Chess News Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation

Rydym yn Ffrindiau - Amici Sumus
CCE Norm for Peter Grayson

Congratulations to Peter Grayson on achieving a CCE norm in event Champions League 2021 C6 Board 1

#CorrespondenceChess #IccfCongress

Is there such a thing as a Friendly match?

Recently I have been preparing quite a bit of data with regard to friendly matches, and it has thrown up a lot of interesting and unexpected statistics. So in advance of that article, here is a quiz....all questions are in reference to completed friendly games since 2010

  1. It will come as no surprise that I top the list for friendly appearances but who are No 3 and 4 on the list? (and they don't have the surname Sherwood!)
  2. Which players have more than 20 wins in friendly matches?
  3. Which 6 players have rating performance of more than 2400 (according to Chessbase)?
  4. Which 5 players (having completed 10 games or more) have scored more than 80%?
  5. Which 5 players (having completed 10 games or more) have score more than 70%, as black?
  6. Which 9 players (having completed 10 games ore more) are undefeated?
  7. How many players have played for Wales in Friendly matches?


#Correspondencechess #Friendlymatches #Wccf7

News from the front

The Counties and Districts is turning out to be interesting this year

Cross Table (

Based on current forecasts, the expected Final table is below. Still lots of moves to be made and the slightest slip could change the table dramatically




#Cdccc #Correspondencechess #Wccf

Invitations to German Events

We have received an invitation to nominate players to these events. If you are interested, please get in touch ASAP 

Russell Sherwood

In 2022, the BdF will organize several invitational tournaments. They will start on 19 June 2022.
I am pleased to invite players from your federation to the following tournaments.

1 Player - GER Candidate Master 08 A    Expected category VII  2410+
1 Player - GER Candidate Master 08 B    Expected category VI  2376+
1 Player - GER Diamant 12                       Expected category F - G     2100+

You are welcome to enter a larger number of candidates, if other federations do not provide the required number of players, they can take the starting places. Please mark the reserve player.

Tournaments will be conducted under the traditional time control of 10 moves in 50 days, 45 days off, with doubling after 20 consecutive days without a move

#Bdf #BdfInvitationals #Correspondencechess #Iccf

ICCF World Correspondence Chess Championships Preliminaries

Good luck to :

Tom Gunn in WCCC46PR 1

Helen Sherwood in WCCC46PR 10

Josh Robinson in WCCC46PR 13

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Worldchampionships

Results of ICCF Extraordinary Congress

The results of the votes at the ICCF Exceptional Congress have now been posted online at ICCF Congresses


Players are invited to review the proposals and outcomes but the implications of this are:


  • The Russian and Belarusian Federations are now suspended
  • Russian and Belarusian players will be able to continue to play games and enter events with isolated player status.
  • Any Ukrainian games not started by the designated date will go through a automated adjudication process. Whilst this approach has shortcomings, (a) the games cannot be stopped indefinitely and (b) It is a least-worst option in terms of approach.
  • All the proposals will be reviewed at the Glasgow Congress.
  • Games involving Russian and Belarusian players should continue as normal. If you do not wish to communicate with your opponent, please request your TD to remove this option


If any Welsh player wish to discuss or clarify anything involved in these votes, feel free to get in touch.


Russell Sherwood

WCCF National Delegate

For and on behalf of the WCCF

WCCF Players Rating Progression 2010-2022

Hi All,

I've been playing with data...enjoy!


Revised Link


#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Ratings #Wccf

Games and Ratings

The Start List for the Sweden- Wales alerts me to a newly revised ratings list. Congratulations to two Welsh players who have made rapid ascents up the ratings. Josh Robinson has reached the 2300 landmark from 119 games. Michael Bowley has achieved his 2299 rating from just 33 games. My own rating is rising stealthily towards the 2200 barrier, despite not yet having shaken off my habit of “bombing” the odd game.

The full list of games and ratings can be seen on the Member's List on our website.

1 Can you name the 3 Welsh players listed who have played more than a 1,000 games?

2 Can  you name the 4  players listed who have played more than 500 games ?


One family is nearing the landmark of 3,500 games. This feat is unlikely to be emulated. How many of us will go on to join the 500 or 1,000 Club?

Horst Ritter Memorial - Welsh Teams

Details of those selected for the Welsh Teams in these events have just been distributed. 

For those not selected, thank-you for your interest and better luck next time. For sure, these are some of the strongest Welsh teams fielded in this kind of event!

#Correspondencechess #Horstrittermemorial #Iccf #Wccf

ICCF Peace Open

The ICCF Peace Open closing date is fast approaching....if you are interested don't miss out!

The event now allows entry via National Federation.

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Wccf

Sweden Friendly Match

Andrew Smith is arranging a friendly match with Sweden, starting in May 2022. 

Sweden is able to field players through the rating range with 5 boards over 2400, so there is something for everyone!

