(Approved and formally adopted by the Annual General Meeting of 13th July 2015)
All games played under the League’s auspices shall be played according to the
rules of the E.C.F. and to the F.I.D.E. Laws of Chess except as specified within
these rules.

Rule 1 All persons playing for a club must be bona fide members of that club.
Rule 2 No player shall play for more than one club in the League in any one
season, in any League competition including the Knockout, unless authorised to
do so by the League General Secretary.
Rule 3 a) A representative of each club must send to the League General
Secretary before the end of October a list of all players attached to that club and
eligible to play during the forthcoming season. Players may be added to the tied
list at any time provided that they have not played for any other club during the
b) Every player must be a registered member of the English Chess Federation at
least at bronze level before he/she can play a fourth game in any competition
organised by the Association.
c) All games played by players who are not members of the English Chess
Federation at any time in the season shall be liable to a charge for a game fee of
an amount decided by the ECF per game played. This will be collected from the
clubs represented by such players at the end of the season by the League
Rule 4 There shall be a discount allowed to each team that pays its League
fees before a date set at the Annual General Meeting. The amount of the
discount shall be reviewed annually.
Rule 1 Before the commencement of the match, the captains shall exchange
lists of players in board order. All players’ names and grades must be declared.
If this is not possible the potential defaults must be on the lowest boards.
Rule 2a A player may not play on a higher board than a player with a published
E.C.F. grade more than fifteen points higher than his/her own except as covered
by Article 3, Rules 3 and 4.The ‘shadow’ grading list as circulated by the League
General Secretary should be consulted for ungraded players. Until the current
season’s grading list is available, the previous season’s list should be used.
The Grader shall be responsible for issuing estimated grades for all ungraded
players, and revising them as he/she sees fit, based on the player’s results. In
addition to this, the Grader shall not be bound by F grades issued by the ECF if
he/she considers his/her own estimate to be more accurate. If the Grader
decides to change a player’s estimated grade he/she must give seven days’
notice to the club concerned. (Amended at the sixty-eighth Annual General
Meeting, 11th July 2016).
The August grading list published by the E.C.F. shall be used to ascertain players’
grades. The January grading list will not be used except to ascertain grades of
players not in the August list.
Rule 2b The penalty for breaking Rule 2a is that the higher graded player
playing on the lower board should be classed as ineligible.
Rule 3a A captain may substitute any eligible player for an absent player,
except in circumstances covered by Article 9, Rule 1, in order to avoid the risk of
loss by default. Such substitution must take place before one hour has elapsed
and is irrevocable.
Rule 3b In the event of a team opting to default a board before the match has
started, the opposing Captain shall have the right to choose which board shall be
defaulted. (Amended at the sixty-eighth Annual General Meeting, 11th July
Rule 4 The grading limits for teams in each Division shall be as follows:-
Division One No. of players5 Team total grades Open
Division Two No. of players5 Team total grades 725
Division Three No. of players4 Team total grades 520
Division Four No. of players4 Team total grades 460
Division Five No. of players4 Team total grades 400
Minimum Counting Grades
Division One Not applicable
Division Two 120
Division Three 105
Division Four 90
Division Five Not applicable
Regulation of Players
(Concerning players playing for more than one team in the same Division)
Division One Players graded no more than 135 may play in more than
one team in this division.
Division Two Players graded no more than 135 may play for more than
one team in this division.
Division Three Players graded no more than 120 may play for more than
one team in this division.
Division Four Players graded no more than 105 may play for more than
one team in this division.
Division Five The maximum grade for an individual player in Division
Five shall be 125. Players graded no more than 90 may play for more
than one team in this division
Rule 1 Each team is responsible for arranging its own home fixtures.
Rule 2 A team shall consist of the requisite number of players as appropriate.
A team fielding less than the number of players required by the relevant
competition shall be deemed to have defaulted any board not filled.
Rule 3 Clocks must be started by 7.40p.m.If a match starts late as a result of
the home team not being present at 7.40p.m.,then the away team may direct that
the clocks be adjusted to read as if they had started at 7.40p.m. to take account
of the delay.
Rule 4 A game may not be claimed by default until one hour has elapsed from
the starting time.
Rule 5 A game shall be scored to any player for whom no eligible opponent is
provided. A club failing to keep an appointment shall lose the match by default.
Rule 6 The away team shall have white on the odd-numbered boards except in
matches played on neutral ground where the colour on the odd-numbered boards
shall be decided on the toss of a coin.
Rule 7 Both clubs are responsible for sending the results including the grades
and using the official NSDCA result sheets to the Results Secretary, the General
Secretary, the Grading Officer and the Webmaster within seventy two hours of
the match being played.
Rule 8 Scores of each game should be recorded either in English algebraic or
English descriptive notation by both players in case of dispute.
