Chess News Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation

Rydym yn Ffrindiau - Amici Sumus
Friendly Match vs the Netherlands

We have a friendly match planned v the Netherlands, starting late July.

They can match most ratings closely, so we want to field a large team.

If you are interested in taking part, please get in in touch. It may be able to play two boards (4 games total) - if you would like to do this let me know.

Players are reminded that friendly participation is considered in selection criteria for other events. We are particularly interested in players above 2350 taking part.

Russell Sherwood

#Friendlymatch #Iccf #Wccf

Captain for 2nd Rudolf Kolesnikov Memorial Team Tournament Team

We are looking for a non-playing Captain for the 2nd Rudolf Kolesnikov Memorial Team Tournament Team.

The ideal candidate should be rated 2350+, a premium member  and able to work well with a team.

If you are interested, get in touch 


#Iccf #Wccf

11th European Team Championship - Final

This tournament is now completed!

We have known for some time that the Gold in this prestigious event has been won by Wales, and the medals will be presented to the team at our Congress in Llandudno later this year; however we can now confirm the Silver (Austria) and Bronze (Slovenia) medal places.

Following the final result yesterday, we can also now confirm that John Claridge has won Board Three outright for Wales.

Well played John!

2023/24 Medal and Certificate Awards

Players from Wales, England, or further afield, earning an ICCF title (GM, SIM, IM, CCM, CCE or a tournament award) between 1st April 2023 and 31st March 2024 are cordially invited by the Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation to receive their awards personally from the ICCF President at the ICCF awards ceremony, which traditionally takes place on the first day of the annual ICCF Congress.

The 2024 Awards Ceremony will take place at the Imperial Hotel, Llandudno, on the morning of Monday 12th August.  WCCF can arrange overnight accommodation at the Imperial Hotel (please see the online registration form); alternatively, there are several guest houses and B&Bs within easy walking distance.

Players staying overnight in Llandudno, and their partners, are also cordially invited by WCCF to the Welcome Party, buffet meal, and complimentary drinks, also at the Imperial Hotel on the previous evening (depending on numbers, there may be a small charge for players who are not WCCF members - this will be advertised in advance).

Players wishing to attend the Welcome Party and/or the Awards Ceremony MUST register their attendance online before 12th July 2024; any player arriving without having registered will not be awarded with a medal and will not be permitted to enter the Welcome Party.

The full ICCF Congress programme is available here.

The Seventh and Final British Webserver Team Tournament has now Completed

Congratulations to "SchemingMind A" for winning the first division, and to "BCCA Strategists" for winning the second division.

(One game still remains in the second division, but it is not decisive.)

Unfortunately correspondence chess clubs in the United Kingdom have declined dramatically in recent years, culminating in the tragic collapse last year of one of the oldest CC clubs in the world, the British Correspondence Chess Association (BCCA).  A tournament for "clubs" or "member organisations" no longer reflects the reality of the way that British CC is organised in 2024, so this will be the final edition of the BWSTT.

WCCF will continue to offer alternative innovative events for Welsh, British, and International players in the future.

An Invitation to Over the Board Chess Players from North Wales and Chester

The Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation will be hosting our third international ICCF Congress in Llandudno from 11-15th August 2024.

As part of our programme, we will be running two over the board chess events, a blitz tournament, and a chess match against international correspondence chess players from ICCF.

All over the board players from North Wales and Chester are heartily invited to participate in either or both of these events; entry to both is free.  Please see the attached flier for further details.

Welsh Champs and Qualifiers

The current versions of the event have been deleted, and new events will be launched tomorrow.


Rudolf Kolesknikov Memorial Team Tournament

We are looking to field two teams for the attached under 2300 TEAM event.

If you are Welsh flagged, rated below 2300 and interested in representing Wales please get in touch by the 1st of May.

Russell Sherwood

#Corredpondencechess #IccfAnnouncements #Wccf

2400+ rated Welsh players look out for an email on the WCCC Semi-Finals!

Could you be the one!

