Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation

Rydym yn Ffrindiau - Amici Sumus

CCM Title to Glyn Sinnett

After Achieving the additional required Norm in States and Regions CCC 2019 Division One, Glyn picks up the CCM Title (and a career-high CC rating at the same time).

This was a resilient performance, achieved despite a defeat to Spanish GM Mercadal Benjamin.

Here we see Glyn in form against Top seed IM Ingersol

#CcmTitle #GlynSinnett

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IM Title for Ian Jones

With a solid finish in 7th Webchess Open Tournament Semifinal 9  Ian Jones has secured his 2nd and final IM Norm, gaining him the title and becoming Wales 7th IM recipient!


#IanJones #ImTitle #Normwatch

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Counties & Districts 2020

The annual Counties and Districts Tournament is now upon us, 

WCCF will again facilitate the formation and player allocation for Welsh Teams.

Last season West and East Wales both fielded Teams in the Top tier. It is the hope that this season we can reinstate "B" teams as well.

In addition to this, we would hope to facilitate the formation of a North Wales Team.

CDCCC is played in teams of 8 players but each individual only players 2 games against a single opponent - so 2 games in total which can fit into anyone's game load!


Ward Higgs   https://www.iccf.com/event?id=76232

Sinclair      https://www.iccf.com/event?id=76231

Butler - Thomas   https://www.iccf.com/event?id=76229

We do ask that anyone taking part in these teams gives them sufficient attention - we do not want to see players who have lost games in 3 days having played 50 moves!

If you are interested in taking part please get in touch by December 15th , indicating your preference in relation to Team.allocation.


Russell Sherwood

WCCF International Secretary





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Selection Policy

Selection of players and captain for WCCF Team and representative events is led by the International Secretary.

Upon initial selection the team is proposed to the Executive Committee, who confirm the selection of the team or may suggest changes.

Selection for such events is based on the consideration of a number of factors including but not limited to:

  1. Rating
  2. Rating Progression
  3. Activity level
  4. Titles held
  5. Performance at similar or higher tournament level
  6. Player standing with WCCF (both disciplinary and financial)
  7. Player membership status*
  8. Defaults record
  9. Player acceptance of WCCF Team requirements

*Please note that selection to major international team events such as Olympiads or European Team Championships will normally be limited to premium members unless an exception has been agreed by the Executive Committee (for example for the purposes of recruitment or new player development). International friendly matches are excluded from this policy and may feature both national and international members.


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2019 WCCF AGM Minutes

Draft minutes of the 2019 WCCF AGM, held in Abergavenny on 9th November, are attached to this post.

Highlights include:

  • New Welsh International Open to be played on a two year cycle opposite the Welsh Championship
  • British Webserver Team Tournament and States and Regions both to move to a two year cylcle and be played in alternate years
  • A new team event to be offered to WCU Chess Clubs as an introduction to CC, starting in July 2020
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Y Gweilch NiMo wins the Fifth British Webserver Team Tournament

The stranglehold held by ICCF Warriors, who have won this tournament for the past three seasons, has finally been broken by Ian Jones' Y Gweilch NiMo; Congratulations to Ian, Craig Evans, Adam Davies, and Andrew Gibbons! - Ian's draw against GM Jason Bokar (2536) is shown below.


The Second Division was won by BCCA Kings with an impressive +12; Division Three by Schach Dragons, also with +12; Division Four A by BCCA Tacticians with a massive score of +26, and Division Four B by BCCA Cavaliers with a similarly impressive score of +23.

Congratulations to all winning teams, members of Y Gweilch NiMo will each recieve an engraved trophy, and winners of the lower divisions will be entitled to promotion.

Season Six of this tournament will start in April 2020. There will be two significant changes to the format for Season Six; the playing cycle will be extended to 700 days, and the requirement to include two British players in each team will be reduced to one.

More information will be posted here nearer to the time.


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2020 WCCF Premium Membership is Now Open

Membership of the Welsh Correspondence Chess Championship paid for in November or December 2019 will be valid for 2020; if you haven't already, please consider supporting WCCF by subscribing to membership. The 2020 membership fee is held at £5.00 for the year (£10.00 for international members).

The benefits of Premium Membership are listed here:


You can subscribe online using PayPal; simply log onto the WCCF website and follow the PayPal button on the "My Membership" page, here:


If you would prefer to pay by cheque, please contact the treasurer, Russell Sherwood [email protected]


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2020 WCCF Tournament Calendar

January/February 2020

  • Welsh International Open

April 2020

  • Sixth British Webserver Team Tournament

July 2020

  • Welsh Chess Club Team Championship

October 2020

  •  2020/21 British Correspondence Chess Championship
  • Counties and Districts CC Championship (still to be confirmed by EFCC)


  • WCCF 9th Invitational (GM)
  • WCCF 10th Invitational (CCE/CCM)


  •  Welsh Trios


  • Third WCCF Welsh Correspondence Chess Championship
  • Third States and Regions Correspondence Chess Championship
  • Eighth North Atlantic Team Tournament

#2020 #TournamentCalendar

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Norm Watch

Congratulations to Sean Denton is picking up a CCM Norm in States and Regions CCC 2019 Division Two

Looking at  Sean's other in-play events both the CCE and CCM Titles won't be long in coming!

