Bedfordshire Chess League
Rules
September 2016

1. The League shall be named the Bedfordshire Chess League and its object shall be to arrange and maintain competitive play between the clubs affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Chess Association.

2. The management of the league shall be vested in an executive committee, consisting of the League Controller, One delegate from each club entering one team in the league competition and two delegates from each club entering two or more teams.

3. The League Controller shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting of the Bedfordshire County Chess Association.

  1. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once in each season. The League Controller is responsible for arranging the AGM, which must be held by the middle of September. He may also summon the Executive Committee for any other purpose as he sees fit. He must give one monthís notice of all meetings he summons (including the AGM) to the Secretary of all the affiliated clubs. The agenda for the AGM shall consist of all motions provided in writing before the end of June by any one or more delegates, arrangements for the forthcoming season and any other matters the League Controller sees fit to include.

  2. The League Controller shall call a special meeting of the Executive Committee upon the written request of the delegate(s) of two or more affiliated clubs. Any such request must detail the specific motion(s) to be put to the meeting. The League Controller must arrange a meeting within two months of receipt of such a request and must give one monthís notice of the meeting to the secretary of all affiliated clubs.

  3. A Quorum is required at each meeting. Quorum will be achieved if at least 50% of the clubs in the League are represented by at least one delegate. All motions at any meeting shall be decided upon by a simple majority vote of those present and eligible to vote. All members of the Executive Committee present shall have one vote. No proxy votes will be accepted (i.e. if a club is entitled to two delegates then two representatives must attend for the club to have two votes.).

5. The FIDE Laws of Chess shall apply except where specifically modified here under.

  1. The League Competition shall be arranged annually. The number of teams entering being split into divisions as shall be decided at the AGM of the Executive Committee. Promotion and relegation between the divisions shall normally be on the basis of 1 up and 1 down.

  2. All Clubs playing in the league competition shall be affiliated to Bedfordshire County Chess Association. Except in so far as any club entering the competition, which is already affiliated to another County Chess Association, where the Executive Committee have the discretion to waive affiliation fees to the Bedfordshire County Chess Association.

  3. The entry fee for each team in the competition shall be decided at the AGM of the Executive Committee and such fee shall be payable prior to commencement of the new playing season.

6. The champions of each division shall be presented with the appropriate divisional trophy to be held for a period of one year. The trophies must be returned to the League Controller during the subsequent month of May, who will arrange for the necessary engraving prior to the presentation of trophies. The trophies shall not be won outright by any club but shall remain the property of the Bedfordshire County Chess Association.

7. Any club may enter one or more teams in the competition. Teams shall consist of five players. Matches played in the lowest division may feature teams of a greater number of players provided both captains agree so in advance of play.

8. No player who has played above board 3 in any division may play for any other team in that or any lower division. No player who has played in any division may subsequently play for a team in a division, which is two or more divisions lower than that one, if his club has a team in an intermediate division. For the purpose of this rule, any name that appears against a board number on a team list drawn up by that teamís captain (or acting captain) is deemed to have played.

9. Each team shall play home and away matches with each other team in its division, the fixtures being so arranged that each team shall play each other team in the first half of the season.

10 a) All matches shall be played on the club night of the home team as shown in the official fixture list. Matches must be played on the date specified by the league secretary
- ie no changes, rearrangements, postponements etc. If a Club has any dates they would like set-a-side, they must be sent to the league controller no later than the
League AGM.

10 b) In the event of a club wishing to postpone a match, seven days notice must be given to the opposing team captain and permission from the league controller must be obtained, which will only be given in exceptional curcumstances.

10 c) The league controller will suggest an alternative date after consultation between the relevant captains, which must not be later than the closing date of the season shown on the fixture list. In the case of a postponement request by a team from his own club the alternative date will not be later then the third club night following the original fixture.

10 d) All changes of fixture must be notified to the League Controller at once.

10 e) Any infringement of rule 10b or failure to agree an alternative date under rule 10c shall be notified at once to the League Controller for a ruling after which if necessary rule 20 will apply.

