D.C. Chess League Tournament Rules

updated October 2010


Table Of Contents

1.  Application of the Rules
2.  Executive Director
3.  Team Captains
4.  Team
5.  Team Lineups
6.  Players
7.  Fees
8.  Match Schedule
9.  Match Play
10.  Disputes
11.  Appeals
12.  Penalties
13.  Summer League Rules
14.  Prizes
15.  Tiebreaks and Scoring


15.  Playoffs


1.  Application of the Rules
  1. These rules govern the Winter and Summer League Tournaments of the D.C. Chess League (DCCL).
  2. These rules may be amended by a majority of those present and voting at the regular fall meeting of the League or, in the case of Rule 13, at the regular summer meeting.
  3. Amendments applicable to the current season only may be made at any other meeting of the League, or by the Board of Directors after consultation with the captains of all affected teams.
2.  Executive Director
  1. The Executive Director as tournament director shall implement these rules.
  2. The Executive Director may supplement these rules with statements of policy, interpretations, and precedents, such rulings to be published in the next bulletin.
  3. The Executive Director shall see that a bulletin is published by six days prior to each match, to contain at least current team standings for all sections, results for each match, pairings for the coming round, and any rulings made by the Executive Director.
3.  Team Captains
  1. The team captain is the official team representative to the League.
  2. The team captain is responsible for the conduct of matches and must see that DCCL and relevant USCF rules are enforced.
  3. The team captain is responsible for ensuring that all team players are USCF members when they compete.  Team captains will be held financially responsible for players who are not USCF members.
  4. Both captains or their designated representatives must be present during all phases of a match.
  5. A captain may advise his players as to general conduct and respond to questions of whether to offer or accept a draw and may answer questions about rules but may not give advice as to a position, strategy, or choice of moves, or call attention to a clock condition other than a defect.
4.  Team
  1. Only teams from the Greater Metropolitan area may enter.
  2. Two weeks notice is to be given for a permanent site change; one week notice for a temporary site change.
  3. A team captain must notify the Executive Director and the opposing team captain at least one week in advance of a site change.
5.  Team Lineups
  1. Rating limits for each section are:
    • Open section: Open to all.
    • Amateur section: No player over 1899.
    • Reserve section: No player over 1599.
  2. For application of Rule 5.1 only, a player may choose to use the rating he had when he first played for the same team during the same season.  However, no player may play in a section with a current rating of more than 100 points above the maximum rating for that section.
  3. A captain will assign his players to boards in order of the last published USCF ratings.  If two players have the same rating, their board assignments will be left to the discretion of the captain.
  4. With the consent of both team captains, players may play out of rating sequence in order to avoid forfeits.
  5. An unrated player may be assigned a tentative rating with the approval of the Executive Director.
  6. Unrated players may play in any section, but only on the lowest boards unless assigned a rating.  (See Rule 5.5.)
  7. Computers are not allowed to play.
  8. Each team shall be allowed one player per match whose rating is up to 100 points above the maximum rating for that section, except for players eligible under Rule 5.2.
6.  Players
  1. A player must be a USCF member whenever he competes.
  2. A player may play for only one team in a section except when the Executive Director determines that a player has been unfairly prevented from playing, in which event he may switch to another team (once per season); or if the player's current rating is 2099 or lower in the Open Section or 100 points or more below the maximum rating (according to Rule 5.1) in the other sections.
  3. A player may play only one game per round.
7.  Fees
  1. The registration fee for a season shall be set by the Board of Directors.  This rate shall prevail unless disapproved by two-thirds of the membership.
8.  Match Schedule
  1. Matches may be rescheduled with consent of both teams' captains and the Executive Director.
  2. The Executive Director will postpone a match at the request of either captain if weather conditions or other emergencies require it or if insufficient notice has been given of the match.
  3. Individual games may not be pre-played or postponed.
9.  Match Play
  1. A match shall consist of four boards or more by agreement of the captains except in the Open Section where a match is six or more.  (See Rule 13.1)
  2. The visiting team has white on odd numbered boards.
  3. The home team shall provide site and standard equipment unless otherwise agreed in advance.  Changes in playing site do not change home designation.
  4. Time control shall be 30 moves in 90 minutes and sudden death in 1 hour after that in all sections.
  5. Games begin at 8:00 p.m., and clocks of absent players can only be started at this time, unless it is agreed by both captains that clocks can start before 8:00 p.m.  Players arriving or absent after 8:45 p.m. forfeit their games.
  6. Exceptions may be made to Rules 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, and 9.5 by agreement of the captains.
  7. Chess clocks will be used when available, but, in cases of insufficient clocks, the higher boards shall have priority in assigning clocks.
10. Disputes
  1. In case of a dispute, the captains may agree to a temporary ruling, from which either or both may appeal to the Executive Director.  If a game is completed under such a temporary ruling, the result is conditional subject to resolution of the appeal.