#CcmNorm #SeanDenton #StatesAndRegions

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Welsh ICCF Norms

Attached is the current state of ICCF Norms for Welsh players. It does not include Norms for titles already awarded.

For each level of title, the qualifying number of games and any overscore are shown.



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Norm Watch

Congratulations to Nick Bishop in picking up a CCM Norm in States and Regions CCC 2019 Division One 

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2019 WCCF Annual General Meeting

A reminder that the 2019 WCCF Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 9th November 2019 at St Mary's Priory, Abergavenny (in the Tithe Barn) from 12:30.  The minutes of the 2018 AGM and the 2019 AGM agenda are attached to this message.

All members are welcome, however please let the Secretary know in advance if you are planning to attend.

Any member not able to attend, but wishing to vote on any of the proposals listed in the agenda may send his or her proxy vote to the Secretary.  Please note that only Premium members may vote at the AGM.

[email protected]


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Wales - USA Friendly underway

Wales - USA Friendly Match 2019

#FriendlyMatch #TournamentStart

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Norm Watch

Well Done to Sean Denton in picking up his first CCE Norm in States and Regions CCC 2019 Division Two Board 3 playing for the West Wales Dragons


#CceNorm #NormWatch #SeanDenton

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CCE Title for Nick Bishop

Closing out the final Norm required in States and Regions CCC 2019 Division One Board 4 Nick Bishop achieve the CCE Title!


Fitting that the final result was a draw with fellow Welsh player Ian Jones



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Interview: LGM Dawn Williamson (ENG)

Hi Guys,

I hope I don’t bore you, personally I’ve never really considered myself interview material but here goes!

I am a member of that rare species, the female correspondence chess player, soon to be even rarer after the latest ICCF cull, sorry what was I thinking, of course I meant rule change.

I have been playing chess since I was around five; I am self-taught with a bit of basic guidance from my mum at the start.

I have always loved the game and played over the board for my schools and at a local chess club. It didn’t enter my head until I was much older that this was unusual for a girl, I honestly don’t think it entered the heads of the boys I played with either, we all just wanted to play the game and win!

When my family moved to Snowdonia I pretty much stopped playing chess, logistics was an issue. I did flirt briefly with postal chess, but found it a bit slow and increasingly expensive for a student’s pocket.

With academia and professional qualifications behind me, I found I had more spare time and this reignited my passion for the game. I very quickly realised how things had moved on in the intervening time. I joined a couple of internet clubs and started my CC career. I had a very steep learning curve; brain and book are no match for computer programs and databases. My ego became, slightly dented, but I decided to stick with it and learn how to survive in this modern arena, and as they say, the rest is history.     

I find my relationship with my chessboard has changed and like so many others, the draws drive me crazy, but I think to play our game well you need a lot of skill. It is not enough to follow the computer blindly as everyone has at least one; it`s the players who combine their own flare with that of the programs and hardware that seem to get the best results.

The highlight of my CC career to date is being awarded the Lady Grandmaster title, every chess player dreams of being a grandmaster and even though I would one day like to drop the Lady from the front, I will be happy with this if I go no further.

In my humble opinion aspiring players need to do there research; ask themselves why certain players can still produce better than average results. What Openings are they using? Where did that unexpected move come from and why was it unexpected? They also need to invest in a reasonable computer and keep their software up to date. Time and tide wait for no man or woman!

When starting a tournament, I usually get a buzz of excitement. It’s a clean start an opportunity to show what you can do. My strategy depends on the event, if I’m playing for a team securing at least a draw is the priority, you don’t want to let your team mates hard work come to nothing because of your dropped points. In norm events the strategy is tailored to the required score for the sort after norm, there is little point in playing solid draws when you need at least two or three wins. That said you must always keep an eye on the rating after all that is what gets us in a position to try for the norms in the first place. 

When selecting moves I usually, if possible pick three I think are promising and then work with them to see where they take me. I’m still trying to perfect this!

The draws in CC are a problem but it is still possible to get results if you work hard, but I don’t think there is a magic formula. My current strategy is to cut my game load and work harder on the games I play, it will take a while and has meant saying no this season to a number of events.

