County Championships

(Including NCCU Junior County Championships)

As adopted by the NCCU AGM, June 1996. Amended Sep 2006, July 2009 and June 2019.

1 Interpretation

In these rules, unless the context requires otherwise, references to the Counties Championship are to be construed so as to refer also to Counties Open, Under-180, Under-160, Under-140, Under-120 and U100 Championships. Junior Competitions include the U18 Junior County Jamboree and the U16 Pennine Cup.

2 Entry

a. The Competition for each Counties Championship is conducted annually and is open to each constituent member County Chess Association.

b. Entries for the Counties Championship must be made to the NCCU County Controller and copied to the NCCU Secretary no later than 30th November each year.

c. Junior event entry dates to be decided by the County organisers concerned.

3 Format of the Championships

a. The Format of each Championship will be as the Controller decides, once the numbers of entries at each level are finalised. Where a competition is run on a zonal basis, the zonal competition will be followed by a semi-final and final stage if required. In the semi-final stage the winner of Zone 1 will play the second team from Zone 2, and the winner from Zone 2 will play the second team from Zone.

b. In any match in these Championships the minimum number of players on each side should be 12. A higher even number may be mutually agreed.

b. Entries for the Counties Championship must be made to the NCCU County Controller and copied to the NCCU Secretary no later than 30th November each year.

c. The winner of the Championship at each level is declared to be the NCCU Champion and, subject to (d), is nominated to compete in the quarter-finals of the ECF Counties Championship at that level. The runner-up in each Championship, again subject to (d), is also nominated to compete in the quarter-finals of the ECF Counties Championship at that level, providing at least 3 ECF teams participate in said Championship.

d. If any County side is deemed ineligible to take part in the ECF quarter-final stages (due, for example, to that County Association not being affiliated to the ECF) then their nomination to the quarter-finals shall be given to the next eligible County.

e. Matches shall normally be played over the board, but with the agreement of both counties and the controller, may be played by telephone or email.

f. The U18 and U16 events will be played in a one day Jamboree.

4 Venues for Matches

a. Matches will normally be played on a ‘home’ and ‘away’ basis, but the ‘away’ side can demand a neutral venue if the relevant county boundaries are not contiguous. It is the responsibility of the ‘away’ team to organise the agreed neutral venue, but the costs of the venue will be shared. This demand should be made to the ‘home’ side at least six weeks before the match is due to take place (except in the case of the October match, when the request must be made as soon as possible when the fixtures are known. It is expected that Counties will have regard to the convenience of visiting teams when arranging venues.

b. The ‘home’ captain should contact the ‘away’ captain by ‘phone to offer his choice of venue well before the event. He should then send full details of confirmation in writing to reach the ‘away’ captain at least two weeks before the match.

c. The U18 and U16 Jamboree’s shall be held at a venue of the organising County.

d. All correspondence relating to these competitions should be sent by email or first class mail.

5 Dates of Matches

a. The draw for each Championship will be issued by the controller as soon as possible after he has the full number of entries.

b. Dates of matches to be arranged between team captains on a mutually agreed basis between December and the end of April the following year.

c. The number of boards in each match (at least 12) shall be agreed by the two match captains at the same time the venue is agreed.

d. The U18 Jamboree shall take place in March each year and the U16 in December.

6 Tie splitting procedure

a. A Championship is awarded to the team scoring the highest number of match points.

b. Individual County match result

c. If a. or b. produce no result the controller shall apply the rules given in the ‘Memorandum on Method of Resolving Ties in the County Championship’ approved by the NCCU in June 1980 and amended in Sep 2006 at the request of the NCCU Committee.

7 Eligibility of Players

a. A player may represent a County in the Counties Championship only if they have not played for another County (NCCU or otherwise) in the same season.
b. The qualification for a player to represent a County in the Counties championships is:

i. They are a subscribing member of that Association, either direct or through an affiliated Club

ii. They are registered with the NCCU.

iii. They must fulfil one of these conditions:

a. Birth in that County.

b. 5 years consecutive residence in that County at any time. c. One month’s immediately previous and present residence in that County.

d. 2 year’s immediately previous and present membership of a club either in or affiliated to that County.

e. Present attendance as teacher or pupil at a school, college or university in that County.

f. A player whose qualification is valid under the preceding rules when first playing for a County, shall remain qualified for the rest of that season.

g. For the U18 and U16 events, players must be aged U18 and U16 on the 1st of September for the season concerned.