  2. If the captains do not agree on a ruling, either player may require an adjournment and seal his move pending a ruling by the Executive Director.
  3. If in the interval between the adjournment of any disputed game and the final adjudication of the dispute, a draw is agreed upon by the players concerned, all protests shall be considered withdrawn and the game declared a draw.
  4. If the Executive Director or his teammate is party to a dispute which requires a ruling, the President shall appoint a person to make the ruling.
11. Appeals
  1. Any decision by the Executive Director may be appealed in writing to the Board of Directors, which shall hold an in-person hearing if requested by any three members of the Board.
  2. No hearing shall be held without reasonable notice to all Board members and to all parties to the dispute.
  3. The appeal may be decided by a majority of the Board members voting.  The Executive Director shall not vote, nor shall any teammate of a player in a disputed game, nor any Board member who, in his own opinion, has a conflict of interest or who has not attended at least one hearing on the dispute.  In the event of a tie vote, the Executive Director's decision is upheld.
12.  Penalties
  1. A team forfeits on a board when its player has a higher USCF rating than one of its players on a higher board.  (Exception, Rule 5.4)
  2. Both teams forfeit on a board when a match is played on fewer than four boards (except in the Open Section where it is six boards.  See Rule 13.1)
  3. The Executive Director may declare a match forfeited by both teams if the result is not reported by the Wednesday following the match.
  4. Forfeits made in advance of a match will be made on the lowest boards.
  5. Though forfeited, any game played between two USCF members will be rated.
  6. Two points will be awarded for forfeiture on first board.  Upon appeal, the executive director has the discretion to reduce the penalty.  However, only one of the two forfeit points will be counted in the team game points when used for tie-breaks.
  7. If a team deliberately lists an ineligible player, or lists a player who does not intend to play, the team shall forfeit all lower boards.
  8. If a player or a team member not playing interferes with a game in violation of the rules of chess, his own game (if still in progress) may be declared lost by his team or the opposing team be awarded an extra game point.
  9. The Executive Director has the power to bar:
    • from playing or captaining during the subsequent season, a captain failing to provide 48 hours notice of his team's forfeiture of a match to the opposing team captain;
    • from League play for the rest of the season, a team forfeiting all of its games in a match, or 50% of its games in two consecutive matches, or a total of 10 individual games during a season;
    • from League play for the subsequent season, a team forfeiting all its games in either of the last two matches of the current season;
    • from League play for the rest of the season, a player forfeiting two games in a season;
    • from League play until he is reinstated at an annual meeting, any player who is penalized twice under Rule 12.8.; and
    • from League play, for the rest of the season, any team not paying league fees within one week after the completion of the second round of the season.
  10. Home site rules concerning smoking and drinking shall be in effect for all DCCL matches.  Players shall be warned once and forfeited for future violations.
  11. The Executive Director shall have the power to impose any penalty authorized by USCF Tournament Rule Article 20.4.
  12. If a team forfeits a match, the team captain must have informed the opposing captain of this forfeiture at least 24 hours prior to the match.  If the captain fails to inform the opposing captain by this time, the captain will be penalized $3.00 per forfeited game.  The penalty fee will be due prior to the captain's participation in any future season.
13.  Summer League Rules
  1. (replaces Rules 9.1 and 12.2)  A match shall consist of four boards, unless otherwise agreed by both team captains in advance of a match (no minimum).
14.  Prizes
  1. The League shall award four plaques to the winning team in each section (except in the Open Section where six will be awarded), and trophies to the individuals with the highest score in each section.
  2. Additional prizes may be awarded at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
15.  Tiebreaks and Scoring
  1. The following are the list of the tiebreakers:
    • Match Score
    • Board Score
    • U.S. Amateur Team System
    • Head to Head
    • Modified Median (Swiss Only)
    • Solkoff (Swiss Only)
    • Cumulative (Swiss Only)
    • Coin Flip
  2. Before advancing to the next tiebreaker,we drop every team eliminated in the previous tiebreaker.
  3. The board score is only calculated using the first four boards (six in the Open Section during the Winter League).
16.  Playoffs
  1. If at the end of the season there are two teams in the same section which are tied for first in score, tiebreaks (see Rule 15.1) will be used to designate a home team which will host a playoff match to determine the first place team.  In case of a tie, the team with the better tiebreaks will be declared the winner.
  2. If more than two teams are tied, tiebreaks will be used to select two teams to play a playoff match according to the provisions of Rule 16.1
  3. Only players who have played at least once for their team during the season may participate in a playoff match.  The only allowed substitutes (i.e., players who did not play during the regular season) must be under the float limit for the section (see Rule 6.2).