Interview: CCM Glyn Sinnett (WLS)

Jones, Ian  Wednesday, May 13, 2020




CCM Glyn Sinnett (WLS)


Glyn has  been The  Welsh Correspondence Chess Champion, he has also  played for Wales in many events over the years. He is one of the few  player to have won the Ward-Higgs and the Sinclair. Glyn`s success in over the board chess with his Nidums team, has been going on for decades. This Year he celebrates his 60th Birthday.



Briefly tell us about yourself?

After finishing school where I attended Neath Grammar School, Llangatwg Comp and Dwr y Felin Comp, I started working for British Coal in a Laboratory for 11 years and was transferred to British Coal Opencast where I was pn the staff for a further 10 years. I had to finish work at 38 years of age through ill health and been a carer for my sister ever since. I will be reaching another landmark this summer when I will be 60!


How did you get involved in Chess?

I started playing when I was 10 years of age - self taught. I also played for my local YMCA for a few years but never took it seriously until I went to sixth form when I was 16. I then played Neath for 4 years, Castell Nedd for 11 years and then Nidum for the past 28 seasons. This is my 43rd consecutive season in which I have captained my last 2 clubs for 39 years. Also run many things in that period in West Wales in which i did the rating site for 11 years and also 5 years for the WCU doing the Home Director. I have also been on many European Club Cups with Nidum - 14 in total and also three twin town events in the same period. I have also captained Wales in a non playing capacity in the European Team in 2009 in Serbia and also in 2010 and 2012 in the Olympiad in Khanty Mansiysk in Russia and in Istanbul. 

A full diary !! 


Glyn, Its been noted that you used to play proper postal chess ?

I started playing correspondence in 1982 at Castell Nedd when the club had a friendly vs Tito Velenje of Yugoslavia. It was a very slow event as only 9 moves were played on almost a year! I then started playing in the Welsh Championship for three years in the early 1990s in which I finished 3rd 2nd and then 1st. This is when correspondence chess was proper CC. No engines. 

I then played for Wales in the Olympiad and NATT tourneys in which I had mixed fortunes but my rating was a decent 2230. 


When and how did you get interested in Correspondence Chess?

I did stop playing CC in the early 2000s - but was tempted back by my club mate Ian Jones to play on the county scene. This however was when engines were rife but I have adjusted.

What do you like about Correspondence Chess?

OTB I usually stick to a handful of tried and tested openings and defences. However with CC I do try and vary all aspects of my game.

What are your Correspondence Chess Career Highlights?

I have achieved getting both my CCE and CCM titles in the past few years. It would be nice to step over the 2300 mark - perhaps its my goal.

What do you think an aspiring player should do to improve their game?

Over the board players must put the work in to improve. Every player hits a "wall" and to get past it need to put in solid work. 

In CC the same applies. But you need to be enjoying your game so that you can benefit. 


Do you have an overall strategy when you start a game or tournament?

No real strategy. Check out your opponents to what they normally play with white or black. It does get tougher as each player these days like to experiment. I do prefer to play in a team tournament however than in a tourney when you are alone - otb and cc. 


How do you select your moves, what is your general method?

Select your openings and defences to which you enjoy playing and also in which you think you can maximise your final score. At a certain point you will probably have three or four moves at one point where they will seem to be ok to play. This is when the hard work starts and you will have to go deep in your analysis to find out which variation gives you the best chance of a more positive result.

With so many draws in Correspondence Chess, what do you do to try and generate wins?

It depends on how many chances are you prepared to take. I did have one game about two years ago in which I had a very small plus. To generate any winning chances I had to imbalance the position with a two pieces for rook and pawn swap. This gave me the only chance of winning as the passed pawn on the queenside became strong and in the end won me the game vs a strong 2300 player. 


 So Glyn, what are your future aspirations in Correspondence Chess?

Reaching 2300 and perhaps having a go for some IM norms.

What are your favourite Openings and why?

OTB I always like to play both e4 and d4. My style I suppose suits d4 better. I have played the French for a number of years but in CC I do like to mix it with other players depending on past games and results.

If you could ask a Legendary player, alive or historical, one question about Chess, what would it be?

This is a toughie. I suppose I would like to ask Garry Kasparov why did he stop playing when he did? Surely playing the game he loved over going into politics makes more sense.

Do you have a Favourite Chess Book or DVD? If so what?

Queens Gambit Declined by Matthew Sadler.

Reason - it makes chess easier by answering questions in the book that you would probably ponder over.

 My Best Games by Victor Korchnoi. 

Another nice well written favourite book of mine.


Do you have a Favourite player? If so who?

Professionally - Magnus Carlsen - makes it seem so simple by playing sensible chess instead of going down lines which have been analysed to death.

Amateur - both my club mates who are IMs. Leighton Williams who suffers from cystic fibrosis - his game is superb. Without this dilapidating disease I'm sure he would have reached GM standard.

Richard Jones who now lives in Australia. Another wonderful player who changed his openings and defences on the advice of Leighton and got his title on the back of this.


Updated Wednesday, May 13, 2020 by Ian Jones

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