Bournemouth & District League Rules

Please click here to download a pdf copy of the current rules (updated following the B&DCL AGM on 12 June ’18):  B&DCLRules_190618



Dated : 13 June 2018


1 Constitution

The League shall be an association of member clubs situated within the boundaries of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch. Membership may also be accepted from clubs outside this area subject to the approval of the General Committee and subject to such extra conditions as the General Committee may prescribe.

2 Objects

The object of the League shall be the encouragement of chess in the district and the organisation of such tournaments and events as shall be agreed by the AGM or initiated by the General Committee.

3 Membership

Membership shall be confined to clubs which pay their team fees when due and which agree to abide by the rules of the League.

4 Annual General Meeting

The AGM shall be held not later than 30th June and at least 6 weeks’ notice shall be given of the date. All players whose names are contained in the club lists shall be entitled to vote: except that in changes proposed to the League’s Constitution and Rules: – (a) each member club only shall be entitled to vote: and (b) each member shall have one vote plus one vote for each team of that club which completed play in the League Competition in the preceding playing season, its votes to be cast by such club representatives and in such manner as the club may designate.

5 Rules

Amendments to the Constitution and Rules can be made only at the AGM and must have the support of at least two-thirds of the total votes cast. Proposed changes in the Rules must be notified to the League Secretary not later than 4 weeks before AGM. The Agenda containing such proposals shall be sent to the club secretaries at least 2 weeks before the AGM.

6 Management

Management of the League shall be by a General Committee composed of Officers and members elected at the AGM. The Committee shall manage the affairs of the League in accordance with the League’s Constitution and Rules and its decisions at the AGM. The Committee shall meet at least twice every season. Committee meetings shall be convened by the Secretary if requested by 3 members of the Committee. A quorum shall be four.

7 Subscriptions

The annual team fees shall be decided at the AGM each year and paid to the Treasurer at the time when the club notifies the Tournament Controller of the number of teams it wishes to enter in the Tournament. Individual membership of players to the ECF is not a condition for participation in the League’s activities.

8 Officers

The Officers shall be the President, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Junior Chess Officer, League Controller, Webmaster and Grading Officer. 

9 Laws of Chess

The Laws of Chess as authorised by FIDE and current at the preceding AGM shall apply within the League, except where explicitly varied by the AGM.

10 Control of Tournaments

Each Tournament run under the auspices of the League shall be controlled by an appointed Controller, who shall have the authority to make whatever arrangements are necessary for the proper conduct of that tournament and shall report on his or her conduct of the tournament to the League Committee.

11 League Trophies

The League trophies shall be the property of the league and shall be awarded annually. The secretary of each winning club or the individual winner of a trophy shall be responsible for the trophy during the time it is in their possession and shall deliver the trophy to the League Secretary when requested. Recompense may be sought for any damage or loss.

12 Disposal of Assets

In the event of the dissolution of the League, all assets shall be transferred to the Dorset County Chess Association to be held in trust for 2 years pending any re-formation of the League and thereafter shall be disposed of by that Association if the League is not re-formed. 


1 Tournament entries

Each club shall send the following information to the Club Tournament Controller not later than a date nominated by him each year:

(a) the number of teams it wishes to enter;

(b) the name, address and telephone number of the club secretary;

(c) the club venue, club night and starting time of matches;

(d) the number of chess clocks available for matches.

2 Player lists

Each club secretary shall send to the League Controller, not later than one week before the start of the playing season, a list of all its club members who are expected to play in the League Tournament.

The list should place the players in order of playing strength, based on published current gradings or on an estimated grade, unless the League Controller decides otherwise. The August ECF grade, in categories A-E is to be applied throughout the following and entire season for the purposes of eligibility, board order and grading related prizes. Estimate grades and ECF category “F” grades used from the start of the season should be revised appropriately by the Controller during the season in consultation with clubs, and also changed if an ECF categories “A-E” grade is available from the following January. Supplementary lists shall be submitted subsequently indicating the position in which additional players are to be placed and making alterations and deletions where appropriate.

