Laws & Registration Details

  • FIDE laws of chess apply (excluding rule G.4 concerning 5 second increments with less than 2 minutes remaining)
  • No smoking in the playing area.
  • All players must be members of the club they are representing.
  • Players should be ECF members, either direct through the ECF or via  Member Organisation, for example the NCCU. If in exceptional circumstances a none members plays, then any game fee will be charged to the club concerned.
  • All games are ECF graded

Fixture Schedules

  • If captain’s find they have fixture clashes with other leagues, they should ensure that matches are re-arranged before the start of the season.
  • If a team captain wishes to postpone a scheduled match in extreme circumstances (but not because their best players are not available), he has to contact and make know this postponement or cancellation with the opposing team’s captain or representative at least 1 week before the original agreed fixture date.
  • Failure to comply with this minimum time limit will enable the opposing team captain to claim the match
  • Teams must refuse to accept a cancellation within seven days, other than Force Majeure. All re-arrangements must be played prior to 30th May. If a team requests cancellation, they must at the same time offer three new dates for the opposition to consider.

Matches – Rules (league & cup)

  • Division A matches are played over five boards and division B over 4 unless otherwise agreed by both captains prior to the match commencing.
  • For all Divisions, time control is 75 minutes for the game, with an increment of ten seconds per move from move one. Alternatively, where digital clocks are not available, this may be changed to 35 moves in 75 minutes, then the players receive a further 15 minutes each to finish the game.
  • Players cannot play two teams below their normal team, i.e. a first team player cannot play for the third team and a second team player cannot play for the fourth team.

Matches – Start of Matches

  • All matches are scheduled to start at 7:30pm.
  • The away team has white on odd boards.
  • Clocks can be started at 7:30pm if a player arrives late
  • Any player who has not started their game by 8:00pm may forfeit the game, if the opposing team’s player wishes to claim it.

Grading Rules

  • Grading limits are based on teams of 4 boards.
  • Any team that fails to comply with the grading limits shall be defaulted 4-0 unless both captains agree to allow these rules to lapse. The grading officer – to whom results are sent – shall require confirmation of such changes.
  • For both league and cup, the September ECF rating list should apply for grading players, except for players who were ungraded in the September list, in which case the club shall provide an estimated grading on the LMS until a the player has a valid category K or A rating in the latest list which shall then take precident.

Grading Limits - League

  • Division 1 – Unrestricted
  • Division 2 – Total board grades MUST NOT exceed 6700 (ungraded players count as 1450, ungraded juniors 1450).
  • Grading limits are based on teams of 4 boards (defaults shall be counted as 1675 per defaulted board in Division 2).

Grading Limits – Cup

  • Birchall Trophy – unlimited.
  • Vaux Tankard  – Total board grades MUST NOT exceed 6700 (ungraded players count as 1450, juniors 1450). Defaults shall be
    counted as 1675 per defaulted board

Cup Restrictions

  • Players can only play in one cup team in the same competition during a season. Elucidation: if a club has more than one team in the same cup competition a player may only play for one of those teams in that cup that season. Where a club has teams in both cup competitions a player may play in both cup competitions.
  • Players shall not play in a cup final unless they have previously played at least two games in the CLL that season.

Cup Tie Breaks

  • In the event of a draw in the cup, board count should be used.  Each winning board number should be counted and the lower total should be the winner.  In the event that it is still a tie, the lower graded team will be declared the winner.


  • The home team will normally choose the type of clock. Digital clocks are preferred and will become mandatory at a later date except in the case of a visually impaired player who provides his own specially adapted clock.

Player of the Year

  • Eligibility is 70%


  • Please make every effort to follow these rules for the league to run smoothly.
  • Captains and players are asked to exercise discretion in the ethos of the competition
  • Disputes will be resolved by a committee consisting of the chair, treasurer and secretary. However if the club of one of these officers was involved, then an officer of the league from a neutral club should replace him.
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