Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation

Rydym yn Ffrindiau - Amici Sumus

NORJUB-75 Jubilee (NOR)

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the Norwegian Correspondence Chess Federation is organizing an International Open Tournament.

ICCF Webserver
Register within 20th of October. Multiple entries allowed.

Register to: [email protected]

The tournament in 3 stages: Preliminaries, Semi-finals, and Final
Title norms possible in Semi-finals and Final
7 players groups in Preliminaries
Rating list 2019/4

Winner and runner-up of each group qualify to Semi-finals
11-13 players in Semi-finals.

No player is allowed to play more than two Semi-finals groups.

Entry fee 200 NOK (20 EURO) to https://www.paypal.me/Fjernsjakk
Players rated 2300 or above may join the semi-finals directly paying 200 NOK.


We use TrippleBlock system:
Preliminaries stage will start on 1st. November 2019 (TriBl 350)
Semi-finals: 1st. February 2021 (TriBl 350)
Final: 1st. April 2022 (TriBl 500)

Prizes: Winner of the semifinals wins 50 Euros

Prizes final: 400€ for first place; 300€ for second place; 200€ for third place, and medals

Prizes guaranteed if over 110 starters.  
TO: Roger Løvaas
TD: Roger Løvaas

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WCCF Mailing List

You can now subscribe to the WCCF Mailing List and receive automatic email notifications about new articles published on the website or receive announcements from WCCF officials direct to your email inbox.

Please update your notification preferences here if you wish to receive these notifications.

WCCF takes your privacy seriously, we comply fully with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); our privacy policy is shown here.

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Interview: LGM Toni Halliwell (ENG)


Toni is one of the stalwarts of Britich CC in recent years and a regular player in Yorkshire Team events. Ranked #5 Female CC player in the world on the latest rating list iand one of a trio of strong British CC players Toni has help redefine the British CC Landscape.

Briefly Tell us about Yourself?

Retired IT College Tutor and freelance business adviser.  Interests also include music (most genres), playing piano and guitar (badly!), geology and landscape photography.

How did you get involved in Chess?

Rather embarrassing this one!  Older brother taught me the moves while I was at primary school.  Didn’t really take it up then, but moved up to Grammar School where, as a 13 year old girl, with an almighty crush on the History master who started a chess club, so where he was, I had to be … lol!

Is this the most original answer yet?! 😊  [Editors Note: Yes!!]


When and how did you get interested in Correspondence Chess?

Can’t really remember but must have seen an ad for the Postal Chess Club run by Chess, Sutton Coldfield, back in the day.  Played in their all-play-all tournaments, from being about 15 I think.

What do you like about Correspondence Chess?

‘Meeting’ people from all over the world; used to like collecting the stamps when it was all postal.

Having more time to ponder your moves than otb allows and to really learn openings without having to be able to remember the lines. 

Also it’s available when you don’t feel like trailing out to a club on a winter’s evening!

Being an IA/TD.


What don’t you like about Correspondence Chess?


Engines!  These prevent you knowing how good or bad you really are compared to your opponents.  I know they prevent games being spoiled through blunders, but you are not really matching your own skill against the other person, and sometimes it seems that you can ‘buy’ you way through if you can afford better computers.  Also find it difficult to vary games and can end up playing the same opening/variation so many times, unless you are prepared to try out new openings.

Players who don’t exchange a greeting at the start of a game.  Would they refuse to shake hands otb? 

Language is no barrier these days with online translation tools, so no excuse – just use your own language if you don’t share a common one.

Players who use DMD when the going gets tough!


What are your Correspondence Chess Career Highlights?

Three spring to mind:

  • Returning to chess after a 20 year gap and winning the British Ladies Championship in the first season back.
  • Beating the Open British Champion in less than 30 moves, while being the reigning British Ladies Champion!
  • Getting a draw with our own GM Robson, rated 2600, in a team competition.  Where but in correspondence chess would you even get the chance to play such a player if you are at my level?!


The first two of these pleased me because in both cases the win came from a move/plan that was not showing on a computer engine at the time!


What do you think an aspiring player should do to improve their game?

Play against the strongest opposition available.  Study everything, but don’t get bogged down on mainly openings.  Don’t neglect endgames.  Learn solid principles rather than trying to memorise lines.  Study structures, patterns etc. to help your middlegame.  Find out where you went wrong in lost games, or where you think a win went astray. Find a very strong player whose style you like and look at their games.


