Rules governing Club Team Championship competitions
The rules below were adopted by the AGM and Executive Committeee meetinmgs held in May and August 2015. A recent change - to rule 18 - requires teams from the same club and playing in the same division to play their inter-club fixture(s) early.
The May and August meetings in 2017 requested clarification of the procedures for adjudications and rule 15c was revised after electronic consultation with team captains and club secretaries to: (a) establish a panel of county players who would advise the Competitions Secretary on positions submitted for adjudication; and (b) shorten the periods allowed for each stage of the process now that electronic communication has supplanted traditional postal methods. The adjudication panel for 2017-8 season currently includes the following players: John Edge, Peter Kitson, Ian McMillan, Brian Turner, and Joe Watson. The Competitions Secretary may invite additional players to serve on the panel subject to consultation with the association's president, secretary and treasurer. The fee for any appeal against an adjudication decision is £20.
- The Official Laws of Chess, as printed in the current BCF Year Book of Chess, shall govern play in all competitions, save where such law shall be modified by these Rules.
- The Club Championship may be held as a single division, or may be divided into Division I and Division II providing that Division I has at least 7 teams. Alternatively if the number of teams in either division is less than 7, the teams shall play each other twice, home and away. In this case the away team shall have white on odd boards. In the former case the winning team will hold the County Championship Trophy, and the runner-up the Cobham Trophy. In the latter case, the winner of Division I will hold the County Championship Trophy, and the winner of Division II the Cobham Trophy. Arrangements for the competitions shall be in the hands of the Competitions Secretary, but any specific instructions duly passed at an AGM must be obeyed.
- Entries for the Club Championship Competitions shall be in the hands of the Competitions Secretary not later than the date of the fixtures meeting. Clubs wishing to enter after this date may be refused permission to compete.The names and addresses of all players shall be registered with both the General and Competitions Secretaries before playing in any match. Should any player not so registered play in any match, the game at his board shall be scored to his opponent
- All players in Club Championships shall be county registered members of the clubs for which they play. The registration fees for players shall be as laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee and approved by the following Annual General Meeting.
- The names and addresses of all players shall be registered with both the General and Competitions Secretaries before playing in any match. Should any player not so registered play in any match, the game at his board shall be scored to his opponent.
- A player may play for more than one club during the season if both clubs notify the Competitions Secretary of the change and the player is registered for the new club before playing for the new club.
- Each club entering teams in Division I and Division II must designate 4 players who shall not be allowed to play in Division II. All other players shall be eligible to play in either Division throughout the season, but for one team only for each Division. In the event of a club entering more than one team in either Division I or Division II, each of these teams shall, as between themselves, be treated as a separate entity as if it had been entered by a separate club.
- All Club Championship Competitions and any Competitions played in sections, shall be completed before the 30th April. Matches not played by the 30th April shall be referred to the Executive Commmitee for a decision as to what course shall be adopted.
- Dates for all fixtures shall be arranged between Club Secretaries or Captains who shall furnish a list of their fixtures for the season to the Competitions Secretary at the Fixtures Meeting or by a date agreed with the Competitions Secretary who shall also be notified of any subsequent changes in the agreed dates of fixtures.
- Clubs failing to fulfil a fixture shall lose the match by default, unless notice of postponement of the fixture was received by the opposing Secretary not less than 7 days before the time fixed for starting. When a new date has been fixed for a replay, this date must be adhered to and no further postponement can be allowed. Provided always that where a default is due to circumstances beyond the control of the defaulting Club, that Club shall have the right to appeal to the Competitions Secretary who may, if he thinks fit, order the match to be played on a mutually agreed date.
- Matches shall be played between teams of 6 players on each side in Division I and of 5 players on each side in Division II. Before tossing for choice of colours, the Captains shall exchange lists of players in the intended order of play, which shall be in descending order of playing strength, and after the toss has been made no alteration shall be made in the order or composition of the teams save as provided for in Rule 13. All individual games forming part of a match between Clubs shall be played on the date and at the venue agreed for the match between the Club Secretaries.
- All games shall be played with clocks. At least 3 hours shall be allotted for play (unless the two Captains mutually agree upon a shorter period), and the time limit shall be 42 moves in one and a half hours for each player. Should the agreed time of play be shorter than 3 hours a minimum of 35 moves shall be made by each player.
- Should any player be absent or unready at the beginning of a match, which shall commence at 7:30 pm unless otherwise agreed between the team Captains, his clock shall be started if he has the move. If his opponent has the move, he shall make his first move and start the clock of the absent player. At any time up to the expiry of the absent player's time, his captain shall have the power to substitute a reserve player who shall take over the clock as it stands.
- Results of matches together with a statement of the course adopted regarding unfinished games, must be notified to the Competitions Secretary by both clubs within 14 days of the match being played.
