Online Under 18 County Championship

Click here for the registration form (Excel format) | Click here for the online entry form

If you would like to be an arbiter for this event, find the form here (please make sure you fulfil the necessary criteria before applying)

Please note – closing date for entries is 9.00pm on Wednesday 18th November

Format
The Online County Under 18 Championship will be a Team Swiss competition. The scoring will be run on Matchpoints (2 for a match win, 1 for a match draw). The tie-breaks will be: (a) Olympiad Sonneborn-Berger (Khanty-Mansiysk) Cut 1, (b) Gamepoints, (c) Sum of Opponents Matchpoints Cut 1. A pairing-allocated bye will be worth 1 matchpoint and 3 gamepoints. The tournament will be paired to the Olympiad team pairing rules.

Eligibility
Entry is restricted to one team per county affiliated to the English Chess Federation (ECF) as a County and having no overdue financial liabilities with the ECF. Note: Greater Manchester is also permitted to enter given it is affiliated as a Constituent Unit via the Manchester Chess Federation.

Players are eligible for selection by a county based on the following criteria –

  • Birth in that county.
  • Five years’ domicile in that county at any time.
  • Two months’ immediate previous and present membership of a club either in or affiliated to that County.
  • One month’s immediately previous and present domicile in that County.
  • Present attendance as a student at a school or college in that County.

All players and reserves registered by a county must be an ECF member at Junior Silver level, regardless of whether or not they subsequently play any games in the Championship.

A player may only represent one county during this tournament.

Schedule
The tournament will be played on Saturday, 21st November.

Technical Meeting – 1900, Friday 20th November
Round 1 – 1100; Round 2 – 1200; Round 3 – 1300; Round 4 – 1400; Round 5 – 1500; Round 6 – 1600; Round 7 – 1700

It is mandatory for captains to attend the Technical Meeting. The Chief Arbiter reserves the right to not pair any team whose captain fails to attend the Technical Meeting.

Squad & Team Composition
Each team must name one team captain, who will be an adult, who will be responsible for team selection in each round.

Each team will be represented by 6 players in total, from four categories –

Category A Under 18 – Born 01/09/2002 or later, 2 players + up to 2 reserves
Category B Under 18 Girls – Born 01/09/2002 or later, 2 players + up to 2 reserves
Category C Under 11 – Born 01/09/2009 or later, 1 player + up to 1 reserve
Category D Under 11 Girls – Born 01/09/2009 or later, 1 player + up to 1 reserve

The 6 players must all be different people. Reserves may be named as reserves in more than one category. Players named in one category may be named as reserves in other categories.

Players and reserves in each category can be listed in any order – they do not need to be listed in rating order. Once the board order is fixed by category in advance of the tournament, players must play in this order throughout the event. For example, if a team has player 1, 2, R1 and R2 in category A, then it might choose player 2 and R1 for a particular match (see below). Player 2 must play above player R1.

The team composition for each round must be submitted via Chess-Results.com at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the next round. Organisers will provide team captains with a password to do this. A county that fails to submit a team for any given round will have the team submitted without reserves – not the team that was selected in the previous round.

The team on the left-hand side of a match in the pairings will be white on the odd-numbered boards, and the board order of each match will be the following:

Boards 1 & 2 – Category A
Boards 3 & 4 – Category B
Board 5 – Category C
Board 6 – Category D

The organiser reserves the right to decline a player registration for any county without giving a reason.

Playing the Games
Before the scheduled start time for each round, players should be logged in to chess.com/live

Once any fair play checks have been conducted by the arbiter, and we are passed the scheduled start time, the arbiter(s) will automatically start your games for you.

The time limit is all moves in 10 minutes, plus 5 seconds per move. The expected maximum duration of each game is 30 minutes, but they may take longer in the case of a long game. A player whose game is not started within 10 minutes of the actual start time for their round will lose their game by default.

Technical Requirements

The following technical requirements are required:

  • A computer, to play the games. Mobile phones and tablets are strictly prohibited. A computer that runs a Windows operating system is strongly recommended.
  • A mouse, to make he moves. It is not permitted to use a touchscreen device to make the moves. The computer’s trackpad, if it has one, may be permitted with permission of the Chief Arbiter in advance.
  • A camera, built into the computer, or a webcam affixed to the front of the computer such that the arbiter can see the player on camera. It is strictly prohibited for this device to be a mobile phone.
  • A microphone, so that the arbiter can hear the players during play
  • Speakers, so that the player can hear the arbiter if there needs to be communication with the player from the arbiter
  • An internet connection, to connect to the platform. It is strongly recommended to have a backup Internet connection available. For example, the primary connection may be the house wi-fi, but the backup connection may be to tether to a mobile phone, so long as the mobile phone is situated in another room of the venue in which the games are being played.

