loss by Euwe and an interesting win by the enigmatic Abrahams (Great Britain) who finished fourth.


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.


English Counties Correspondence Championship (Ward-Higgs-Division 1) 2016-17 (February 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 bd 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.

Fast play is also evident in this event too with a significant number of games already completed:

Yorkshire A, always a contender for winning the event, now retain the early lead and now have 7/11, with West Wales A in second on 4.5/7. Warwickshire A, also a several times winner of this event, have finally finished some games and with a sudden 8 draws reported move from bottom to 3rd equal position.

I faced Craig Bennett (2365) who was representing Hampshire on board 1. With great sadness and some shock I have now to pass on the news from the controller that Craig has suddenly died at the all too young age of 29.  I can add that Craig had played both games with great inventiveness in the opening phase in particular and was proving a tough opponent. The controller has informed me that Hampshire are being given time to find a replacement.

Correspondence Chess Olympiad 21-Preliminaries (February 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 and  takes place on the ICCF web server thus allowing fast play.

Very fast play for some competitors (but very slow for a few others) seems to be the unusual theme of this event. My latest result was a very interesting game against IM van Tricht (Belgium 2349) which was drawn. A tricky to meet pawn storm against my king, aided by a strong pawn on e5, was diffused by allowing a pawn to get as far as f6 and then e7 but via offering the f7 pawn it was possible to reach an unwinnable double rook ending a pawn down or, as in the line chosen, to allow me to sacrifice the exchange to activate a Bg7 when both king would be too open to avoid perpetual check.

This web site (January 25):

(a) 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 regularily updated, Welsh Correspondence Chess site ( The link has also been added to the Chess Sites section (section 9. Links).

(b) 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 (December 2016) 

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 (December 2016):

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  February 25 2017.

(minor updates may occur during each month)