Competition Rules

Rules Governing League Fixtures

  1. Observance of Laws

    All games played under the auspices of the League shall be played in accordance with the Laws of Chess as recognised by the English Chess Federation, except as otherwise laid down in these rules.

  2. Non-observance of rules

    If any team fails to play a match in accordance with these rules, the matter will be referred to the Tournament Controller. If the matter is not resolved to both Clubs satisfaction, it shall be referred to the Executive Committee, whose decision shall be final.

  3. Players

    No player may play for more than one club in the same season without prior permission from the Executive Committee. Any team contravening the rule will be liable for a penalty under rule 10.

  4. Teams

    A Club may enter more than one team. A team shall consist of five players.

  5. Fees

    Entry fees for the League competition shall be decided by the Executive Committee prior to the Annual General Meeting.

  6. Game Points

    A player winning a game shall score one point, and in the event of a draw each player shall score half a point.

  7. Match Points

    A team winning a match shall score one point, and in the event of a tie, each team shall score half a point.

  8. Divisions

    The teams shall arrange in a division, or divisions according to their estimated strength, or as otherwise decided by the executive Committee as soon as possible after 1st August.

  9. Division Winners

    The team in a division which scores more match points than any other team in that division, shall be the winner of that division, and shall be entitled to hold for twelve months the trophy allocated to that division, when the trophy must be returned to the League.

  10. Listed and Ineligible Players

    When a club enters two or more teams in the League competition, the following shall apply:-

    1. The Club secretary must notify the Tournament Controller of the relative strengths of the Club's teams before their first league match. Teams cannot be considered to be of equal strength.

    2. Unless a player has represented a club on the top two boards of any team he/she will be eligible to play an unlimited number of games for that club in any team in a lower division throughout the season. There is no longer a requirement for clubs to nominate listed players.

      Because most players would no longer just be identified with one team, players usually playing in a lower division would also be eligible to play in a higher division if required.

      Where a club has two teams in the same division, a player may only play for one of these teams during a season.

    3. The playing of one, or more, ineligible players in a team shall be penalised by reducing the score of the offending team in that match by half a game point, and increasing the score of the opposing team by half a game point for each ineligible player so played. In addition, such player or players shall be deemed to have lost their games.

  11. Fixtures

    The Fixtures Secretary shall draw up a list to show the home and away teams for all matches, and will, as far as possible, allot to each team an equal number of home and away matches. A copy of the fixtures list so arranged shall be sent to each club who are members of the League, as soon as possible, and before the first match is played.

    Any Club with more than one team in the same Division shall play off their inter-team match(es) before they play any other club in that Division. Failure to do so may result in the loss of such matches by default, for both teams concerned.

    The playing season shall commence on 1st September and conclude 30th April the following year. Matches not played by the latter date will be deemed null and void.

    The away team shall have WHITE on the odd-numbered boards.

    No team captain may rearrange a fixture unless the opposing team captain agrees. If he/she does not agree then the team wishing to rearrange a fixture loses it by default, if he/she agrees, then the following rules must be adhered to:-

    1. The team captain wishing to postpone a match must offer their opponent a new date on which it can be played. This must be done no later than 14 days from the date of the postponed match.

    2. The team captain who postpones a fixture must inform the Tournaments Controller when a new date has been agreed, this must also be done within the same 14 days. (The team captain who has agreed to the postponement may if he wishes also inform the Tournaments Controller). In all cases the onus is on the team captain who postponed the match in the first place. Failure to adhere to these rules will result in the loss of the match. It is also suggested that captains give one week’s notice for a proposed postponement. The onus for a rearranged fixture rests with the Captain seeking the postponement in the first place.

  12. Venue

    In the case of a team not having a club room to play their matches in, the venue of the match may be altered by mutual agreement. The original home team will be expected to pay for refreshments. The colours (Rule 11) remain as on the fixture list, regard1ess of venue.

  13. Hours of Play

    In the absence of any previous arrangement otherwise by the teams concerned in the match, play shall commence no later the 7:30pm, and conclude at 10:30pm. Captains should start matches promptly, and not wait for absent players. If it is the home team that is not ready then they have deducted from their time such time as has passed since 7.30 pm.

  14. Team Declarations

    The captains of the opposing teams shall, before the commencement of a match, exchange lists of their teams, in order of current playing strength. The away team shall have WHITE on the odd-numbered boards. In the event of a named player or players failing to arrive, a team has the right (it does not require the consent of the opponents) to substitute an eligible player or players at any time up to 45 minutes from the agreed starting time of the match, at which time the game or games shall be forfeited.

  15. Rate of Play

    A record must be kept of the moves made in each game. Any player may demand to have the game played with a chess clock, in which case they must provide a proper chess clock. The first 35 moves must be played within 1 hour and 15 minutes and then all moves in the next and final 15 minutes (except for Division 4 – see below).

  16. Notification of results

    After a match, the score cards signed by both match Captains must be sent within ten days to the Tournament Controller by each competing club. In the unlikely case of undecided games under the "2 minute rule" relating to quickplay finishes the appropriate information signed by the Secretaries and/or match captains of both clubs shall be sent to the Tournament Controller for reference to an arbiter within ten days of the match. If, after fourteen days, only one claim has been received by the Tournament Controller, this claim shall be upheld.

  17. Division Four

    The maximum grade for any player may not exceed 100. The July/August ECF (or WCU equivalent) grade issued before the season commences shall be used for the entire season. Any player whose grade does not exceed 100 may play in Division 4, irrespective of playing on board 1 or 2 in higher Divisions. Ungraded players will be subject by the Controller to ECF or WCU archive research to establish any previous grade. The Controller may, if required, estimate a temporary and appropriate grade for the season.

    The first 28 moves must be played within 1 hour followed by an allegro finish in the next and final 15 minutes. Other than these exceptions, all rules for Wirral League competitions will apply.

  18. Division Three

    In Division 3, no player graded above 150 will be allowed to play in this Division if they have already played in Divisions 1 or 2.

  19. Membership of the English Chess Federation or Welsh Chess Union

    The Wirral Chess League requires all players (apart from those who play very few games) to be members of the ECF or the WCU. To clarify this condition, once players have played 4 games in League or Knockout competitions then they must apply for membership of the ECF or the WCU before a 5th game is allowed.

  20. Mobile Phones

    If a mobile phone makes a sound during a game the player whose phone has made the sound will be given a warning and asked to silence his/her phone. If the player’s phone were to make a sound for a second time during the same game then the opponent may claim the game by forfeit if he/she wishes to do so.

Rules Governing Knock Out Fixtures