Chess Mail logo Friend of ICCF award  
Editor: Dr Tim Harding
  Dr. Tim Harding   J. H. Blackburne     Paul Morphy   Correspondence Chess history book   Captain W. D. Evans

What's New Here

4 (previously 3rd) June: The Seniors news page is updated with the results of the European Senior Championships which ended yesterday in Italy.

2 June: The definite venue and dates for the individual World Senior Championships have at last been announced, and both are a surprise. Our Seniors news, Seniors calendar and Seniors introduction page have all been updated.

2 June: Our Irish news page is also updated.

26 May: We have again updated our Seniors news (featuring the European Championships which started today) and our Seniors calendar which has several updates at last.

17 May (previously 2, 12 and 15 May): We have again updated our Seniors news (reporting on the English Seniors especially) and our Seniors calendar. The official invitation and regulations for the World Senior Team Championships are now available and the official website for the event will go live at the end of May according to FIDE.

21 April: Our Seniors news and Seniors calendar were updated today (see links below) but there was very little to report until mid-May.

6 April: The venue and dates for the World Senior Teams Championships were announced today.

28 March: There is little to report but again we updated our Seniors calendar page. The news page has changed a lot as we report on the latest announcements from FIDE's Events Commission. It looks as if we may get a decision about this year's Seniors championships within the next few weeks, and about time!

22 (previously 15) March: There is little to report but we updated our Seniors news and calendar pages (see links below). Our Irish news is also updated today.

7 March (previously 15 & 23 February): Our weekly updates of the Seniors news and calendar pages, and Irish news.

22 February: John Elburg's review of UltraCorr2023 is now available. The time-limited discount offer to old customers has now expired.

8 February: The FIDE Events Commission have published the four submissions to host the 2023 World Senior Team Championships. On our Seniors news page we discuss the pros and cons of each bid.

8 February (previously 29 January): Irish news updated.

29 January: The official invitation for the European Senior Teams Championships (Poland in July) has now been published and can be downloaded from our Seniors calendar.

26 January: We have reviewed all German tournaments in our Senior calendar because there have been several changes in recent weeks, some apparently due to a change in dates of the German national championships. Today we checked all events previously listed against the German calendar and and also added the unofficial ACO 50+ "world championship" which is essentially a holiday event.

We also revised our Seniors introduction page today and tidied up the Seniors news page.

25 January: We have received a reply from the Events Commission to our submission: see our Seniors news page. Also we added the provisional dates of the 2023 British Seniors Championships to our calendar.

25 January: Image of the new softcover edition of Steinitz in London substituted for the original on the side panel of several pages.

23 January: We have added a page with further information about the editing and contents of our UltraCorr2023 database.

Updates made today include the following pages: UltraCorr2023 introduction, Seniors news, Seniors introduction, and Seniors calendar. FIDE now have to decide quickly between four countries bidding to host the World Senior Team Championships this year.

20 January: The new edition of our correspondence chess game database, UltraCorr 2023 was released late this evening, price 60 Euro. This is a downloadable ChessBase format database with over 2,450,000 games for a much lower price than ChessBase's rival product. Last year's customers have been sent an email with a time-limited discount offer.

20 January: The softcover corrected edition of Tim Harding's book Steinitz in London is now on sale from the publisher, McFarland, and in a few weeks should become more generally available from retailers.

20 January: Our Seniors news and Seniors calendar were updated today. Details of the English Seniors Championships are now released but there is still no news about the British Seniors or FIDE's two World Senior competitions.

10 January 2023: We have updated our Seniors introduction, news and calendar pages. As we are still awaiting decisions from FIDE about its events, the main changes are to the calendar. There have been considerable alterations there: some additions and an important date change, so please study this page carefully if it is relevant to your plans for the year.

10 January: Preliminary announcement about UltraCorr2023. We are working towards a release date around 21 January; our 2022 customers will be emailed with a special offer as soon as it is ready.

10 January: Irish news and arbiter page updated.

Most of the entries from 2022 have now been removed from this listing. We will retain the following for a weeks more.

21 December 2022: We have updated our Seniors introduction, news and calendar pages. Thanks to readers who sent us new information.

10 (previously 8) December: After a busy ten days or so since returning home from the World Seniors congress in Assisi, we have updated several pages, in particular Irish news, our Seniors introduction, calendar and news pages. We also finalised our reports on the Senior Championships (see links below) with some further edits made today.

Assisi was a splendid place to visit but unfortunately we, and many other players we spoke with, experienced serious problems with the organisation of the congress, and we have added some comments about this to our Assisi report page.

We have now split this into three pages, with separate reports on the 65+ championship and the 50+ tournament. We report on the dramatic last round fight for all four titles and include two games from the 65+.

Many players in Assisi have thanked us for running these pages and asked us when and where next year's three "missing" FIDE events will be held, but unfortunately the answer still is: no decision! FIDE really needs to get its act together on this.

29 September: McFarland publishers are preparing a softcover edition of Steinitz in London to be released some time eraly in 2023. It can be pre-ordered on their website.

4 July: The Candidates tournament ended in Madrid. Please read our final report.

30 (previously 28 & 29) June: The World Senior Team Championships ended yesterday and our final report shows that England won both tournaments and are also 50+ women's champions.

9 & 11 June: Updates to our main page about Steinitz in London, reviews page, the errata page and research notes.

