Graham Williams RIP

We are sorry to announce that our stationery officer, Graham Williams, has died.   Graham had been ill some time, but responding to treatment, before contracting an infection.

He had worked tirelessly for the BCCA for many years managing our stationery supplies.   We would like to express our gratitude to Graham and give our condolences to his family.


The BCCA Executive Committee has approved changes to the BCCA Master points system in which current BCCA members may obtain BCCA Senior Master, BCCA Master, and BCCA Candidate Master titles. The changes are as follows:

A BCCA Candidate Master may have transferred a maximum of twelve (12) BCCA Candidate Master points that have been obtained after receiving the BCCA Candidate Master title to become four (4) BCCA Master points i.e. at a rate of three (3) BCCA Candidate Master points for one (1) BCCA Master point. These transferred points may only be used towards a BCCA Master title. If a BCCA Candidate Master obtains any additional BCCA Candidate Master points beyond the maximum permitted transfer, then these would become worthless.

BCCA Candidate Master points obtained by such a transfer will not count towards the BCCA Senior Master title. For example, a player already has 18 BCCA Master points. That player should he/she have sufficient BCCA Candidate Master points after obtaining the BCCA Candidate Master title may only use a maximum of six (6) BCCA Candidate Master points to obtain the required two (2) BCCA Master points to obtain the BCCA Master title.

The BCCA Curator of the BCCA Master points system will be responsible for transferring BCCA Candidate Master points in accordance with these proposals. Players will not be required to apply for the transfers.

All of these proposals came into force on 20th May 2023. They will apply to all BCCA tournaments which will start or are completed after this date. Therefore, there will be no calculations applied for points already obtained by BCCA Candidate Masters who have obtained further BCCA Candidate Master points after they became a BCCA Candidate Master prior to the date referred to above.

Please remember that BCCA members may only obtain BCCA points towards the BCCA titles providing they retain their BCCA membership.

If you have any questions about the BCCA Master points system then please contact Ian M Pheby at

New Member Incentives

The future of the BCCA relies on encouraging new members to join.   Once someone becomes a member, we hope that the excellent value for money will become evident and the new joiner will stay and become a long term member.

Accordingly, we do not wish new joiners to be discouraged from joining at any time in the year due to the seasonal timetable resulting in them not obtaining full value for their subscription in the first year.   The Executive Committee has therefore decided that for a new joiner (i.e. someone who has not previously been at any time) joining on or after 1st March in any year, their initial subscription will pay for membership until 31st August in the following calendar year, ensuring that the new joiner obtains at least one full year’s value for their initial membership.

BCCA teams Results 7th April 2023

Champions League  CL9
% +/- Team results FG RG Place
C1 BCCA White Knights 51 1 10 47 1 9
C2 BCCA ENDGAMERS 46 -3 7 48 0 10
C4 BCCA BUCCANEERS 53 3 15 48 0 4
C5 BCCA BLACK KNIGHTS 55 5 14 47 1 6
C8 BCCA DRAGONS 53 3 15 48 0 5
7th British WS Tournament
Div  1 BCCA Knights 52 1 3 17 7 1
BCCA Kings 44 -1 0 10 14 6
Div  2 BCCA Strategists 60 4 5 19 5 1
BCCA Endgamers 56 2 3 15 9 2
BCCA Griffins 50 0 2 15 9 3
BCCA Tacticians 53 1 0 14 10 7
 SCCA League  2023
Div  1 BCCA Tigers 0 0 0 1 12 3
BCCA Panthers 100 1 0 1 11 1
BCCA Leopards 100 2 1 2 10 1

Postal Play

All members should either have received or will receive shortly a note relating to postal play.

For many years, webserver play has predominated.   This is for good reason as:

  1. Webserver is immensely quicker than postal. There is an inherent delay in domestic postal play of around a week for each complete move.   For a 30 move game, that equates to an additional seven months of play simply to transmit moves.


  1. This is exacerbated for international play. Depending on the countries involved, postal play can take years longer than playing through the webserver.


  1. Further, using the postal system is significantly more expensive than webserver. There are charges imposed by the ICCF for running webserver events, but these are insignificant when compared with the cost of postage, particularly for international games.


  1. These problems are magnified by the uncertainty of postal communication and the impact of delays caused by industrial action and other logistical difficulties.


  1. In addition to the problems with playing, postal play is increasingly difficult and time consuming to manage and involves substantially more work than a webserver event, in part due to resolving the problems arising from playing through the post rather than online.


  1. In turn, this is reflected in there being a diminishing number of members who are qualified to organise or direct postal events.

For these reasons, the Executive Committee has decided that we will cease to sponsor postal play with effect from the beginning of the next membership year, i.e. 1st September 2023.

Further details are contained in the note to members.

SCCA League

The BCCA is seeking to encourage more team play to give members the opportunity to play more events with a greater variety of opponents.

