As amended by the AGM on 20 July 2021
1. Governance and Entry Fees
4. Playing Times
5. Ratings, board order and eligibility
6. General Match Rules
7. Points Scoring
8. Rearranged Matches
10. Disputes and Appeals
11. Venue Specific COVID-19 Requirements
Rules for Quickplay Finishes
Roger Goldsmith Rules
1.1 The League will hold an Annual General Meeting each summer. The Administrative Secretary will give at least six weeks’ notice of the date to the member clubs and the League Executive.
1.2 If a club or officer wishes to include an item on the AGM agenda they should notify the Administrative Secretary at least three weeks before the meeting. This includes any proposal to change the rules, which should specify the proposed wording, though amendments may be considered at the AGM. The Administrative Secretary will circulate agendas and papers at least seven days before the AGM.
1.3 At the AGM each club is allowed one vote plus a further vote for each of their League teams in the previous season. Votes must be cast individually, i.e. a representative of the club and a representative for each team (but not necessarily a member of that team) must be in attendance to secure maximum voting rights. The Chairman may not vote as a club representative, but has a casting vote. Other officers of the League may vote only as club representatives.
1.4 The AGM shall elect Officers as members of the League Executive. Offices may vary from one season to another.
1.5 Any club which has not provided an Officer will be invited to send a representative to participate in meetings and decisions of the Executive.
1.6 For a meeting to be quorate, and therefore capable of making decisions binding upon the League, the proportion of the League Executive present must be at least two-thirds (rounded downward if this is not a whole number). The Executive will normally meet in the Spring to prepare for the AGM. The Executive will also consider such matters and take such decisions as may be necessary for the running of the League between AGMs. The Executive may take any of its decisions by communicating without meeting.
1.7 The AGM will set the entry fees for the League annually. Fees are due by 31 October. Any charge on the League made by the English Chess Federation in respect of non-ECF members playing in League competitions will be passed on to the clubs at the end of the season.
2.1 The number of divisions and teams within each division will be decided by the AGM. Should the number of participating teams change between the AGM and the start of the season the Chairman (in consultation with the Match Secretary and the clubs concerned) may alter the distribution of teams in the divisions to maintain as far as possible an equal number of teams within each division.
2.2 At the end of the season the bottom team in each Division (except in the lowest Division) will normally be relegated and the top team in each Division (except in Division 1) will normally be promoted. However the AGM may, exceptionally, vary this arrangement, either at the request of the clubs affected, or because the AGM considers that the additional relegation of the team which finished second to last may be desirable. No team which has won the right to promotion may be denied it against the wishes of the Club concerned.
2.3 A team withdrawing from a division will count as the one relegated.
3.1 Teams will consist of four nominated players who should play in rating order (subject to rule 5.1). Any substitute must be rated not more than 100 points higher than the player being replaced.
3.2 Only club members may represent a team. Nominated team lists and a full list of eligible players must be notified in writing to the Match Secretary before the start of the season.
3.3 No person may be nominated for more than one team and all nominated board ratings must relate to specific members of the club.
3.4 A club may add to its list of eligible players by notifying the Match Secretary, and the Internet Officer (and this must be done even if the player has already been registered by another club). Prior registration is preferable, but it may be done when reporting the player’s first result.
3.5 A club can re-nominate a team at any time throughout the season by informing the Match Secretary, the Internet Officer, and the Captain of the first opposing team to be affected, no later than two days before that match.
3.6 A player may play for different clubs if the teams he represents are in different divisions. A player may not play for different clubs in the same division of the league unless he has genuinely changed clubs, does not play for his former club that season, and has the permission of the Match Secretary to do so.
3.7 Once a player has played four times for one team in a division, he cannot play more than three times for any other team in that division.
4.1 Matches will start at 7.30 pm.
4.2 It is the responsibility of the home team to provide clocks and to ensure that they are started at 7.30 pm. Home teams will lose the appropriate number of minutes if they fail to be ready to start the clocks at 7.30 pm.
4.3 If an analogue clock and a digital clock are both available, a player who is significantly visually impaired may choose which one to use.
4.4 Play must take place in accordance with one of the following two time controls:
- Fischer: each player has an initial stock of 70 minutes with an additional 15 seconds added per move from the first move. Quickplay finish rules do not apply.
- Traditional: each player must make 30 moves in 75 minutes, after which a further 15 minutes are added to each player’s clock for the remainder of the game. Quickplay finish rules apply.
If only analogue clocks are available, or an analogue clock is selected under rule 4.3, games will use the Traditional timing method.
Note: The Quickplay rules, which are stated separately, include the ‘2-minute rule’ which therefore may not be used to claim a draw when using Fischer timing.
4.5 If suitable clocks are available, games in Division 1 and Division 2 will use the Fischer timing method described in rule 4.4 unless both players agree to use Traditional timing. In Division 3, if suitable clocks are available, the normal time control will be Fischer timing, but either player may require Traditional timing.
