Welsh Correspondence Chess Federation

Rydym yn Ffrindiau - Amici Sumus

No Bragging Please, We're British!

Russell Sherwood  Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New Article

Form is Temporary, Class is Permanent

Russell Sherwood  Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Article

Clough vs Grieve - Some Additional Discussion

Craig Evans  Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I am aware that some of my analysis articles have gotten many people talking (usually about how they will inflict revenge!), but it was lovely to hear from the protagonist himself recently about some additional information regarding his Ponziani preparation.

Hello Craig Evans.  Thank you for your sympathetic and insightful articles featuring my recent Ponziani games. I agree with everything you say about the probability that the Fraser Gambit (5.....Bc5) is likely to be a refutation of the Ponziani, given that White has little option to avoid it after 3....Nf6. There is an interesting prologue to this game v. Grieve . I have for several years been running a thematic choice correspondence tourney for the BCCA which offers Gambit and Counter choices from a range of options. This year (my last before retiring from this post) I included the Fraser Gambit for the first time. My introductory comments in the BCCA journal 'Correspondence Chess No. CC196 Summer 2016) said that Taylor and Hayward ('Play the Ponziani' 2009) had concluded the gambit to be "basically unsound". My view differed and I went on to write 'Perhaps that is also the conclusion reached by various other reputable modern writers on the Ponziani who have chosen to completely ignore the move 5....Bc5 in their analyses. Well don't believe them! Fraser's move 5...Bc5 is extremely dangerous for both sides and leads to fascinating double-edged chess of uncertain outcome. Have a go and reach your own verdict on this neglected, and I believe underestimated, 19th Century gambit'.

Given that I had never actually faced this Gambit before, It was then something of a shock to find that my opponent in the Ward Higgs (Grieve) confronted me with it this year!!  Moreover I believe his 7....Bb6 is a significant improvement over the Taylor and Hayward 7....bxc6 mainline recommendation. So I had to work hard on my analysis and concluded that my 12 Qd5   c6 13. Qd2 was the best hope (to draw!!) A possible desperate alternative here might be 12. Qxb6 Rxb6 13. Kxf2, but really I think there is no way forward for White who is simply struggling to draw in all variations. I thought you might like to hear this little story. I shall still play the Ponziani OTB and perhaps occasionally CC , but since you have perhaps made this gambit more popular I may have to be better prepared to meet it more often! Incidentally, Russell played in my Gambit Tourney, but I've not yet asked him whether he tried or faced the Fraser Gambit!  

Some very interesting stuff from Fred; it is a relief to know my feelings about the gambit's strength were not misplaced!

In terms of 'resurrecting' the line for white, 12.Nbd2 and 12.Na3 seem to warrant closer attention - things are not as clear as they seem in these lines. 12.Nbd2 was discussed very briefly in the analysis to the game (see my previous posts!) as leading to an advantage with an edge for black; however, this is not necessarily a won endgame and OTB may be well worth a crack. 12. Na3... well, I leave analysing that as an exercise to any interested readers, but the idea is to again go for a material balance of two pieces against rook and two pawns, where white has a pair of bishops as some compensation for any nominal material defecit. Any engine will help the reader find the only playable continuation (for both sides almost!) - you can judge for yourself whether you think the endgame for white is worth a shot!

Finally, I hope that the gambit doesn't put Fred (or others) off the opening - I think it will remain a well-kept secret on these pages for some time, and there's something romantic about openings like the Ponziani being played still in the 21st Century - it would be a shame for it to be disposed of in this brutal fashion!

It's a Yeo-sy game.

Craig Evans  Monday, June 5, 2017

I've accused Gareth of playing boring chess in the past. Many times. However, he provided this game (and some excellent part-analyses) to show that he is not all stodgy openings and draws on move 10... a very impressive piece of work Gareth!

Esko Nuutilainen Memorial Team Tournament

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, June 4, 2017

Good Luck to the Welsh Team

Drawn in a tough group with the Czech Republic, Russia, Romania, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia, France, Canada, Venezuela and Turkey.


1. CCE Dale Cannon

2. Aytac Yuce

3. Paul Scott

4. Paul Keevil

5. Craig Evans

6. Colin Denham


More detailed analysis for Welsh Players under Articles/Russell Sherwood


2017 Welsh Championship has Started

Austin Lockwood  Friday, June 2, 2017

You can follow the games here:

Championship Section

Qualification Section

Good Luck!

Russell Sherwood  Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Good luck to David Guy in the forthcoming 1st European Deaf Individual Chess Championship and 23rd European Deaf Club Team Chess Championship in Lund, Sweden.


The Welsh Correspondence Chess Championship

Austin Lockwood  Monday, May 8, 2017

The Welsh Correspondence Chess Championship will be restarted in 2017 after a break of eighteen years.

Entry to the 2017 Championship is open to all Welsh chess players; there will be no entry fee for this season only.

The tournament will be played online using the ICCF webserver https://www.iccf.com

All players must be registered under the Welsh flag.  Player who are not yet registered with ICCF may do so by following the “New Player” link under the sign in box.

There will be a championship section of between seven and eleven players and one or more qualification section.  The winner of the championship section will receive the title of “2017 Welsh Correspondence Chess Champion” and an engraved trophy; the following cash prizes will also be available:

  • Winner: £30
  • Runner up: £15
  • Third place: £5

The WCCC is a qualifying event for the British Correspondence Chess Championship.

The time control will be ten moves in 40 days, with duplication after 20 days and 45 days leave.

All applicable ICCF rules will apply, for the full rules, please see

The tournament director will be Marc Wakeham.

For a list of previous winners, please see http://welshccf.org.uk/content/87

To enter the Welsh Correspondence Chess Championship, please contact the WCCF secretary, Austin Lockwood by email: secretary@welshccf.org.uk

The closing date for entries is 1st June 2017, the tournament will start shortly after this date.

Entries to date

ID Title Name Grade
810202 LGM Helen Sherwood 2352
810161 CCM Russell Sherwood 2337
810209 CCM Gareth Yeo 2324
810212 CCE Alex Sherwood 2309
810233   Paul Scott 2162
810219   Colin Denham 2152
810228   Marybeth Baron 2126
219118   Andy Robertshaw 2064
810137   John Thornton 2059 (FIDE)
810237   Nasir Rizvi 2044 (FIDE)
810243   Craig Evans 1997 (FIDE)
810247   Paul Hatchett 1989 (FIDE)
810192   Margaret Baron 1854
810222   Andrew Smith 1849
810197   Vaughan Thomas 1828
810220   Jonathan Davies 1786
810102   David Guy 1660
810251   Timothy Soar 1646 (FIDE)
810188   Bill Flew 1625
810248   Robert Hurn 1607 (FIDE)
810235   Stephen Ford 1576
810217   Michael Richards 1459
810176   Malcolm Chugg 1372
810216   Eleanor Collins 1282 (WCU)
810249   Bence Szakmány 1152 (WCU)
810232   Philip McMahon  

Please download the flier below and distribute widely!


Updated Tuesday, May 30, 2017 by Austin Lockwood

No Comments

They call me Bond!

Russell Sherwood  Monday, May 29, 2017

An interesting new report on player development for Welsh eyes only under

Articles/Russell Sherwood

Kasparov in Wales!

Russell Sherwood  Sunday, May 28, 2017

Gary Kasparov attended the Hay on Way Festival today, promoting his new book related to his match with Deep Blue and Machine Intelligence in general.

For a limited period, this is available to watch, free of charge, on the BBC website at https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/enwmzc/acts/aqhb3d 


(At the time of writing the video was waiting to be uploaded, this typically happens within 24 hours!)