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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).







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.

12. 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 (probably!) , after a period as a consultant, from full time work as a Technical Manager at a biotechnology company that manufactures hydrogels for woundcare, monitoring electrodes, 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 (o.t.b) 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 o.t.b 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 o.t.b 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 o.t.b and correspondence play. A major part of the web site is the presentation of annotated games in the "Monthly Articles" section of the site. Often these include annotations by players other than myself.

In addition to more advanced articles I will also occasionally provide articles for beginners to mid-club strength of player also on a very wide range of chess topics.



Senior CCIM Trevor Thomas recently made an enquiry on a game he recalled as being brilliant. On identifying the game and the correct colours this view was entirely vindicated. The game was a Black win in the somewhat notorious Wilkes-Barre (otherwise known as the Traxler Counter-Attack) Opening. Examining this game and some other examples of play arising from this opening revealed a Pandora's box of mind-boggling but fascinating complexities. 

Two games featuring this opening are presented this month on this web site analysed in some detail. One game focuses on the line from White's perspective and the other from the Black players perspective. In each case the notes also feature scintillating examples of play relating to the main games chosen.


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 (June 24):

(a) Ben Graff (Kenilworth Chess Club) has become quite a regular contributor to Chess over the last year so. His latest article, featured in the June edition, is a fascinating account of his visit to the legendary Marshall Chess Club and other famous chess locations in New York. Ben also met several outstanding players such as 7 times USA Women's Champion Irina Krush.

(b) James Jackson (Banbury Chess Club) looks set to achieve the IM title due to recent fine performances which took his rating well above 2400.

(c) Kenilworth player's Mark Page and Andy Baruch represented England 2 and England 3 teams respectively, both on top board, in the World Senior Team Championship in Rhodes. Mark made an Elo performance of 2200 including coming very close to winning against GM Knaak ,whilst Andy won a Gold Medal for his performance (more details, match reports and photographs at kenilworthchess.blogspot.com). Some annotated games from this event are scheduled to appear on this web site later in the year.

This web site (June 24):

(a) An extensive review article has been added to the "Openings Reviews and Other Articles" section of this web site (section 10). This may be downloaded as a Chessbase cbv file or a pgn file (both zipped). The review is a detailed coverage of the concept of Ng6 and Bd6 as a means of exchanging White's bishop on f4 in the Rubinstein variation of the Budapest Gambit.

(b) A number of photographs of other players, trophies, etc has been added throughout this web site but in particular the "Summary of Salient Results" page (Section 8 My Stuff).

English Counties Correspondence Championship (Ward-Higgs-Division 1) 2018-19 (June 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.

The Warwickshire team is headed up by SIM (and former World Championship finalist) J.J.Carlton (2258) on bd 1, IM C.Shephard (2429) on bd.2, M.Davis (2230) on bd. 3, M.Soszynski (2268) on bd.4 and R.T.Farley (2269) on bd. 5, with many other good players on lower boards.

Top of the table placings have yet again changed with recent results. Essex A reinforce their lead with 7 points from 10 completed games. Yorkshire A move into second place with a score of 6.5/9 and West Wales drop to third with 5.5/9. The woes of Warwickshire A, winners or runners up of this top event on several occasions, deepen as R.T.Farley with a very decent rating of 2269 unfortunately ran into P.Catt (2380) playing down at board 5 and lost both games. Peter Catt is now a CCM and certainly played at IM level when I played him a few seasons back on board 1 in this same event. Warwickshire A now has just 3/8. 

George.D.Pyrich ICCF Memorial Events (June 24):

Several games of George's have appeared on this web site, and I have also played him several times in correspondence events, finally meeting him in person after many years of correspondence at the ICCF event in Cardiff in 2015 . He had worked enormously hard to promote correspondence chess, in both Scotland and also for the ICCF, in a wide range of roles over many years. A major Memorial Event has been organised by ICCF that features no less than 14 sections. Several sections have already started whilst others are due to commence in June. The entrants feature many of the top players from a very high number of countries all around the world. Winners of each section will be awarded a traditional Scottish quaich.

Personal Training (May 24): 

Players wishing to improve should now contact Regional Master Andy Baruch on his new e-mail address (see section 12 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. Paul's Academy members have achieved a great number of successes even at National level events in the last year.

Next main update due on or about July 24 2019.

(minor updates may occur during each month)