Sheffield & District Chess Association

Established 1883

 

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SHEFFIELD AND DISTRICT CHESS ASSOCIATION

 

CONSTITUTION AND RULES 2003

as amended up to 2019

 

RULES CONTENTS

Rules for Team Competitions (over the board)

   > League (Winter)

   > Richardson Cup

   > Summer League

   > 400 League

Rules for On-Line Team Competitions

Rule for Individual Competitions

 

 

 

RULES FOR TEAM COMPETITIONS

 

 

14.

ORGANISATION OF THE LEAGUE

(a)

The Association shall organise a League for competition between teams representing member clubs, arranged in a number of divisions determined by the number of teams.

(b)

Whenever possible all divisions of the League except possibly the lowest shall consist of eight teams, each of which shall play two matches (home and away) with each other team. When it is not possible to establish eight teams in a division at the AGM the president shall use his discretion to allow a lower number for that season.

(c)

The lowest division of the League shall be arranged to accommodate the varying number of teams from year to year; and shall consist of a minimum of five teams, and a maximum of thirteen teams.

(d)

In Division One of the League a team shall consist of eight players.

(e)

In the lowest division of the League a team shall consist of a minimum of four players, but this may be increased, by mutual agreement, to either 5 or a maximum of six players. (Changed at the 2018 AGM)

(f)

In all other Divisions of the League a team shall consist of six players. (Changed at the 2018 AGM)

(g)

Any team may apply for a vacancy in a higher division.

 

 

 

 

15.

ELECTION OF TEAMS TO THE LEAGUE

 

(a)

Election of teams to play in the League competition shall be for one season only.

 

(b)

Applications for election must be made at the AGM, to whose approval they are subject.

 

(c)

The approved teams shall be arranged into divisions at the AGM.

 

(d)

A new entrant shall normally be admitted only to the lowest division.

 

(e)

No club may have more than three teams in any one division other than the lowest division.  

 

 

 

16.

LEAGUE FIXTURES

 

(a)

At the Fixture Meeting each club shall receive a fixture list from the Secretary.

 

(b)

League matches shall take place from 15 September to 30 April inclusive. In exceptional circumstances, such as bad weather, the league secretary may allow rearranged matches to be played up to 15 May

 

(c)

No league matches shall be arranged in the weeks beginning on the second Monday of October, November, January, February and March, unless both teams concerned have already been eliminated from the Richardson Cup competition.

 

(d)

When a club has teams competing in the same division, the league matches between them must be completed by December 31st

 

(e)

By mutual consent and with the approval of the Divisional Secretary, the clubs concerned may:

(i) alter the venue of any match

(ii) arrange one match for double points, in place of home and away matches, or

(iii) alter the date of any match, provided that the new date is notified by both clubs to the Divisional Secretary not later than five days after the previous date fixed.

 

 

 

17.

REGISTRATION OF LEAGUE PLAYERS

 

(a)

Clubs with teams competing in different divisions shall register with the Association the names of the strongest regular players for each team, except the team or teams in the lowest division. The number of players to be registered for each team shall be equal to half the number of players which constitute a team in that division.

 

(b)

Except as provided under Rule 17(c) and 17(d), registration of players shall be subject to approval by the Fixture Meeting

 

(c)

After a team has played four matches the Divisional Secretary shall, from time to time, check whether the actual strongest regular players are registered. If, after consultation with the club concerned, it appears not to be the case, the Secretary may register one or more additional players, such registrations taking effect seven days after written notice to the club by the Secretary.

 

(d)

Any player who plays four or more matches in the top half of any team shall be automatically registered for that team

 

(e)

If a player registered for one team also becomes registered for a team in a higher division, then that player ceases to be registered for the lower team, and, after consultation with the club concerned, the Divisional Secretary may register an additional player for the lower team, taking effect seven days after written notice to the club by the Secretary

 

 

 

 

18.

ELIGIBILITY OF PLAYERS

 

(a)

Registered players are ineligible to play in any team in a lower division than the one for which they are registered.

 

(b)

A player is ineligible to play for a team after earlier in the season playing for a different team of the same club in the same division.

 

(c)

Once a player has represented a club in any competition organised by the Association that player is ineligible to represent another club in Association competitions in the same season, unless officially transferred by the Executive.

 

(d)

The penalty for playing an ineligible player shall be that the game concerned and all games on lower boards shall be declared lost.