4.6 A game is defaulted (if so claimed by the opposing captain or player) if a player does not arrive by the default time. If the late player has notified his captain (or another team member) before the clocks are started that he will be late, and this notification is immediately conveyed to the player’s opponent, then the default time will be 1 hour after the scheduled start of play. In all other circumstances, the default time will be 30 minutes after the scheduled start of play. After the match has started a captain may choose an eligible substitute for a player who has failed to turn up. To be eligible the player should not be rated more than 100 points above the nominated rating for that board, unless the opposing captain agrees otherwise.
5.1 Throughout the season, teams should play in order of their standard over-the-board (OTB) ratings as published in the current monthly list. One week’s grace will be allowed for implementation, following the publication of each monthly rating list.
5.2 Board order is subject to a permitted tolerance of 100 rating points.
5.3 Players with a current standard OTB rating below 1375 may play in any order amongst themselves.
5.4 For the purposes of nomination and eligibility, a player’s rating will be his standard OTB rating as published in the August rating list, or an estimated rating (see 5.5).
5.5 Where a player has no published standard OTB rating, the club secretary will provide the Match Secretary with an estimated rating, which should be used for the purposes of these rules. This estimate should be based on all known data, including old ratings or grades from previous lists, as well as current rapidplay ratings and online ratings. The estimate should be used thereafter, until the player concerned receives a current standard OTB rating in a published monthly rating list.
A team’s nominated players have ratings of 1855, 1765, 1720 and 1675. Using the 100 point tolerance, any two neighbouring boards may exchange places.
Later in the season, the same players’ ratings are 1830, 1935, 1825 and 1690. There is no need to re-nominate the team, but the player nominated on board 2 must now play on board 1 (they are more than 100 rating points above the nominated board 1). Also, the nominated board 4 is no longer permitted to play above the nominated board 3. Board 3 remains eligible, even though he is now more than 100 points above the nominated board rating for board 3. The former boards 1 and 3 may play on either board 2 or 3 (within the 100 point tolerance).
If a substitute is required, the replacement’s initial (August) rating must be not more than 100 points above the nominated board rating (i.e. 1855, 1765, 1720 or 1675 depending on the board).
6.1 ECF/FIDE rules will apply, unless superseded by Bury Area Chess League rules.
6.2 Captains should exchange lists of their players before the match starts, with forename, surname and rating.
6.3 Away teams have the white pieces on boards 1 and 3.
6.4 Any player whose mobile phone makes any sound during play will receive a warning for the first offence and will be defaulted on a second offence in the same game. Any player who is found to be using or consulting any device capable of suggesting chess moves will be defaulted that game.
6.5 Unless both players agree otherwise, the clock will be placed at the left hand of the player with the white pieces. The clock must not be picked up by either player, nor punched forcibly. The clock button must be pressed by the hand that makes the move.
6.6 Each player must keep an up-to-date game score until less than five minutes remain on his clock. This applies for both the first and final time controls. The scoresheet must be updated with the player’s clock running as soon as the first time control is reached. It is not necessary for the scoresheets to be signed by the players.
6.7 If a player makes an illegal move the opponent will receive an additional two minutes on his clock. A player making a second illegal move will forfeit the game.
6.8 Captains of both teams should enter or confirm the match result on the ECF’s League Management System (LMS). Where possible this should be done within two days of the fixture, and in any case within a week. On request the Internet Officer may grant other club officials permission to enter and confirm results on behalf of team captains.
6.9 Any player may request that masks be worn in his game if there is not a screen between the players. If this request is made then both players will wear masks. The captains must inform the opposing captain of any requirement for masks at least seven days before the fixture. On receiving such a request, the captain of the opposing team may change the board order so as to be able to field a willing opponent even if this breaches the 100 point rating on board order. If the opposing team is unable to field a player wearing a mask in such circumstances, the game will be defaulted by the team unable to supply a mask wearing opponent as requested.
7.1 Teams score one point for each game won, and half a point for each draw. In addition, a bonus point will be awarded to a team winning a match.
7.2 Results against a team which has withdrawn before completing its matches will be disregarded for scoring purposes. However, the games will count in the Player of the Year competition and they will be rated.
7.3 If teams finish level on points at the end of the season, bonus points will be disregarded in determining their respective positions. If two or more of those teams have the same number of game points their respective positions will be determined by the game points scored in all the matches between them (as if they had been the only participants in a mini-league).
8.1 Matches must be played on the date specified in the league handbook, unless rearranged in accordance with rules 8.2 to 8.5.
8.2 If a match must be postponed because of bad weather, disruption to the transport system, lack of availability of players (for example due to pandemic related reasons),or the venue being unavailable the captain in question should contact the Match Secretary (or if unavailable the Chairman) as soon as the need becomes apparent and a fresh date will be fixed by the Match Secretary after consulting the other team captain.
8.3 If a match is to held within one month of the circulation of the fixture list either captain may request a postponement, and the Match Secretary, after consulting the other captain, will decide whether to fix a new date.
8.4 Team captains may agree to play a match on an earlier date than scheduled in the league handbook, in which case the home captain should notify the Match Secretary, and the Internet Officer.
