Rules for the Dorset League 2021/22

(Amended October 2021 to reflect the replacement of Grades by Ratings and COVID guidelines).

1. League Management

The League shall be managed by the Executive Committee. It shall be open to any club affiliated to the County and paying the League fees as laid down in the Annual General Meeting.

2. Awards

The Young Bournemouth trophy shall be awarded to the club winning Division 1; the Second Division board to the club winning Division 2, and the Third Division board or trophy to the club winning Division 3.

3. Structure and Rating Limits

The League shall comprise such a number of divisions as shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting. Each team shall consist of four players who must be bona fide members of their club. Players in each team shall normally be arranged in rating order, except that a 75 point displacement shall be allowed. Before matches commence the two captains should each fill in players’ names and ratings on the match score card and any discrepancy should be resolved before play commences. Clubs who enter teams in Division 2 must ensure that the sum of each player’s rating must not exceed 7200, with the playing average being a maximum of 1800. Clubs who enter teams in Division 3 must ensure that the sum of each player’s rating must not exceed 6400, with the playing average being a maximum of 1600. There is no rating limit or restriction in Division 1.

4. Ratings & penalties for exceeding limits; eligibility rules

The August ECF rating, in categories A-E is to be applied throughout the following and entire season for the purposes of eligibility, board order and rating related prizes. L “localratings and ECF category “F” ratings 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” rating is available from the following January.

If a team in Divisions 2 or 3 includes a player without an “L” or “F” rating then that player will assume the rating of 1800 if Division 2 and 1600 if Division 3. With regard to unrated players, a team captain can request a lower or higher rating (either of which may be a fairer estimate of that player’s playing strength) for that player provided this has been agreed in advance with the League Controller. No player shall represent more than one team in each division in the course of a season, but players from lower divisions may play as reserves in higher divisions. However, all games will still count for rating purposes.

If any team’s total rating points in any division, except division one, exceeds the agreed total relevant to that division, then the following penalty will apply:

  • Team total exceeded limit by up to, and including, 60 points then the team will default one board.
  • Team total exceeded limit by more than 60 points then the team will concede two boards.

5. Fixture Lists

Clubs participating shall be able to access a fixture list and a copy of the rules at the start of the season through the Dorset Chess website. These fixtures shall be observed, except that, by mutual agreement of both team captains and the League Controller, a match may be delayed by up to one month, provided five days’ notice is given. (NB-see rules 9a and 9b).

Clocks should be started at 7.30pm, unless another time is previously agreed by the match captains. In these games the normal rules of chess shall apply until the first time control is reached, thereafter the following rules shall be observed.

Time Increments to be used in Divisions 1 and 2. And Time Increments may be used in Division 3, providing the Captains agree in advance.

6. Use of Clocks and Time Controls

Digital clocks need to be used in Divisions 1 & 2 to allow for Time Increments. Clocks should be started at 7.30 pm, unless another time is previously agreed by the match captains, and each match shall have a minimum of three hours play, but with Time Increments, games may occasionally last longer. In an emergency, with no digital clock available, it is acceptable to use an analogue clock and the time control in Option B below applies.

Option A – Time Increments

Time Increments – To be used in all Division 1 & 2 matches on the basis of each player having 1 hour + 30 seconds a move. All moves must be recorded. The same rule applies to Division 3 if there is agreement to use Time Increments,

Option B -Type “Q” – Quickplay finish game

Games in Division 3 are subject to a quickplay finish, unless the Captains have agreed, in advance to use digital clocks. Clocks should be started at 7.30pm, unless another time is previously agreed by the match captains. In these games the normal rules of chess shall apply until the first time control is reached, thereafter the following rules shall be observed.
The rate of play in with digital clocks shall be: a first time control at 35 moves in 75 minutes per player; at the completion of black’s 35th move both clocks shall be set back by 15 minutes and the game must then be completed within the remaining time. (NB- see rule 9c).

7. Match scores and end of season ties

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 on both match points and games points, the title will be shared.

8.Entering match results

Match results should be entered on LMS by either team within 24 hours, if possible 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.

9. Controller discretion

In exceptional circumstances the League Controller shall have the discretion:

(a) To permit one game in any match to be played in advance

(b) To permit the postponement of any match by more than one month

(c) To permit an alternative to the quickplay finish.

10. Covid Guidelines

As agreed at the recent Executive Meeting the following are a guide as to “best practice” with regard to the current pandemic:

These notes have been updated to give as much support as possible to Captains. We are very fortunate in our League that rule disputes are extremely rare, so the principal intention is to give Captains a little more knowledge and confidence should problems occasionally arise. It is understood there may be some practical difficulties given the current Covid climate so there will be as much flexibility as possible. The most important thing is that Captains discuss any Covid related concerns with each other and where necessary with the League Controller too.

As agreed at a recent DCCA Executive Meeting it is not the responsibility of the DCCA to dictate what restrictions there should be (or should not be) for each match. It will be the responsibility of individual venues and clubs to follow UK government guidance and undertake their own risk assessments. However,

  • All venues should provide sanitising gel
  • All venues should be well ventilated
  • Boards should be spaced well apart
  • We discourage players from gathering around boards particularly at the end of matches.

Most venues will probably not insist on the wearing of face coverings (masks) and the DCCA cannot insist on it either given the UK government guidance. However, we encourage face coverings (masks) to be worn, particularly when walking around the playing room. Should a venue insist on the wearing of face coverings (masks), the League Controller and all clubs are to be advised well in advance. If a player is only willing to play if their opponent wears a face covering (mask) then this cannot be enforced but can be agreed by the teams beforehand (and this is to be encouraged). Therefore, some flexibility may need to be required regarding the 10 point grading rule (now the 75 point rating rule) for board order (as there may only be one player in the opposing team who will accommodate the face covering request).