 

 

 

19.

CONDUCT OF MATCHES

 

(a)

The home club shall provide boards, sets and clocks suitable for match play, and scoresheets. 

 

(b)

Matches shall start at 7.30 p.m., or else any other time by mutual agreement.

 

(c)

Before play starts the captains shall nominate the players in order of strength and pair them off.

 

(d)

The captains shall spin a coin for choice of colour on the top board and arrange the other games alternately.

 

(e)

If a nominated player is absent, another player may be substituted at any time before thirty minutes have elapsed on the clock; if neither the nominated player nor a substitute is ready to commence play within that time, the game shall be lost by default.

 

(f)

No smoking is allowed in the match room unless agreed by both, or all, captains present.

 

 

 

20.

CLOCK AND TIME-LIMITS

 

(a)

Each game shall be played under the time limit using a clock.

 

(b)

In all team matches, each player shall have 75 minutes in which to complete the game. [Changed at 2017 AGM]

 

(c)

Clocks on all boards shall be started at the official or mutually agreed starting time.

 

(d)

If an absent player is replaced by a substitute, any time already recorded on the clock shall stand.

 

(e)

A claim for a win under the time limit may only be made by the player concerned and no other person may draw attention to the clock.

 

 

 

21.

MATCH RESULTS

 

(a)

One game point shall be scored for each game won and half a game point for each game drawn. A match is won by a team which scores more game points than the other team. If game points are equal the match is drawn.

 

(b)

The detailed results must be sent by both clubs to the Divisional Secretary, within five days of the match.

 

(c)

Details of any dispute or complaint regarding the match must also be sent to the Divisional Secretary within five days; otherwise, such dispute or complaint shall not affect the result of the match.

 

(d)

If no results are sent by either club within five days, the match shall be declared lost to both sides. Extenuating circumstances may be accepted by the Divisional Secretary or referred to the Executive [added 2003].

 

 

 

22.

WITHDRAWALS AND DEFAULTS

 

(a)

A team shall have one match point deducted for every ten games lost by default, including losses by default for failing to submit the results. If half or more of a team is prevented from attending a match by circumstances beyond its control, the Executive may, at its discretion, waive the penalty. Any team whose aggregate of defaults for the season exceeds 30 must seek re-election at the next AGM. 

 

(b)

Any team failing to fulfil a fixture shall lose the match by default. Additionally, unless the opposing team is given 48 hours’ notice, the defaulting team shall have a penalty match point deducted. Any extenuating circumstances will be referred to the Executive in accordance with Rule 21(c). 

 

(c)

If a team fails to fulfil at least half its league fixtures, the results of all its matches shall be cancelled.

 

(d)

If a match is not being played, or is declared lost to both sides under Rule 21(d), both clubs shall provide written explanations. The Executive may call the officers of the clubs concerned before them if deemed necessary.

 

 

 

23.

LEAGUE POINTS, PROMOTION AND RELEGATION

 

(a)

Teams shall be awarded two match points for each match won, and one match point for each match drawn. If a match is played for double points, then double the totals of match points and game points from that match are added into the teams’ point totals. The teams in a given division shall be placed, first to last, in descending order of their respective totals of match points.

 

(b)

The team scoring most match points in each division each season shall be declared champions and hold the appropriate trophy until the end of the following season. The two teams scoring most points in each division, other than the highest, shall be entitled to play in the next higher division in the following season, unless disqualified under Rule15(e). 

 

(c)

The teams finishing lower than sixth place in each division (other than lowest division) shall be relegated in the following season to the next lower division unless there is a vacancy in their present division, in which case they may be considered for re-election.

 

(d)

(i) If in any division a tie occurs such that match points fail to determine the winner, or the teams eligible for promotion, or the teams due for relegation, then the teams involved in the tie shall be placed in descending order of their respective totals of game points awarded for the matches played between those teams. 
(ii) If that still leaves a tie to be resolved, then the teams involved in that tie shall be placed in descending order of their respective totals of game points awarded for the matches played between those still-tying teams after excluding the bottom board of each match. If that still leaves a tie to be resolved, then the next bottom board shall also be excluded and so on until the tie is resolved. 
(iii) In the unlikely event that a tie remains, then the teams involved shall play off at a neutral venue unless either club agrees to play at the premises of its opponent. In a play-off, only players who have played at least three times previously during the season in the same competition shall be eligible to take part. Play-offs, when required to decide issues of promotion, relegation or championship between three or more teams, shall take the form of a single match at an agreed venue between all teams involved; the boards to be arranged according to Jamboree rules; in the event of a tie, a repeat of the match shall follow at 10 minutes time limits between three teams, or a match between two teams if so required.