#Iccf #WorldChamps

Last Call for Welsh Champs 2024

Last call for the Welsh Champs 2024 - currently we have 13 entries with an average rating of around, 2300

(Sherwood, Wakeham, Sherwood, Bowley, Evans, Grayson, Bastow, Robinson, Jones, Jenkins, Gunn, Morgan and Hurn)

If you wish to take part and are not on the list please get in touch ASAP. With the current entries the event will be played as an All Play All, if more entries are received this may be amended 

Russell Sherwood

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Wccf

Counties & Districts Correspondence Chess Championship 2024

The Joint British Committee is pleased to announce the 2024 Counties and Districts Correspondence Chess Championship.

As in the past the event will be made up of 3 Divisions of teams of 8 players, using the Hutton pairing system. As each player only undertakes 2 games, this is an ideal event for both new and experienced players.

The closing date for entries is the 7th of April, with an expected start date of the 21st of April, leading to an end date of 22/02/2025 with any remaining games going to Adjudication. The entry fee is £15 per team and entries should be sent to the Tournament Organiser, Russell Sherwood, who will confirm payment options.

Players in established teams should contact their team captains. New players wishing to take part should contact Phil Beckett (ENG) , Dave Kilgour (SCO) or Russell Sherwood(WLS) for encouragement and advice on possible teams. As a reminder, place of birth, education or residence are all valid qualification reasons for team membership.

The rules may be found here

#Cdccc #Correspondencechess #Iccf

Welsh Correspondence Chess Championships

The Welsh Correspondence Chess Championship 2023 is now over with Nick Bishop being the well deserved Champion. Followed by DP Morgan and Marc Wakeham.

Cross Table (

Peter Bevan wins the Qualifiers, followed by Vaughan Thomas.

Cross Table (

Following the AGM, the Welsh Championships will now commence on an annual basis, with the next event starting on Feb 28th 2024., with a closing date of Feb 15th. The Entry window is now open:

  1. Entry is free for Welsh-flagged players.
  2. Nick Bishop, DP Morgan, Peter Bevan and Vaughan Thomas are automatically qualified to the Final, beyond this allocation will be on a rating basis.
  3. Lower-rated players can request placement in the 2nd tier of the event.

More detailed rules can be found at WCCC Rules (


Entries or Enquiries  should be made to Russell Sherwood

#Iccf #Wccf

SCCA League Teams

The WCCF are seeking to enter teams into the SCCA League.

These are quite relaxed events, with 4 games per play in 4 player teams.

Cross Table (

There are three divisions and are suitable for players of all ratings.

If you are interested in taking part please get in touch with Russell Sherwood


#Iccf #SccaLeague #TeamEvent

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

On behalf of WCCF, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!


2nd CCM Norm and Title for Peter Grayson

Congratulations to Peter Grayson on achieving a 2nd CCM Norm and the Title in EFCC 60 RUBY

#CcmNorm #CcmTitle #Iccf #Wccf

WCCF Invitationals

WCCF 14,15,16 and 17 are underway. Good luck to all the players involved.

WCCF 14 Cat 3  IM +2, CCM =0, CCE -1

WCCF 15 Cat 6 SIM +2, IM +1

WCCF 16 Cat 8 GM +2, SIM +1, IM +1, CCM -1

WCCF 17 Cat 10 GM +1, SIM +1, IM=0

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #WccfInvitationals

CCM Norm for Gerald Jenkins

Congratulations to Gerald Jenkins on achieving a CCM Norm. 

#Norms #Wccf

WCCF Invitationals

Update: Following a couple of withdrawals and letdowns, we are waiting on confirmation of a couple of additional players. As soon as these are confirmed the full set of events will commence

Currently, we look to have Cat 10, Cat 8/9, Cat 6 and Cat 3


#Invitationals #Wccf

WCCF Winter Bash

As we come to the end of the year, we will be holding another Special event: The WCCF Winter Bash.