My future aspirations are to achieve the IM title and be the last Ladies world Champion (if I make it to the final, it’s in the lap of the gods)

My favourite opening is a tricky question to answer; it is more a question of which openings work in CC. I do enjoy the KID but with mixed results!

If I could ask a question of a legendary player, it would go to Bobby Fisher.

Did you realise when Donald Byrne played  11, Bg5 in the game of the century that you had the game, were you that good so young?

As you can see from the answer to your previous question, I am a Fisher fan so I have read and re read until the pages fell out:  Fisher v Spassky Reykjavik 1972.

My favourite living player is Vladimir Kramnik but posthumously it’s Mr Fisher the flawed genius, if you can have one without the other!      



#DawnWilliamson #Interview

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Does Size Matter?

Upon reading the good news on John Clardige picking up his SIM Title I started to ponder the number of "major" (IM, SIM, and GM) titles Welsh players have secured in recent years. Furthermore from this I the started to look at how we compare to other Federations.....

So since 2014 we have secured 7 major titles, which puts us joint 20th on the list - interestingly almost all of the Federations above us had many more players. So at this point looked at the number of major titles earned as a % of the number of players that Federation have on the current rating list.  At this point things start to get very interesing.....

If we utilise the scatter chart we can see that the average is 5.4% - that is to say that for every 100 players on the rating list 5.4 titles are achieved. For viewing ease I have removed all Federations with less than 25 players.

So.......of the Big 4 Germay and Russia are significantly above the mean, USA and England significantly below - this deviation means that a Russian player is over 7 times more likely than an English one to gain a major title!

Of the next  of  Medium sized Federations, only France is above the mean.......

Moving into the smaller grouping we see a large number of smaller Federatons well above the mean, with Belarus being the "champions" at 18%!

This  rapidly leads to Why?  A few ideas....

1) The higher scoring Federations tend to be more focused on International rather than National events.

2) Access to suitable events - it is worth noting that only South Africa (which was a suprise) falls above the mean of Federations outside of the Eurozone

3) Player Development programmes - ranging from formal training camps to more informal methods such as event promotion,

4) Teamworking methods - methods utilised by some, seen as against the rules by others, until the recent clarification.

Here ends my examination of this data but for me shows vindication of the methods the WCCF have used over the lasy few year but also give me some homework to dig deeper in the secret sauce of the 11 Federations above us on this list!





#MajorTitles #SizeDoesNotMatter

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Tournament Starts

Good Luck to.....

Paul Scott in WS/MN/B/12

Austin Lockwood in WS/SIM/B/6


#AustinLockwood #PaulScott #TournamentStart

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WCCF Member Organisations Team Tournament IV

This tournament has now finished; congratulations to BCCA Lasker, SchemingMind B and BCCA Steinitz for taking first, second and third respectively.


The Member Organisation Team Tournament was fully funded by WCCF as a way to develop CC in Wales and to promote the activities of our affiliated organisations to Welsh players by giving free entries; unfortunately only five Welsh players entered the last tournament out of forty players altogether, and under the circumstances the WCCF Executive Committee decided that it was inappropriate to use WCCF funds to subsidise tournaments played by players of other national federations.

WCCF are still keen to continue to promote our partner organisations; any suggestions for the continuation of this event would be welcomed at the AGM.

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71st European Individual Championship

A solid performance from IM Tony Balshaw earned =6th place in the 71t European Individual Championships, half a point of a share of 1st place!

#EuroIndivChamps #TonyBalshaw #TournamentReport

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SIM Title for John Claridge

In picking up his 3rd SIM Norm in WS/GMN/67, John has satisfied the requirements for and become Wales 2nd SIM!

#JohnClaridge #Sim #Title

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2019 WCCF Annual General Meeting

The 2019 WCCF Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 9th November 2019 at St Mary's Priory, Abergavenny from 12:30.

WCCF Premium Members are invited to attend as full voting members; National and International Members are invited to attend as observers.

Premium Members may submit agenda items or proposals to the Secretary no later than Friday 25th October. Premium Members wishing to nominate candidates for election to the positions of President, Secretary, International Secretary, or Treasurer should send their nominations to the Secretary in advance of the meeting; all officers must be Premium Members in good standing and be prepared to retain their membership status for the duration of their tenure in office.

The full agenda will be posted on the WCCF website on Saturday 26th October.

Please confirm your attendance with the Secretary as soon as possible, as places may be limited.

Austin Lockwood
WCCF Secretary
[email protected]


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Blast from the Past

The Italian Federation produce a very attractive annual yearbook.  In this years edition we have a few nice photos of some of our players


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Norm Watch

Hot on the heels of his previous success Nick Bishop contiues with another CCE Norm in II TORNEO PABLO ATARS POR VENEZUELA 2019 GRUPO 5C

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Wales - USA Friendly delayed

The start of the Friendly match has been delayed until mid October

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