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Chess Pages of Mike Donnelly 


REGIONAL MASTER (BCF 2003, Bcf 185+);


(* denotes new content since the last update.)


For June 25:

(a)  View now.

 Download now.


(b)  View now.

 Download now.

For July 25: 

(a) View Now.

Download now.


(b) View now.

Download now.


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.


High level Chess (and Academic) Coaching may be obtained by contacting the following players:




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.


 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 Scientific 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 (peak rating 2492, final 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 2000 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 at the end of 2018, annotated these games in detail for presentation in  correspondence magazines in early 2019, 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.



Due to family illnesses (non-Covid related) the monthly articles for June 25th  and also July 25th are uploaded respectively a few days and a few weeks early. It is hoped to resume the usual monthly articles timings around August 25th.

June 25 2021- Mildly Lamenting the demise of Newspaper Chess Columns.

Recent years has seen a significant shift in Newspapers, and Magazines, publishing electronic rather than paper editions. Unfortunately the Chess columns appearing in these newspapers and magazines has often not survived the transition being replaced by something viewed (by editors) as more "popular" for the general reader.

Although frequently limited by space, and in the more distant past by the occasional notational error, the very strong players who wrote these columns almost always had a very astute ability to select games that were both highly instructive and entertaining.  Annotation were almost always condensed but very relevant and accurate.

This month I present some wonderful games from past Newspaper or Magazine columns of C.H.O'Alexander and B.H.Wood respectively in which the openings and mode of play are still very relevant today. Using their brief notes as a guide, and the almost unlimited "space" available on a web site both games are annotated in much more detail than was possible at the time of their original publication. Incidentally these games despite their interest have not, as far as I can tell, made it into commercial databases.

July 25 2021-Focus on pre-WW2 events (3) Margate 1939 (Battling the Giants of Chess).

In the third of the series I focus on the International Tournament held in Margate in 1939. This was won by the youthful Keres with an unbeaten score of 7.5/9 followed by Capablanca (also unbeaten) and Flohr both on 6.5 points. These are all "Giants of the game" but amongst the competitors was the extraordinary character G.S.A.Wheatcroft who came very close to beating Keres. Although a former England Olympiad player and winner of the British Correspondence Championship he was very definitely an amateur player although he had in the past shown he could hold his own occasionally against some very strong players. Chess never seemed at the top of his list of activities since as an Oxford graduate he become a solicitor, Professor of Law, Chancery Master and UK Government  (and global) advisor on taxation.

Wheatcroft finished last of the players in this event but he was soon to very clearly to play his part in WW2 finishing as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Service Corps so likely had other things on his mind than Chess. Nevertheless in his games against Capablanca and Flohr both had to play at a very decent level to beat him-these interesting games are annotated in detail for this article.


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 23).

(a) Ben Graff  (Kenilworth CC) continues his excellent chess related publications in the World famous magazine "Chess" with several further articles planned for later in the year.  

(b) Local Coventry and District and Leamington and District League Committees meet over the next few weeks to decide the future of individual and team otb Chess in the region.  

(c) Marek Soszynski (Sutton Coldfield CC) has just published another opening book entitled "The Centre Game Re-examined". Extending the notice here last month there is now a full review in section 6 of this site (Book and software reviews from 2007 to date). Marek has also set up a new web site for Sutton Coldfield Chess Club at :  https://suttonchess.wordpress.com

(d) Kenilworth Chess Club (KCC):

--Due to the pandemic the final of the 2019-2020 Coventry League KO Cup between Kenilworth and Rugby B was not played. The League Committee has decided this will not in fact now take place and the Cup will be shared between these two teams.

--Kenilworth A team  had to sit on the sidelines having the bye in the final round of the 2021 Coventry and Leamington on-line League and watch the League title disappear. After leading for all of the season, but only drawing their final match against Coventry Chess "A" team, Kenilworth were overtaken at the last minute. Nuneaton A scored an emphatic win in  their final match to win the title by just one point.

Much more detail on these matches, which feature numerous twists and turns-not all occurring on the chess board-can be found on the KCC web site  http://kenilworthchess.blogspot.com

This web site (June 23)

(a) Due to the excellent and historically wide ranging work of John Saunders at Britbase (https://saund.co.uk/britbase) the names of the leading prize winners, and also my own final table positions can now be updated or corrected on this web site for the British U-21Championships of 1969, 1970 and 1971.

(b) A "Best Game Awards etc" section has now been added to the Summary of Salient Results page of Section 8 of this web site (My Stuff).

(c) Section 10 (Opening Reviews and other articles) has been very extensively updated and now includes some 75 references some of which are available to be downloaded.

English Counties Correspondence Championship (Ward-Higgs Division1) 2021 (June 23).

This event has now commenced, later than normal, due to the need to adjudicate the last few remaining games form last season which determined the final top 3 places (full detailed are given in the post below).

This year's event features a plethora of titled players in the 9 County Teams each playing 8 boards apiece. This includes 2 GMs, 5 SIMs, 3 IMs, and no less than 17 CCM or CCE titled players. There are some very high class pairing including GM Coleman (2610) versus SIM Williamson (2506), and SIM Frostick (2503) versus SIM Rhodes (2405).

Former otb "Chess Juggernaut" Lancashire County extend their lead in this Correspondence Chess event by a rapid series of wins and draws so now have 7.5/11. Despite also finishing several games in recent weeks early leaders West Wales A remain in second place on 6.5/12. East Wales A move up to third place on 5.5/8 but assisted by two games on board 4 where the opponent exceeded the time limit. Apart from top titled players such as Williamson and Lockwood it can be noted Lancashire has great strength in depth with the lower boards all being rated over 2300.

Unfortunately Warwickshire, several times winner of this elite event, have not entered a team this season. As far as I can recall this is for the first time in many decades. Nor are there any Warwickshire teams in the Division 2 (Sinclair) or the Division 3 (Butler-Thomas) events. Possibly this is due to the resignation last season of team captain  Keith Escott , the irreplaceable and invaluable driving force for correspondence chess in Warwickshire and in the UK.


Next main update due on or about August 25 2021.

(minor updates may occur during each month)