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Rydym yn Ffrindiau - Amici Sumus
British Championship 2020

The 2020 renewal is underway and this year is easily the strongest of the modern era and probably the strongest ever.

British Championship 20/22   Category 7 - 2407 Average Rating

Yeo (2482), Sherwood(2435), Lockwood (2401), Jones (2391) , Bishop(2375) represent Welsh Interests

British Candidates A 2020/22 Category 2 - 2300 Average Rating

Sherwood(2389), Sherwood(2368), Scott(2290) and Jones (2280) are the Welsh contingent

British Reserves A 2020/22 Category B

Bullen (2118( and Bailey (2086) represent Welsh Interests

British Reserves B 2020/22 Category B

Wakeham (2161) and Jones (2127) take on the challenge


WCCF AGM Technical Session

Dear Players,

For those planning to attend or to tempt others as reminder that we will start with a technical session. I have a few questions from players:

  • Setting up LZ0
  • Setting up SF NNUE
  • Play Like Rallabandi
  • BluePrint 2300
  • What is backsliding and how does it work

If you have anything any burning questions let me know in advance, as it is far easier to give an reasonable answer in the limited time we will have with some preparation in advance



2nd EU Chess 960 Individual Championship


ICCF Europa is delighted to announce new tournament at chess 960 - the second EU Chess 960 Individual Championship.

The tournament will be played by server and will be organized in three stages (might be in two stages depending from the number of the entries). The sections of the preliminary round will have 5 to 6 players (8 or 10 games) with 2 qualified for the next round. All sections will be with double round-robin (players will have the same position with Black and White but all positions will defer from one opponent to another). Time control will be Triple Block (Duration of Tournament: 302 days, Initial Clock: 50 days, Initial Bank: 51 days, Increment: 1 day). The event will be rated for Chess 960 rating system.


Players may enter the usual way through the ICCF Server Entry System. The closing of the registrations is 15th of October 2020. A player may apply for more than one preliminary section.

Allocation of players to their sections will be made as random as possible; however, geographical distribution as well as an achievement of reasonable equality of the average rating will be taken into account.

Tournament Organization

The tournament will start on November 15, 2020. The closing of the registrations is October 15, 2020 to allow for pairings

The semifinal stage is expected to be started not later than September 15, 2021.

The final is expected to be started not later than August 15, 2022.


The winner and the runner-up of each preliminary section will qualify for the next round. Qualifications to the Final depend on number of semifinal sections.

Although the number of preliminary sections which each player may enter is unlimited, no player will qualify for more than two semifinal sections or more than one place in the final.

Member Federations are asked to give the tournament wide publicity to all their players.

We wish all participants many interesting games and new connections with CC friends in other countries, based on the spirit of friendship and the ICCF motto AMICI SUMUS.

 Tournament Organiser: SIM Andrey Pavlikov, IA, EU Zonal Director

Zone 1 (Europe) Finance Director Election - Candidates Sort

Due to the resignation of Jan Vosselman, ICCF Zone 1 Finance Director, for personal reasons, the mid-term election process is needed.

Nominations are invited from respective Member Federations for the following position:

Zone 1 Finance Director

It is the right of each member federation to nominate candidates for the above position, providing that:

1. The nominee is a current member of their Federation (which must be a full ICCF Member Federation), and

2. The nominee has confirmed his or her willingness to be nominated.

Any Welsh player interested in exploring this opportunity should contact Austin Lockwood by the 28/9/2020

Zone 1 vs World Zone Friendly Match

ICCF Zone 1 and ICCF World Zone are delighted to announce that a friendly match Europe v World Zone will be organized in November, 2020.

1. The match will be played on ICCF webserver, ICCF Playing Rules will apply. Time control is 10 moves in 40 days with duplication after 20 days.

2. Number of boards is expected 100 to 150.

3. Any Zone 1 (Europa) National Federation may nominate up to 4 players for the Europe Team (usually some NFs are not represented in friendly matches, however it would be good if all players will be set in order). Deadline is October 1, 2020.

4. Each player will play two games (one with White, one with Black) against her/his opponent on her/his board.

5. Start date is November 1, 2020.

6. Team Captains are SIM Andrey Pavlikov (Europe) and IM Juan Alberto Martello (world Zone). 

7. Tournament Director will be announced later.

8. Order of boards will be set in accordance with ICCF ratings being taken from up-to-date rating list (i.e. 2020/4).


If you wish to be nominated for this event please get in touch with Russell Sherwood by 24/9/2020 


The 2020 WCCF Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 19th September from 13:00 to 17:00.  Because of the requirement to socially distance, this year's AGM will be held exclusively online using the Zoom platform.

