Bacchus League

Bacchus Chess League – background and rules

Bacchus match - first ever 4 Oct '181 Dec’19: These notes are produced from a website post a year ago when Bacchus was launched and may help a little with explaining what it is all about. At time of writing, there is enthusiasm to have a Bacchus East division again and, if possible, a Bacchus West division. For season 2019/20 there will be no entry fee. The £20 to each team for entering last season was a one-off just to try and get things going. And a reminder Bacchus matches count for grading and the results and league tables appear on ECF/LMS – please click on the red button of the top right home page of this website.

As Bacchus has evolved, it has been advisable to confirm the options available for time controls. There are 3 as explained below and best left for the Captains to decide what is right and most appropriate for each match. It is not in the spirit of Bacchus to be rule bound, but the point should be made that the minimum requirement is 1 hour each on the clock and scoresheets used.

Finally, what we did not visualise a year ago was what an opportunity Bacchus would represent for less experienced players of all ages, but especially juniors as this news item from Tarik on the Poole website demonstrates very well (pl click on the link):

Please support Bacchus. It is more than another league – it is also about looking to the future and enthusing emerging players of all ages and abilities to want to be part of it.

Best regards,


Mike (Jay) League Controller


Anyway, here are the notes from a year ago.

18 June ’18 (but amended 1 Dec ’19 to confirm choice on time control). 8 clubs have expressed interest so far, which is great, so this new league looks likely to run. Reminder that the key aim is to give graded match experience to players who are perhaps new to league chess, or inexperienced and do not normally get the chance to play against other clubs. Ideas and suggestions still welcome. E.g. feedback is most clubs do not want players taking part actual, or estimated, grade 100 and above. It is hoped, in reality, many players participating will have an actual, or estimated graded well below 99. So that has been put in, except 1 over grade player acceptable, but only if both clubs agree in advance. Some concern about avoiding long travel and will try and address that, if it is possible.

Next step. The B&DCL AGM 12 June ’18 supported the idea, so will now be put to the County League AGM this week, 20 June at Poole for outline approval. If all continues positively, the League will be launched in the Summer and fixtures drafted for an Autumn start. At the B&DCL AGM is was explained there would be no cost to either League, nor fees for each team. But due to some sponsorship each team entering will be receive £20 towards their club funds as an encouragement to get Bacchus off the ground. It was confirmed teams could be any size, whatever Captains agree in advance, from 3 upwards.

To answer a question. It was a puzzle what to call this new competition if it got off the ground. It emerged that some, in the small circle exchanging ideas, enjoyed an evening glass of Merlot. But calling it the “Merlot League” seemed to exclude those with other preferences for an evening nightcap. So Bacchus, the God of Wine, was suggested.

The guideline rules for the league are as follows:

The Bacchus League (draft 5, 1 Dec ’19’)

The aim is to offer graded league conditions matches for players who do not normally get the opportunity to play in league matches, or are new to more competitive chess

  • The league will be run under DCCA but is not part of B&DCL or DCL, so does not jeopardise eligibility to play in existing leagues. So players could play in all without prejudice
  • Teams must be from clubs who are B&DCL and/or Dorset County members, but flexible to encourage new clubs, teams
  • Games will be played under FIDE rules
  • Players must be graded under 100, but one player over grade 100 in permitted, but only if the opposing team agrees in advance
  • No match fees
  • Teams are typically 4 boards, but can be more if the clubs agree, or could be 3
  • The spirit is to organise a team in playing strength order, but there are no penalties if this convention is not followed
  • Clocks must be used (to ensure games are graded) – 3 choices depending on circumstances at the time (1) 1 hour each on the clock or (2) each player has 1 hour in which they must make 30 moves. Failure to do so will lose the game on time. After Black’s 30th move the clocks should be set back 15 minutes and then played to a finish. (3) Time Increments are acceptable, providing both clubs agree in advance (1 hr + 15 secs a move, or whatever). With all 3 options score sheets should be completed.
  • Aim to have about 6 matches in total, so if 4 teams entered it would be a double round, 3 teams then 4 matches
  • Although taking part is considered the priority, results will be published on the website and a league table produced. But no prize for winning the league as considered taking part is the priority
  • Given taking part is key, every team participating will receive a cash prize of £20, towards club funds, but no “champions” per se (not carried over to 2019/20)

End and up to date at 1 Dec ’19 (v5)