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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.



A Chess Master giving a simultaneous display (aka simuls) is an interesting phenomenon. In playing typically 20, or more, players at one time the Master is required to play roughly 20x faster than his or her opponents. This may appear to tip the odds heavily in favour of the latter but the Master's knowledge, experience, skill and judgment are almost always so superior that a heavy plus score frequently results. Occasionally though one of the opponents may score a worthy draw or even a win which can be quite inspiring for that player. Whatever the results though it can be very beneficial for a player to examine in detail the game from such an event to determine what went right or wrong (aided if the opportunity arises by comments from the Master player too!).

Playing a well known Master in such an event can also be inspiring in terms of, for example, selection of openings in ones repertoire, development of playing style or even studying of books the Master player has written.

Shortly after commencing taking up the game of chess I had the opportunity to play a number of high profile players in simuls including many times World Champion Botvinnik and World class GM Stein as well as Peter Clarke (FIDE Master and Correspondence Chess GM)  and another former World Champion Vassily Smyslov. I subsequently came across and studied a number of very fine books by Clarke such as Petrosian's Best Games, Tal's Best games and 100 Soviet Chess Miniatures. In addition, I discovered Smyslov's Best Games 1935-1957 (interestingly translated and edited by Clarke) and Botvinniks Best Games and obtained exposure to the epic games between Smyslov and Botvinnik in their World Championship Matches and also other events.  All in all this experience, combined with playing typically two serious games a week, had an enormous benefit for the level of my play which rose from absolute beginner to over 190 BCF in around 4 years.

For this months articles I provide the, hopefully interesting background details, and annotate in detail two eventful games selected from the above mentioned simuls.


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 (Sept. 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.

With a sudden rush many games have been completed in this event in the last few weeks to leave just one game uncompleted and the unassailable winner clear:

West Wales A win the event with the fine score of 10.5/15. Warwickshire A, leaders for a long time, are in joint second place with Yorkshire A both with 9.5/16. The latter Counties may be joined by Surrey A, currently on 8.5 points, but with one favourable game left to complete.

Correspondence Chess Olympiad 21-Preliminaries (Sept. 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 results have also occurred in this event in the last week or two. Dmitriev (2399 EST) with 2 games left unfinished defeated Szabo (2339 HUN) hence is still leading with 5/8; IM van Tricht (2349 BEL) completes all his games under very difficult personal circumstances to move to second place on 4.5/10. Early leader Szabo drops down to third place on 4/9. My score remains at 2 points (4 draws).

This  web site (Aug. 25): Continuing on from the many updates and changes of May, June and July 2017, the following has also been carried out.

(a) The Old Archive section (1999-2016) of this web site (Section 2) has now been updated with pictures of the benefactor of Tyneside Chess Louis Zollner and also the striking Zollner Trophy. There are monthly articles relating to each in the old archive.

(b) The list of published games (whole or part ) in the MyStuff section of this web site (Section 8) has finally been updated to June this year. This has now reached the somewhat alarming and heady total of just over 700 games. Check it out you may be there! Plenty of interesting losses and interesting draws as well as one or two decent wins all in a zipped Excel spreadsheet.

Local Players (July 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.

Personal Training (July 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.

Next main update due on or about October 25 2017.

(minor updates may occur during each month)