2016/16 Competition Rules


All times mentioned hereafter shall mean that time at Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) unless otherwise stated.

The “Tournament Director” is the person responsible for organising the competition, and applying the rules of the competition. He can be e-mailed at: info@yes2chess.org.

The tournament is free to enter.


A             The Competition

B             Tournament Format

C             Tournament Regulations

D             Playing Internet Matches

E              Application of the FIDE Laws of Chess in Internet Matches

F              Playing Over the Board Matches

G             Cheating


Section A: The Competition

  1. All participants must have been born after 31st December 2004, or in their sixth year of school education. The Tournament Director’s ruling on player eligibility shall be final.
  2. Schools may enter as many teams as they like. To enter the competition, schools must:
  • E-mail a fully completed entry form to the Tournament Director.
  • Have an internet connection suitable for hosting the matches.
  • Be from one of the following eight countries:

(1) Denmark (where entry will be via the Skoleskak National Schools Championship.)

(2) Germany

(3) Norway

(4) Portugal (where entries can also be made by cultural and youth societies from Lisbon engaged in the volunteering scheme.)

(5) Spain

(6) Sweden

(7) United Kingdom

(8)United States of America

Entries will only be accepted for teams that we have received by midnight on 31st March, 2016.

  1. Schools must nominate five players to represent each team they enter and list them in descending order of chess ability. Each team must include at least one female player. All players must be enrolled as students of the school that nominates them. No player may be nominated for more than one team. The team does not need to be composed of the same players in each match.


Section B: National Tournament Format

  1. The national tournaments will have two phases:

(i) Group Phase – Teams will be divided into groups of four. These will be played on an All-Play-All basis. The team that wins the group will qualify for the next phase. Teams that do not win the group will be invited to re-enter the competition. If the invitation is accepted, they will be entered into another group. There is no limit to the number of invitations for teams that fail to win their group. These groups will be organised in two ways:

(a) The Tournament Director will communicate the groups of four teams, and thus the six matches, to be played. Those teams then arrange dates and times between themselves for the fixtures, all of which must be completed by a date set by the Tournament Director.

(b) The Tournament Director will periodically announce dates and times for the group to be played as a tournament. This will take approximately 3½ hours and the six matches will be played in three pairs, one after the other.

(ii) Knockout Phase – Group winners from the Group Phase will qualify for the Knockout Phase. This will be Single-Elimination, and there will be no re-entry. The Semi Finals and Final, along with a 3rd & 4th place playoff for losing Semi Finalists, will be held on a Finals Day in June.

  1. The allocation of teams to groups, and pairings for the Knockout Phase, will be made at random; however, the Tournament Director will make adjustments, as far as possible, for the following:

(i) Keeping apart teams from the same school.

(ii) Pairing together teams with similar availability (e.g. dates, times and term times).

  1. Qualifying matches may be played over the board at an agreed venue if both schools agree and permission has been received from the Tournament Director.


Section C: Tournament Regulations

  1. A team will score the following matchpoints within each match it plays:

2 matchpoints                   Winning the match

1 matchpoint                     Drawing the match

0 matchpoints                   Losing/Defaulting the match

  1. A team will score the following gamepoints within each match it plays:

1 gamepoint                       Winning the game

½ gamepoint                     Drawing the game

0 gamepoints                     Losing/Defaulting the game

  1. A team is deemed to have defaulted a game according to the following:

(i) There is no player available to play on that board.

(ii) The player’s allotted time expires without a move being made on the chessboard.

(iii) A player disconnects from the server for two minutes or more on more than one occasion during the game for any reason.

  1. Each team must contain at least one girl. A team that fails to meet this requirement will lose their match. For the purposes of this school, boys-only schools are permitted to join with a single-sex girls school.
  2. Where a team enters a match with fewer than five players, it must default the lowest board(s).
  3. The usernames for each of boards 1 to 5 must be used on the appropriate boards, even if the team has been changed from previous matches.
  4. For each match, the Tournament Director will assign one of the teams as the “home” team, and the other as the “away” team.
  5. The time limit for each match will be all moves in 20 minutes plus 10 seconds cumulative increment per move from move 1. However, the Tournament Director may ask for games with a longer time limit to be played in particular rounds.
  6. For knockout matches which are drawn, the winning team shall be decided in the following way:

(i) Board elimination: The result of the game on the lowest board is removed from the match result, and the match result is calculated. If the match remains drawn, the process is repeated until one team scores more gamepoints than their opponent. The winning team will be the team that has scored the most gamepoints in the match.

