01

Format of the League

02

Entry of teams

03

Initial registration of players

04

Additions to the registration list

05

Transfers during the season

06

Wild cards

07

Organisation of the divisions

08

Team lists and board order

09

Submission of team lists

10

Reserves

11

Default penalties

12

Rules governing play

13

Promotion and relegation

14

Chief Arbiter, appeals and management

15

Website Terms and Conditions

 

 

 

 

 

1

Format of the League

 

The format of the League shall be:

 

Division 1, consisting of 16 eight-board teams,

Division 2, consisting of 16 eight-board teams,

Division 3 South, consisting of 16 six-board teams,

Division 3 North, consisting of six-board teams,

Division 4 South, consisting of six-board teams.

 

 

 

The designations “North” and “South” refer to the location of the events. New teams may enter only Division 4 South or Division 3 North. Dates and venues will be published on the 4NCL website. Each division will be contested over 11 rounds, played over five weekends, including the early May bank holiday weekend.

 

 

1.2

Each team in Division 1 must include at least one male player and at least one female player.

 

 

1.3

Each team in Division 2 must contain representatives of at least two of the following categories:

  1. adult male players;

  2. adult female players;

  3.  junior players who are under 18 years on 8th May 2018.

1.4

There are no such restrictions on the composition of teams in the other divisions.

 

2

Entry of teams

2.1

To enter the League, a manager of a club submitting a team or teams should confirm the name of each team and its expected division. The entry fees are listed in the guidelines and are payable at the same time as the entry is made. If a manager enters more than one team, the teams may play as split squads (where the teams may not interchange players) or as combined squads (where some movement between teams in a squad is allowed subject to the requirements of section 8 of these rules). The decision to play as combined or split squads is irrevocable for the season.

 

 

2.2

No team will be allowed to re-enter the League until outstanding fees for that team or any other team under the same management have been settled.

 

 

2.3

A team, once it has had its entry accepted, is not entitled to a refund of entry fees should it subsequently withdraw.

 

 

2.4

A fee of £100 will be payable where a change to a club or team name is made during the season.

 

3

Initial registration of players

3.1

The deadline for initial registrations will be announced in the entry guidelines.

 

 

3.2

A manager may register to a squad up to 16 players per eight-board team and up to 12 players per six-board team, without further fees. Each player's name and FIDE federation should be given, together with at least one of ECF membership number, ECF grading code, or FIDE code, plus date of birth if no FIDE code is available. If a manager has received explicit permission to list a player, this should also be stated at the time of registration. If a squad has one or more teams in Division 3 North, the Manager may designate one or more players as "Division 3 North only." If a squad has one or more teams in Divisions 3 South and 4 South, the Manager may designate one or more players as "Divisions 3 or 4 South only." Once such a player has played, the designation cannot be withdrawn during the season.

 

 

3.3

Players registered with FIDE through federations other than England are not required to be members of the ECF.

 

 

3.4

It is the manager's responsibility to ensure that all players other than those covered by rule 3.3 become Gold or Platinum members of the ECF before they are selected to play.

 

 

3.5

The 4NCL Board may at its absolute discretion refuse to accept a player's registration.

 

 

3.6

All participants in the League shall consent to their name, gender, nationality, title and rating being shown on the 4NCL website. Those wishing to withhold their consent shall not be permitted to play in the League. Managers and any team captains they appoint are also expected to have their contact details shown on the 4NCL website.

 

 

3.7

A player who has explicitly consented to be listed for a particular squad may not move to another squad unless:

  1. the manager of that squad voluntarily deregisters the player; or

  2. the Chief Arbiter considers that it would be inequitable to hold the player to the previous commitment, taking into account the circumstances in which the commitment had been given and any relevant evidence subsequent to the giving of that commitment. It is the responsibility of the manager of a squad wishing to retain the registration of a player who has agreed to be listed for that squad to obtain firm evidence of explicit agreement (which should be in writing or by email and should record that the player has been informed of the consequences of giving explicit consent), such evidence to be made available to the Chief Arbiter and the 4NCL Board if required. A player who has given explicit consent to be listed for a squad but who wishes to withdraw that consent must contact the Records Secretary before the registration list deadline.