[Changed at AGM 2017]

 

(e)

In the event of a tie in the play-off match, the winners shall be decided by board count and, if necessary, by elimination. If all games are drawn, the match shall be replayed.  

 

 

 

24.

THE RICHARDSON CUP COMPETITION

 

(a)

A knock-out competition shall be held annually, for teams of six players, rounds being held in the weeks commencing on the second Monday of October, November, January, February and March. If further rounds or any final-round replays are necessary, these must be played on dates determined by the secretary, and not later than May. Each member club must enter at least one team, except that entry shall be optional for a club that runs only one 4-player team.

 

(b)

A subsidiary knockout competition shall also be held for teams which lose in the first round, called the Plate. However, any team which defaults its first round match shall not be eligible.

 

 (c)

The Plate shall be played at the same time and under the same conditions as the main competition.

 

 (d)

The winners of the main competition shall hold the Richardson Cup, the runners-up the YMCA Trophy, and the winners of the Plate the Sam Haystead Memorial Trophy, until the end of the following season.

 

(e)

When a team is entered for the main competition, the club concerned shall state whether they wish it to be entered in the Plate, if it loses in the first round.

 

(f)

The draws shall be made either by the Fixture Meeting or the Executive, except that the draw for the first round of the Plate shall be made by the Richardson Cup Secretary.

 

(g)

If there is an odd number of teams entered, a bye shall be given in the first round to the holders of the Richardson Cup. All other byes necessary shall be given in the second round (first round of the Plate).

 

(h)

The first team drawn in any pairing shall have choice of venue.

 

(i)

The Richardson Cup Secretary shall notify each team of its opponent, who has choice of venue and when the match is to be played. The Bulletin may be used for this purpose.

 

(j)

Matches shall be conducted in accordance with Rules 18 to 23 inclusive, except those sections which relate only to league matches, and the following sections of this Rule. 

 

(k)

Drawn matches shall be decided by board count, and if there is still a tie, then by elimination. In the event of six drawn games, there will be a replay. In the event of a tie in the final, the winner shall be decided on board count, and, if necessary, by elimination. If all games are drawn, the final shall be replayed at a neutral venue on a date determined by The League Secretary. (Blue words introduced 2018 AGM)

 

(l)

The final shall be played at neutral premises, unless either club agrees to play at the premises of its opponents.

 

(m)

Only players who have played in at least one previous round of this competition during the season shall be eligible to play in the final.

 

(n)

No player shall be allowed to play for more than one team in this competition.

 

(o)

The following teams shall be kept apart in the first round: winners from the last 3 years, losing finalists from the last 2 years, losing semi-finalists from the last year.

 

 

25.

Summer League.

Rule modified

 

Normal Evening League rules will apply except as follows:

(a)

“The number of teams in each division of the Summer League will be determined by the League Secretary based on the information provided by Clubs. Ideally, there should be five or six teams in each division and they should play each other twice (home and away). (2019)

14 (a),(b),(c), &(g)

(b)

“When applications are made to enter the Summer League, Clubs must supply information about the likely strength of their team(s) so that they can be placed in the most suitable division. (2019)

14 (c)

(c)

A team shall consist of 4 boards (or more if mutually agreed by both captains).

14(d), 14 (e), 14 (f)

(d)

Applications for election to the Summer League must be made to the General Secretary by 15 April in each year.  Clubs with teams competing in different divisions shall register with the Association the names of the two strongest regular players for each team, except the team or teams in the lowest division.

15 (b), 17 (a)

(e)

League matches shall take place from May to September inclusive.

16 (b)

(f)

When a club has teams competing in the same division, the league matches between them must be completed by July 16th.

16 (d)

(g)

If the lowest division comprises more than eight matches, the teams may by mutual consent agree to play one match for double points in place of home and away matches.

16 (g)

(h)

Except as provided under Rule 17(c) and 25 (i), registration of players shall be subject to approval by the Executive.  If the Executive is not scheduled to meet, the approval shall be by consultation between the Chair of Executive, General Secretary and the Summer League Secretary/Secretaries.