Rules of Conduct and Fair Play

  • It is compulsory for players to be connected to the tournament Zoom call during their games, and for a period of time before. Players due to play in Round 1 are expected to arrive on Zoom at least 30 minutes before the start of the tournament. Therefore, players are required to be on Zoom at least 15 minutes before the following round. Games will not be started until both players are connected to the Zoom call and have completed the processes outlined below.
  • It is compulsory for captains to be connected to the tournament Zoom call at least 30 minutes before the start of Round 1, and they must be present on the Zoom call throughout the day to assist with communication with the players. Captains are allowed off-camera when their team’s games have finished, and may not use a mobile phone on camera.
  • Players will be expected to share Task Manager, or the equivalent on their operating system, during the game.
  • The playing area must contain only players; parents and others must be out of the playing area at all times.
  • When requested by an arbiter, and in any case during their own games, players must –

~ Have their webcam switched on
~ Have their microphone switched on
~ Have their speakers switched either off or on
~ Share their screen in the Zoom call

  • When requested by an arbiter, and in any case during play in each round, captains must –

~ Have their webcam switched on
~ Have their microphone switched on
~ Have their speakers switched either off or on
~ Not share their screen in the Zoom call

  • Players must stay on camera for the duration of their game. Players must therefore go to the toilet in advance of the start of their game, and not during the game. The Chief Arbiter may grant exceptions to this rule in advance of the competition in the case of specific players for medical reasons.
  • Players found to be in breach of these regulations will be sanctioned in accordance with the system outlined in Appendix.

ECF Fair Play Policy

Games will be submitted to Professor Regan for screening, and notwithstanding the measures outlined above, in cases where there is agreement between Chess.com and the Chief Arbiter based on the results of Professor Regan’s tests, results of players found to have used assistance will be overturned. Teams should allow up to 72 hours after the conclusion of the tournament for these fair play checks to be complete. The ECF will announce when the results are final.

Other Fair Play Issues

  • Players whose declared accounts have been closed by Chess.com before the tournament, or are closed mid-tournament, will not be permitted to play in the rest of the tournament. Username changes for players are not permitted once the teamlist has been submitted by the captain.
  • In advance of the tournament, players should go to chess.com/settings and put their real names in the “First name” and “Surname” fields, for example —

Note: Do not change your username! A player’s username can be whatever you want it to be, but changing it will delay the start of the tournament.

Disconnections
It is a player’s responsibility to connect to Chess.com. This means that the connection has to reach Chess.com; proof of your upload speed does not imply that the messages being sent by you are reaching Chess.com. In the event Chess.com being at fault for the disconnection (e.g. a server restart), the Chief Arbiter reserves the right to take any action deemed fair in his or her opinion, which includes but is not restricted to –

  •  “Adjudicating” the result of the game
  •  Declaring the game void
  •  Restarting the game from the beginning

Communication

During the event, a captains WhatsApp group will be set up to aid with communication with the Chief Arbiter, rather than just their Zoom arbiter. It is recommended that the captain joins this WhatsApp group. In addition, to avoid using a mobile phone during play, it is strongly recommended that the captain accesses WhatsApp via web.whatsapp.com.

Appendix – System of Sanctions

Cards awarded in a Game
The following offences may result in a player receiving a first and final warning before receiving a card –

  •  An internet disconnection for a duration of 1 minute or less
  •  Any offence not listed that, in the opinion of the Chief Arbiter, merits the award of a first and final warning

The following offences may result in a player receiving a yellow card –

  • Camera shutoff from Zoom via manual shutoff
  • Disconnection from Zoom without disconnecting from Chess.com/live
  • An internet disconnection for a duration of over 1 minute
  • Disruption of other players/talking
  • Not sharing their screen on the Zoom call
  • Any offence requiring a player to be warned for a second time in that game
  • Any offence not listed that, in the opinion of the Chief Arbiter, merits the award of a yellow card

The following offences may result in the player receiving a red card –

  • Any offence that would result in a player being awarded a second yellow card

Bans and Disqualification

A player will be banned for their next round if they receive either –

  • A red card in one game, or
  • One yellow card in two different games
  • A player will be banned from taking any further part in the tournament if they receive two red cards.

Any serious offence may result in disqualification from the whole tournament, at the discretion of the Chief Arbiter.

Photo by Christoph Theisinger on Unsplash