8 Grading Limited Championships

a. No player should take part in the U-180, U-160, U-140, U-120 or U100 Championships if their gradings in the ECF National list for that season (published in July/August) are equal to or over the appropriate limit.

b. A team captain must obtain permission from the controller at least seven days prior to the match (otherwise rule 9a applies) to play an ungraded player in a gradings’ limited competition. This may be refused if the ungraded players known or estimated strength is thought inappropriate for that competition. The Grading list at the start of the season to be used for County Match purposes. At the half yearly grading, if a players’ grade increases to over the limit for that section he or she is still eligible. Similarly, if a grading comes down from a higher section, the player is eligible to play in the lower section, reflecting the new grade.

c. If it is known that a player’s grade is incorrect in the current ECF grading list, then notice must be given at least 14 days before the match date, to the Controller. This must show proof of correct grade with authority from a National/County grader, otherwise rule 9 will apply.

9 Penalties for playing ineligible players

a. The penalty for playing an ineligible player in any match shall be the loss of that player’s game and the deduction of one game point from the teams total for each such player.

b. A request for a penalty to be exacted under this rule must be made to the controller within 7 days of the match.

10 Rules for Matches

a. Before the time fixed for the start of play (arranged so that the playing session will conclude no later than 6pm) the team captains shall make up their respective playing lists, placing the players in grading order or order of deemed playing strength; they shall exchange lists and toss for colours. The team whose captain wins the toss shall take white on the odd-numbered boards.

b. At the time fixed for the start of play, the captains shall start the clocks of those players having the move. If a player be absent, an eligible substitute may be put in within the first hour; otherwise his opponent, if present, shall score the game as a win. If neither player is present or substituted then the game shall be scored a loss for both sides. The NCCU consider that the FIDE rule implemented July 2009 of zero tolerance for being absent at the start of play is unworkable and therefore this rule does not apply for any County matches.

c. The duration of play will be a maximum of 5 hours. Each player shall make not less than 40 moves in 2 hours and then the game played to a finish with 30 minutes extra for each player for the remainder of the game. The rates of play and the duration of the sudden death finish may be varied by mutual agreement of the two captains.

d. One game will be played between each pair of players. A win will count one point and a draw half a point.

e. It is the responsibility of match captains to agree between themselves as to the provision of clocks and other equipment. In the absence of agreement to the contrary each County should provide half the equipment required for the agreed number of boards to be played.

f. If insufficient clocks or equipment are available at the start of a match then the available clocks and equipment are allocated by the match captain responsible for their presence. For those boards where no clock or equipment is available, the time elapsed from the agreed starting time up to the arrival of the clock or equipment at the board shall be counted against the county whose responsibility it was to provide the clock or equipment. In the event of clock failure, the time between the clock being found faulty and its replacement by a working clock is counted against the county which originally provided the faulty clock.

g. U18 and U16 time limits shall be decided by the event organisers.

11 Disputes

a. All games shall be played in accordance with the Laws of Chess compiled by FIDE (except as stated in 10b.) and published in Britain with the authority of the
ECF. It is the responsibility of match captains to have a copy of the Laws available for reference at each match.

b. All disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Laws of Chess on which the Counties cannot agree, shall be referred to the controller. If agreement cannot be reached the controller may refer the dispute to the ECF for adjudication.

c. Any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the NCCU Counties Championships Rules on which the Counties cannot agree shall be decided by the controller. Appeals against a decision of the controller shall be referred to a neutral sub-committee of the NCCU whose decision will be final.

12 Results

Each county shall send to the Controller, the Webmaster and Grader within 10 days, the detailed score of the match, an indication of which side had White on the odd boards and the date and venue of play and the players’ ECF GRADING NUMBER (7 characters) or their NMS Number and the date of birth of all juniors. An additional copy should be sent to the ECF.

13 Amendments to Rules

a. No amendments to these rules shall be made unless due notice of such an amendment has been given to the Annual General Meeting not less than 21 days before the date of that meeting.

b. Amendments to the rules may be passed by a simple majority of those present and voting.