Do you have an overall strategy when you start a game or Tournament?


Not particularly.  Of course I start out wanting to win every game, but know realistically this is not likely to happen.  If it is a team tournament, I plan to be more careful so as to play for the team and not let them down.  I try to look at the opponent, have I played them before etc.  Mainly remind myself not to rush the opening and try not to get transposed into an opening I don’t like.



How do you select your moves?  What is your general method?


Firstly I look at the position without any assistance and choose some possibilities that suit my style.  I look at books and databases in the opening stages and use the NIC Yearbooks for updates.  I tend to look more at the ICCF database to see what the top correspondence players do, and there are a number of these players who I like to follow who play the same openings as me.  If out of book, then the engine unfortunately has to come into play too, but I try not to play an engine move just for the sake of it.  If I don’t understand the reason for the move, I won’t play it until I do.


With so many draws in Correspondence Chess.  What do you try to do to generate wins?

This is very difficult obviously because of engines.  Trying to learn which openings are harder for a computer to deal with and why and what other types of position might not suit engine analysis so well. This information seems to be hard to find and only picked up in snippets here and there.

Other than that, when I feel forced to resort to the engine, leave it running … forever … just to make sure that the move you are about to settle on doesn’t get superseded so many plies later on!  Also use several different engines for comparison.

What are your future aspirations in Correspondence Chess?

Firstly to secure my second IM norm to get the title.  Beyond that to see if I can get SIM norms. Then of course to win the world championship, lol!!

What are your favourite Openings and why?

For white, I’m a lifelong Queen’s pawn player.  I find these easier to understand than King’s pawn openings, and for the same reason that as black I don’t play the Sicilian against 1. e4, neither will I put myself at risk of facing the Sicilian either.  Not because I am scared to, but because I have never studied it and others advise that there is so much work to do to keep up with this opening in particular, so I concentrate my efforts elsewhere.  For black I tend to prefer openings with a King’s side fianchetto, again just because I’ve always played them, but I am trying to adopt others now and bring more variety to stop me from being predictable!


If you could ask a legendary player, alive or historical, one question about Chess, what would it be?

If I dared (!), I think I might ask Bobby Fischer why on earth he thought he could play 29. … BxKRP against Spassky in the first game in Reykjavik 1972.


Do you have a Favourite Chess Book or DVD? If so what?

This varies all the time.  Currently, as he has recently passed, I am looking at the, enormous book ‘Pal Benko – My Life, Games and Compositions’ by Benko and Silman.  It really is a nicely produced volume.  I am a member of the online Chess Book Collectors group on Facebook, though not really an avid collector as such, but their recommendations or otherwise have saved me wasting money or drawn my attention to a book I might not otherwise have known about.

Do you have a Favourite player? If so who?

No special favourite. I like the 2 Ks and as a woman of course I like Judit Polgar, especially when she has put one of our own opinionated GMs in his place!  Did study Botvinnik for a while.  Basically just like the whole bunch, past masters, present and likely future!





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British Correspondence Chess Championship 2019-21

is underway https://www.iccf.com/event?id=81192

A Category 6 event with Welsh hopes residing with the Sherwoods.

An interesting mix of entries this year with almost 50% of the field being new to the Championship section

William Bishop represents in the Candidates section  https://www.iccf.com/event?id=81193

Marc Wakeham, Stephen Bailey and Margaret Baron are in a fascinating Reserves A Category https://www.iccf.com/event?id=81194.  This event is a very rare Category A with +3 reqirered for a CCE Norm

In Reserves C https://www.iccf.com/event?id=81196- debutant Jon Coles faces an interesting challange

#Bccc #TournamentStart

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ICCF World Cup 22 Semi-Final's Underway

Good Luck to Gareth Yeo in ICCF World Cup 22 Semifinal 3 , Craig Evans in ICCF World Cup 22 Semifinal 7 and Sean Denton ICCF World Cup 22 Semifinal 8​


#TournamentStart #WorldCup

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CXEB 50 - Years Open (BRA) Tournament


In celebration of its 50th anniversary, CXEB is organizing an International Open Tournament, approved by the ICCF Congress in Vilnius (LTU), called the "CXEB 50 - Years Open (BRA) Tournament".