This event:

  1. Is Open to all Welsh-flagged and resident members
  2. Will be played, using Triple block 365 days, with guaranteed time.
  3. Be Open to All ratings
  4. Be played on a mixed rating basis, using either a standard single round-robin or Silli format , contingent on the number of entries.
  5. Whilst rated in the normal way, uniquely this event will have its final standings: 1)  based on standard, Baumbach and SB scores 2) Using Predicted moves as the first tie-break.


What is the predicted move's tie-break? From moves 10-50, the count of the opponent's moves predicted correctly will be used to determine the Tie-breaks. More details will be published closer to the event.  This tie-break does not affect the outcome of the rating outcome of the game.

This is a fun event, designed to be played at speed and allows players to contribute to a possible future direction of Correspondence chess.

Entries should be sent to Russell Sherwood [email protected]




#CorrespondenceChess #Iccf #Wccf

British Correspondence Chess Association (BCCA)

A number of rumours are currently circulating about the WCCF affiliated organisation, the British Correspondence Chess Association (BCCA), and we have received a number of enquiries from concerned WCCF members who have had their membership renewals inexplicably refused by BCCA.

Unfortunately, there is a disturbing lack of transparency from BCCA; their secure website has been unavailable for several months, and all requests for further information have been declined. We do, however, know that members were disenfranchised from the recent AGM by having their membership renewals refused by the BCCA executive in the months leading to the AGM.  WCCF seriously questions this approach to democracy, and there is a proposal at our forthcoming AGM to expel BCCA as an affiliated member organisation.  WCCF expects a much higher standard of democracy and transparency from our affiliated organisations, and we do not wish to be associated with an organisation embroiled in potential legal challenges.

However, this expulsion may be purely symbolic; following a recent announcement by EFCC, the most likely scenario appears to be the dissolution of BCCA as a British CC organisation after over 100 years of activity and "amalgamation" into EFCC.

WCCF will continue to monitor the situation closely and represent the interests of Welsh players where necessary; if BCCA has indeed dissolved or amalgamated with EFCC, we will provide alternative international playing opportunities for all affected players, and rigorously defend our players in any appeals to ICCF against withdrawn qualifications for successor events.

Furthermore, under Article 13 of the ICCF Statutes, WCCF will not permit the use of the word "British" in the name, titles, or tournaments of any successor organisation not willing to meet our standards of affiliation.

On behalf of the WCCF Executive Committee

Even simpler guide to the new ICCF Ratings system

ICCF New Rating System

Recently, ICCF moved to a new rating system. Several documents have been issued explaining the new system, but these tend to be difficult to understand for those without a Statistical background.


Below is a brief attempt to give a simple explanation of how it works: If you want to know more, it's back to the more detailed specifications!

The new system was designed with several objectives in mind – some explicit and some indirect benefits – including:

  1. Recognizing the increasing levels of draws within correspondence chess, especially at higher rating levels.
  2. Recognizing that the Elo formula utility is flawed within correspondence chess – What I mean by this is that with a typical Elo formula, the WLD statistics in a game between a 1900 and 2000 rated player are the same as those between 2400 and 2500 rated players!
  3. Recognize that not all results should be measured in the same way.
  4. That new players are an unknown quality – an 1800-rated player in an event could be very different things in terms of playing strength. This leads to the idea that games should be treated differently, dependent on these kinds of considerations.
  5. That a process of “leeching” rating points had been observed – players simply aimed to draw out games quickly to gain rating points.
  6. Several ways to game the rating system have been developed by players


So how does the new rating system now work…..


A player’s strength is now measured using two numbers, Rating and Rating Deviation.

Rating Deviation – What is it?

Rating Deviation is a concept that many players struggle with – it is listed as a measure of the uncertainty of a player’s rating – I prefer to consider it as a measure of a player’s activity.

In simple terms – the more games you play – the more games you finish – the lower your Rating Deviation will be.

When we think about this, the more games we complete, the more accurate the rating will be as a measure of our actual playing strength. Going a little deeper, the more games we have completed recently is also a better indicator of our playing strength – so the games we played 10 years ago have very little relevance on our rating today. 

