RULES of the LONDON COMMERCIAL CHESS LEAGUE

GENERAL RULES

1. The League shall be called the "LONDON COMMERCIAL CHESS LEAGUE".

2. Membership of the League shall be open to Clubs attached to and representing a Commercial, Public Utility, an Educational Establishment or Public Service organisation within the Metropolitan Area, and to individual persons, who shall be known as "Honorary Members". Honorary Membership is available to individuals from any such organisation which has not a Club affiliated to the League and such Honorary Members will be regarded as being members of the H.M.C. (Honorary Members Club), which may enter a team or teams in any of the League events. As members of the H.M.C. they will be equal in all respects, under these rules, with members of other Clubs. Applications must be made to the League Council, which shall have full discretion and power to grant or refuse membership.

3. The qualification for a player to represent a Club in any competition shall be the receipt of a regular salary for employment, or pension entitlement, or their equivalent, from the affiliated organisation, or a contractor to that organisation. In addition each Club may select one player not otherwise eligible (a guest player) to represent it in the League's competitions, provided the guest player is nominated to the Match Secretary before the start of the season. The fielding of an ineligible player on any board by a team will result in that board being scored 1-0 for the other team, and at the discretion of the Executive Committee, either to a half match point penalty to the team fielding the ineligible player in the case of a divisional competition, or to a forfeit of the entire match in the case of a knock-out competition. Excluding guest players, a player having qualified for or having legitimately represented a club in this League shall remain eligible for that club in perpetuity. No player who has played for one of this League's Clubs may qualify for any other Club in the League during that season's competitions.

4. The annual subscriptions shall be as follows: Vice-Presidents £5, Hon.Vice-Presidents £3; for all teams in the League at the rate of £5 per board. Hon. Life Vice-Presidents, who may be nominated only by the Executive Committee, shall not be required to pay any subscription. Subscriptions shall be payable to the Hon. Treasurer on or before 1st August each year. Payment of the annual subscription shall be deemed a declaration of agreement to these Rules, and shall constitute an entitlement to receive a copy of the League YearBook for the current year for each subscription. Any club fielding a player that is not a member of the ECF will be liable for the ECF Game Fee.

5. The business of the League shall be conducted by a council composed of an Executive Committee and one delegate nominated by each affiliated Club. A delegate not being able to attend a Council Meeting may nominate a deputy provided he notifies the Hon. General Secretary in writing at or before the meeting. The Executive Committee shall comprise the President, two Vice-Presidents, the Hon. General Secretary, the Hon. Match Secretary, the Hon. Treasurer, the League Captain, the Trophies Secretary, the Yearbook Editor and four other members, all of whom shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.

6. An Ordinary Council Meeting shall be held each year before the start of the season.

7. On written requisition by three or more Clubs, or at the request of the Executive Committee, the Hon. General Secretary shall convene a Special Council Meeting within fourteen days, giving seven clear days' notice to the members of the Council and stating the business to be transacted; no business other than that stated shall be considered.

8. The affairs of the League shall be managed by the Executive Committee under the direction of the Council. In the interpretation of the Rules, or in any matter arising which is not covered by the Rules, the Executive Committee shall have power to make decisions as it may deem necessary.

9. The quorum for the Council shall be not less than two thirds of the number of clubs in the league, and for the Executive Committee four. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in all the Rules of the London Commercial Chess League the Executive Committee shall have the full right to suspend, waive, vary or amend any of those Rules and the full right to make new Rules. The Executive Committee may conduct its business by email or other form of electronic communication.

10. The financial year 2016-17 shall end on 31st July; the financial year 2017-18 shall run from 1st August to 31st May, and all subsequent financial years shall run from 1st June to 31st May.

11. An Annual General Meeting shall be held no later than 20th July. Elected Officers and persons qualified under Rule 3 shall be entitled to attend, to speak and to vote at this meeting.

12. The power to make or amend Rules is vested only in the Council, and notice of any additions or alterations to be proposed at the Ordinary Council Meeting must be in the hands of the Hon. General Secretary by not less than eight days before the date appointed for the Ordinary Council Meeting. The Hon. General Secretary shall inform clubs of any such proposals before the appointed date of the Ordinary Council Meeting. Any proposal for a change of rules may be amended during the course of an Ordinary Council Meeting.