 

 

3.8

No player should be registered for more than one squad. Should a player be registered for more than one squad, neither captain claiming explicit consent, the Records Secretary need take no action until the player plays for a squad, at which point his registration for all other squads shall be cancelled.

 

4

Additions to the registration list

4.1

Additional names of players expected to play during the season may be added to a squad’s list of registered players and shall be sent to the Records Secretary electronically online (preferred), by email or by letter. The information required is the same as for the initial registration process. The date of registration shall be taken as the date when the registration is received.

 

 

4.2

To play as a registered player at a particular weekend the player must be registered no later than midnight of the Thursday nine days before the first round of the weekend for the division in which the player is to play.

 

 

4.3

A fee of £5 shall be paid for each registration above a squad’s allocation (see rule 12.3). Players previously registered for a team may not be deregistered to avoid payment of this fee unless such deregistration takes place by the end of the week following the first playing weekend.

 

 

4.4

If a player has not been registered by the deadline, that player will only be permitted to play as a wildcard and must satisfy the requirements of rule 6.

 

5

Transfers during the season

5.1

A player who is named on a squad’s list of players may transfer to another squad provided that the player has not played during the current season and has not given explicit consent to be listed for that player's original squad.

 

 

5.2

The Records Secretary will inform the player and the managers of the relevant squads whether the transfer has been accepted.

 

 

5.3

The squad to which the player is moving must fulfil all the requirements for additional registrations, plus the payment of a £5 administration charge.

 

 

5.4

The player must be registered for the new squad no later than midnight of the Thursday nine days before the first round of the weekend for the division in which the player is to play. Transfers later than this deadline will be subject to the wild card rules. In this instance, a wild card fee is payable in addition to a £5 administration charge.

 

 

5.5

If a team withdraws from the League, players who have played only for that team become free agents and may choose to play either for other teams in the squad if applicable or to join another squad. In such cases no registration fees are payable, but wild card fees will apply if appropriate.

 

6

Wild cards

6.1

A wild card is a player who is not registered for any squad in the League. No player whose registration has been refused may be a wild card.

 

 

6.2

Wild cards must provide a FIDE identification number (FIN) before the weekend at which they will be playing if they are not English. In the absence of a FIN a player will be deemed to be English and allocated a FIN by the ECF when the appropriate rating file is submitted.

 

 

6.3

A fee of £10 (Divisions 1 and 2) or £5 (all other Divisions) shall be paid for each wild card, no later than the start of play of the match in which the wild card first plays. There is no fee for each subsequent game played by the wild card over the course of a weekend.

 

 

6.4

A wild card is not required to be a member of the ECF, but English players must take out ECF Gold or Platinum membership before playing at any subsequent weekends. With this exception, a player will become fully registered after the weekend at which the player appears as a wild card.

 

 

6.5

A team in Division 1 may play one wild card in each match.

 

 

6.6

A team in Division 2 may play up to two wild cards in each match provided not more than one of the wild cards plays in the top half of the team.

 

 

6.7

A team in the other divisions may play up to four wild cards in each match provided not more than one of the wild cards plays in the top half of the team.

 

 

6.8

Except when a transfer has been allowed, a player named on a squad’s list of players is not available as a wild card for other squads.

 

 

6.9

No player may play as a wild card on more than one weekend during the season.