All players participating in league games will be registered with the ECF for grading purposes. The ECF raise a fee, per game, at the season end for grading non ECF members. The B&DCL Treasurer invoices the clubs involved, with these fees.

All players are to be registered.

3 Eligibility

Players included in club lists submitted as in Rule 2 shall be allocated to Divisions of the Tournament in order of strength, as follows:

  • For each team competing in each Division, four or more players shall be allocated.
  • No player allocated to any division shall exceed by more than ten ECF grading points any player nominated by the player’s club to a higher Division.
  • Players may not play in a Division lower than that to which they are allocated in any one season. However, they may play in a higher team as a “Reserve”, and on each occasion, this uses a “Reserve Place” for that team.
  • The numbers of Reserve Places a team can use during the season is according to the number of matches to be played – e.g. 10 league matches = 10 Reserve Places, 12 league matches = 12 Reserve places and so on. Teams cannot exceed their maximum Reserve Places at any stage of the season, and to remedy this, they will have to immediately re-allocate a player from a lower team to that higher team. If this particular player has played games for the higher team in the season, then those games are taken off the accumulated Reserve Places used at that point in time by the team.
  • Players may not play for more than one club or for more than one team in any Division in any one season. Players are not eligible to play unless their names are included on player lists at least 7 days before their game.

Should an ineligible player be played in a League match, the penalty for the infringement shall be the automatic loss of the game concerned plus, if the Controller so determines, the loss of one additional game point.

4 Divisions and matches

(a) Competing teams shall be divided into one or more Divisions consisting normally of 6 teams, apart from the lowest Division. The League shall decide at the AGM the number of Divisions and the number of matches to be played – or shall delegate the decision to the League Controller. Each team shall play at least one match against each other team in their Division.

(b) Opposing teams shall consist of 4 players. Each player shall play one game against his opponent. A won game shall score 1, a draw shall score 1/2 and a loss 0. The team with the highest aggregate score shall win the match. The home team shall have white on Boards 2 and 4.

(c) A won match shall score 2 points, a draw 1 point and a loss 0 points. If a match is agreed a draw without a game played then no points shall be gained by either side. The team with the highest match point total shall be the winner of that relevant Division for that year. In the event of a tie in match points, the team with the highest aggregate of game points shall win the title. If there is a tie in game points, the two teams shall play off a tie-break match. If this match is drawn, the winner shall be decided by board count, then by elimination rule. See Rule 13, these rules apply for both promotion and relegation.

5 Fixtures

Matches should be played on the dates fixed by the League Controller and published in the league fixture lists. In exceptional circumstances a team may contact the League Controller to seek permission to rearrange a match. Permission will only be given if there is a substantial reason.

If permission is granted, the club wishing to change the fixture date must give at least 5 days’ notice and suggest an alternative date to the opposing team. Clubs should aim to agree on a new date within 5 days and the club initiating the change should advise the Controller. Fixtures may not normally be postponed for more than 4 weeks. If a match has not been played within 4 weeks of the original fixture date (or within such longer period as the Controller may have sanctioned), then the match shall, subject to the discretion of the Controller (whose decision will be final), be awarded to the team which did not initiate the alteration.

If a match is defaulted, the defaulting team may incur additional penalties at the discretion of the Controller.

6 Exchange of team lists

Before the start of each match, team lists in the form of match result cards shall be exchanged between the team captains, who shall be responsible for the accuracy of all the details thereon. The card should include an indication “F” or “Q” of the players’ preferred choice of type of game alongside the result column. Rule 9 defines the alternatives available. Players shall be listed in grade order except than an overlap of up to 10 grade points between any two players shall be permissible. If there is no agreement on “F” or “Q”, then a “Q” game should be played.