With that in mind, we are entering three teams in the SCCA League for the first time, being:

BCCA Tigers

BCCA Panthers

BCCA Leopards

Medal Tournaments – Get Your Entries in Now!

We are delighted to announce that entries are now being taken for the BCCA Medal Tournaments.

Entrants can register for either the Postal or Webserver competition, or both!

The registration fee is £3.00 for Webserver and £2.00 for Postal and remains very good value with no price increase.

All members should have received an entry form either by email or letter. This can be returned to Keith Kitson either with a cheque for the fee made payable to BCCA or remittance can be made on the website via PayPal.   Alternatively, for those who prefer, we can supply the sort code and account number for an internet transfer. Please contact Keith Kitson in the first instance.

Keith’s postal address is:

39 Carters Close


Herts SG2 9QA

Entries will be accepted up to the closing date of Saturday the 18th February 2023.

We expect the competition to commence on or shortly after the 1st March 2023.

This competition has been very popular amongst the membership and we expect a good entry from members for the 2023 competition.

ICCF Rule Change

The ICCF has announced a significant change to the rules relating to players exceeding time limits.   The position is that:

A player who loses any game by exceeding a time limit (ETL) will now be restricted from registering for any new event on the server.  The time period for that restriction is either 30 days or 90 days from the time of that ETL:

(1) If the player is not already under such a restriction, then the time period is 30 days.

(2) If the player was already under such a restriction (involving either a 30- or 90-day restriction) when the player’s most recent ETL occurred, the restriction is for 90 days from the most recent ETL.

BCCA Tournaments, Matches and Ratings

Following the recent AGM and Executive Committee Meeting, changes are being implemented for BCCA Tournaments and Matches.

These are summarised in the article set out below.


BCCA Tournaments, Matches and Ratings

The AGM of the BCCA was held on 1st October, followed by a meeting of the Executive Committee.   A report on both meetings will be published on the website shortly.

The meetings considered the operation of BCCA Tournaments, matches and ratings.    This note provides a summary of the discussions and decisions taken.

BCCA Tournaments: Evolution

The organisation of correspondence tournaments is at the heart of the activities of the BCCA.   As playing trends develop, the BCCA evolves to meet changing demands of players.   As a result, a number of decisions were taken:

William Mason

The William Mason Championship, Candidates and Reserves constitute a major event on the British CC chess calendar.   This year saw an 18% increase in overall participation.   This is an excellent development but it also highlighted some organisational and structural challenges.

Consequently, the EC has decided to review the operation of the tournament with a view to:

  • Enlarging entries further.


  • Increasing the strength of participation, particularly in the Championship while continuing to offer opportunities for weaker players.


  • Streamlining the administration of the events to make entering and participating as smooth as feasible.

Further details of the reforms will be publicised to members shortly.


The medal tournaments continue to be successful.   In order to encourage more entrants and simplify entering, the EC decided on a minor change, namely to allow entries at the same time as membership renewals, meaning that the entry and payment of entry fees can occur simultaneously with membership renewal.

Continuous Tournament

It is intended that a new continuous tournament be established.    The EC is working on developing proposals and will be seeking to introduce the new event shortly.

Further details will be provided in due course.


The handicap tournament is the longest running continuous CC event that we are aware of, having been playing since 1906.

It continues to be successful, but to facilitate its effective operation, the playing system has been changed to the Silli structure.  It is hoped that this will help to boost entries.

Gambit, Counter Gambit and Endgame Tournaments

We have seen a steady decline in participation in the Gambit, Counter Gambit and Endgame tournaments.   There was insufficient interest for them to be held last season and they have now been discontinued unless and until there is sufficient demand for them to be reinstated.


In addition to tournaments, the BCCA fields teams in match events.   We participate in the Champions League and the British Webserver Team Tournament, both sets of teams being managed by Stan Grayland, and we intend to join the Scottish Webserver League this season.

We also organise ad hoc friendly matches, although our focus will be on the league competitions which can more easily be organised with opposition of a comparable standard.


We seek to have BCCA games rated by the ICCF wherever feasible.   Due to difficulties with a change to ICCF rules applicable to tournaments with players from different Federations, we experienced difficulties having our tournaments rated.

Consequently, through the endeavours of Stan Grayland, we created a system of BCCA ratings, publicised on our website.  In the meantime, we have been working with Federations to allow ICCF ratings to apply more extensively and, with thanks to Phill Beckett, have made substantial progress.

As a result, it has been decided to discontinue establishing BCCA ratings as most tournaments and matches will now be ICCF rated.    Subject to confirmation with the ICCF, we expect the position for the coming season and subsequently to be:


William Mason Championship, Candidates and Reserves


Postal Championship


Medal Tournaments




Continuous Tournament




Champions League


Scottish Webserver




British Webserver Team Tournament Rated


Other Matches TBC for each match