All posts by Neil Limbert

BCCA General Secretary, Editor of "Correspondence Chess" : BCCA & ICCF Tournament Director; ICCF International Arbiter (IA) : ICCF Qualifications Commissioner for 4 years from 2009-13.

Gambit & Counter-Gambit Tournaments

Only four players braved the Gambit tournament last year, with two playing in both tournaments.  Two games remain in progress, and it is a nailbiter:

Counter Gambit Tournament 2017-18  

1   Sherwood,Russell      2.0/2     2   Akrill,Richard     0.0/2

Gambit Tournament 2017-18

D Gallimore & R Sherwood 4/4 with 2 games remaining (against each other), D Witt & R Akrill 1/6.

For the 2018-19 season the BCCA are offering these events as webserver events for the first time!  These tournaments are unrated (as are all Thematic tournaments) and we are hoping that the switch to webserver will increase the number of players willing to give this event a try.

The themes for 2018-19 can be seen here  (scroll down). Controller Alex Relyea has provided an interesting mix of opportunities for gambit play. Please support this event by entering!

Renewal for the 2018-19 season with the chance the enter next season’s events will open on this website at the beginning of June.


Players Required for BCCA teams in British WS Team Tournament

The 5th British Webserver Team Tournament will start in July and I am raising BCCA teams to enter – open to all BCCA members so do you want to play? As usual, BCCA will be covering all entry fees, so it is free to members! Players must maintain their BCCA membership throughout the tournament.

The full tournament announcement can be seen here:

Each team consists of 4 players, and each player will probably play 6 games each. So it is more of a commitment than your usual friendly match. Last season, BCCA entered 8 teams (32 players) with mixed fortunes. Each season lasts about 18 months. You can see last season’s crosstables here:-

Division 1:
Division 2:
Division 3:
Division 4:

If you played for a team last season, I will be happy to include you in the same team (if you wish to be) provided you scored at least 50%. If you scored less than that, I reserve the right to move you to a different team. Spare places will be accorded on a rating basis.

For this coming season, the BCCA Knights & the BCCA Sovereigns will be in Division 1. The BCCA Kings will be in Division 2. The BCCA Griffins, BCCA Endgamers, BCCA Strategists will be in Division 3. The BCCA Tacticians & the BCCA Cavaliers will be in Division 4. If I have enough players for a new team (or teams), they may have to start in the lowest Division although the organisers will allocate spare places in a higher division to the top rated teams in a place becomes available.

If you wish to play, I ask you to be as flexible as possible (regarding the team you wish to play in, or the division you wish to play in) so that I can match up the teams strength-wise as much as possible, and to give everyone good enjoyable chess.

Please bear in mind that there may be one or two players who miss out if I don’t get exactly the right number of players as a multiple of 4.

One last thing: the tournament will use the new Triple Block Time control: full details can be found here:

So, do you want to play? If yes, please let Neil Limbert know by June 3rd at the latest.

Correspondence Chess Book Review – highly recommended!

534 pages, Softcover £10.14 through Amazon

Highly recommended! Chess books specifically concerning correspondence chess are quite rare. Even rarer are game collections by specialist CC players, so this book is a very welcome addition to this list.

Mike Read was born in 1960 & was a strong junior chess player OTB in the 1970’s. It was in the late 70’s and early 80’s that Mike began to specialise in correspondence chess and this game collection covers games from 1978 to 2000, at which time Mike was forced to abandon competitive chess due to health issues.

Mike was a very strong player! He earned the ICCF Senior International Master Title & had an ICCF rating of 2571 at its best. All this without ever owning a computer or using one during his games. So this collection is very special as all the annotations come from Mike’s own brain, and his thoughts at the time.

This is a thick book! Over 500 pages for only a little over £10 is an excellent bargain at a time when most new chess books are £20 or thereabouts. The introduction lasts only four pages & there then follows a one page summary of his results in his competitive CC career. The rest of the book is jam-packed with games & annotations.

The quality and strength of his opponents grew as his career progressed and the book is laid out chronologically, so you will find the strongest opponents in the latter half of the book. Having said that, I really enjoyed playing some his early games where tactics abound! Some of these early opponents are still playing BCCA chess today such as Peter Tibbert, Iain Gould & Peter Coast. His later opponents include GM Tonu Tiits of Estonia, GM Matthias Rufenacht of Switzerland (still active & playing today) and GM (and World Champion) Joop van Oosterom of the Netherlands.

This book is strongly recommended for all players of all strengths, whether correspondence chess players or not. You cannot fail to learn from the quality of Mike’s annotations.

New BCCA Candidate Master – Robert Bruce

Robert Bruce has been awarded the BCCA Candidate Master Title after reaching the magical 20 CM points. Congratulations to Bob! These points were achieved over a 5 year period winning four Class 1 Trio’s, one Class 2 Trio, a Bronze Medal tournament &, just now, a Reserves section of the BCCA Championship.

The full list of BCCA Title holders can be seen here

The current Points totals of all BCCA members who have not yet been awarded a BCCA Title can be seen here

Allan Gardner wins 2017 Silver Medal tournament

Congratulations to Allan Gardner who wins this tournament with a score of 6.5/8 – well played Allan! Allan wins an engraved Silver Medal.
2nd place goes to Jun Xiang Tee who is awarded 6 Candidate Master points (taking his total to 15).
3rd place goes to Robert Rozanski who is awarded 3 Candidate Master points (taking his total to 12).

The final crosstable can be seen here

New Candidate Master – William Lindberg

BCCA overseas member (USA) Bill Lindberg has been awarded the BCCA Candidate Master Title after he has accumulated the necessary 20 BCCA Candidate Master points. Congratulations to Bill!

He won four Class 1 Trio’s and came 1st (or =1st) in three Class 2 Trio’s. He came 3rd in the 2016 Silver Medal tournament & he has just won a Reserves tournament. All these tournaments help him acquire Candidate Master points.

You can see the full list of BCCA Title holders here

You can also see a full list of all Title points awarded for every BCCA player who has not yet been awarded the Title here It is a long list – over 100 players on the Candidate Master points list!

Free Chess Books!

BCCA member Bill Clews wishes to dispose of his chess book collection. In his words:

“If any member would like to collect them I have a 6′ 6″ bookshelf of chess books, totally free. The usual sort of collection – openings, middle game and endings, plus game collections etc. Some old and some more recent. Time of collection can be arranged through email.”

Bill lives in Leyland (between Manchester & Preston).

Anyone interested should contact me (Neil Limbert) first.

BCCA v Scheming Mind: Do you want to play?

I am organising a BCCA team to play a return Friendly Match against a team from Scheming Mind & all BCCA members are invited to play in the team.  Each player will play only two games against one opponent. Play will be on the webserver, standard time controls, and I am hoping to start in early April.

All rating strengths can hopefully be accommodated from 2400 all the way down. The last match (which still has one game ongoing – see: ) has been convincingly won by Scheming Mind so we are looking for revenge!

If you wish to play, please contact me within the next 10 days. I look forward to hearing from you. Please note that, if the numbers from both teams do not match, I may have to leave some players out or ask some players to double up. I will see how it goes.

Stan Cranmer Funeral

Stan Cranmer’s funeral will be held on February 9 at 1pm at the Mansfield Crematorium. Any BCCA member planning to attend are asked to contact the family first to let them know. Contact details available via Neil Limbert.