(ii) If all boards are drawn, then the team with the lowest average age shall be deemed the winner of the match.

  1. If an All-Play-All group is tied on matchpoints, then the result of the head-to-head match will be used. Should this be drawn, then the procedure in 7. above will be used.


Section D: Playing Internet Matches

  1. The Home team will offer their opponents three dates and times to choose from to play the match.  If no dates are suitable, the teams must contact the Tournament Director, who will decide how to proceed.
  2. The first-named team in a match will be white on the odd-numbered boards, and the second-named team in a match will be white on the even-numbered boards. (E.g. if a match is Team A v Team B, then Team A will be white on boards 1, 3 and 5. Team B will be white on boards 2 and 4.)
  3. Team captains should make contact with their opposing captain in advance of the match to confirm the date and start time of the match. This can be done either by Skype, e-mail or telephone.
  4. Players should log into the virtual match room at the scheduled start time. They must then initiate a game with the player in the opposing team, noting the colour requirements in D2 above.
  5. No game will be restarted in the following circumstances:

(i) A game is being played between the correct players with the wrong colour

(ii) A game is being played between the wrong players

  1. At the conclusion of a match, both captains must report the result of the match using the form provided on the tournament website.


Section E: Application of the FIDE Laws of Chess in Internet Matches

The FIDE laws of chess can be found here: http://www.fide.com/fide/handbook.html?id=171&view=article

  1. A player will not be defaulted if he arrives late for his game. (See FIDE Laws of Chess: 6.6 and Rule C2.2(ii))
  2. The server will automatically award a draw in the following circumstances:

(i)            King + Knight versus King + Knight

(ii)           King + Bishop versus King + Bishop, where the Bishops are on the same-coloured squares

  1. The server will automatically award a draw in the following scenarios:

(i) The first time that a successful draw by repetition claim could be made (see FIDE Laws of Chess: 9.2)

(ii) The first time that a successful draw by 50-move claim could be made (see FIDE Laws of Chess: 9.3)

  1. The server will not automatically award a draw in a position where neither player can win by any series of legal moves. (see FIDE Laws of Chess: 9.6)
  2. A team captain’s mobile phone may be switched on during the matches.


Section F: Playing Over-the-Board Matches

  1. The FIDE Laws of Chess in force at the start of the competition shall apply to all games played over-the-board. Appendix A (Rapidplay) will apply.
  2. For matches where no arbiter is present, and a dispute arises between two players in a game, then the clocks must be stopped immediately. The following process for resolving the dispute must be carried out:

(i) The two team captains must together agree on a resolution to the dispute.

(ii) If there is no agreement between the team captains, then the Tournament Director must be contacted, either by Skype or by telephone. If the Tournament Director is unavailable for any reason, then he will appoint a deputy. The decision of the Tournament Director shall be final.

  1. Team captains must not involve themselves in any game of a match unless the players in the game request their involvement to assist in resolving a dispute.


Section G: Cheating

  1. No player is permitted to make use of any chess engine during the match.
  2. No team captain, player, or spectator is permitted to give advice to any of the players in his team during a match. Forms of advice include, but are not restricted to:

(i) General verbal comments, such as “Make sure you don’t lose your Queen”, or “Remember to castle”

(ii) Pointing at a computer screen or board on which a game is being played

(iii) Making specific recommendations of the move to be played to the player, such as “Take the rook”

(iv) Discussing a game in progress with another player

  1. A team captain who suspects an opposing team of being in breach of either or both of Rule F1 or Rule F2 should appeal by contacting the Tournament Director, who will investigate their appeal.
  2. Any team found to be in breach of either or both of Rule G1 or Rule G2, either from an appeal in Rule G3 or by the Tournament Director’s own checks, will be disqualified from the competition. If a disqualification happens during the Group Phase, then the results of matches played until that point shall be treated as in Rule C1.3.