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version of Counties championship rules.)
NCCU RULES FOR COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Including NCCU Junior County Championships)
adopted by the NCCU AGM, June 1996.
Amended Sep 2006, July 2009, June 2019, March 2022
In these rules, unless the
context requires otherwise, references to the Counties Championship are to
be construed so as to refer also to Counties Open, Under 2050, Under 1850,
Under 1650 and Under 1450 Championships.
Junior Competitions include the
U18 Junior County Jamboree and the U16 Pennine Cup.
a. The Competition for each Counties
Championship is conducted annually and is open to each constituent member
County Chess Association.
b. Entries for the Counties Championship
must be made to the NCCU County Controller and copied to the NCCU Secretary
no later than 30th November each year.
c. Junior event entry dates to be decided
by the County organisers concerned.
3 Format of
a. The Format of each Championship will be
as the Controller decides, once the numbers of entries at each level are
finalised. Where a competition is run on a zonal basis, the zonal
competition will be followed by a semi-final and final stage if
required. In the semi-final stage the winner of Zone 1 will play the
second team from Zone 2, and the winner from Zone 2 will play the second
team from Zone.
b. In any match in these Championships the
minimum number of players on each side should be 12. A higher even
number may be mutually agreed.
c. The winner of the Championship at each
level is declared to be the NCCU Champion and, subject to (d), is nominated
to compete in the quarter-finals of the ECF Counties Championship at that
level. The runner-up in each Championship, again subject to (d), is
also nominated to compete in the quarter-finals of the ECF Counties
Championship at that level, providing at least 3 ECF teams participate in
d. If any County side is deemed ineligible
to take part in the ECF quarter-final stages (due, for example, to that
County Association not being affiliated to the ECF) then their nomination
to the quarter-finals shall be given to the next eligible County.
e. Matches shall normally be played over
the board, but with the agreement of both counties and the controller, may
be played by telephone or email.
f. The U18 and U16 events will be
played in a one day Jamboree.
4 Venues for
a. Matches will normally be played on a
'home' or 'away' basis, but the 'away' side can demand a neutral venue if
the relevant county boundaries are not contiguous. It is the responsibility
of the 'away' team to organise the agreed neutral venue, but the costs of
the venue will be shared. This demand should be made to the 'home'
side at least six weeks before the match is due to take place (except in
the case of the October match, when the request must be made as soon as
possible when the fixtures are known. It is expected that Counties will
have regard to the convenience of visiting teams when arranging venues.
b. The 'home' captain should contact the
'away' captain by 'phone to offer his choice of venue well before the
event. That person should then send full details of confirmation in writing
to reach the 'away' captain at least two weeks before the match.
c. The U18 and U16 Jamboree’s shall be
held at a venue of the organising County.
d. All correspondence relating to these
competitions should be sent by email or first class mail.
5 Dates of
a. The draw for each Championship will be
issued by the controller as soon as possible after that person has the full
number of entries.
b. Dates of matches to be arranged between
team captains on a mutually agreed basis between September and the end of
March the following year.
c. The U18 Jamboree shall take place in
March each year.
d. The U16 shall take place in December
a. The championship is awarded to the team
scoring the highest number of match points.
b. If still tied, then the championship is
awarded to the team scoring the highest number of game points.
c. If still tied, then the championship is
awarded to the team that won their respective match between them.
d. If still tied, then the championship is
awarded to the team with the greatest number of wins.
e. If still tied, then board order where wins
occurred will be added up and the lowest number will determine positions of
f. If still tied, then a toss of a
coin by the County controller will take place.
a. A player may represent a County in the
Counties Championship only if they have not played for another County (NCCU
or otherwise) in the same season.
The qualification for a player to represent a County in the Counties
i. They are a subscribing member of
that Association, either direct or through an affiliated Club.
ii. They are registered with the NCCU.
iii. They must fulfil one of
a. Birth in that
b. 5 year’s consecutive residence in that County at any
c. One month's immediately previous and present residence
in that County.
d. 2 year's immediately previous and
present membership of a club either in or affiliated to that County.
e. Present attendance as teacher or pupil at a school,
college or university in that County.
f. A player whose qualification is
valid under the preceding rules when first playing for a County, shall
remain qualified for the rest of that season.
g. For the U18 and
U16 events, players must be aged U18 and U16 on the 1st of September for
the season concerned.
