Competition Rules

NB Please see note on the parent page of this section (click Rules tab without selecting a sub menu item) regarding this version of the Competition Rules.

1.      These Competition Rules shall be read in conjunction with the Constitution and in the even of any conflict the latter shall prevail.

2.      The Competition shall be conducted on the American system by the Tournament Controller and all matches shall be played between 1st October and 30th April each season.

3.      Matches shall be played over 20 boards or such other number of boards as may be decided from season to season.  Matches shall take place in Central London, each team being host to each other team in alternate seasons.

4.      Fixtures shall be arranged at a fixtures meeting to be held in July each year.

Prior to 1st October, either side may request a rearrangement of any fixture and any agreed new date will be accepted subject to the limitation of Rule 2 and the Tournament Controller receiving written notification from both sides with confirmation of venue.

After 1st October and before 16th March, either side may request a fixture to be rearranged, provided a minimum of 3 weeks’ notice is given to the other side and two alternative dates offered.  The other side is not bound to accept either of the offered dates and may reach agreement on another date.  If necessary the team initiating the change shall concede choice of venue.    The agreed new date shall be notified to the Tournament Controller by both sides with confirmation of venue.  If agreement on a new date cannot be reached within one week of the original request, the matter shall be referred to the Tournament Controller for resolution.

After 15th March, no fixture may be rearranged without the agreement of the Tournament Controller and the other side.

No fixture may be rearranged more than once.

However, the Tournament Controller shall have power to override these provisions in exceptional circumstances.

5.      One Match Point shall be awarded for each match won and half a point for each match drawn.

6.      Final placings in the Competition shall be decided in the first instance on Match Points.  The team finishing top shall be declared Champions and shall hold the Bronowski Trophy for one year.

Primary Tie-breaking: Should there be a tie for any place, the teams involved shall be placed in descending order of Game Points totals.

Secondary Tie-breaking:  If there shall still be a tie, it shall be dealt with as follows: if the tie involves 1st place: the result(s) of the match(es) between those tying shall decide, if necessary applying board count; should there still be a tie the result shall be regarded as a tie and the teams tying shall be regarded as joint winners and shall each hold the Bronowski Trophy for a proportionate part of the year.

If the tie is for a lower place: no further tie breaking shall be applied and the teams shall be shown in the cross-table in alphabetical order of their full title (see Constitution).

7       All games shall be conducted in accordance with the FIDE Laws of Chess, except as varied specifically herein.

8       No player shall play for more than one team in the same season.  A player once having appeared for a team shall be eligible for that team and no other during the season.  Games won by default shall count as appearances for the purposes of this Rule.

9       There shall be no smoking in the playing room(s) at all matches in the Competition.

10     Matches shall start no later than 6.30 pm and the playing session shall be 3 hours.

11     No later than five minutes before the start of each match the Captains shall exchange team lists.  Players should be arranged in descending order of playing strength with the strongest player on board 1.  Any defaults known before exchange of team lists shall be taken on the bottom board(s).

After teams are exchanged the Captains shall toss for colours. If either Captain is not present at this time the opposing Captain shall be deemed to have won the toss.  The Captain winning the toss shall have the choice of colour on odd numbered boards, playing the opposite colour on even numbered boards.  Having completed this process, save as provided in Rule 14, no further change shall be made to the team lists without the consent of the opposing Captain.

12.    The rate of play shall be 30 moves in 1¼ hours followed by a 15 minute Quickplay Finish, the BCF Quickplay Finish Rules to apply.

13.    Default time shall be 30 minutes after the starting time of the match.  Any player who has not arrived at his board by default time shall lose the game, save for the following provision (Rule 14).

14.    Reserves may be introduced for absent players before default time.  The principle regarding board order established in Rule 11 (paragraph 1) above, shall apply also to reserves, ie the reserve(s) shall be introduced in order of playing strength from the highest vacant board downwards.

15.    Match result sheets shall be forwarded by both Captains to reach the Tournament Controller within 7 days of the match.  Should only one Captain comply with this requirement, the result as notified by that Captain shall be regarded as the result of the match.  Should neither Captain comply with the above requirement the match shall be scored as a loss to both sides with the score 0-0, subject to the Tournament Controller’s discretion.

16.    Reference in these Rules to Captain(s) shall be taken to refer to deputy(ies) where applicable.

17.    These Competition Rules shall only be changed by a majority vote at a meeting of the Committee.  Advance notice in writing to the Secretary must be given of any proposed changes.

Adopted 17th July, 1997

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