Registration by each Entry: 10 Euros only through PayPal ([email protected])

Oficial Website: http://www.cxeb.org.br/l50cxebi.htm

ICCF Webserver 

Tournament in 3 stages: Preliminaries, Semifinals, and Finals.

Start Date: Octubre 2019

Sponsor: Clube de Xadrez Epistolar Brasileiro CXEB (BRA)

Rating List 2019-4

TO: SIM Richard Fuzishawa (BRA)

TD: Leonardo Simal (BRA)


This stage will start on Octubre 31st, 2019. Groups will be composed by 7 players.

Registration will close on October 21, 2019 !

Registration: via the organizer via PayPal, multiple entries allowed

Top two places advance to the Semifinals.

Cost of preliminaries: 10.00€

Rate of play: Triple Block system for a 350 days event, with 75 days initial bank and 1 day increment for the first 50 moves is used.



Will start as soon as qualifiers are determined

Players rated 2200 or higher may register to semifinals directly and will pay 15.00€

ICCF titles and norms are possible.

Winner only advances to Final and will receive money 15.00€ 

Rate of play: Triple Block system for a 350 days event, with 75 days initial bank and 1 day increment for the first 50 moves is used.



Will start as soon as qualifiers from the semifinals are determined

Prizes: 300€ for first place; 200€ for second place; 100€ for third place; money to be split evenly among tied players. (No tiebreak will be used.) Monetary prizes will only be distributed through Paypal.

ICCF titles and norms are possible.

Rate of play: Triple Block system for a 500 days event, with 50 days initial bank and 3 day increment for the first 50 moves is used.


Amici Sumus,

Richard Mitsuo Fuzishawa

[email protected]

CXEB Tournament Organizer

#Open #TournamentAnnouncement

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Esko Nuutilainen Memorial Team Tournament Final & George Pyrich Semi-Final

Early days in this events but out initial standings are positive

Esko Nuutilainen Memorial Team Tournament Final

Here we have one result to date and in fact of the 20 games finished so far, only 1 has been decisive!

George D. Pyrich Memorial Team Tournament SF1

Another cagy event, with Slovakia taking an early lead in terms of wins

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Netherlands versus Rest of Europe

A friendly match Netherlands versus Rest of Europe  is being arranged

ICCF Zone 1 and De Nederlandse Bond van Correspondentieschakers are delighted to announce that a friendly match Netherlands versus Rest of Europe will be organized in November, 2019.

1. The match will be played on ICCF webserver, ICCF Playing Rules will apply. Time control is 10 moves in 50 days with duplication after 20 days.

2. Number of boards is expected 50 to 60.

3. Any Zone 1 (Europa) National Federation (except for Netherlands) may nominate up to 3 players for the Rest of Europe Team . Any Welsh player wishing to take part should contact Russell Sherwood by 22nd September

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, 2019.

6. Team Captains are CCE Jan Bart Daatselaar (Netherlands) and GM Artis Gaujens (Rest of Europe). Tournament Director is CCM        Razumikhin, Andrey Mikhailovich (Russia).

7. Order of boards will be set in concordance with ICCF ratings being taken from

up-to-date rating list (i.e. 2019/4).

#Eurozone #FriendlyMatch

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Advice from WCCF regarding new ICCF rules

The attached advice was distributed to representatives of correspondence chess clubs affiliated to WCCF; it will be of particular interest to Welsh members of Natcor or BCCA who play tournaments on the ICCF webserver.

WCCF see this as a positive move which can only benefit players, however it will require a slightly different approach by our affiliated clubs from next year.

WCCF will do whatever is required to support our affiliates and their Welsh players during this transition.

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Tournament Update: CDCCC

The Ward-Higgs appears to be coming to a thrilling climax with three teams still in the running and victory expected by the thinnist of margins


#Cdccc #TournamentUpdate

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Resource Folder Updated

The engine resource folder has been updated.....you know where to look!


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British Ladies Correspondence Chess Championship

Following changes to ICCF regulations at the recent Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania, the reently completed 2018-2019 edition of this event will be the last.


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Alex Sherwood Receives the CCM Award

Pictured is CCM Alex Sherwood, receiving his certificate and medal from ICCF President Eric Ruch.  Eric mentioned during the presentation that Alex was probably the youngest ever recipient of an ICCF Award!

