The London Chess League

Rules of Play

Play in all Divisions shall be governed by the FIDÉ Laws of Chess.

1a) At the start of each match Captains should announce that, "All mobile phones must be switched off for the duration of the match". The Penalty for breaking this rule: First ring - warning to the player to switch off; Second ring - loss of game. Such game losses must be reported in writing to the League Secretary.

1b) "It is forbidden to write your move in advance on your scoresheet." Repeated transgessors must be reported in writing to the League Secretary.

All matches at the Golden Lane Community Centre shall start at 7.00 pm. Elsewhere the starting time shall be agreed by the Committee. All clocks shall be set in motion at the starting time.

In the event of any delay in starting a match, the time so lost shall be borne on the clocks of the home team. For each match at the Golden Lane Community Centre, the team shown on the left in the fixture list will be deemed to be the home team.

Ten minutes before the time fixed for the commencement of a match, the respective match captains or their deputies shall make up their teams and exchange lists. Captains shall toss for colour after the exchange of lists. The side winning the toss shall have white on the odd-numbered boards and black on the even- numbered.

Should a match captain or deputy not be present ten minutes before the match is due to start, the opposing match captain shall have the choice of colour.

It is expected that the players shall be arranged consecutively in order of strength, beginning with the strongest on top board, and any default(s) known before teams are exchanged shall be taken on the bottom board(s).

In all matches, a player shall arrive not later than 45 minutes after the due starting time of the match.

If a player does not arrive in time his/her game shall be lost by default unless a reserve is substituted before the default time.

It is obligatory to use clocks. Each player must complete 36 moves in each 90 minutes unless otherwise agreed by the Committee. Any time unused in a session shall be carried forward to the next session. Before the commencement of the first session all clocks shall be set to 4.30. It is recommended that, before the start of each subsequent session, the clocks are set so that the next time control will be when they reach 6.00.

Prior to the completion of white's second move opposing players may agree, if they wish, to a quick play finish. The time control shall be thirty moves in seventy five minutes, except where rule 6(a) applies, followed by the addition of fifteen minutes to each player's clock - the game to be completed in the total time remaining. FIDÉ quickplay finish rules to apply.

The duration of play shall be at least three hours and five minutes in the first session unless otherwise agreed by the Committee. Time shall be called at the Golden Lane Community Centre at 10.05 p.m. Elsewhere time shall be called at the time agreed by match captains prior to the start of play, except where rule 6(a) applies.

The player having the move when time is called shall make a sealed move. All sealed moves must be made within 15 minutes before the call of time. The opponent shall hold the envelope until the adjournment session; if he does not produce the envelope at the adjournment session then he shall lose the game. Prior to leaving the premises players must agree a date, time and place for the resumption of their game and those details must be recorded on the adjournment envelope as well as both players signing it.

6(a) The playing session for all matches played at the Athenaeum at 36 Endell Street, WC2 shall be three hours and thirty minutes, starting at 6.45 p.m. with a time control of thirtysix moves in ninety minutes and the game shall be adjourned if unfinished at the end of the session. If opposing players in a game agree prior to the completion of white's second move the time control for that game shall be thirtysix moves in ninety minutes followed by a fifteen minute quickplay finish.

Each competing club shall within 7 days send to the League Secretary the full score of each match at the end of the first session, showing who had the first move, the number of each board and the date, time and place for the resumption of the game. Non-compliance with this rule shall render the defaulting club liable to a penalty for each non-compliance in accordance with the List of Charges.

(a) A blind player may submit a claim for adjudication at the end of any session provided that before the start of play in that session he notifies his opponent of his intention to do so.
(b) Any game unfinished at the end of the first session shall be continued for further sessions, as described in Rule 9, until the game is completed.

The second session shall be played within 21 days of the first session. Any further session shall be played within the following number of days from the first session: 3rd - 35, 4th - 49, 5th - 63 and so on. Each session shall be of at least three hours duration, including the making of any sealed moves, or at a time and place agreed by the two players.

If any player fails to arrive within 30 minutes of the due starting time then that player shall lose the game. The League Secretary must be informed if any session is arranged for a date more than 28 days after the first session.

Unless all games in the match are completed in the first session, each competing club shall, within 28 days of the first session, send a second report to the League Secretary. This second report shall give the results of all adjourned games completed in the second session, any positions for adjudication, and a note of any games being continued for a third session. Non-compliance with this rule shall render the club liable to a penalty for each non-compliance in accordance with the List of Charges.

If a club fails to report on any game, the League Secretary shall use the result reported by the other club. Any game for which neither team submits a result shall be scored as a default loss for both teams, unless the League Secretary has previously received a claim or agreed to an extension.

Any position for adjudication must be submitted to the League Secretary by each team, with the team's claim and with the adjudication fee. If only one team submits a claim, that claim shall be upheld. The fee of that team whose claim is upheld shall be returned.

If, after receiving a game for adjudication, the League Secretary receives notification of agreement by both sides, this agreement shall stand unless the game has already been sent to the adjudicator.


Either side may appeal against the decision of the adjudicator. Notice of intention to appeal must be sent to the League Secretary within 7 days of receiving the adjudicator's decision. Two copies of the position on which the appeal is based together with two copies of an analysis purporting to refute the adjudicator's decision must be sent to the League Secretary within a further 14 days together with the appeal fee.

The appeal shall be sent to an independent adjudicator whose decision shall be final. If the appeal is upheld the appeal fee and the original adjudication fee shall be returned.

A team shall have one half point deducted from its score of matches for every 4 games lost by default, including losses by default after adjournment and losses by default for failing to submit a result in the Second Report. However, default(s) taken on the bottom board(s) in accordance with Rule 3 above and notified to the opposing team before the exchange of team lists shall not count towards the calculation of the foregoing penalty. If the greater proportion of a side is prevented from attending a match by circumstances beyond its control, the Committee may at its discretion waive the penalty.

Any team whose aggregate of defaults exceeds 16 must seek re-election at the next Annual General Meeting.

14. SMOKING IN THE PLAYING ROOM Smoking is banned in the playing room at all London League and Eastman Cup matches.

Any dispute or question arising under these rules shall be referred to the Committee whose decision shall be final.

Individuals collecting trophies on behalf of their club must sign for said trophy in the appropriate register.

All players must abide by the rules of the premises.

Smoking is banned in the playing room at all League matches.

Effective from September 2007

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