Attached is the Agenda for the meeting

National and International members are entitled to attend the meeting as observers; Premium members will have full voting rights at the meeting. Please contact the Secretary for logon details for Zoom if you wish to attend.

Russell Sherwood

WCCF International Secretary

#Agm #Wccf

CCM Norm and Title for Paul Scott

Congratulations to Paul Scott in picking up his 2nd Norm and CCM Title in WS/MN/B/12

Paul becomes the 14th Welsh holder of the title (incorporating the LGM)!

If any Welsh player wants to work towards ICCF titles please get in touch as we can facilitate the journey somewhat!

#Ccm #PaulScott

3rd Chess 960 European Team Cup - Final

Good luck to the Welsh Team in the 3rd Chess 960 European Team Cup - Final

I'm sure many remember what happened last time Wales were the bottom seed!


#960 #Euro960teamcup

Euro Team Cup Semi Finals

Following our stunning victory against the Swedes we now face the Russian and Spanish Teams in a 20 board event to decide who advances to the Final. 

Any Welsh flagged player rated above 2000 who is interested in taking part please get in touch.

British Championship Entries

If you believe you have entered the British Championship this year and your name is not the list please get in touch ASAP!


7th International Clergy Polish Championship

Good Luck to Stephen Dunning in the 7th International Clergy Polish Championship 

#7Thintpolishchess #Stephendunning

Notice of 2020 WCCF Annual General Meeting

The 2020 WCCF Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 19th September from 13:00 to 17:00.  Because of the requirement to socially distance, this year's AGM will be held exclusively online using the Zoom platform.

The meeting will start with a Chess Technology Q&A session led by Russell Sherwood, where he will try to answer any questions you might have about engines, databases, etc. If you do have any questions, it would be useful to send these to Russell in advance of the meeting.

National and International members are entitled to attend the meeting as observers; Premium members will have full voting rights at the meeting.  Please contact the Secretary for logon details for Zoom if you wish to attend.

Any Premium member wishing to submit a motion to the meeting should send these to the Secretary by email no later than 5th September; nominations for the elected positions of President, Secretary, International Secretary, and Treasurer should also be sent to the Secretary by this date.  A full agenda will be made available on the WCCF website shortly following this deadline.

Austin Lockwood

WCCF Secretary

[email protected]

#Agm #Wccf

British Championship - Entries to Date - Closing Date 31st August

If you believe you have entered and are not on the list , please get in touch ASAP

Asquith JENG
Bailey MENG
Beckett PJENG
Brotherton TENG
Bruce RENG
Clark SENG
Cowan AENG
Elwood DENG
Franks KENG
Gardner AENG
Graham OENG
Grayland SJENG
Griling CENG
Grummitt WENG
Herman TENG
Hollands GENG
Illingworth JBENG
Kitson KENG
Lockett JENG
Lumley WENG
Maguire GENG
Marchant AENG
O'Mahoney MENG
Perrin RENG
Rawlings AJCENG
Richardson DENG
Roberts AENG
Roberts SENG
Ruffle AENG
Squires MENG
Sutton AENG
Tibbert PHENG
Webster RENG
Wharam GENG
Beecham CRSCO
Buchan ASCO
Burridge RSCO
Cumming DSCO
Hardwick MESCO
Lloyd GSCO
Whittaker IPSCO
Bailey S WLS
Bishop WWLS
Bullen AWLS
Jones GWLS
Jones IanWLS
Jones RWLS
Scott PWLS
Sherwood AWLS
Sherwood HWLS
Sherwood RWLS
Wakeham MRWLS


Welsh Victory in EU Team Cup Quarterfinal vs Sweden

....with a draw in the 35th game to finish, Adam Davies pushes the Welsh team over the line with five games to spare!


Congress Proposal Voting

The voting for the ICCF "Virtual Congress" proposals 2020 has now completed and the results shown below.

Online voting was a real success this year, with 85% of possible votes having been cast by national delegates. Some proposals recieved as many as 50 votes out of a possible 56, this is probably a record for an ICCF Congress!