#AlexSherwood #CcmTitle

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Welsh Awards

Pictured is Welsh national delegate, Russell Sherwood, receiving the International Master and Senior International Master medals and certificates on behalf of Gareth Yeo from the ICCF President, Eric Ruch, at the recent ICCF Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Other medals awarded to Welsh players in Vilnius were:

  • International Master: Austin Lockwood
  • Correspondence Chess Master: Alex Sherwood
  • International Arbiter: Austin Lockwood
  • BvM Silver: Austin Lockwood

#AlexSherwood #AustinLockwood #GarethYeo #ImTitle #SimTitle

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ICCF Congress Voting

Russell Sherwood (Welsh National Delegate and ICCF Marketing Director) and Austin Lockwood (WCCF Secretary and ICCF Services Director) will both be attending the ICCF Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania from 18 to 22 August 2019.

The Congress proposals are listed on the ICCF website, here.

We will update the table below as each proposal is voted on by ICCF national delegates.

  Proposal For Against Result
2019-001 Approve 2018 Congress Minutes 45 2 Passed
2019-002 Approve Financial Reports and 5-year Financial Plan. 42 0 Passed
2019-003 Approve Services Committee Budget for 2020 41 0 Passed
2019-004 Defining When to Apply the at Least 50% ETL Rule 41 4 Passed
2019-005 ICCF Medal and Certificate Awards 45 1 Passed
2019-006 Additional Analysis Submission for the 3-person Panel Review 42 2 Passed
2019-007 Defining "Repeated Misbehaviour" 41 2 Passed
2019-008A Clarifying ICCF Rules by Eliminating the Word "Should" - A 42 1 Passed
2019-008B Clarifying ICCF Rules by Eliminating the Word "Should" - B 42 1 Passed
2019-009 ICCF Retention Policy for Sensitive Personal Information 44 1 Passed
2019-010 [CONFLICT] Eliminate Age and Gender Specific Events 9 35 Defeated
2019-011 ICCF Congress in 2020 47 0 Passed
2019-012 Rules for Multiple Member Federation Participation Events 38 5 Passed
2019-013 ICCF Disciplinary Review Process 41 2 Passed
2019-014 Provisional Rating Procedure 46 0 Passed
2019-015 Clarifying the "Regulations" of the ICCF Appeal Committee 44 0 Passed
2019-016A Limiting When Recorded Game Results can be Overturned - A 39 3 Passed
2019-016b Limiting When Recorded Game Results Can Be Overturned - B 21 20 End of Investigation
2019-017 Applying Appeal Committee Regulations to the Arbitration Committee 44 0 Passed
2019-018 Recommendation to Congress - Hong Kong to be Dismissed from ICCF 45 0 Passed
2019-019 [CONFLICT] Allowing Claims Based on the 7-Piece Endgame Tablebase 43 3 Passed
2019-020 No Charge for National Postal Games 30 15 Passed
2019-021 Clarification of Request for Accepted Withdrawal 19 23 Defeated
2019-022 [CONFLICT] Eliminate Gender Specific Events 28 18 Passed
2019-023 [CONFLICT] Change the 50 Moves Rule to 100 moves and Accept Claims up to 100 Moves 10 34 Defeated
2019-024 Clarifying a Requirement for an Adjudicated Win 36 7 Passed
2019-025 Promotion of School Events 39 5 Passed
2019-026 Precedence of Conflicting Proposals 26 17 Passed
2019-027 Consultation in Team Play 29 14 Passed
2019-028 [CONFLICT] Eliminate the ICCF Ladies Olympiad and Ladies World Championship 18 25 Superceded by 022
2019-029 Congress Expenses for Officials 42 2 Passed
2019-030 Clarifying the Difference Between Invitational and Open Events 42 2 Passed
2019-031 Improve ICCF Congress Minutes 27 13 Passed
2019-032 Reserve Players in WCCC Stages 38 4 Passed
2019-033 2019 Tournament Fee Structure 41 3 Passed
2019-034 Calculation for Fixed Ratings 26 15 Passed
2019-035 Direct Norms for the GM - Title 21 23 Defeated
2019-036 Implement the Silli system in Large ICCF Tournaments 28 8 Passed
2019-037 Merger of Zone 4 into World Zone 19 23 Defeated
2019-038 Adjustment of GM Norm Requirements 19 23 Defeated
2019-039 Add Two Weeks of Discussion Time on Last Minute Proposals 40 4 Passed
2019-040 Eliminate the ICCF Zonal System 14 27 Defeated
2019-041 Players Should be Free to Decide if They Want to Use Linear Conditional Moves 29 15 Passed
2019-042 2/3 Majority Required for Changes to Voting Regulations 37 5 Passed


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ICCF Executive Board and Auditor Election Results

The following votes were cast in the EB and Auditor election today at Congress.

