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Chess Pages of Mike Donnelly 


REGIONAL MASTER (BCF 2003, Bcf 185+).


(* denotes new content since the last update.)


(a)  View now.

 Download now.

(b) View now.  

 Download now.


ARCHIVE OF MONTHLY ARTICLES (January 2017-January 2023)

OLD ARCHIVE OF MONTHLY ARTICLES (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.


Book and Software Reviews (from 2007-2022)

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 composed. *

9. ED GOODWIN (Children’s book author).

Details of Ed’s recent publications and how to purchase them can be found here.


Chess sites

Chess problem sites


12. NEW AND SECOND- HAND CHESS BOOKS  Tony Peterson. Specialist in rare and second-hand 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 (almost certainly!), after several years as a Scientific/Technical and Regulatory Advisor, from full time work as a Technical Manager at a biotechnology company that manufactures hydrogels for wound-care, 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 and their Modern counterparts, various types of music and until recently Wing Tsun Martial Art (achieving grade 11).

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 average 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 1950-2000 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 to mid-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. 


MONTHLY ARTICLES SUMMARIES (section 1 of web site) *

Since at least 1917, and seemingly even before that time, Russia gives the impression of a country in permanent and dramatic turmoil. In its long history one relatively small consistency that can be determined is the appearance of a long list of very fine chess players.

This month sees the start of a new series which examines some selected games of a few of the early pioneers of Russian Chess. Two games played by Petrov, a win and a loss, are analysed and were played in the mid-1800s, just before in one case and just after in the other, the great London International of 1851 organised principally by Howard Staunton.

The openings played in these two games still seem of some relevance even today and the notes feature many references to modern games by very strong players.

Curiously several of the players invited to the 1851 event, including Petrov and Shumov who both feature in this month’s selected games, could not attend due to political issues or travel problems.


(A number of readers have commented that they enjoyed the games in the “Brevities number 17” article published on this web site on December 20 2023 and the site received almost double the usual visitors numbers that month. Earlier sets of Brevities (numbers 1 to 16) can be found in the relevant parts of section 2 of this web site. A similar article entitled “Miniature Joy” was published in CHESS in March 2021 (copies in paper or pdf format can be obtained from chess.co.uk  . In addition, Mark Page has recently collated data about his short game results against some surprisingly strong players-details on the KCC web site at the link given below.)


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.



Kenilworth Chess Club (KCC) Individuals and Teams (March 23).

(1)   For the sixth time, and after numerous close wins featuring a 2.5 to 1.5 score-line, it’s the Kenilworth B team, and not the very much stronger Kenilworth A team, that returns to the lead of Division 1 of the Leamington League and well ahead of other League Clubs A teams. Kenilworth A, currently in second place have several games in hand to overcome a one point disadvantage and win the league. Whatever the outcome of these final matches two Kenilworth teams, possibly a unique outcome, will finish in the top two positions of this very strong league.

In the Coventry League, Kenilworth finish in second place just one point behind the very formidable Warwick University A team. The last few matches in this league were, however, marred by several instances of rule breaking by the University. The Kenilworth team also qualified for the final of the Coventry League KO Cup with a narrow victory over Coventry Chess B team in the semi-finals despite a large handicap. However, most players were somewhat below par on the night of the final resulting in a narrow 2.5 to 1.5 loss to Coventry Chess A.

Much more detail on the matches and leagues, with an occasional good music clip, can be found at kenilworthchess.blogspot.com

(2)   Kenilworth players are these days also becoming more widely known for skills other than chess. We have Bernard Charnley who recently had an exhibition of paintings at Rugby. Andy Baruch had several music concerts recently in Leamington with the Warwickshire Symphony on 9th March ; the Leamington Chamber Orchestra on 17th March and will play cello in the Warwickshire Chamber Ensemble on 5th April at 1315 (featuring Mozart Piano Quartet K478 and Mendelssohn Piano Quartet Opus 1) at St. John the Baptist Church.

At the young age of 26, Hector Smith has started a company called “Kenilworth Tea Company. The teas on offer are from the best estates in Sri Lanka, India and China and the taste is enhanced with the natural sweetener stevia.

