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Neil McDonald
N McDonald 
Olympia Conference Centre, London 6-14 December, 2014
Photograph courtesy of Ray Morris-Hill
Number of games in database: 178
Years covered: 1985 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2407 (2406 rapid)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2495

Overall record: +60 -61 =53 (49.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 4 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (31) 
    B42 B48 B90 B33 B47
 Ruy Lopez (11) 
    C84 C77 C67 C60 C63
 French Defense (10) 
    C05 C18 C09 C02 C03
 Reti System (8) 
    A04 A05
 Sicilian Najdorf (7) 
    B90 B99 B96 B94
 Sicilian Taimanov (6) 
    B48 B47
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (36) 
    C05 C10 C18 C03 C01
 French Tarrasch (13) 
    C05 C03 C07
 French (11) 
    C10 C11 C12 C00
 Dutch Defense (9) 
    A81 A88 A90 A89 A86
 French Winawer (8) 
    C18 C15 C17 C16
 Sicilian (6) 
    B33 B50 B32 B30 B93
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Kasparov vs N McDonald, 1986 1/2-1/2
   S Zagrebelny vs N McDonald, 2000 0-1
   N McDonald vs P Thipsay, 2001 1-0
   C Cobb vs N McDonald, 2002 0-1
   N McDonald vs R J Dive, 1994 1-0
   N McDonald vs J Hawkins, 2011 1/2-1/2
   W J Taylor vs N McDonald, 2015 0-1
   J Rowson vs N McDonald, 1998 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   London Chess Classic (2013)
   London Chess Classic Open (2012)
   29th Cappelle-la-Grande (2013)
   London Chess Classic (Open) (2014)

   A Malachi vs A Bjornsson, 1969

   J Hawkins vs N McDonald (Dec-13-15) 1-0, rapid
   Kasimdzhanov vs N McDonald (Dec-13-15) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   N McDonald vs A Vuilleumier (Dec-11-15) 0-1
   D Sadzikowski vs N McDonald (Dec-10-15) 1-0
   N McDonald vs J Hawkins (Dec-09-15) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Neil McDonald
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FIDE player card for Neil McDonald

(born Jan-21-1967, 50 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]
GM, coach and chess writer.

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 178  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. J Horner vs N McDonald  ½-½42 1985 BCF-chB08 Pirc, Classical
2. N McDonald vs Tal 0-144 1986 TbilisiA04 Reti Opening
3. Anand vs N McDonald 1-044 1986 London/Leningrad (WM)C18 French, Winawer
4. Kasparov vs N McDonald ½-½55 1986 Great BritainE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
5. N McDonald vs Romanishin  0-131 1986 TbilisiA07 King's Indian Attack
6. Blatny vs N McDonald 0-143 1986 ChEjC18 French, Winawer
7. N McDonald vs Anand  ½-½30 1986 OakhamA05 Reti Opening
8. M Brooks vs N McDonald 1-018 1987 St LouisB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
9. N McDonald vs D Norwood  ½-½75 1987 Zug (Switzerland)A01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
10. N McDonald vs Hebden  0-185 1987 Lloyds Bank 8A04 Reti Opening
11. N McDonald vs Joel Benjamin  ½-½42 1987 London LloydsA04 Reti Opening
12. N McDonald vs Kudrin  ½-½32 1987 London (England)A04 Reti Opening
13. I Rogers vs N McDonald  1-048 1987 BCF-chE92 King's Indian
14. N McDonald vs Judit Polgar ½-½16 1988 HastingsB47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
15. Hebden vs N McDonald 0-133 1989 Ch-ENG Plymouth UENGOC17 French, Winawer, Advance
16. N McDonald vs Chandler  0-131 1989 Plymouth (England)B33 Sicilian
17. N McDonald vs Adams  ½-½45 1989 PlymouthB10 Caro-Kann
18. S Smagin vs N McDonald  1-054 1990 Lloyds Bank opC05 French, Tarrasch
19. D Norwood vs N McDonald  1-046 1990 Ch Great BritainA07 King's Indian Attack
20. M Krasenkow vs N McDonald  1-032 1991 xE97 King's Indian
21. N McDonald vs P Bachmayr  1-045 1991 ZugC30 King's Gambit Declined
22. N McDonald vs C Flear  1-021 1991 HastingsC34 King's Gambit Accepted
23. Adams vs N McDonald  1-060 1991 London LloydsA45 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Wojtkiewicz vs N McDonald  0-148 1991 DouaiE69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
25. Salov vs N McDonald  0-140 1992 It (active)A48 King's Indian
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 178  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | McDonald wins | McDonald loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-02-06  WMD:
Jul-02-06  mack: Heh - very subtle - but of our country's active grandmasters, Neil's ranked the lowest isn't he?
Jul-02-06  WMD: Is he active?
Premium Chessgames Member
  biglo: FIDE 2374. Looks like he has been inactive for several years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiskeyrebel: active or not, his "main line Caro-Kann" book is fantastic. He's a great teacher. I find myself remembering positions (and more importantly the strategic concepts related to them) from the games he discussed in it many months later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <EnglishOpeningc4: One of the best opening book writers of all time> A fine chess writer all around.
Dec-31-06  Karpova: What does the <R> stand for - <Ronald>?
Mar-15-07  unsound: Just to echo a 3-year-old comment, I find McDonald's opening books to be the best I've read. They seem to me to be not just opening books, but instructive books about chess more broadly--the explanation of the opening serves as a kind of vehicle for introducing the reader to interesting ways of thinking about the game. So they're far more than just a set of variations (though they're that too, with good illustrative games). I've got his books on the Dutch and on 1.e4, and I love them both. I've never met him and he didn't pay me to write this, I guess I should add, since I'm being so effusive.
Mar-15-07  GBKnight: I have not read any of his books, but he was playing on the next board to me a couple of weeks ago in a league match, and had a very instructive post-mortem with my club colleague (who he had just beaten). It was much appreciated; highly rated players are not always this accommodating.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Recently, I had to take a poignant trip home. I packed also a chess book that I recently bought and gave it to my father. A couple of weeks later he suddenly suddenly interupted me from my work: <You know -- that book you gave me -- that is the best chess book I have ever red or seen.> The book is ... Neil McDonnald: The Giants of Strategy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: This guy's also a grandmaster.