7 Time of matches

(a) Matches shall normally start at 7.30p.m. and no later. Some clubs have a start time of 7.15p.m. All the games in a match shall be started on the same night. The first and each subsequent session shall normally be for a minimum of three hours, except where a game is concluded within that time. Play shall cease not less than 15 minutes before the club room closes, to allow time for a sealed move to be made in any adjourned game. It shall be the responsibility of the home team captain to ensure that visiting players are aware of the adjournment time before the match.

(b) A game is forfeit by a player who arrives 1 hour or more after the start of play.

(c) Any eligible player may be substituted for an absent player before the hour has elapsed, but subject to the 10 grade points condition. However, due to the possible extenuating circumstances, the 10 grade points rule can be overridden, but only providing both captains agree.

 8 Use of clocks

It shall be the duty of the home club to provide appropriate chess clocks at the appointed time for the start of play. Clocks must be used in all games. Any player has the right to provide and use a clock for any game should the home club fail to do so.

But in Division 1, if the home team does not have digital clocks available and the away team is unable to provide them, then the time control will be as per rule 9 immediately below and Option B.

9 Alternative types of game  

Option A – Time Increments

Time Increments – To be used in all Division 1 matches on the basis of each player having 1 hour + 30 seconds a move. The “2 minute rule” does not apply. All moves must be recorded.

Time Increments on the basis of 1 hour for each player + 30 seconds a move may be used on all 4 boards in Divisions 2 to 5 matches, but only provided both captains agree in advance. The “2 minute rule” does not apply. All moves must be recorded.

Option B -Type “Q” – Quickplay finish game

Applicable for matches played in Divisions 2 to 5 if Time Increments have not been chosen.

The time control will be 35 moves in an hour and a quarter with a 15 minute quickplay finish. Clocks are therefore set back 15 minutes after Black’s 35th move. A “Q” game cannot be adjourned.

In accordance with FIDE rules (as at July 2017) a player, with less than 2 minutes left on his or her clock, may claim a draw if the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or it is not possible to win the game by normal means. Both team captains would be required to arbitrate.

Option C – Type “F” – Full game

Applicable for matches played in Divisions 2 to 5 if Time Increments have not been chosen

The time control will be 36 moves in an hour and a half. Subsequent time controls for adjourned games will be 24 moves per hour. Any unfinished game shall be adjourned with a sealed move and completed within 31 days. The player responsible for arranging the continuation shall be the away player, who shall propose at least 3 dates and a venue for resuming play. A date for the continuation should be agreed within one week.

10 Individual game

A type “F” game will take place in Divisions 2 to 5 only when both players indicate that preference.

11 Mobile Phones

If during a game a player’s mobile phone produces a sound that player shall be warned and must make the device silent. Should there be a repeat incident, the player shall lose the game and the opponent win, unless both players agree otherwise. However, if the opponent cannot win by any series of legal moves, the game will be a draw.

If a player is required to have their mobile phone turned on during a game e.g. for health or work reasons, that player must notify both captains as well as the opponent prior to the commencement of the game.

12 Notification of Results

Match results should be entered on LMS by the home team within 24 hours and verified by the opponents. Match result cards should be completed and signed by both captains, and then retained by the home captain in case of subsequent queries.

13 Promotion and relegation

At the end of the season, 1 team shall be promoted and relegated between Divisions. Tie-breaking procedures as set out in Rule 4(c) shall apply if required. 

14 Disputes

Match night

In the case of disputes, in the first instance the captains of the respective teams are requested to jointly fulfil the role of arbiter. In the event the captains are unavailable, then the players must attempt to resolve the dispute. If a dispute cannot be resolved on the match night, the clocks should be stopped, clock times and position on the board recorded, and these details, along with a written submission, sent to the Controller within 72 hours by the Team Captains. Only in exceptional circumstances should other players, or club members, become subsequently involved.

Other disputes

If the clubs are unable to agree, then the dispute should be referred to the Controller, with written submissions by both sides.

