This site has been reviewed and given a Golden Web Award by the International Association of Web Masters and Designers.


Chess Pages of Mike Donnelly 


REGIONAL MASTER (BCF 2003, Bcf 185+);


(* denotes new content since the last update.)


Monthly Article 1:

View now.

Download now .

Monthly Article 2:

View now.

Download now.

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 2454  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.



Its been some time since I was able to publish a "beginners to mid-club" player set of articles. To make amends this month I feature games demonstrating the often catastrophic effect of time loss in the opening. That is where one side gains a serious space or piece development advantage due to an inappropriate move by the opponent. This can be as simple as developing the queen too early so it is attacked with tempo by the opponents lesser valued pieces or pawns. This was quite a common error in the past for players graded, say, less than 120 ECF but returning to otb chess after some years I note that it is still a relatively common theme and has even been observed to occur from players with much higher gradings.

Both games are losses by myself and thus "learning the hard way". Both games feature over-provocative play in the Alekhine's Defence opening. Whilst provocative play is a key characteristic of this opening adding time loss can make an otherwise combative opening  untenable.


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 (October 23 ):

(a) Coventry based Bernard Charnley shows he is not just a good chess player in also achieving an exhibition of his paintings at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum. The exhibition is entitled "Colour Radicals" and ran from 22 September to October 4 2018.

(b) Paul Lam entered the boxing ring on September 26 with David "The White Rhino" Allen, the number one contender for the British Heavyweight title. Unfortunately for David there is some chess involved as this is a chess/boxing charity event aiming to raise funds for Ben Crowther who sadly is suffering from a rare form of childhood cancer. Paul survived apparently due to "only" 50% punch power from the " White Rhino" and now resumes his "normal" chess activities. Donations may be made any time at  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulLamChessBoxing

(c) 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.

This web site (October 23):  

The Games for Downloading (Section 3 of this web site) has been updated to include about 1700 games of Norman Stephenson who was many times Teesside Champion and has also twice won the British Veterans Championship.

English Counties Correspondence Championship (Ward-Higgs-Division 1) 2017-18 (September 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 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.

The final outcome of this years event will now depend on the adjudication of a single game:Max Davies (2294 Warwickshire) v Craig Evans 2300 (West Wales).

Current positions are Yorkshire  A leading with 10.5 points from 16 games (all games completed); West Wales A are in second place with 9.5 points but have one game remaining. Warwickshire A had a disappointing event and currently stand in 7th place on 7.5 points but may advance depending on the result of the aforementioned game for adjudication. As explained by Keith Escott, some curious rule sophistry has led to Warwickshire A defaulting both games on board 8. These positions did not look lost to me and unfortunately 2 wins there could have seen the team competing for one of the top places.

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 (September 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.

Whilst there are a few games remaining to be completed in this competition the two countries that qualify for the Olympiad Finals have now been determined:

USA (average rating across all boards 2476) finish first equal on 33 points (61%) with Spain (average rating 2444) also on 33 points. England (average rating 2477) lose out in qualifying for the final by half a point in finishing third on 31.5 points (58%). My personal score on board 4 thus ends +2, -2, =5 in this event and a slight rating drop from 2465 to 2454.

Personal Training (August 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 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 November 25 2018.

(minor updates may occur during each month)