17 (b)

(i)

Any player who plays two or more matches on either of the top two boards of any team shall be automatically registered for that team.

17 (d)

(j)

Once a player has represented a club in the Summer League s/he is ineligible to represent another club in the Summer League in the same season unless officially transferred by the Executive.  A player may however represent one club during the Summer season and a different club during the Winter season.

18 (c)

(k)

In each division the team placed first shall be declared champions but will not necessarily be promoted the following season, and the team finishing bottom in each division will not necessarily be relegated. (2019)

23 (b), 23(c)

 

RULES FOR INDIVIDUAL COMPETITIONS

 

 

26.

SHEFFIELD CHAMPIONSHIP

(a)

A Sheffield Individual Championship tournament shall be held annually. If there are sufficient entrants then the format will be a six-round Swiss system tournament. If the number of entrants is low then the Tournament Controller can alter the tournament format. (2019)

(b)

The winner shall hold, until the end of the following season, the title of “Sheffield Chess Champion” and the Bruce Trophy.

(c)

Entry shall be open to any member of the Association.

(d)

(i) The Tournament Controller shall ‘seed’ the six highest rated players before play begins. If fewer than 18 players compete, then one third of the entrants shall be seeded. The highest placed player not included in this list of seeds shall hold the Holroyd Trophy until the end of the following season.

 

(ii) The Tournament Controller shall ‘seed’ the six next highest rated players before play begins. If fewer than 18 players compete, then one third of the entrants shall be seeded. The highest placed player not included in either list of seeds shall hold the Shapero Trophy until the end of the following season.

 

27.

CONDUCT OF TOURNAMENTS

(a)

Entries together with the appropriate fees shall be sent to the controller.

(b)

The closing date for entries shall be October 15th.

(c)

Before play begins, the Controller shall send all players a full list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of all other entrants.

(d)

The draw and closing date for successive rounds shall be made by the Tournament Controller. (2019)

(e)

Players given black shall have choice of venue.

(f)

Responsibility for notifying results to the Controller shall rest with the winner, or both players in the event of a draw.

(g)

Should a tie-break be required to determine an outright winner in any of the sections then tie-break systems will be applied in the following order: (i) Direct Encounter (where the tie-break is required to separate only two players on the same score) (ii) Buchholz Cut 1 (iii) Buchholz (iv) Sonneborn-Berger

 

 

28.

CONDUCT OF TOURNAMENT GAMES (All replaced 2019)

(a)

A board, set and clock suitable for match play should be provided by the home player.

(b)

The session of play shall last for at least two and a half hours and the game must be finished in one session.

(c)

The time limit for the individual tournament shall be the same as that in the normal league matches (currently all moves in 75 minutes each – June 2019).

(d)

The time limit may be extended by agreement between the two players prior to the commencement of the game.

(e)

When a digital clock with an increment facility is to be used then an amount of bonus time per move may be added if agreed between the two players prior to the commencement of the game.

 

29.

DEFAULTING OPPONENTS (2019)

(a)

If a player who has choice of venue fails to issue an invitation to play within seven days of receiving notification, or if his opponent fails to answer such invitation within seven days, or if either, having made arrangements to play, fails to attend, the other player must notify the Secretary and claim the game.

(b)

If the Controller receives no communication from either player by (2019) the closing date for the round, both players shall be defaulted.

(c)

The Controller shall have the authority to disqualify players who default more than one game.

(d)

The Controller’s decision shall be final in the event of any dispute.

 

 

 

 

 

RULES FOR THE 400 LEAGUE (New Rule introduced 2019)

 30.

 

Normal evening league rules will apply except as follows:-

(a)

Teams shall comprise four boards, with grades totalling a maximum of 400 and with no player graded over 120. The minimum individual grade is 80. (Players with a grade below 80 can play but they count as 80 towards the team total). Ungraded players are counted as having a grade of 80. Defaulted boards are counted as 80 towards the team total.

(b)

The grade in use shall be the ECF grade published in August prior to the season of the competition.

(c)

The 400 League is expected to consist of one division with each team playing two matches (home and away) against each other team.

(d)

If the 400 League exceeds 7 teams then they shall be split into two (or more) divisions either geographically or otherwise as seen fit by the League Secretary in consultation with the teams involved.

(e)

Applications for election to the 400 League will normally be made at the AGM.