Arbitration Committee

Either at the Controller’s discretion, or at the request of any club involved in a dispute over the interpretation of the Rules, the dispute may be referred to an Arbitration Committee whose findings shall be final. The Arbitration Committee shall be appointed separately for each dispute and shall consist of three officers of the League nominated by the Chairman (or, should he be unavailable, by the Vice Chairman), none of whom is a member of a club involved in the dispute.




1 The Brien Urry Cup shall be awarded to the player with the highest points score in eligible games (i.e. those for which the player satisfied the conditions of League Rule 3) played in Division 1 of the League during the relevant year.

When calculating a player’s score for this purpose a default win will only count towards the total where a match takes place and a game is claimed in accordance with League Rule 7 (b)

2 If two or more players have the same highest points score, then the player with the better percentage score shall be adjudged the winner. In the event of each player having an equal percentage score, then the ‘board count’ for each player shall be determined (so that, for example, 7 appearances on Board 1 plus 2 appearances on Board 2 shall produce a ‘board count’ of 11) and for the purpose of this count a win by default shall be treated as an appearance on ‘Board 10’. The Cup shall be awarded to the player with the lowest board count.

3 If two or more players have the same highest points score and the same game board count, then the results of the individual encounters (if any) between them shall be examined to see whether a clear ‘winner’ can be determined; if so the Cup shall be awarded to that player.

4 If two or more players remain equally qualified after the application of the preceding tests then they shall be deemed joint winners of the Cup and shall hold it in turn for appropriate portions of the ensuing year.


1 Rules 1 to 4 of the Rules for the Brien Urry Cup shall (with the substitution for “Division 1” of “Division 2”, “Division 3”, “Division 4” or “Division 5” as the case may be) constitute Rules 1 to 4 of the Rules for the Boardman Trophies.


The Barry Walker Trophy is to be awarded at the start of each season to the eligible player(s) who achieved the greatest increase in grade in the previous season. The increase is to be calculated by reference to the current and previous season’s ECF online grading database. If there have been several issues of the database, the issue to be used is the one the ECF declare to be the relevant one for the season. To be eligible, a player must :- Be a bona fide member of a club competing in the B&DCL league competitions. Have played at least five matches in the B&DCL league competitions in the season in question.


The last changes applied to this document are shown in bold and italicised. 1995 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 7(a), Rule 3, Rule 4(b), Rule 5.

1999 Constitution and Rules : Rule 5.  League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 6, Rule 9, Rule 10.

2000 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 5.

2001 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 7(a).

2002 Constitution and Rules : Rule 1, Rule 3, Rule 7.  League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 1, Rule 2, Rule 3, Rule 4(a), Rule 6, Rule 8.

2003 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 4(a),  Rule 12.

2004 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 3, Rule 4(b).

2006 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 2.

2008 Constitution and Rules : Rule 11.

2009 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 2, Rule 3, Rule 4, Rule 5, Annex (Boardman Trophies) Rule 2

2010 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 5, Annex (Barry Walker Trophy)2011  League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 2.

2013  League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 10. 2014  League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 3, Rule 9.

2015  League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 2,  Rule 4, Annex (rule 5 removed)

2016 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 3 Playing in higher divisions (rewritten)

2017 Constitution and Rules: Rule 7, Subscriptions

2017 Constitution and Rules: Rule 8, Officers

2017 Constitution and Rules: Rule 10, Control of Tournaments

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 2, Player lists

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 3, Eligibility

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 5, Fixtures 2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 6, Exchange of Team Lists

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 7, Times of Matches

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 9, Alternative Types of Game

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 11, Mobile Phones

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 12, Notification of results

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 13, Promotion and Relegation

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 14, Disputes

2017 League Club Tournament Rules: Annex (Boardman Trophies) Rule 1

2018 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 1: Mobile phones

2018 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 8: use of clocks

2018 League Club Tournament Rules : Rule 9: Alternative types of games

2018: League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 10: Type “F” game

2018: League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 4b: Divisions & matches

2018: League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 4c: Divisions & matches

2018: League Club Tournament Rules: Rule 12: Notification of results

Updated 19 June 2018 following AGM 12 June 2018