13. Trophies which are the property of the League shall be presented to the winning teams and individuals on or before the 30th September each year and shall remain in the possession of the winners until the following 31st May when they shall be returned to the Trophies Secretary, except as provided in Rule 14. The League shall arrange for and bear the cost of the necessary engraving.

14. Any Club holding a League trophy shall immediately surrender it in the event of resigning from the League. Any holder of an individual trophy shall forfeit all claim to its retention on ceasing to be a member of his Club or on his Club's resignation from the League, and shall immediately return the trophy to the Hon. General Secretary. The Executive Committee shall have authority to waive this Rule.

RULES FOR THE DIVISIONAL LEAGUE

15. The league shall be divided into divisions as follows: Division I 8-board teams; Division II 6 boards; all other Divisions 5 boards. No Division shall consist of more than thirteen teams.

16. On admission to the League a team shall be entered in whichever Division the Council decides.

17. Each team shall play one match against all other teams in the same Division between 24th September and 10th May, but these dates may be altered by the Executive Committee to extend slightly the period for any season's programme. Where there are eight teams or less in any Division, home and away matches shall be played.

18. The Hon. Match Secretary will arrange a fixture list for the divisional league and the knockout competitions, which he will circulate to all clubs. Changes to this list may be made by mutual agreement between the Clubs and with the consent of the Hon. Match Secretary. The venue may be altered by mutual agreement and shall be fixed when the date of the match is agreed, but the nominal home team shall be responsible for the usual match expenses. Club Secretaries shall forward to the Hon. Match Secretary a complete list of any changes to their fixtures by 31st August. Thereafter dates of matches shall not be altered except in very exceptional circumstances, and then only with the consent of the Hon. Match Secretary in consultation with the other League Officials. Non-availability of players will not be considered a valid reason.

19. Before 1st October each year Clubs entering more than one team shall register with the Hon. Match Secretary their strongest available players for each team other than their lowest team and these players shall be barred from playing in any team below that for which nominated. Clubs are allowed, on application to the Hon. Match Secretary to make one alteration in each registered team covering two members. After a member of a lower team has appeared five times for a higher team or teams, including cup games, he may not be included in the lower team again in the same season. The playing of an ineligible player in any team will result in a penalty of half a match point.

20. One point shall be scored for each match won and half a point for each match drawn. At the end of the season the top two teams of a Division other than the highest shall be promoted at the discretion of the Council and the lowest two teams of a Division other than the lowest shall be relegated at the discretion of the Council.

21. When a team defaults on any board other than the bottom board, it shall count towards a penalty whereby a team shall be penalised half a match point for each four such defaults. This rule will also apply to matches conceded in advance.

22. In the event of Clubs tying on match points their relative positions shall be determined by game points. If game points are also equal their relative positions shall be determined by the (aggregate) score of their league match(es) against each other. If these are also equal board elimination from the bottom board upwards shall apply to these league match(es). If two such matches are involved board elimination from both matches shall be applied simultaneously. If the teams are still level and the relative positions will determine a promotion, relegation or divisional championship then a ‘play off’ will be arranged. If the play off match is drawn the winner shall be determined by board elimination from the bottom board upwards. If all boards in a playoff are drawn the winner shall be the team that had black on board 1.

23. In the event of the withdrawal of a team from any Division, all its match results shall be annulled.

PLAYING RULES

24. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, all games shall be played in accordance with the current F.I.D.E. Laws of Chess as published by the British Chess Federation.

25. Play in each match shall begin not later than 6:30 p.m. and time shall be called not less than two and three quarter hours from the time fixed for starting the match except where team captains have mutually agreed to less than two and three quarter hours play. In no case shall time be called less than two and a half hours after the time fixed for starting the match. Where necessary each player shall be allowed 30 minutes grace from the time fixed for the match, after which his game shall be conceded by default. At any time during the period of grace a reserve may be substituted for a missing player. If the host venue is available for a sufficient period of time, the captains shall notwithstanding anything to the contrary in these Rules agree to a playing session of at least 3 hours to permit a Fischer time control or a Quickplay finish as the case may be in accordance with Rule 26.