A new player will start out with a very high RD (250), as they have completed zero games, but this will drop as they complete games and their rating becomes more stable.

Rating Deviation – How does it affect rating calculations?

If we examine the “Beginners Guide” we see that the level of RD has an impact on the benefits a player gains from a result.

The lower your RD, the less benefit (or loss) you will gain from a result as your RD increases.

The converse of this is also true.

The higher your RD, the more benefit (or loss) you will gain from a result as your opponent’s RD decreases.

 What does this mean – if you play a new starter or an inactive player returning, those results will have less impact on your rating but more on their rating than those against players with established ratings.

Rating Calculation

Now we know the impact the Rating deviation has on the rating formula, let us look at the formula itself.

  1. The new formula calculates different percentages for Win/Loss/Draw
  2. The benefits for these results are different depending on the ratings of the players – In simple terms, the higher the ratings involved the higher the benefit of a positive result.

The percentages for these results were based on several, recent, year's results.


What does this mean? Below are the charts used in the “Beginners Guide”.

The first shows the likely outcome based on the player and opponents’ results for a 1500-rated player, and the second shows that for a 2500-rated player.

A comparison of graphs with different colored lines

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A comparison of graphs with red and blue lines

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Without going into any mathematics, we can see that the results curves for Win/Loss/Draw, whilst similar in shape, are pegged at different levels. The main takeaway from this is that draws become more common the higher the rating involved, and the consequence of this is that those draws have less impact on a player's rating. Decisive games become less common as ratings increase, so the benefit of these results also increases.

The Impact of the Rating Deviation is to modify these benefits as outlined in the RD section.

ICCF have two useful resources – the first is the details of the rating formula – If you really want to delve into the mathematics of the system, read this. If you do this, I suggest putting your own results in to work through. The second is the Calculator, which allows you to plug in numbers – do beware, this is for illustration only, rather than definitive.

As a final note - it is now incorrect to refer to an ICCF rating as an ELO rating (Capitalized or not) as we have moved away from the ELO system - it is now simply ICCF rating.

#Iccf #Ratings

Friendly match with England


To finish off 2023, we are arranging a friendly match with England

To sign up or for more details, get in touch. Start date, December 2023

As England has a larger player pool, we should be able to match ratings closely, Opponents are available for all ratings. 

As a reminder, participation in friendly matches is one of the criteria for selection to Team and Invitational events.

If you wish to play more than one board, please let me know.

I encourage all Welsh players to get involved, as Champions of Europe, we have a reputation to maintain!!

Andrew Smith 

#Correspondnencechess #Friendlymatch #Iccf #Wccf

CCM Norm for Michael Bowley

Congratulations to Michael on picking up a 2nd CCM Norm in Cross Table (

Unfortunately, due to the low game count, a third will be required for the title.

#CcmNorm #Correspondnencechess #Iccf #Wccf

CCM Norm for Peter Grayson

Congratulations to Peter on achieving a CCM Norm in Cross Table (

I am sure the hunt continues for the 2nd!


#CcmNorm #Correspondencechess #Iccf #Wccf

WCCF Potential new Events

A suggestion has been made for potential events the WCCF could offer.

For several years we have had the Trio events, but these have been dormant due to inactivity.

There are two potential events:

  1. A 5 player, single round-robin event with each player playing a single game against each opponent – four games in total.
  2. A Ladder event where players two games against a single opponent, in a limited number of pairings. The overall results of games are calculated for each player, up to a total of 20 games, to create a leaderboard.

In both cases, only Welsh-flagged premium members would be able to take part (as otherwise, these would be Open events, which have severe limitations)

We would look to include a limited number of events within the premium membership fee, with additional entries at a flat rate to be determined.

Below is a link to a survey with a few questions related to the potential events. Whilst the first event could run when 5 players are interested, the second would realistically need 15-20 players to be viable.

Below is the link for a short survey, which will remain Open until 17/11

Russell Sherwood


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