 

7

Organisation of the divisions

7.1

Divisions 1, 2 and 3 South will each comprise two preliminary pools of eight teams for the first seven rounds, with the two pools in each division of broadly equal strength as determined by the 4NCL Board. The top four teams in each preliminary pool will form final championship and promotion pools. The bottom four teams in each preliminary pool will form relegation pools. The teams in each final pool will carry forward only matches played between themselves during the first seven rounds. Team placings at the end of the first seven rounds will be decided in the first instance on match point totals in the preliminary pool. If at the end of the first seven rounds teams are tied on match points, the tie shall be broken using:

 

a.     the game point totals in the preliminary pool;

b.    (i) the match point totals in the results between the teams which remain tied;

(ii) the game point totals in the results between the teams which remain tied;

(iii) the lower board count in the results between the teams which remain tied;

(iv) the game points remaining after elimination of the bottom board or boards as necessary.

If at any stage the number of tied teams is reduced this rule is reapplied, starting with (i), to the reduced number of teams;

c.     the toss of a coin.

 

Tie breaks shall be applied in this order until all ties are broken.

 

7.2

Division 3 North and Division 4 South will be played as a Swiss tournament with pairings based on pairing guidelines as determined and published by the Chief Arbiter which may be amended from time to time if deemed in the best interests the League. If there is an odd number of teams playing in a round, a triangular pairing will be used. If there are 16 entries in Division 3 North the Chief Arbiter will discuss the possibility of using the pool format of rule 7.1 with the team captains.

 

8

Team lists and board order

8.1

In all divisions, FIDE ratings will be used to determine the order of strength of a team. For a player without a FIDE rating, a national grade will be converted to an equivalent FIDE rating using an appropriate conversion formula. Managers may elect to use the latest published national grade for conversion to an equivalent FIDE rating for any player, provided this is declared prior to the player playing in that season. If, however, a player first gains a FIDE rating or a national rating during the season, the manager may then elect to use it provided this decision is communicated before the player next plays. Such an election is irrevocable for the season.

 

 

8.2

The average rating of a team is calculated as the average of the top seven boards in Divisions 1 and 2. In the other divisions the average rating is calculated using all six players. A higher team in a squad must have an average rating greater than that of a lower team in that squad for each round.

 

 

8.3

Within a team, if any two players are rated more than 80 points apart, the higher rated player must play on the higher board. Between teams in a combined squad, if any two players are rated more than 80 points apart, the higher rated player must play in the higher team.

 

 

8.4

Exceptionally, if there is a conflict between the 80 point rule and the gender or age requirements of Divisions 1 and 2, a single player may be weaker than would otherwise have been necessary. However, no junior player may break the 80 point rule when compared with another junior and no adult player may break the 80 point rule when compared with adult players of the same gender.

 

 

8.5

The Records Secretary is empowered to require a change to team lists if there is a breach of the spirit of rule 8.4.

 

 

8.6

The ratings of players who have been geographically designated need not be compared with the ratings of players at other venues.

 

 

8.7

Any complaint about the composition of a team must be made before the scheduled start of the round.

 

 

8.8

Where both managers agree in advance and the Chief Arbiter consents, the requirements of the 80 point rule within a team may be waived, if this is in the best interests of the League.

 

 

8.9

Known defaults must be on the lowest boards of the lowest possible team having regard to the gender or age requirements of Divisions 1 and 2 and geographical necessity.

 

9

Submission of team lists

9.1

For all fixtures in a given weekend, team lists must be submitted, preferably on-line, to the Records Secretary or his nominated representative by midnight of the previous Thursday (i.e. 38 hours before the scheduled start of play of the Saturday match), with any defaults declared to the opposing manager by the same deadline.

 

 

9.2

Submission of team lists after the deadline will result in the imposition of a penalty of £10 per team per weekend.

 

 

9.3

The penalty imposed on a team for late submission of its team list must be paid within seven days of the relevant weekend, or within seven days of an appeal being unsuccessful. Failure to pay will result in the exclusion of the team from future weekends until the fine is paid (see rule 14.2).

 

 

9.4

Any changes to these lists may be made without penalty (provided they do not introduce further defaults) up to midnight of the day before the fixture. All team lists must give the full names of the players clearly in board order.