  • President: Eric Ruch 40 votes (elected)
  • General Secretary: Michael Millstone 40 votes (elected)
  • Finance Director: Jan Vosselman 43 votes (elected)
  • Marketing Director: Russell Sherwood 40 votes (elected)
  • Services Director: Austin Lockwood 44 votes (elected)

World Tournament Director

  • Jason Bokar: 22 votes
  • Frank Geider: 23 votes
  • Everdinand Knol: 1 vote (withdrawn)
  • Olli Ylönen: 1 vote

No candidate attracted more than 50% of the votes cast, therefore a second round of voting will be conducted according to the voting regulations. Everdinand Knol has withdrawn from the election.


  • Ferdinand Burmeister: 12 votes
  • Paul Scott 23 votes (elected)

#Elections #IccfCongress

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WCCF 7 Update

WCCF 7 continues to generate Title Norms!  With victory in his final game, Adhy Margana achieves his 2nd IM and the Title.

Phillip Dean is well placed to earn his first IM Norm. Helen Sherwood and Ian Jones frustratingly look to fall a half-point short


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Norm Watch

Helen Sherwood gains her first IM Norm and probable 1st place in the Cat 6 5to ANIVERSARIO FEDAPVEN IM CELSO SANCHEZ GRUPO A6

#HelenSherwood #TitleNorms

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In recent times the use of the term "Gaslighting" has increased significantly, mirrored in Film and TV. For those not familiar for the term a common definition is "manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.".

Now, In CC, I have never had players have me doubt my own sanity (although some of the characters I have both played and crossed path within an administrative capacity have brought me close!)

So from a CC perspective, a slightly different definition can apply "manipulate a player into doubting their own analysis". 

Few players can claim not to be guilty of this in its most mild form - offering a draw in an inferior position, especially when the higher-rated player.

In a more unpleasant form, we have all played those individuals who keep offering draws and get upset when you don't accept the draw.

A more much more modern tactic that the discerning player should be aware of can be seen when utilising ChessBase.. Imagine the following scenario. You are significantly ahead in a game. Your engine is showing move X as preferable to a decent depth. Chessbase shows a different move to a much greater depth with a good score. 

Now upon examination, this move is generally poor and turns your winning position to a draw. What the opponent has done is lay a trail to attempt to have the player doubt their own analysis. (In the example I reviewed it was clear it was the opponent due to the dates on the analysis).

So the moral of the story is whilst the analysis on Chessbase (and all crowd-sourced websites) can be valuable, always make sure (especially when it is "fresh") that someone is not trying to lead you down the garden path

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British Correspondence Chess Championship

Just a reminder that the deadline for entries to this event is the end of August 2019.

More details can be see on the press release


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Resource Folder

I often get asked about where to obtain some of the Engines I write about.....so to make life easier i have collated them into a folder in the link at the bottom of this article. I will update on occasion, so don't expect the absolute lastest version a day after its release!

Commercial Engines will not be in this folder.





CFish Extended




Honey Xpro

Komodo 10



Raubfisch -SL


Sugar NN



No warranty or guarantees - use at your own risk!




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Esko Nuutilainen Memorial Team Tournament Final

Good Luck to the Welsh Team in the finals of the  Esko Nuutilainen Memorial Team Tournament

1) Craig Evans

2) Paul Keevil

3) Paul Scott

4) Aytac Yuce

5) Andrew Smith

6) Peter Bevan

#Esko #Finals

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USA Friendly

We have been challenged to a Friendly match by our US cousins over the pond. If you are interested in taking part please get in touch at l[email protected]. Start date September 2019


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Last Call for the Champion's League

The deadline for entries is fast approaching (31st July). If you are interested in taking part and have not found a team get in touch ASAP, we may be able to help!

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Tournament Update: Counties and Districts

An exciting finale is promised in the 2018/2019 Counties and Districts Tournament


Historically dominant Yorkshire and Essex currently sit in the top two places but West Wales sit in third with games and positive positions in hand.

East Wales have had a rockier season but look well placed to avoid the drop!

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