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.)


(a) View now.

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(b) View now.

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(c) View now.

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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.


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 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, 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 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.



This month we examine a somewhat neglected method of combating the ever popular Sicilian Defence. The later may, in fact, be classed as a large group of openings characterised by the initial move 1...c5 but then diverging if and when Black plays a6, d6, e6, e5 or g6. Keeping up to date with such a body of counter-attacking openings is a daunting task as several have been analysed in great depth. Employing an specific variation against the Sicilians, that aims to dictate the game more on White's terms, can be very useful in a practical game. Rather than employ in-depth main lines recent years has seen some focus on lines for White such as the Closed variation, the Alapin or the Rossolimo variations.

Another variation that deserves to be considered together with the later group is the Smith-Morra Gambit (1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3) in which White gambits a pawn for rapid development and open lines. In addition, rather than hoping to counter-attack early in the game Black is instead forced to adopt a different strategy that of defending for some time aiming to exploit the extra pawn.

Three games using this gambit have been selected for this months articles and analysed in detail. By coincidence they are all by players that are nowadays play in the various local leagues. 


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 (March 23).

(a) Local players have a considerable presence in the March Edition of the famous magazine CHESS. Ben Graff  has yet another fascinating article entitled "The Roaring Twenties" which compares the Chess of the 1920s with the Chess of today and includes some comments by (and a great picture of ) Jude Shearsby. Another regular author Carl Portman, in his column " Never Mind the Grandmasters" , pays a fine tribute to his late friend David Everington. Even your web master gets in on the act and after some years has once more a large article in this magazine entitled "Miniature Joy". Here I explore the numerous benefits of study of older and shorter games which are less dominated by very detailed opening theory.

 (a) Kenilworth Chess Club (KCC) "A" team are currently leading the 2021 Coventry and Leamington on-line League despite a set back in only drawing their last match with Coventry Chess "A" team. With a huge game points advantage a win would have made certain of the title but the slender one-point lead means one other team namely Nuneaton, with a game in hand, could snatch the title by one point if they win their final match.

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 (March 23)

(a) A review "The Iron English" the latest Everyman Chess book by GM Simon Williams and IM Richard Palliser is now posted on Section 6 of this web site.

(b) The list of published games (available on My Stuff Page-section 8)) has been updated and many corrections also made especially opponents forenames and titles of opening books expanded. Many loses are inlcuded in the list as well as quite a few interesitng draws and now totals 749 whole or part games.

(c) Section 7 of this web site has been completely revised and now provides links to high level coaching that may be obtained from a number of well known players.

Contact details for each, information on their successes and coaching preferences are given on each individual player's web page

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

Some rapid decisive results means the early leader is West Wales with one win and one draw, whilst Lancashire with one win are presently in second place,

English Counties Correspondence Championship (Ward-Higgs-Division 1) 2020 (February 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 numerous titled Correspondence Chess players involved this year including over 30 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.

As the end of the 2020 season year approached, and following several key games being long and very complex, the outcome of the event was decided by the old fashioned method of adjudicating unfinished games.

Essex A are thus confirmed as winner for the second year running with 11/16 points (with 6 wins). West Wales A produced a very late winning attempt and scored 2.5 points out of 3 in the adjudications . However, this was only enough to catapult them from a mid-table position to finish in second place on  9.5 points. Lancashire often in contention for winning finished in third on 9 points.

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 April 25 2021.

(minor updates may occur during each month)