26. Games shall be played to a finish on the night unless both players agree before the match starts to have their game adjudicated in the event it is unfinished and a result cannot be agreed. On each board the players concerned shall agree in advance of the start of a game whether they wish to use Quickplay or Fischer time controls. If there is no agreement in advance, the priority shall be;
1. Quickplay Finish
2. Fischer Time Control,
3. Adjudication
The time controls shall be as follows;
Quickplay Finish: If the playing session is less than three hours, the Quickplay Finish time limits will be 30 moves in 1 hour and then all remaining moves in a further 15 minutes. If the playing session is at least 3 hours the Quickplay Finish time limits will be 30 moves in 75 minutes and then all remaining moves in a further 15 minutes. ECF Quickplay Finish laws apply save as otherwise stipulated in these rules.
Fischer Time Control: If suitable clocks are available, all moves shall be completed within 70 minutes on the clock, each move earning an increment of 15 seconds. The Fischer Time Control option shall not be available for playing sessions less than 3 hours.
Adjudication Option: The rate of play shall be not less than 35 moves in the first hour and a quarter, and seven additional moves for every quarter of an hour. No game shall be sent for adjudication until the number of moves required for the first time control has been made.
These times apply to each player's clock, and any player exceeding the time limit shall, ipso facto, lose the game. A player must record the moves to claim on the time limit, and he must make his claim while his opponent is in time default. All clocks shall be started at the time fixed for the commencement of the match.

27. Team lists shall be exchanged before board colours are determined. Board colours shall be determined by the toss of a coin, the team winning the toss having white on odd numbered boards and black on even numbered boards. Captains are responsible for ensuring that players reach agreement about matters to be decided pursuant to Rule 26 before Blacks first move and set the clocks correctly. Captains shall record without delay on their result sheet the nature of the finish (adjudication, quickplay or Fischer) for each board.

28. Games must be adjudicated where Captains cannot agree the results within seven days of the match.

29. The results of matches in detail must be sent, on forms provided by the League, to the Divisional Recorder or, in absence of a Divisional Recorder, to the Hon. Match Secretary by both Clubs within seven days of the match, with games for adjudication indicated. Positions for adjudication must be clearly set out, stating whose turn it is to move and what result is claimed, and sent in the same way within ten days of the match. If both Clubs have failed to do this within the prescribes time, any outstanding games will be declared drawn. If only one Club complies, the Club shall have its claims upheld. A fee of £7.50 shall be paid to the League for each unsuccessful claim.

30. The Hon. Match Secretary shall forward all properly submitted adjudication positions to one of the official Adjudicators appointed by the Council, and on receipt of his decision shall advise both Clubs concerned accordingly.

31. A Club may appeal against the decision of the Adjudicator, but notice of such action must be received by the Hon. Match Secretary within seven days of receipt by the Club of the Adjudicator's decision, followed within a further seven days by an analysis intended to refute the decision. The Hon. Match Secretary shall forthwith give notice of the appeal to the opposing Club, who may also submit an analysis within the prescribed time. A further fee of £7.50 shall be paid to the League for each unsuccessful appeal. No appeal may be made against the second decision of the Adjudicator.

32. In the event of a match being started but not finished, through exceptional circumstances, and in consequence the Captains cannot agree a result, the Hon. match Secretary shall make such arrangements as he deems fit to resolve unfinished games.

33. Mobile telephones shall be silenced or turned off for the duration of the playing session, except where agreed by team captains. If a player's mobile phone rings during a game he should be asked to silence it or turn it off. If it rings a second time then he/she loses the game.

RULES FOR KNOCK-OUT COMPETITIONS

1. Annual competitions for teams of six boards shall be held between 1st October and 31st March each year, open to affiliated Clubs as follows:
John Lewis Partnership Cup - All Clubs, only one team from each.
Sainsbury Shield - All Clubs with teams lower than Division I (excluding the Casual Division), only one team from each. Players currently eligible only for Division I shall not be eligible to play.
Gillette Trophy - All Clubs with teams lower than Division II (excluding the Casual Division), only one team from each. Players currently eligible only for Divisions I and II shall not be eligible to play.

2. The competitions shall be conducted on the "knock-out" system and any byes that may be necessary shall be drawn in the first round.

3. The Hon. Match Secretary shall arrange the fixtures for each round as stipulated in Rule 18 of the General Rules for the Divisional League.

4. If a match be drawn a decision shall be arrived at by canceling the score from the bottom upwards, one board at a time until a definite result is obtained. If all six games are drawn, the match shall be replayed within 7 days of notification from the Hon. Match Secretary.

5. All General Rules of the League where pertinent shall apply and the Executive Committee shall have power to deal with any disputes arising out of the Rules or any matter not provided for therein and their decision shall be final.