8.5 A match may be postponed by agreement between the two captains provided they agree on the new date and notify it to the Match Secretary, and to the Internet Officer, no later than one week after the original date. Failure to do so will result in the match being defaulted by the side which originally sought postponement. The date for the rescheduled match must be not later than 30 April.
9.1 A player in breach of any of the following rules, namely 3.1 to 3.7 or 4.6, will be considered to have defaulted that board. Where a team is in breach of rule 5.1, the player on the lower board where the rule infraction occurred will be considered to have defaulted that board. However, where the game is played the result will be rated and will count toward the Player of the Year competition.
9.2 In the event of a board default, the offending team will lose the point. All other players will play on the board for which they have been chosen. Where there is a board default by both teams, no point shall be awarded for that board.
9.3 Should any team default a match a score of 4-0 will be awarded to the opposition. No bonus point (under rule 7.1) will be awarded.
10.1 The Match Secretary will adjudicate on any dispute, if necessary seeking advice from an independent ECF arbiter. Should the dispute involve the Match Secretary’s club he will nominate another officer who is independent of both clubs (normally the Chairman or Vice-Chairman) to handle the dispute on his behalf.
10.2 A captain may appeal against a decision of the Match Secretary or his nominee within seven days of being notified of the decision. The Executive will decide the matter after consulting the captains involved and the Match Secretary (or his nominee). No member of the clubs involved may vote on the appeal. The Executive’s decision will be final.
11.1 It is the responsibility of the home team to specify any venue specific protocols which may be necessary to comply with evolving COVID-19 requirements (whether imposed by the government, the venue or the Club). These requirements should be reported to the Internet Officer by Club Secretaries and will be displayed on the BACL website.
1. A Quickplay finish is one where all remaining moves must be made by a player within a given time. When Black has made his time control move (after the 30th move) and stopped the clock, the times on both clocks are noted and the clocks set back 15 minutes. Thus the final time control is on the hour and a player retains the use of any time not consumed.
2. Specific attention is drawn to the following rules:
- If a player has less than two minutes on the clock he or she may stop the clock and claim a draw if it is believed that the opponent either cannot win by normal means or is making no effort to win by normal means. If their own games have been completed, the two captains may jointly arbitrate in this matter and if necessary should allow the game to continue until flag fall in order properly to evaluate the claim.
- If a claim made under Rule 2a cannot be resolved between the teams concerned, an agreed score of the game and final position shall be submitted to the Match Secretary. He will arrange for an independent arbiter to adjudicate, at the expense of the team claiming the draw if the claim is turned down, or of the other team if it is upheld.
- To win a game on time, a player must claim such a win and the position must be such that it is possible to checkmate the opponent’s king by some series of legal moves. The game will be declared a draw if the position is such that the player whose flag has not fallen cannot checkmate the opponent’s king by any possible series of legal moves. The game will be declared a draw if both flags have fallen and it is not possible to ascertain which flag fell first.
- Third parties must not intervene in a Quickplay finish. They must not indicate to either player that time is short or that the flag has fallen. It is entirely up to the two players themselves.
- Time increments must not be introduced once the game is in progress.
1. The format for this competition will be decided at the Annual General Meeting in the light of the number of entries. The Administrative Secretary, in consultation with the Roger Goldsmith Organiser, will adapt the rules as necessary. The fee for entry will be decided by the AGM on advice from the Treasurer.
2. Registered clubs may enter any number of teams of four players. Additional teams may be formed using players from two or more clubs.
3. The following League rules also apply to the Roger Goldsmith tournament:
Rule 5.1 (board order); Rule 5.5 (estimated ratings); Rule 6 (General Match Rules); Rule 8 (Rearranged Matches); Rule 9 (Defaults); and Rule 10 (Disputes and Appeals), with the Roger Goldsmith Organiser playing the part of Match Secretary.
Rule 4 of the League Rules (Playing Times) also applies to the Roger Goldsmith competition, in the way that it applies to Division 1 of the League.
4. Teams are subject to a maximum aggregate rating limit of 7200 in Division 1, or 6500 in Division 2, calculated in accordance with Rule 5.4 of the League Rules.
5. Any player with an actual or estimated rating of under 1300 in Division 1 shall be deemed to have a rating of 1300 for the purposes of calculating the team’s aggregate rating. The corresponding figure in Division 2 shall be 1150.
6. Should a team default one or more boards the aggregate team rating will be that of the players present plus a notional rating for each defaulted board. Where the bottom board is defaulted it will be 1300 points in Division 1, or 1150 in Division 2. If a board other than the bottom board is defaulted in either division the notional rating attaching to that board will be the rating of the player on the next lowest board. (For example, if a team defaults board 2 and the player on board 3 is rated 1700, then the notional rating for board 2 will be 1700.)
7. A team that breaches the aggregate rating limit shall normally have one game point transferred to the opposing team (subject to a maximum win of 4-0), though the game results will stand for rating purposes.
8. The placings will be determined by the number of game points scored. No bonus points will be awarded.
9. There will be two Divisions, each contested on an all-play-all basis.
10. No player may play for more than one team in the same division. A player may, however, play for a first division team and for a second division team.