- In all games unfinished at the agreed adjournment time, the players whose turn it is to move shall, whilst his clock continues to run, make a sealed move whilst his opponent prepares a diagram of the position. When the player has decided on, and sealed his move, he shall stop the clocks, check the diagram and record upon the envelope containing the sealed move, the times taken by both players. The envelope shall then be signed by both players, the non-sealing-move player shall retain the envelope for any future resumption of play. (There is nothing to prevent the player whose turn it is to move, suggesting while his clock is still running, that his opponent consider adjudication in accordance with (c)). The envelope shall also have recorded on it the agreed date, time and place for resumption of play if option (a) below is adopted. The method agreed for the resolution of unfinished games shall be binding on both players and shall be notified to the Competitions Secretary within 7 days. The unfinished games may now be decided in one of the following three ways as follows:
- By being played out within 14 days (or later by prior approval of the Competitions Secretary) at the request of either of the players, the player who makes the sealed move having the first option. Whichever player chooses to play on must travel to his opponent's venue. At the time agreed for resumption the position on the diagram shall be set up on the board, the clock started and, providing both players are present, the envelope opened, the sealed move made and play proceed normally. A player failing to be present within one hour of the agreed time for resumption shall forfeit the game. Should a second or subsequent adjournment be necessary the same procedure shall apply. If the game has not been finished within 21 days from the original session the position reached shall be taken to be the final position in the game and must be settled either by mutual agreement (b) or by adjudication (c). At the start of play in any adjournment the players must mutually agree on the length of time to be played at such adjournment and the time control adjusted and agreed accordingly, provided always that play continues for a minimum of two and a half hours unless a result be achieved or agreed in a lesser time.
- By mutual agreement between the two Captains, but the result must reach the Competitions Secretary within 14 days of the playing of the game, failing which it will be scored a loss to both sides.
- By adjudication. The team Captains shall send to the Competitions Secretary a diagram of the position reached, state whose move it is and the claim made. These particulars must reach the Competitions Secretary within 3 days of the playing of the game. If, after the stipulated 3 days, the Competitions Secretary has received no particulars of unfinished games, they shall be scored a loss to both sides. On receipt of a position for adjudication, the competitions secretary shall (a) consult with members of the Worcestershire Chess League Adjudication Panel and appoint two panel members who are able to make a judgement within 7 calendar days and who are not members of clubs involved in the unfinished game; and (b) forward the game position without names of players to the panel members for their consideration. The adjudicators should arrive at an agreed decision taking into account analysis from computer 'chess engines' and consultations with each other within 7 calendar days. On receipt of the Adjudicators' decision, the Competitions Secretary shall communicate it to the Clubs and captains concerned. There shall be a right of appeal against such decisions, by either Club giving notice of appeal within 3 days of receipt of such decision, such notice of appeal being accompanied by reasoned lines of analysis and the necessary fee, all of which must be sent to the Competitions Secretary. The appellant must notify the opposing Captain that an appeal has been made. Where two or more games in a match have been adjudicated, and an appeal is made against one or more of the decisions, the opposing side may counter-appeal within 3 days of the receipt of notice of appeal, in any of the other adjudicated games of the same match. Counter-appeals shall be accompanied by lines of play and a fee, all as laid down in the case of an appeal. On receipt of an appeal, the Competitions Secretary shall submit the lines of analysis to the original adjudicators and ask whether they wish to revise their judgement in the light of any new lines of play they had not originally considered. That decision shall be final. Adjudication fees and appeal fees shall be those laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee. Fees will be paid by the Club whose claim fails. In the case of a successful appeal, the accompanying fee is returnable.
- In all matches a won game will count as 1 point and a drawn game as half a point. The team scoring the greater number of such points shall be the winner.
- Clubs will score 2 points for a won match, and 1 point for a drawn match. The Club securing the greatest number of match points shall win the Championship or Division. In the case of a tie on match points, the club with the highest aggregate of game points shall be declared the winner. Should there be a tie on both match and game points, the clubs involved shall play-off in a single match (the home team having been the away team in the previous match), the winners of which will become champions. Should play-off for a championship end in a tie, the result shall be determined by board count by eliminating the result on the bottom board and then in ascending order until a majority for one side is achieved, and should this board count end in a tie the clubs will hold any trophy jointly.
- Where the Competitions Secretary allows any club to enter more than one team in any one Division, the first match between teams in the same club and division must be played as those teams' first match of the season. In a double-round competition, two teams from the same club will play their second intra-club match in the season before the end of January.
- Any dispute or matter arising from, or not provided for, in these rules shall be referred to an Appeals Committee whose decision shall be final. The Appeals Committee shall consist of the County Association President as Chair, the Competitions Secretary and the General Secretary. If any member of the Appeals Committee is also a member of a club which is a party to the dispute, the President shall nominate a suitable substitute.