Knock-Out Competition Rules

Operative from September 2017

with 2017 additions in red

and deletions as strike-through

  1. Entry shall be open to one or more teams of five players from each club in the League. Teams wishing to enter shall inform the  Tournament Controller of their intention to do so not later than 14th September. It is a condition of entry that each team nominates a team captain, and submits his/her contact details.
  2. A tournament controller (TC) shall be appointed by the league. The TC shall be responsible for maintaining the competition as both a smooth-running and an amicable event, and he/she shall be accorded reasonable discretion in the interpretation of these rules to further these ends.
  3. The TC shall draw up a pairing tree for the entire competition. Random means shall be used to allocate teams to their initial positions in the tree. Apart from matches postponed from agreed dates by severe weather,any preliminary round matches must be played by 30th October, quarter finals by 15th December, semi-finals by 28th February and the final by 30th April The pairing tree, the schedule for the completion of the rounds, and a list of the contact details for all team captains shall be sent to all clubs by 1st October.
  4. In each match the team that appears above in each pairing shall play at home, unless the below-placed team has already played more away games than the above-placed one, in which case the venue is reversed.
  5. Captains should strive to keep themselves informed of the outcome of matches in collateral branches of the pairing tree, and to make arrangements for the following round at the earliest opportunity. Nevertheless, the TC shall contact captains of victorious teams to inform them of their next opponents. It is then the responsibility of the captain of the home team to contact the captain of the away team within 7 days, and offer at least two dates on which the match can be played within the schedule.
  6. Once a player has played in this competition, that player may not subsequently play for another team in this competition in the same season.
  7. For the purposes of this competition a player's grading shall be their official ECF standardplay grading from the current grading list. The January grading list therefore supersedes the July list part-way through the tournament and with immediate effect upon publication; captains shall ensure they use the up-to-date list available on the ECF website for all matches. If a player's only grading is a rapidplay grading this shall be used but if that player acquires a standardplay grading on the January list, the latter shall be used.

    No player shall appear who does not have a current ECF grade or an estimated grade as determined in advance by the Tournament Controller (any player who does will be deemed ineligible). The club shall provide to the Tournament Controller all relevant information concerning an ungraded player's strength. This must include, but shall not be limited to, all or any available of the following:

    a)   previous ECF grade(s) with date(s);

    b)   current or previous FIDE grade(s) with date(s);

    c)   current or previous national grade(s) with date(s);

    d)   recent tournament and league appearances with date(s).

    In estimating a grade the Tournament Controller may take into consideration any other relevant information not provided.

    If a player has no current ECF grading, it shall be based on the highest division in which in which he/she has appeared in a MSCL match in the current season, as follows:

    Division ECF Grade
    Division 1 150
    Division 2 135
    Division 3 120
    Division 4
    (or not previously played)

  8. Each team shall total the gradings of the players actually playing in a match, excluding any player winning or losing by default.
  9. The match shall be handicapped according to the following table.

    Difference in total grading To win, higher-graded team must score
    0 - 24 No handicap and a 2½ - 2½ draw resolved first by board count and second by board elimination
    25 -74 The higher graded team must score 3 to win and a  2½ - 2½ result shall count as a win for the lower graded team
    75 - 124 The higher graded team must score 3½ to win
    125 - 174 The higher graded team must score 4 to win
    175 plus The higher graded team must score 4½ to win

  10. If the difference between the total gradings of the teams is less than 25, a level match shall be played, with a 2½ - 2½ draw being resolved by board count, and, if the board count is equal, by board elimination.

    Board count: Each team totals the numbers on the boards which it won, and the team with the lower count wins the match. E.g. Team A wins on boards 1 and 4; team B wins on boards 3 and 5; board 2 is drawn. A has a board count of 1 + 4 = 5; B has a board count of 3 + 5 = 8; A has the lower count and wins the match.

    Board elimination: The result on board 5 is eliminated, and, if this is drawn, the result on board 4 is eliminated, and so on until one team is winning on the remaining boards. E.g. Team A wins on boards 3 and 4; team B wins on boards 2 and 5; board 1 is drawn. The board count is equal at 7 each, but after board 5 is eliminated, A has the better score, and wins the match.

  11. The rate of play shall be all moves in 80 minutes with a 10 second increment per move from move 1. If appropriate digital clocks are unavailable then the rate shall be 30 moves in 1 hour, after which both players' clocks shall be turned back half an hour, and all the remaining moves played.In the latter case the FIDE Laws of Chess on quickplay finishes shall apply. No scoring is required by a player once less than five minutes has appeared on that player's clock.
  12. All relevant rules of the League apply to this competition, except the following:
    1. Read Tournament Controller instead of Fixtures Secretary or Match Recorder.
    2. Section 6 (Defaults) shall not apply. A defaulting team, whether Home or Away, is eliminated from the competition.
    3. If a League player's club does not enter a team they may play for another club's K/O team irrespective of League rule 3.2.
  13. Results (including the computation of handicaps) shall be entered on the spreadsheet form provided and sent to the appropriate email address, or online webform if provided, by the captain of the winning team within 2 days of completing the match.