Contact Andrew for more details or to sign up!

#Correspondencechess #Friendly #Iccf #Sweden #Wccf

Call for Writers

We are always on the lookout for new contributors to the Website. If you have something you would like to say about Correspondence Chess, get in touch. 

In addition, other opportunities for publications I am developing at the moment also exist

Assistance can be given in the development of articles and all articles receive final moderation

#Articles #Correspondencechess #Wccf

Don't suffer in silence

Most ICCF players are nice and respectful almost all the time but on occasion comments can be made in game commentary which whilst made either deliberately or accidentally can be found offensive.

If you have this situation, there is no need to suffer in silence. You are able to report inappropriate comments on the game screen under “Game” for individual games, or via your team captain for team events.

This complaint will go to the Tournament Director, who will review the complaint and can (a) Set the game to silent mode and (b) Issue a warning to your opponent. 

Should this not resolve the situation, other avenues are available, but these are rarely required.

#Correspondencechess #Iccf

Winning the Exchange


Winning a Rook for a minor piece can set one on a path to victory in  chess games. In correspondence games, against the best defensive play, this seems true less often. In 3 recent cc games, despite being the exchange up, I have had to settle for the draw. In the latest of these, as White, I have King on g4, a pawn on g5 and Rook on b3. Black to move has King on g8, Bishop on e7 and pawn on g6. My material and space advantages count for nothing. Black has an accurate, saving resource.

I usually play my engine’s top choice move. In a current game, in which I am the exchange up, I have decided against this. The top line was forcing, but led to exchanging off Queens and a pair of rooks. Playing down this line appeared to lead to a Rook v Bishop ending with minimal winning chances. I played a waiting move, which kept pieces on the board. This has worked out pleasantly for me. The pieces on the board are asserting their power. 

I’ve learnt that if I am the exchange up, hastening to an ending may not be the smartest of plans. In future, too, I might even be less likely to jump at a chance to win the exchange. I’ve just viewed an Alpha-Zero v Stockfish 8 game in which Alpha-Zero passes on an offer of winning an exchange. It had deeper, winning plans.

#Correspondencechess #Philmorgan

2nd Welsh Open - delayed

In view of the two worthy charity events being held to aid Ukraine and not wishing to split entries, we have decided to delay the 2nd Welsh Open until later in 2022. 

#2Ndwelshopen #Correspondencechess #Wccf

Secret Weapons #1

Today, Phil Morgan kicks off a series for premium members on secret weapons. More will come from other commentators!

To see, ensure you are logged into the website and go to Phil's article section.

Details of premium membership can be found here

#Correspondencechess #Philmorgan #Wccf

Installing Engines

Every so often I get emails asking how to install engines in Chessbase, especially from those wishing to update from the engines that came with it.

Bob Hurn kindly mentioned this article, which covers most of the required activities.

It is a little old now - we are on Chessbase 16, but the method is, more or less the same, in Chessbase and Fritz

Getting the most out of ChessBase 15: a step-by-step guide #6 – UCI Engines | ChessBase

#Chessbase #Correspondencechess #Engines

Beware of Dark Horses

You don’t need to have previous experience to be competitive in correspondence chess. 

Players new to correspondence are often given an 1800P, Provisional Rating. They may quickly show they are capable of playing at a higher level , as current competitors in the WCCF New Year tournament. This can even be demonstrated in team events. In Division 2 of the recently started County Correspondence event, Surrey B are the weakest team based on ratings. Their team has an average rating of 1850. In fact, 7 of the team play off Provisional ratings of 1800. They field only one rated player, with a rating of, 2196. Tellingly, this player appears on Board 7. Their Board 1 appears well set to hold his 2427 SIM Nottinghamshire opponent. They appear to be a team of serious intent.

I used to feel daunted when playing a 2350+ titled opponent. Now I’m almost starting to feel some sympathy for them. To defend their ratings, they need to keep delivering wins against developing players who can access the same range of rapidly improving forms of engine supports. This seems a tall order. These supports are narrowing the gaps between correspondence players and enabling new players to much more quickly progress their level of play.   

Phil Morgan

#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Philmorgan #Wccf

ICCF Swiss Knockout commences.....

Good luck to the Welsh participants in this new event

Russell Sherwood Cross Table (

Josh Robinson Cross Table (

Tom Gunn Cross Table (

Jon Coles Cross Table (

Austin Lockwood Cross Table (

Mark Adams Cross Table (

All look to have groups with very reasonable chances to advance to the next round!

#Correspondencechess #Eventstart #Wccf

CCE Norm and Title for Josh Robinson

Congratulations to Josh on picking up the 2nd Norm and Title in WCCF 13th Invitational


and now for something completely different....

I read an interesting comment on Facebook today about the allocation of black and white pieces. 

It was a lovely change to see a return to an “argument” about correspondence chess, rather than other matters!

