English Chess Federation Tournament Rules

This document is effective from November 2017

These Competition Rules will be used in conjunction with the FIDE Laws of Chess.

The requirements of this document must be complied with in order for an event to be accepted for ECF grading. Please note that the word “event” is used as a catch-all word to cover congresses, leagues, matches, and any other formats in which ECF graded chess is played.

Section A – Compulsory Rules

  1. The organiser must specify a time control within the limits specified by the Laws of Chess. The ECF strongly recommends organisers to use incremental time controls wherever possible.
  2. When the time limit is Rapidplay or Blitz then, in accordance with Article A.5/B.5 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, the regulations of an event shall specify if the entire event shall be played according to the Competition Rules (all articles from 6 to the 12 of the FIDE Laws of Chess) or with some exceptions as described in the article A.4/B.4.
  3. When a non-incremental time limit is used the regulation of the event shall specify whether the game is played according to Guidelines III (Quickplay Finishes), as described in the article III.2.1. If yes, then the regulations of an event shall specify the procedure for the player having the move and less than two minutes left on his clock for a draw claim. There are two options: according to article III.4 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, an increment of an extra five seconds shall be introduced for both players or according to article III.5 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, a draw claim procedure shall follow. If these matters are not specified, then, for example, king and knight v king and knight can be played on until one flag falls.
  4. According to Article 6.7.1 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, the regulations of an event shall specify a default time. If the default time is not specified, then it is zero.
  5. The ECF Guidelines on treatment of disabled players will apply — http://www.englishchess.org.uk/guidelines-on-treatment-of-chess-players-with-impairments/

Section B – Recommended Rules

  1. According to Article 9.1.1 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, the regulations of an event may specify that players cannot offer or agree to a draw, whether in less than a specified number of moves or at all, without the consent of the arbiter. If the draw condition is not specified then, according to article 5.3.2 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, players can offer or agree to a draw when both have made at least one move.
  2. According to Article 11.3.2.1 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, the regulations of an event may allow to the player to have an electronic device not specifically approved by the arbiter in the playing venue, provided that this device is stored in a player’s bag and the device is completely switched off. This bag must be placed as agreed with the arbiter. Neither player is allowed are to use this bag without permission of the arbiter. If this approval is not given, then is forbidden to have any electronic device in the playing venue.

Section C – Optional Rules

  1. According to Article 10.1 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, the regulations of an event may specify a different scoring system. For example a player who wins his game, or wins by forfeit, scores three points (3), a player who draws his game scores a two points (2), a player who loses his game scores one point (1), a player who loses by default scores zero points (0). If not specified, normal scoring is used (1, ½, 0).
  2. Leaving the playing area According to Article 11.2.4 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, the regulations of an event may specify that the opponent of the player having the move must report to the arbiter when he wishes to leave the playing area. If this is not specified, there is no obligation for the opponent to communicate his intention to leave.
  3. According to Article 11.10 of the FIDE Laws of Chess, the regulations of an event may specify that a player cannot appeal against any decision of the arbiter, if he has signed the scoresheet. If not specified, the player may appeal even after signing the scoresheet. It is strongly recommended that an Appeal Committee should be set up in advance.

Section D – Optional rules for events that are not FIDE-rated

  1. FIDE recognises for its own events and matches only one system of notation, the Algebraic System. For events that are not FIDE-rated, organisers may permit the use of descriptive notation.
  2. For events that are not FIDE-rated, organisers may permit the use of adjudication.
  3. For Under 11 Rapidplay events that are not FIDE-rated – i.e. those restricted to players who are under the age of 11, defined by either the calendar year or the academic year – the number of moves that results in the loss of a game may be increased from two so long as it is prescribed in advance in the regulations of the event.
  4. Where no arbiter is appointed, e.g. in an evening league match, then the organiser is empowered to make decisions otherwise the responsibility of the arbiter with respect to Article 11.3.2.1. In the case of a team match, the organiser is also empowered to delegate this responsibility to an opposing match captain.

Miscellaneous

FIDE Laws of Chess effective from January 2018
The Federation have been informed by FIDE that the article A.4.2 of the Laws of  Chess to take effect from 1st January 2018, which provides that one illegal move no longer loses in a rapidplay event, may be applied with immediate effect provided this is announced in the tournament conditions.

Request to use alternative rules not covered above
If an event organiser wants to use rule variations not covered above, then the event may apply to the Director of Home Chess for a dispensation to use those rules, which will be communicated to the director responsible for grading. Reasonable requests will not be rejected, and may find their way into future revisions of this document.

Questions
If you have any questions you wish to raise, please contact Alex Holowczak, the Director of Home Chess, at director.homechess@englishchess.org.uk

Alex Holowczak, Director of Home Chess
Lara Barnes, Chief Arbiter
David Thomas, Director of Membership
Brian Valentine, Manager of Grading
October 2017

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