(f)

Once a player has represented a team in the 400 League then that player is ineligible to represent another team in the 400 League in the same season unless officially transferred by the Executive. A player may, however, represent one club in the 400 League and a different club in any other League / Competition run by the S&DCA.

(g)

PENALTIES: If a team total of grades exceeds the defined limit of 400, or they play an ineligible player, the match is defaulted. Individual player results remain unchanged for grading purposes.

 

 

Sheffield and District Chess Association Online Chess League

 

This set of rules refer to S&DCA Online League Season 2 and are an outline that may evolve with experience.

 

Organisation of the League

 

The Sheffield and District Chess Association shall organise an Online League for competition between teams representing member clubs, arranged in a number of divisions, determined by the number of teams that have entered for that season.

 

League Fixtures

 

1.            At the start of the online season the league fixtures will be posted on the S&DCA pages of the ECF’s League Management System website.

2.            Match dates are 11th March, 25th March, 8th April, 22nd April, 6th May, 20th May, 3rd June, 17th June, 1st July and 15th July (These are all Thursday evenings)

3.            Divisions 2 and 3 have an odd number of teams.  There is a separate ‘Lucky Dip’ (Phill’s choice) division pairing the teams that have byes in each round.  Therefore every team should have a fixture in every round.

 

 

Eligibility of Players

 

1.            The Online League matches will be played on the Lichess platform and all players will need a Lichess account and username to participate. They must also agree to Lichess’ Terms of Service including the Fairplay and Anti-cheating policies.

2.            Players may only appear on registration lists if they have explicitly confirmed that they have read and agreed to the provisions of the Lichess Online rules and fair play guidelines.

3.            All participants in the S&DCA Online League shall consent to their name, gender, nationality, title, rating and Lichess username being shown on the S&DCA website and ECF LMS pages. Those wishing to withhold their consent shall not be permitted to play in the League. Captains are also expected to have their contact details shown on the same websites.

 

Registration of Players

 

1.            Clubs with teams competing in different divisions shall register with the Association the names of the two strongest regular players for each team, except the team or teams in the lowest division.

2.            Any player who plays two or more matches on the top two boards of any team shall be automatically registered for that team.

3.            If a player registered for one team also becomes registered for a team in a higher division, then that player ceases to be registered for the lower team, and, after consultation with the club concerned, the League Controller will register an additional player for the lower team.

4.            Registered players are ineligible to play in any team in a lower division than the one for which they are registered.

5.            A player is ineligible to play for a team after earlier in the season playing for a different team of the same club in the same division.

6.            The penalty for playing an ineligible player shall be that the game concerned and all games on lower boards shall be declared lost.

 

 

Conduct of Matches

 

1.            Matches will be played over four boards.

2.            The starting time of each match will be 7.30pm.

3.            Captains will nominate their players in order of strength and then post their team list on the LMS page by 12.00 noon on the day of the match. These lists will become public one hour before the start of the match.

4.            The first-named team in each pairing will have the black pieces on the odd-numbered boards and white on the even-numbered boards.

5.            For the avoidance of doubt, the player of the white pieces should create the challenge a few minutes prior to the match start time.

6.            The time limit for each game will be all moves in 45 minutes plus 15 seconds per move from move 1.

 

 

Match Results

 

1.            One game point shall be scored for each game won and half a game point for each game drawn. A match is won by a team which scores more game points than the other team. If game points are equal the match is drawn.

2.            Captains must post match results on the LMS no later than midnight on the day following the match (though, where possible, the controller will update the LMS as soon as games finish).

 

 

League Points, Promotion and Relegation

 

1.            Teams shall be awarded two match points for each match won, and one match point for each match drawn.

2.            The teams in each division shall be placed, first to last, in descending order of their respective totals of match points.

3.            The team scoring most match points in each division each season shall be declared champions.

4.            The team scoring most points in each division, other than the highest, shall play in the next higher division in the following season.

5.            The teams finishing in bottom place in each division (other than lowest division) shall be relegated in the following season to the next lower division unless there is a vacancy in their present division, in which case they may be considered for re-election.

 

 

Anything not covered in the above set of Rules

 

If a situation arises that is not covered in the rules above then the controller of the tournament will make a judgement with reference, if necessary, to the S&DCA’s normal over-the-board rules and / or to the Executive committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Version 3 (4th March 2021)