The range of teas and other flavoured drinks can be found on the company web site: https://thekenilworthteacompany.com        A brown bag with a label

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(3)   Ben Graff (KCC) resumes his series of articles in the famous magazine CHESS, on this occasion in conjunction with Bruce Pandolfini and Craig Pritchett. This time the topic is the ever-fascinating phantom World Championship match of Karpov v Fischer and its associated events. Copies in paper or pdf format may be obtained from chess.co.uk

(4)   Peter Campbell Gibbs-the ICCF (International Correspondence Chess Federation) has granted the EFCC (English Federation for Correspondence Chess) permission to hold two Memorial events for Peter-both due to start in May 2024. Players interesting in participation in these events should express their interest to England’s International Secretary at phillipbeckett@yahoo.com   A number of Peter’s otb and correspondence games are now available for downloading (see new section 3 of this web site-Games for Downloading B).

English Counties Correspondence Championship (Ward-Higgs Division1) 2023 (March 23).

This year there is again an impressive line-up of titled players representing the nine County Teams each playing 8 boards apiece. This included 3 GMs, 5 SIMs, 4 IMs, and a plethora of CCM and CCE titled players such that there are only a handful playing that are not titled in some way or other. It’s also nice to see many former opponents and international teammates return to the fray in this top correspondence event such as Jonathan Tait, Bill Lumley, Chris Williams, Peter Catt, Clive Frostick, Harvey Williams and John Vivante-Sowter, as well as a sprinkling of well-known and strong otb players such as Susan Lalic and Jon Manley in addition to Fred Clough a noted opening expert.

All games have now just been completed and in a very tight finish its Lancashire that wins this prestigious event. West Wales finish in second on 8.5/16 with more wins scored than East Wales in third on the same score.

Team lists for the next competition are expected to be announced shortly.

(Unfortunately, Warwickshire a 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 a few seasons ago of team captain Keith Escott, the irreplaceable and invaluable driving force for correspondence chess in Warwickshire and in the UK).

Ian Pheby Celebration Events (March 23).

In view of activities such as detailed below in the Trevor Thomas Memorial event, Ian an SIM and an IA has been honoured by the ICCF with no less than 4 Celebration Events. All these events have just been completed and top places are summarised below:

In section D, untitled Taylor wins with the impressive score of 10/14; in second place was SIM Vivante-Sowter.

In section C, CCM Staak wins with 8.5/14.

In section B, there was a four-way tie for first involving SIM Gromotka, CCM Buchan, CCM Grayland and SIM Kitson.

In section A, SIM Rhodes, and CCM Richarde win by the narrowest margin (SB 52.0) compared to SIM Mayer and IM Maguire on the same score but a SB of 51.75.

Trevor Thomas Memorial Correspondence Tournament (February 26).

Trevor was a Senior International Master and an England Correspondence Team selector at the time I commenced international play. Several of his annotated games have appeared on this web site over the last few years and these may be found in the archive and old archive sections (section 2).

His memorial event comprises 4 Senior International Masters, 8 International Masters and 3 CC Masters with all but one of the 15 players rating being in the range 2403-2459.

After a prolonged intense struggle, the event has now been completed. The long-term leaders were not in fact overtaken by the several, mostly IM titled, players who could achieve this feat despite attempting to do so in some very long and complex games.

Thus IM Brewer (2442) and CCM Wharam (2403) are joint first just half a point above a host of other players. Wharam, only 17 years old, has secured an IM norm in this event.

A photograph of Trevor, who won the very famous and expensive Zollner Trophy for the otb Championship of Northumberland can now be found on the games for downloading section of this web site (section 3).  Also, to be found there is a photo of Trevor's daughter (Ruth Conway) together with SIM Ian Pheby holding an example of the silver salvers that are prizes for the winner and runner-up. Ian is President of the EFCC, the organisation for all matters dealing with Correspondence Chess in England, and who are organising the Memorial event.

 Next main update due early on or about April 25, 2024.

(minor updates may occur during each month)