No player should take part in the U2050, U1850, U1650 or U1450
Championships if their ratings in the ECF National list for that season
(published on the 1st September) are equal to or over the appropriate
A team captain must obtain permission from the controller at least
seven days prior to the match (otherwise rule 9a applies) to play an
unrated player in a ratings’ limited competition. This may be refused if
the unrated players known or estimated strength is thought inappropriate
for that competition.
A player that is unrated on the 1st September 2021 but subsequently
receives their 1st rating on a later ECF Ratings list, this rating will be
used from that date.
The rating list 1st September to be used for County Match purposes.
If any monthly rating list after the 1st September shows a players’ rating
to have increased to over the limit for that section, that person is still
eligible. Similarly, if a rating comes down from a higher section, the
player is eligible to play in the lower section, reflecting their new
If it is known that a player's rating is incorrect in the current
ECF rating list, then notice must be given at least 14 days before the
match date, to the Controller.
This must show proof of correct rating with authority from the
National Ratings Officer, otherwise rule 9 will apply.
for playing ineligible players
penalty for playing an ineligible player in any match shall be the loss of
that player’s game and the deduction of one game point from the teams total
for each such player.
request for a penalty to be exacted under this rule must be made to the
controller within 7 days of the match.
10 Rules for Matches
a. Before the time fixed for the start of
play (arranged so that the playing session will conclude no later than 6pm)
the team captains shall make up their respective playing lists, placing the
players in rating order or order of deemed playing strength; they shall
exchange lists and toss for colours. The team whose captain wins the
toss shall take white on the odd-numbered boards.
b. At the time fixed for the start of
play, the captains shall start the clocks of those players having the
move. If a player be absent, an eligible substitute may be put in
within the first hour; otherwise his opponent, if present, shall score the
game as a win. If neither player is present or substituted then the
game shall be scored a loss for both sides.
The NCCU consider that
the FIDE rule implemented July 2009 of zero tolerance for being absent at
the start of play is unworkable and therefore this rule does not apply for
any County matches.
c. All moves in 135 minutes, plus a 10
second increments (135 min + 10 sec). The duration of play will be a
maximum of 5 hours. If suitable digital clocks are not available,
then each player shall make not less than 40 moves in 2 hours and then the
game played to a finish with 30 minutes extra for each player for the remainder
of the game. The rates of play and the duration of the sudden death
finish may be varied by mutual agreement of the two captains.
d. One game will be played between each
pair of players. A win will count one point and a draw half a point.
e. It is the responsibility of match
captains to agree between themselves as to the provision of clocks and
other equipment. In the absence of agreement to the contrary each
County should provide half the equipment required for the agreed number of
boards to be played.
If insufficient clocks or equipment are available at the start of a
match then the available clocks and equipment are allocated by the match
captain responsible for their presence.
For those boards where no clock or equipment is available, the time
elapsed from the agreed starting time up to the arrival of the clock or
equipment at the board shall be counted against the county whose
responsibility it was to provide the clock or equipment. In the event
of clock failure, the time between the clock being found faulty and its
replacement by a working clock is counted against the county which
originally provided the faulty clock.
g. U18 and U16 time limits shall be
decided by the event organisers.
a. All games shall be played in accordance
with the Laws of Chess compiled by FIDE (except as stated in 10b.)
and published in Britain with the authority of the ECF. It is the
responsibility of match captains to have a copy of the Laws available for
reference at each match.
b. All disputes concerning the
interpretation or application of the Laws of Chess on which the Counties
cannot agree, shall be referred to the controller. If agreement
cannot be reached the controller may refer the dispute to the ECF for
c. Any dispute concerning the
interpretation or application of the NCCU Counties Championships Rules on
which the Counties cannot agree shall be decided by the controller.
Appeals against a decision of the controller shall be referred to a neutral
sub-committee of the NCCU whose decision will be final.
Results to be entered into
the ECF League Management System as soon as possible after the game has
a. No amendments to these rules
shall be made unless due notice of such an amendment has been given to the
Annual General Meeting not less than 21 days before the date of that
Amendments to the rules may be passed by a simple majority of
those present and voting.
NCCU County Championship