11. Matches must start at 7:30pm unless both captains agree in advance to a different starting time. Matches should last at least three hours. Clocks are to be started at 7:30pm (or pre-agreed starting time) or if not available at this time the lost minutes are to be deducted from the time of the home team when actually started. Prior to start of any match the captains shall agree the time to stop play, subject to the above conditions.

  1. Team lists shall be exchanged prior to the start of the match. Players shall be named on these lists and their grades shown, on all boards in descending order of current playing strength. Current playing strength is defined in 12b below. Unnamed defaults shall be from board five upwards. Failure to comply with these requirements shall result in the automatic 5-0 loss of the match by the offending team. If both teams fail to comply, neither team will score any match points or game points for that match.

    If a player named on the team sheet is absent at the agreed start time, up to thirty minutes grace may be allowed for his arrival or for a substitute to be provided. During this time the clock will run in accordance with the rules of chess and in line with rule 11 above. The game shall be scored to the waiting opponent by default when thirty minutes have elapsed on the clock.

    Penalties apply to substitutions which result in players actually playing other than in descending order of current playing strength, and defaults, as set out in rule 12c below.

  2. Unless the League Controller agrees otherwise, a difference of more than 10 grading points will be irrefutable proof that the higher graded player has a higher current playing strength. Differences of 10 grading points or less will not be deemed to be prima facie evidence of differences in current playing strength. A playerís grade is defined as his ECF standard play grade, unless he does not have a ECF grade, in which case it is his converted ELO rating, unless he does not have an ELO rating, in which case it is his ECF Rapidplay grade.

    For the purpose of this rule, the grade of a player as published at the beginning of the season shall be deemed to be the grade of that player for the whole season. A player without a grade at the beginning of the season, but subsequently obtaining a standard play grade will be treated as having that grade from the first of the month following publication and thereafter.

    If a player has none of the three grades above, after a minimum of four match results have been submitted, the League Controller will issue a grade for that player based on those results which will be used for the remainder of the season in the Beds League, unless they subsequently obtain an ECF grade,. This shall remain the players deemed grade unless and until the League Controller deems otherwise. Where two ungraded players play one another then the two team captains will provide an estimated grade for their match. Team captains may apply to the League Controller for a new estimated grade to be applied to any player with no current published grade. Such an application must be supported by appropriate evidence, such as recent results and needs to be agreed to by the League Controller. In any event, such a player may play three matches for his club in the league before rule 8 applies

  3. The penalties applying to substitutions resulting in players playing in any order other than that of current playing strength and to defaults (named or otherwise), are as follows:

    For each player playing on a lower board than a player or players of lower current playing strength: One penalty point.

    For each player playing on a higher board than a player or players of higher current playing strength: One penalty point.

    Any default on board 1 will receive 4 penalty points, on board 2, 3 penalty points, on board 3, 2 penalty points, on board 4, 1 penalty point and on board 5, 0 penalty points. However, if a default has been notified to the opposing captain before 8pm of the day before the match is due to take place, no such penalty points will apply.

    For the first 10 penalty points accumulated by a team during a season, one match point will be deducted from that teamís total match points at the end of the season. For every subsequent 5 penalty points, an additional one match point will be deducted.

    If a team defaults an entire match without notifying the opposing captain before 8pm of the day before the match is due to take place, the defaulting team will score minus one match point and the winning team the normal two match points.


    If the opposing captain or club official is not contactable, the defaulting captain must notify the League Controller before 8pm of the day before the match is due to take place in order to avoid minus one match point being scored. The League Controller will do his best to contact alternative officials of the opposing teams club.

13. Visiting teams shall have White on the top board and on the remaining boards alternately.

14. Sufficient chess clocks must be provided. The normal rate of play being thirty five moves in one hour and ten minutes plus ten seconds per move, followed by the rest of the game in ten minutes plus ten seconds per move. Any time remaining at the end of the first time period shall be carried forward to the final time period. This procedure is to accord with ECF rules for allegro finishes. There will be no adjournments or adjudications.