 

 

9.5

Team lists may be amended without penalty (providing further defaults are not introduced) for circumstances beyond captains’ control provided this is done at least two hours before the scheduled start of play.

 

 

9.6

For split weekends (when some divisions play on different weekends from others) team lists for squads with fixtures on both weekends must be submitted by the Thursday midnight immediately before the earlier of the two weekends. If subsequent amendments render the composition of a team or teams illegal, the Chief Arbiter may apply game point penalties to correct for any injustice caused. No players may play on both Saturdays of a split weekend, nor on both Sundays.

 

10

Reserves

10.1

Up to two players, who must be registered or eligible to play as a wild card, may be nominated as reserves for each team when the team list is submitted.

 

 

10.2

A player who has not been nominated as a reserve may be used as such provided they are registered or eligible to play as a wild card, and are rated at least 80 points lower than the player they replace. 

 

 

10.3

The substitution must meet any applicable age or gender requirements, and must occur not more than 55 minutes after the scheduled start of the round or such later time as the two captains concerned and the Senior Arbiter at the venue may have agreed before commencement of the game.

 

 

10.4

The clock of the reserve shall be adjusted to show the elapsed time subject to a minimum reduction in available time of 30 minutes.

 

 

10.5

The improper use of reserves may result in the Chief Arbiter imposing a penalty as he deems appropriate on the offending team.

 

11

Default penalties

11.1

A team will incur half a game point penalty per default in addition to scoring zero on each affected board if the information about the defaults is communicated to the Records Secretary and, when the pairings are known at that time, to the opposing manager at or before midnight of the Thursday before the round. When the pairings are not known in advance notified defaults for later in the weekend will be published with the team lists for the first round of the weekend. It is permissible for the player affected by the notified default not to appear for the round in which the default occurs.

 

 

11.2

A team will incur one game point penalty per default in addition to scoring zero on each defaulting board for each player, having been named on a team list, who fails to appear for the match in question within one hour after the start of play or arrives but is not prepared to play, or if a default is not notified until after the deadline.

 

 

11.3

Any players without an opponent will wherever possible be offered a FIDE rated and ECF graded game against another player in a similar position. Pairings for these games will be matched in strength as far as possible. Pairings will be made one hour after the start of play, and the time control for these games will be 40 moves in 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move, followed by the rest of the game in 30 minutes plus 30 seconds per move.

 

 

11.4

Appeals against game point penalties will be considered only in exceptional circumstances, for example the hospitalisation of a player or the death of a close family member on the morning of the match. Appeals against game point penalties caused by car breakdowns, traffic delays, public transport delays or cancellations, bad weather (except where a severe weather warning can be shown to have been issued by the Meteorological Office) etc. will not be considered. Appeals against game point penalties must be made before the start of the match in question to the Senior Arbiter at the venue, whose decision, in the interests of providing certainty to the teams involved, will be final and not subject to referral to the Management Board or the Appeals Committee.

 

 

11.5

When a team indicates that it has a default, the opposing team may adjust its board order, but not the overall composition of the team, to minimise any inconvenience caused.

 

 

11.6

If both teams default on the same board, no default penalties will be incurred.

 

 

11.7

A team defaulting a game for whatever reason will incur a penalty of £20 per defaulted game unless a successful appeal has been made. This penalty will not apply to the first game defaulted by a team during the season.

 

 

11.8

If a Division 1 or 2 team defaults an entire match for whatever reason a fine of £200 will be incurred unless a successful appeal has been made. If a Division 3 South team defaults an entire match for whatever reason a fine of £100 will be incurred unless a successful appeal has been made.

 

 

11.9

If a Division 3 North or a Division 4 South team defaults an entire match for whatever reason it will:

  1. not incur a fine so long as the intention to default the match is notified to the Records Secretary no later than one week before the team list submission deadline: or

  2. incur a fine of £50 in all other circumstances unless a successful appeal has been made. In all instances where a Division 3 North or Division 4 South team defaults a match other teams will be re-paired as necessary.