The issue itself is not how many games the players were getting, but distribution of opposition ratings. In some cases, players were getting almost all the lowest rated opposition as white, in others as black.

The method used in most ICCF Tournament set up is random allocation, which by its very nature means that most players will get a reasonable distribution, whilst a few will get more extreme allocations such as above. That is the nature of randomness.

The alternative is to allocate the draw based on the order that the players are on the table [Here, table refers simply to the order that the organizer has loaded the players into the event creator]. This can be either random or by some organized method, the most common being rating.

If we order by rating, games could be allocated to give a slight edge by rating. This could be to higher rated players or lower rated players.

Whilst this approach can seem better, it has a basic structural problem – it is unfair to one group of players, whilst the random approach simply serves up the luck of the draw, which is fair to all.

It is an interesting question but one where, fundamentally, any approach different to randomness, gives an unfair advantage/disadvantage to players.

#Correspondencechess #Wccf

Two worthy Events

Two events worth of attention have been announced. 

Both of these are in support of Ukraine, with all profits being donated.

First we have the ICCF Sponsored "Peace Open" being organized by the German BdF federation. This is traditional open.  Details can be found here

Secondly, the Italian Federation are organizing an event "Help for Ukraine". This will be a little different as it will be unrated, but this means that it should attract higher rated players and experimental ideas can be tried. Details are here.

The WCCF will be donating our rebates from these events to the relevant charities.




#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Ukraine

CCE Norm and Title for Tom Gunn

Congratulations to Tom Gunn for picking up a 2nd Norm in British Candidates B 2021/23

#Chess #Correspondencechess #Iccf #Tomgunn

ICCF KO Tournament Strategy and Tactics

The ICCF KO Tournament is almost upon us. This is something a little different and a different approach will be required to succeed in the event.

Looking at the detail – the first round will be made of:

  • Groups of 11
  • Each group to have the same average rating
  • A score of >50% required to advance
  • The relative performance in the first round will determine the group for the 2nd (In simple terms a list of percentage performance will be created, the Top 13 players make up the first group, the 14-26 players the second and so on.

Pondering this for a while determines that our strategy and tactics in the event should determine our approach.

The first and most obvious objective is to score more than 50%, but beyond this there are two paths. Do we want to succeed in the event or meet other objectives? By other objectives, I can detail out possible desired outcomes:

  • The desire to boost our rating
  • The desire to target Title Norms

The average rating (as it is for all these kinds of events), for the first round, will be around 2150. 

If we want to do well in the event, then a strategy in the first round is to score above 50% but not massively so. This should lead to a weaker 2nd group, which whilst probably a lower Category Norm should be easier to score higher in.

In we want to gain the highest ELO benefit, then our aim should be to score as highly in the first round as possible, which should give us access to a group with a much higher rating than ours in the second round.

If Titles Norms are our aim, probably the best option is to aim for a “middling” score in the first round – which should get us a slightly easier Category group in the 2nd round.

Agree/Disagree? Either way, have a good think about your strategy for this event!


#Correspondencechess #Iccf #Wccf

WCCF Request to ICCF for an EGM

Dear members, following discussions over recent days the WCCF Executive committee decided to make a request of ICCF to hold an EGM with regard to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.


We would like to make a request for an EGM to be called by ICCF – detailed below. In addition, we request that a copy of this is circulated to National Delegates.

The Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation formally requests a special meeting of Congress according to Article 32 of the ICCF Statutes.  According to the statutes, we should specify the location, purpose, and agenda for the meeting, these are as follows: 

1.       Location: Online discussion using Zoom or similar video conferencing facilities, with voting to take place using the ICCF online voting system and closing one week after the meeting (similar to the arrangements for the 2021 Congress) 

2.       Purpose: to determine the future status of the Russian and Belarusian CC federations as ICCF member federations 

3.       Agenda: There will be three agenda items, both with votes of delegates. 

a.       The dismissal from ICCF of the Russian CC Federation 

b.       The dismissal from ICCF of the Belorussian CC Federation 

c.      Any other proposals raised in line with the voting regulations.  

         Including: (To be raised in detail) 

  1. The cancellation of the Ukraine Federations ICCF invoice for 2021-22 
  2. The establishment of an ICCF Open event (Similar to the Covid event) with the proceeds going to Ukrainian Humanitarian relief. 

4.    Method: All proposals will be placed online strictly according to the voting regulations, and delegates will be free to post new or amended proposals, specifically related to further sanctions, actions against individual players, or other actions related to these suspensions.  Proposals related to other matters should be deferred to the regular Congress in August. 


Russell Sherwood

ICCF Delegate for Wales

For and behalf of the WCCF


Members are also reminded that the correct, appropriate  and professional way to contact WCCF (or ICCF) is through designated officials or contact pages, not via social media.

#Iccf #Wccf

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