For the first time, all votes were cast by the official delegate for each federation, with no need for any proxy allocations.

ICCF officials will now start the work of implementing the successful proposals, in most cases starting from 1st January 2021.

2020-001Approve Services Committee Budget for 2021470Passed
2020-002Optional Preferential Voting (OPV) for Election of Officials3212Passed (2/3 majority)
2020-003Approve the 2019 Minutes500Passed
2020-004Approve Financial Reports471Passed
2020-005Players' Record Keeping Requirement409Passed
2020-006Players' Requirement to Update Personal Address480Passed
2020-007Counting FIDE GMs417Superceded by 2020-008
2020-008Eliminate Requirement of "5 GM" Opponents for GM Title3711Passed
2020-009Making the Triple Block Time Control System an Official Option417Passed
2020-010Clarifying a Requirement for a Title Tournament416Passed
2020-011Congress Allowances for ICCF Auditor2620Passed
2020-012Limiting the 10-Move Draw Rule398Passed
2020-013Lowering Entry Fees500Passed
2020-0142020 and Onwards - CCE and CCM Medals1927Defeated
2020-016Add a Second Payment Processor to the Server Entry Process463Passed
2020-017Validity of “Half Qualifications” for WCCC417Passed
2020-018Assumed Ratings425Passed
2020-019New Tournament Format426Passed
2020-020Special Provisions for the 70th ICCF Jubilee Events3117Passed
2020-023Clarifying Rules about Resetting Clocks after Extended Period of Down Server481Passed
2020-024Establish “Regional” Tournaments3115Passed
2020-025Norm Tournaments: Switching of an Entry When the Player's Rating Changes490Passed
2020-027Updates to the ICCF Voting Regulations and Electoral Procedures [2/3 VOTE]3510Passed (2/3 majority)
2020-028Electronic Awards2028Defeated
2020-029Allowing FIDE GMs to Play Free in ICCF GMN Events387Passed
2020-030New Title: International Organizer (IO) and its Scales TO Level 1 and TO Level 21827Defeated
2020-031Allowing TCs to Make TC-initiated Substitutions Directly3810Passed
2020-032ICCF Congress 2021-Clydebank Glasgow471Passed
2020-033Title Norms in Chess 9601533Defeated
2020-034Limitations to the Number of Open Tournaments Organised by MFs406Passed
2020-035Final "B" in Different Rounds of the Tournament1830Defeated
2020-036New Tournament: World Team Cup398Passed
2020-037Friendly Matches Viewing Rules1529Defeated



WCCF 2019 Christmas Special

Well played Rhys Jones for winning the recently completed 2019 Christmas Special with an impressive score of 5.5/6!


3rd Chess 960 European Team Cup

ICCF-Europa invites all its member federations to enter a team to a new team tournament to be played on the ICCF webserver. Each member federation may enter one team of 4 players (and a team captain). 

The tournament is likely to be organized in 

one or two stages 

(it depends on the number of entries). Pairings will use a Double Round Robin system whereby players play 2 games with alternate colours against each opponent (both games against the same opponent will start with the same randomized position of the pieces but these will vary against other opponents). Time control is 

30 days for 10 moves

 and the games will be 

rated in ICCF Chess 960 rating system

. Members of the first three teams in the final will be awarded medals and certificates. 

Start date
The tournament will start on 15th of September 2020

There is no entry fee for this tournament.

The first Cup attracted 9 teams, the second Cup was played with 12 teams. I invite all national federations to join this tournament and let players enjoy play at chess 960.


If you are interested in being part of the Welsh team please get in touch by 23/8/2020

#960 #EuroTeamChamps

CCE Title for Andrew Smith

Fast on the heels of his previous norm Andrew has completed another Norm and gained the CCE Title in WS/CCE/A/4

Andre becomes our 18th CCE titleholder

#AndrewSmith #CceTitle

Wales - Brazil Friendly underway

The friendly match is underway on 29 boards   WLS - BRA 2020

CCE Norm for Andrew Smith

Congratulations to Andrew Smith in picking up a CCM Norm in the George D. Pyrich Memorial Team Tournament SF1 Board 3

This is Andrew's second CCE Norm but more games will be required to complete the title.


Return to the Engine Room

It's been sometime since I was last in the Engine room and quite a bit has happened in the world of Chess Engine development in that time!