11.10

The default fines of a team must be paid within seven days of the default, or within seven days of an appeal being unsuccessful, unless the Chief Arbiter determines otherwise. Failure to pay will result in the exclusion of the team from future weekends until the fine is paid (see rule 14.2).

 

 

11.11

In the event that a team in the view of the 4NCL Board has an unsatisfactory default performance during a season, the 4NCL Board may at its discretion insist that that team post a bond in the amount of £250 for a team in Divisions 1 and 2 and £100 for a team in the other divisions as a condition of its entry being accepted in the following season. The bond, which will be held by the League, shall be used at the 4NCL Board's discretion to defray any financial costs incurred by opposing teams should the team, or any other team under the same management, default games in that following season. The bond will be returned to the team once in the Board’s view sufficient evidence has been provided that the team’s default performance has improved to an appropriate standard.

 

12

Rules governing play

12.1

The starting times shall normally be 2.00pm on the first day of the weekend, 1.00pm on the middle day of a three-day weekend and 11.00am on the final day of the weekend. Captains and Managers should make their team colleagues aware of these start times and any changes to venues, should they arise.

 

 

12.2

The Senior Arbiter at a venue will endeavour to publish individual pairings both in the venue and online ninety minutes before the start of play, and in any event no later than one hour before the start of play.

 

 

12.3

If the late submission of all or part of a team list causes one or more pairings to be published late, the Senior Arbiter may, at his discretion, deduct time from the clock of each member of the team whose name was not published on time.

 

 

12.4

The first-named team in each pairing shall have the white pieces on the odd-numbered boards and black on the even-numbered boards.

 

 

12.5

The rate of play shall be 40 moves in 1 hour 40 minutes plus 30 seconds per move, followed by the rest of the game in 50 minutes plus 30 seconds per move.

 

 

12.6

During play, a player must not have any access to mobile phones, electronic means of communication or devices capable of suggesting chess moves. Such devices, if brought into the playing venue, must be completely switched off and placed in a bag on or under the player's table before play starts. A player, when still in play, is forbidden to leave the playing area with such a bag, unless an arbiter gives permission. Any request for any part of this rule to be relaxed must be made to the Senior Arbiter at the venue before the start of play. Even an accidental breach of this rule must be expected to lead to loss of the game. Any noise emanating from one of the above devices must also be expected to lead to loss of the game.

 

 

12.7

The failure of a player to appear within one hour after the start of play will be treated as a default.

 

 

12.8

When asked about a player's possible offer or acceptance of a draw, a captain may agree, refuse or tell the player to refer to the match result sheet. In no circumstances may the captain look at any game between receiving the request and giving a decision.

 

 

12.9

Players are assumed to consent to having their photographs taken; if they object to this they should raise the matter either with the arbiters or the photographer concerned. Copyright to photographs remains with the photographer.

 

 

12.10

Food and drink may not be consumed within the hotel buildings or the hotel car park unless it has been purchased from the hotel, or is being consumed in the guest’s bedroom. This applies both to players and any accompanying persons.

 

 

12.11

The 4NCL accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to personal property. Players are requested to take sensible precautions to avoid losing or leaving behind personal items, at the conclusion of each weekend. If necessary contact should be made with the hotel in the first instance.

 

13

Promotion and relegation

13.1

End of season team placings in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 South will be decided in the first instance on match point totals in the final pool. If at the end of the season teams are tied on match points, the tie shall be broken using:

 

a.    the game point totals in the final pool;

b.    the match point totals including all matches played during the season;

c.     the game point totals including all matches played during the season;

d.    the procedure detailed in rule 7.1(b) applied to matches between teams still tied;

e.    the toss of a coin.

 

Tie breaks shall be applied in this order until all ties are broken.