Rule 9 The use of clocks shall be compulsory and, where available, digital clocks
should be used in all matches in the League and Cups. Fischer timings should be
used in all matches in the League and in the Cups if possible with the time limit for
the game being 75 minutes with an increment of ten seconds for each move made.
The same Fischer timings should also be used in all other competitions conducted by
the Association unless digital clocks are not available. In these cases, the clock shall
initially be set at twenty-five minutes to five for each player. The time limit shall be all
moves in 85 minutes for each player. The game shall be conducted in accordance
with the F.I.D.E. Rules on Quickplay finishes.
Rule 10 The home team is responsible for providing clocks. If they are unable to
do so, the secretary of the home club shall notify the official team contact of the
visiting team in time to allow the provision of sufficient clocks.
Rule 11 A won game shall score one point, a drawn game half a point, and a lost
game no points.
Rule 12 A match shall be considered to be the requisite number of players as
appropriate from each of two opposing sides taking part in games of chess at the
same venue at a given time – games played at other venues or at the same
venue on another date shall be considered void.
Rule 1 Once the composition of the League has been established, the Annual
General Meeting shall appoint a Fixtures Secretary who shall publish a fixture list
as soon as is convenient.
Rule 2 The season shall normally run from 1st October to 31st May. Any league
games unplayed by the 1st June shall be declared void for both teams concerned
unless either club appeals to the General Secretary in the case of any special
circumstances as described in Article 7
Rule 3 Where a club has two or more teams in the same division, all matches
between these teams must be played before the end of January.
Rule 4 In the event that there is a tie for the Championship of any Division, the
title shall be awarded to the team which has accumulated the highest number of
game points. If this fails to resolve the tie then the Championship shall be shared.
Any club wishing to alter a fixture date must notify their opponent’s official team
contact at least three days beforehand. If less than three days’ notice be given
(except in the case of inclement weather), the opposing team may insist on the
match taking place on the original date. If this is impossible then the match may
be claimed by default. Details of new dates for rearranged matches should be
notified to the Results Secretary and the General Secretary by both teams
concerned as soon as possible.
Any dispute must be notified in writing within fourteen days of the said dispute to
the Association General Secretary. The General Secretary will decide,
dependant on the urgency of the dispute, whether to call an immediate Executive
Committee meeting or to refer it to the Honorary President or Chairman or next
Executive Committee meeting. Any dispute not notified within fourteen days will
not be accepted unless evidence regarding the said dispute, which was not
previously available, can be put forward. Both parties to the dispute will be invited
to attend any resultant Executive Committee meeting and informed in advance of
any complaint made against them.
A team including an ineligible player (i.e. a player who is tied to another club or
whose grade makes him/her ineligible to play in that particular team or a player
contravening Article 3, Rule 2a) shall have one game point deducted from the
team score in that match. This shall be in addition to the game of the ineligible
player being scored to his/her opponent irrespective of the result.
In the case of an overgraded team, the ineligible player is determined to be
playing on the lowest board whose grade exceeds the minimum counting grade
by at least the team’s excess over the allowable team grade total. If no such
player exists then two points shall be deducted from the offending team’s score. .
(Amended at the sixty-eighth Annual General Meeting, 11th July 2016).
Rule 1 Unless due notification is given to the official team contact of the
opposing team, teams shall pay a penalty to the League for each board
Rule 2 The nature of the penalties shall be reviewed annually and defined at the
Annual General Meeting.
Rule 1 The Association shall annually hold the following competitions: –
(a) A six-board team knockout limited to one team per club; (Amended at the
sixty-eighth Annual General Meeting, 11th July 2016).
(b) A five-board team knockout limited to players graded under 150;
(c) A five-board team knockout limited to players graded under 130;
(d) A four-board team knockout limited to players graded under 110.
A player may only play for one team in any Knock-out competition in any one
Rule 2 The rate of play shall be the same as in League Competitions.
Rule 3 At regular intervals weeks shall be set aside for matches in the knockout
competitions. The final match in each tournament shall be played before the end of
May. The Association Results Secretary shall notify all teams of their next knockout
opponents, giving them as much notice as possible. Each home team then has the
responsibility of confirming the date and venue with the opposing away team.
Rule 4 If a match in the knockout competitions results in a draw, then a board-count
shall be taken. If this board-count also results in a draw, then the elimination rule
shall be applied. Where a cup match is drawn and cannot be decided on board count
or board elimination, because all of the individual games have been drawn, then the
team with the lowest overall grade count shall be deemed to be the winners. Where
e overall grade count is equal then board elimination shall be used until one of the
teams wins on grade count.
Any infringement of the Association Rules or the Constitution by any player or
member club shall be dealt with by the Executive Committee or by a subcommittee set up specifically for that purpose by the Executive Committee