The Giants of Chess Strategy is very good, yes, for advanced players OR someone who already understands positional chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Knight13> Yes, my old fellow qualifies as such: He is quite a connoisseur of positional chess; and he is still quite good at it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: There's an unfavorable review of Starting Out:1.e4 at
May-10-09  ToTheDeath: This guy was great on SNL's Weekend Update.
May-29-10  newzild: I'm currently reading his book "Bb5 Sicilian Revealed". It's a pretty good opening manual. A lot of typos, though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <newzild> hope you visit <ChessBookForum> to share your thoughts on "Bb5 Sicilian Revealed"..thanks!

User: chessbookforum

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: When GM Paul Motwani played Neil McDonald in the 1st Eksakt Masters tournament in Tilburg in June 1996, he already had three GM norms....but didn't know it! Neil wrote to Paul four months later to explain that he had received a new title by surprise!

Source: C.O.O.L. Chess by Paul Motwani

Jan-08-14  jancotianno: Recently bought his ruy lopez move by move book and i believe that is the way all opening books should be written, it's fantastic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "I wrote in a diary aged ten that I wanted to be either James Bond or a chess grandmaster, so I guess I've achieved half my ambitions."

- GM Neil McDonald

Nov-20-14  tranquilsimplicity: I had my first "formal", serious Chess introduction from GM Neil McDonald's, 'The Art of Logical Thinking'. It was recommended to me at the Chess Shop. I found it very easy to understand; not dry and uninteresting as chess literature can sometimes be. And I never looked back.#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <wordfunph> That's weird! Since the ambition is an either or, GM Neil McDonald achieved his full ambition.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, GM Neil McDonald.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Beholder: <wordfunph: "I wrote in a diary aged ten that I wanted to be either James Bond or a chess grandmaster, so I guess I've achieved half my ambitions." - GM Neil McDonald>

Coming from someone who penned a book titled "The Art of Logical Thinking" this is decidedly illogical and borders on ignorant.

It is quite obvious that had his ambition been to be "James Bond AND a chess grandmaster" then he could indeed claim that he achieved half of it; his actual ambition was to be "James Bond OR a chess grandmaster" and thus by becoming a chess grandmaster he fulfilled 100% of his ambitions.

Jul-28-16  Virgil A: This is hilarious.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: doesn't he appear to be a sort of composite of Donald Trump and George Bush?
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