 

 

13.2

End of season team placings in Division 3 North and Division 4 South will be decided in the first instance on match point totals. If at the end of the season teams are tied on match points, the tie shall be broken using:

 

a.    the game points totals;

b.    provided all possible matches between teams still tied have been played, the procedure detailed in rule 7.1(b) applied to such matches; 

c.     the average rating of the opposition;

d.    the toss of a coin.

 

Tie breaks shall be applied in this order until all ties are broken.

 

 

13.3

Four teams will be relegated from Division 1, four teams will be promoted from Division 2, four teams will be relegated from Division 2 (and may choose to enter either Division 3 North or Division 3 South), and two teams will be promoted from each of Division 3 South and Division 3 North. Teams relegated from Division 2 must state their preference for Division 3 North or South within four weeks of the final weekend. The number of teams promoted from Division 4 South to Division 3 South will depend on the number of teams relegated from Division 2 choosing to enter Division 3 South.

 

 

 

Number of teams relegated from Division 2 choosing to enter Division 3 South

0

1

2

3

4

Number of teams promoted from Division 4 South to Division 3 South

6

5

4

3

2

 

13.4

In the event that existing teams decide not to renew their entries, teams in the relevant division that would otherwise have been relegated at the end of the season will not be relegated (starting with the relegated team finishing in the highest position, and so on down the relegated teams). In the event that the number of teams not renewing their entries exceeds the number of relegated teams, extra teams will be promoted from the lower division after applying the provisions in the first section of this rule, and so on down the divisions as necessary.

 

 

13.5

In Divisions 1 and 2, no more than two teams from any club will be permitted to play in the same division. Where this situation is caused by a team finishing in a promotion place, the next eligible team will be promoted instead. Where this situation is caused by a team being relegated into a lower division, the necessary number of teams from that club will be relegated from that division and the highest placed team that would otherwise have been relegated will escape relegation. The top placed eligible teams will be offered promotion as required to ensure that the complement of sixteen teams in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 South is maintained.

 

 

13.6

If an extra team is needed to be promoted to Division 2, the teams which are in third place in each of Division 3 South and Division 3 North are to be ranked by rating performance.

 

14

Chief Arbiter, appeals and management

14.1

The Chief Arbiter or the Senior Arbiter at the relevant venue, shall be empowered to administer the rules of the League.

 

 

14.2

An appeal against an arbiter’s decision must be made to the Chief Arbiter (or another Senior Arbiter if the Chief Arbiter himself made the decision). If permitted by the rules, a review of the outcome of the appeal may be made to an Appeals Committee (consisting of a third party arbiter and two independent players chosen from a panel) on payment of a £50 deposit. The decision of the Appeals Committee will be final. The £50 deposit will be returned if the Appeals Committee finds in favour of the party requesting the review. Any review request accompanied by a £50 deposit must be made to the 4NCL Board within seven days of the weekend in question.

 

 

14.3

The Management Board may apply penalties as it sees fit for any flagrant or premeditated breaches of the spirit as well as the letter of the rules.

 

 

14.4

The Chairman of the 4NCL shall arrange meetings for captains and managers, as and when required, at which matters of current interest and future policy shall be discussed.

 

 

14.5

The Management Board shall announce the arrangements for the following season including the entry fees, the official closing dates for the receipt of entries and registration lists and the name and contact details of the Records Secretary.

 

 

14.6

In all cases the decisions of the Management Board shall be final.

 

15

Website Terms and Conditions

15.1

The Four Nations Chess League does not accept responsibility for the content of other websites, to which the site links.

 

 

15.2

This website includes information on participants in the Four Nations Chess League in respect of name, grade, title, nationality and sex (team registration lists), as well as telephone number(s), email address(es) and postal address(es) in certain circumstances (team captains/managers, management board members, arbiters etc).

 

 

15.3

Participants wishing this information not to be included on the website should contact the webmaster to have it removed, but should be aware that in this event they will not be permitted to play in the League.

 

 


   

 

  4NCL Rules 2017-18

 

 


© 4NCL

Four Nations Chess League

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