3 June: Updates to our reviews page for Steinitz in London.

3 June: Our arbiter page now includes a download link for the 2022 FIDE Arbiter Manual.

7 May: Frankenstein and Dracula at the chessboard: once more we revive this old legend.

2 April: Steinitz book reviews page updated with some extracts from the latest notice in Quarterly for Chess History 23.

21 March: Added a new item to our Steinitz research notes page, concerning the Vienna 1882 tournament.

24-25 February: Russia launches an unprovoked criminal invasion of Ukraine. Chess24 was first to report that FIDE has decided to seek a new host nation for the 2022 Chess Olympiad which was due to be played in Moscow. Another report says some have called for FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich (currently in Uganda), to resign.

Because of the importance of the game of chess in Russian culture, it is particularly important that chess players elsewhere in the world stand up and be counted.

23 February (previously 9th, 15th, 16th & 18 February:) Revised our Steinitz errata page.

Several points which are not strictly speaking errors in the text can be found in a new page of research notes which we may develop in future. (Four new items were added to that page this week.) We show, for example, that purports to have the missing game Winawer-Steinitz, Baden-Baden 1870 but they are wrong and should delete it from their database.

1 February: Released version 2 of our UltraCorr2022 database with over 7,000 more new games and other improvements.

21 January: Our UltraCorr2022 database was launched.


We are only retaining a few pre-2022 links but those mentioned below are to pages that are still worth reading.

10 December 2021: World Championship match ends in a crushing win for Magnus Carlsen. We have now finalised that page and updated our page about qualifiers for the 2022 Candidates.

7 December 2021: Obituary of Jonathan Penrose including Tim Harding's complete interview from 2000 with him about his postal chess career (PDF format).

22 November 2021: Obituary of Grigory Sanakoev, the 12th correspondence chess world champion.

8 October 2021: Photograph of the elderly J. H. Blackburne and his third wife posted on our new Blackburne family page.

27 September 2021: Tim's personal home page updated; this was long overdue (but needs to be redone soon in 2023).

30 August 2021: Obituary page for the late GM Evgeny Sveshnikov.

26 August 2021: Further update of our page about notices of Steinitz in London. The latest glowing review appeared in American Chess Magazine.

26 August 2021: Our links page updated for the first time in 11 months. Probably needs more work; please advise us of errors and broken links.

12 August 2021: Updated our page about notices of Steinitz in London. Somehow we had overlooked a 4-star review by GM Matthew Sadler which was published earlier this year in New In Chess magazine.

23 April 2021: Added a new page about notices of Steinitz in London. Including a translation of glowing review in Polish magazine Mat saying "This book is a milestone in the literature of chess history."

12 February 2021: Another new article about problems with later Steinitz games in databases.

7 February 2021: Start of a new series about errors in historic databases. Lasker v Steinitz match games go under the microscope. We also updated our research index and work in progress pages.

4 February 2021: We have updated our Steinitz errata page, also mentioning a letter which provides more information about Viennese chess a few years before Steinitz.

18 November 2020: Tim's article about Steinitz has been published in New In Chess magazine.

29 October 2020: The 7-part Netflix television drama The Queen's Gambit, based on the novel by Walter Tevis about a female chess prodigy in the 1960s, is beautifully made and we highly recommend it.

24 October 2020: Posted quotes from Richard James's review of Steinitz in London.

14 September 2020: New information added to our page about Steinitz in London. Our author copies arrived last week.

31 August 2020: Publishers McFarland announce that Steinitz in London is in stock at last.

4 July 2020: Tim Harding was officially notified that his application for the title of FIDE Arbiter is approved. Tim's homepage is also updated.

3 July (previously 26 June) 2020: FIDE decided to approve an online Seniors event but as yet there are no details of when or how it will be organised. (It never happened.)

19 June 2020: Update on books by the late Mark Dvoretsky. A fifth, posthumous, edition of his Endgame Manual has just been published.

5 May 2020 (new article): How Sir Theodore Tylor, the blind chess master, was portrayed in a novel.

30 March 2020: Early Blackburne game with H. E. Atkins turns up. More Blackburne game corrections sent in by readers. We also posted on that page today PDF copies of the birth and death certificates of John Blackburn (who died in infancy), a brother of the chess master whose existence was unknown to us when we wrote our biography.

27 January 2018: The death occurred of Max Zavanelli, a leading figure in ICCF and American correspondence chess for decades, and a major supporter of Chess Mail in the years when we published our printed magazine. Max had been battling cancer for a long time. The ICCF website has an obituary. Along with George Pyrich and Carlos Flores Gutierrez (see below), who both died just before Christmas, Max was a major figure in guiding the transition of ICCF from the postal to the internet era.

13 January 2018: Made numerous minor corrections to our pages about 7-man endgames. There is a wealth of chess here for anyone who has not yet studied these endings.

24 December 2017: Sad news of the death of an old friend, CC-IM George Pyrich (1951-2017), the Financial Director of ICCF (pictured right). We met George at numerous ICCF Congresses between 1994 and 2015 and always enjoyed his company. Latterly he lived in Spain but he was a native of Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. His death is a sad loss to the correspondence chess community worldwide. The ICCF website carries an obituary by Scottish CC Association President, Iain Mackintosh, and also an obituary by Alan Borwell of Carlos Flores Gutierrez, another old friend and major figure of his generation in CC. See also our Hans Berliner obituary.

24 October 2017: Updated Blackburne book information, with the recently rediscovered finish to the game Blackburne-Jacobs from the 1904 British Championship. (Thanks to John Saunders.) Also Blackburne's last published game, from his final visit to Glasgow.