14a If insufficient digital clocks are available for all games in a match or there is no flexibility in the finishing time at the venue, then the time limits of thirty five moves in one and a quarter hours, followed by the rest of the game in fifteen minutes. The home team captain decides if this rule applies.

15. Results must be submitted to the League Controller within 14 days of cessation of play. Failure to do so risks that the match result will be given by default to the opponents or that it will be declared void.

16. The position in the League table shall be based upon the points system of two points for a win and one point for a drawn match. In the event of a tie on points between teams contesting the promotion, relegation or championship positions in each division, then the team having a greater number of board points will take precedence. If still equal then board points between the involved tied teams only will decide, the greater number winning. Only if these are also equal will the matter be decided by playing of an additional match(es). The choice of venue being decided by lot.

17. All players and team captains are expected to adhere to the spirit of these rules, not just their formal content. Not to do so tends to bring the game into disrepute. Any affiliated club may charge any other club, team or team captain with bringing the game into disrepute by asking the League Controller to summon the Executive Committee to hear such charge under the provisions of Rule 4a. The charge must give precise details of the underlying circumstances, and the Executive Committee is, after hearing the charge, empowered to take any action it sees fit.

18. Amendments to these rules can only be made at a properly convened meeting of the Executive Committee (in accordance with rule 4). Proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the League Controller. All proposals received by the League Controller from any delegate before the end of June in any year will be included in the agenda of the same yearís AGM, unless they have been included in a request for a special meeting in accordance with rule 4b. In which case the requirements of that rule must be followed.

19. Current and up to date rules (including amendments and new rules passed at the AGM) should be distributed to all team officials before the start of the season.

20. Any dispute, which cannot be resolved by reference to the rules, must be referred to the League Controller in writing. The League Controllerís decision shall be notified to all parties concerned within 14 days of his being notified of the dispute. Any appeal against the League Controllers decision must be made in writing and sent to the League Controller within 14 days of receipt of his decision. The appeal must be heard by a special meeting of the Executive Committee constituted in accordance with rule 4a.

21. By playing for any team in the Bedfordshire Chess League, Cordon Trophy, chess competitions organised by the EACU or ECF or by entering the Bedfordshire Individual Chess Championship or by playing in the internal competitions of any of the chess clubs affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Chess Association, players agree that their names, grades, ECF registration number and chess game results may be stored and published on the Internet and associated electronic media. If other related details are published for the benefit of the Bedfordshire County Chess Association or its affiliated clubs, Bedfordshire Chess League, East Anglian Chess Union or English Chess Federation, players may opt out by informing the appropriate website controller in writing or by electronic mail.

22 The possession of a mobile phone or other electronic device on a player's person should incur no penalty. The first sounding of such a device during a game should result in a warning and the second sounding in the loss of the game.


Appendix A :- Cordon Trophy (to be confirmed)

  1. The Cordon Trophy shall be a Team Jamboree competition held between the clubs affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Chess Association (BCCA) or competing in the Bedfordshire Chess League (BCL).

  2. Clubs may enter any number of teams.

  3. Teams are expected to be representatives of those clubs described in Rule 1, but composite teams are allowed to enable as many players as possible to take part.

  4. The competition shall be a 4 round Rapidplay event held over the course of 1 evening.

  5. The time control for each game shall be 15 minutes per player.

  6. Each team shall consist of 4 players. Players within teams should be ranked according Beds league rule 12a.

  7. The points scored shall be 1 for a win, 0.5 for a draw and 0 for a loss.

  8. Ranking shall be determined by the total number of game points scored by each team.

  9. The highest ranked team(s), ie. scoring the most points, shall hold the Cordon Trophy for the following year.

  10. The results shall be sent for ECF Rapidplay grading.

  11. Any ECF game fees generated as a result of players taking part in the Cordon Trophy shall be the responsibility of the club of which the player is a member.