ASMfish is no more. This port of Stockfish into Assembler had proven very popular with enthusiasts due to its additional speed boost but it is now so far behind Stockfish in terms of development that any speed advantage pales into insignificance compared with the deficits in search and evaluation.

It appeared CFish had gone the same way but in recent weeks an effort has been made to bring the code up to date. CFish offers some speed benefits, so this is worth watching to see if the efforts are successful.

Houdini has had no new releases in several years but in recent months, what is allegedly the source code has appeared in public forums. Whilst the veracity of this is not of interest, it would be surprising to see an updated version of this engine appear in some form.

In terms of other engines outside of the main players the main newcomer has been Ethereal. Whilst not quite at the same level as the top engines it does have an interesting playing style.

Neural net development has continued to advance           

Significant work has been undertaken to make LC0 far easier to install and many specialised nets have been developed, Elo improvement has slowed, and development of Stockfish has been spurred on to compete with LC0.  A neural net is an essential part of an aspiring CC players arsenal, but it is now much easier to achieve for two reasons:

Fat Fritz has been updated and runs well on CPU based hardware (as opposed to LC0 which really requires a high-quality graphics card). Fat Fritz is based on a different network development method but does add to players options.

Stockfish development has thrown up two fascinating projects. Stockfish NNEU is a method to create a neural net which operates with Stockfish. It is early days yet, but early testing shows performance approaching Stockfish itself. In my own research it does show some interesting moves and runs much faster than a LC0 network but as I said early days!  The other project is Stockfish WDL, which is an attempt to generate a Win-Draw-Loss score for Stockfish. This is in exceedingly early days now but does appear to show some promise.

With the release of Fritz 17, we saw the appearance of the Fritz 17 engine (which I believe many users think is Fat Fritz!). Whilst a pleasing upgrade from Fritz 16 (which was simply Rybka modernised) this engine is a long way of the pace in CC terms and should not be utilised as a main engine

Honey is a specialised development of Stockfish which adds several features especially useful for CC players, for example Defensive mode and Deep Profound Analysis. Each release does provide several versions which include the best tweaks of several other engines. Personally, a favourite!

Eman is something of a controversial engine, for non-chess reasons I will not go into and ridiculously hard to get hold of but does provide interesting features including an ability to sniff out interesting moves. Well worth the effort to get hold of!

Bluefish is something of a marmite engine. Its “Bluefish” mode is somewhat misleading as it is simple reports the depth and node count incorrectly. It does, however, tend to utilise a narrower search giving a greater depth. Dependent on position this can either be a game winner or a game loser. Worth a look but personally I would never use it as a main engine

ShashChess has just updated as is an interesting engine, with former CC World Champions and Grandmasters involved in its development. It has three different modes, which either the engine self-selects, or the user can select, which approach the position differently. Well worth a look.

Raubfisch has been around for a long time and includes a lot of CC specific features, including ICCF Mode. Worth close examination.

Komodo has two modes – traditional and Monte Carlo. Both have a following with CC. If you want to use a Monte Carlo engine with a CPU then you probably need to use Komodo. Do not be fooled into thinking Stockfish is far superior simply based on ratings. Komodo plays a much more solid game and tends to be popular with those who prefer solid positions. It of course one of the few commercial engines in this review.

Friendly Match vs Aruba

Wales have just started a new friendly match vs some new players from Aruba

We are hoping that this will be a great introduction to CC for our new Aruban friends, and that eventually they will consider starting a new national CC federation and applying for membership of ICCF.

#Aruba #Friendlies #FriendlyMatch

CCE Norm for Peter Bevan

Congratulations to Peter Bevan in picking up a 2nd CCE Norm in George D. Pyrich Memorial Team Tournament SF1

To complete the Title a third norm will be required.


ICCF Congress Voting

The final list of approved proposals for the 2020 ICCF Congress is now available on the ICCF website:

Because of the difficulties in organising a full Congress due to the disruption caused internationally by the COVID-19 virus, Congress will be held virtually this year, with member federations submitting votes electronically from 8-28 July.

The WCCF Executive Committee are currently discussing how Wales will vote for each of these proposals; if any WCCF member would like to raise an issue about any of the proposals, please contact the WCCF Secretary at [email protected] before 8th July and this will be fed back to the EC.

If any Premium member would like to join with the EC's discussions and contribute to the internal voting process, please also get in touch.


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