Lanarkshire chess league




1. Duration of Season
1.1 League competitions comprising one or more divisions shall be held in each season. For this and other purposes "a season" is defined as the period commencing on September 1st in one year and terminating on May 31st in the following year.

2. Constitution of Divisions and Match Fixtures
2.1 There shall be no more than fifteen teams in each division.
2.2 New teams shall enter the lowest division.
2.3 Each team within a division shall normally play one match with each of the other teams therein during the playing season. However, if a division contains fewer than nine teams then each team shall play two matches with each of the other teams.
2.4 When a club has more than one team in the same division the teams shall play each other at the start of the season. If such matches have not been played by the third match and neither team has claimed a default then it shall be deemed to be a double default.
2.5 The Junior League is restricted to players under seventeen years of age on September 1st. and with a grading of not more than 1500. Players playing in the junior league may play in the adult league under the normal rules. Junior league Rules for League Competitions and Rules of Play to be similar to the adult league. The junior league will be treated differently from the adult league.
2.6 Teams must schedule at least one third of their fixtures to be played by December 31st.

3. Scoring
3.1 The individual games of a match shall be scored, one game point for a game won, half a game point for a game drawn, no game point for a game lost.
3.2 Based upon the aggregate of individual game points gained by each team the results of a match shall be scored, 2 points for a match won. 1 point for a match drawn, no points for a match lost.

4. Games Lost by Default
4.1 One match point shall be deducted from a team's score at the end of the season for every four games lost by default.
4.2 If 50% or more of a side is prevented from attending a match by some unforeseeable event the Management Committee may, at their discretion, rule that the defaults so incurred be excluded from the total for the purpose of this clause.
4.3 At the beginning of the season all clubs shall pay a fee of £20.00 as a bond against defaulting league matches. This fee will be refunded at the end of each season unless any of a club's teams has defaulted a league match.

5. Team Withdrawals - The following action shall be taken if a team withdraws from a division during a season.
5.1 Match results will be cancelled if fewer than 50% of matches have been played, or
5.2 Match results will stand if 50% or more of matches have been played - unplayed matches to be scored as wins for the opposing teams.

6. Promotion and Relegation
6.1 The Divisions and the League shall function on the following promotion and relegation basis.
a) The two teams in divisions 2 and 3 (one if the division above contains 8 teams or fewer) securing the greatest number of match points shall be promoted to the next higher division.
b) If, after promotion, the number of teams in division 1 should exceed the specified number then the extra team or teams with the smallest number of match points shall be relegated to Division 2. Should this relegation, in turn, cause the number of teams in division 2 to exceed the specified number then the extra team or teams with the smallest number of match points shall be relegated to division 3 and so on throughout all the divisions except the lowest division.
c) If, in the course of the application of the relegation process, a division is found to be under strength then the vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by the leading placed teams in the next lower division.
d) When the lowest division is divided into two or more sections the Management Committee shall arrange play-off matches to decide the promotion issue.
6.2 If two or more teams concerned in promotion or relegation are equal in match points then the issue shall be resolved by applying the following rules in their order of numbering.
i) The teams shall be placed in the order of the total games-for points scored.
ii) If the issue remains unresolved then those teams tied on total games-for points after applying rule i) shall be placed in order of match points scored in the game or games between the teams.
iii) Should the issue still be undecided then the matter shall be resolved by the playing of a match or series of matches between the teams that are tied on match points after the application of rule i). These matches shall be played on dates and at venues arranged by the Management Committee.
iv) In the event that any match played under rule iii) is drawn then result shall be decided as follows; the score at each board shall be cancelled board by board, beginning at the bottom board, until one team has a majority of games-for points.
6.3 Other than when it would result in a club having more than three teams in one division promotion will normally be obligatory. However, in exceptional circumstances the Management Committee may use discretionary powers in favour of a club(s) applying to forego promotion to a higher division.
6.4 Should a club, following relegation, have more than three teams in one division then the lowest team(s) of the affected club shall be relegated to the next lowest division.
6.5 A team in any division except the lowest division defaulting two or more matches during the season shall be relegated to the next lower division unless a satisfactory explanation is given to the Management Committee within 21 days of the scheduled match. Similarly, teams in the lowest division defaulting two or more matches during the season without satisfactory explanation shall be ineligible for promotion.

7. Constitution of Teams
7.1 A team shall consist of four players.

8. Player Eligibility
8.1 No player shall be eligible to play for more than one club during the season.
8.2 A player shall be tied for the remainder of the current season to that division in which he/she first plays unless registered for a lower division. However, he/she may play a total of three times in higher divisions. A player may play once for a higher team in the same division. A player may not play for more than two teams in the same division.
8.3 Any dispute as to the eligibility of a player shall be referred to the management committee whose decision shall be final.

9. Registration of Players
9.1 All players taking part in League competitions must be members of the clubs they are representing.
9.2 A player will be deemed registered if his/her registration is received by the appropriate division controller not later than 1st November. A player may also be registered by notifying the division controller no later than 7 days after the player has taken part in a league match.

10. Penalties
10.1 For a breach of rules 8 and/or 9 the offending team shall forfeit up to and including the match.

11. Venues and Dates for Matches
11.1 League matches shall be played on weekdays (i.e. Monday to Friday) and on dates stated in the League Fixture List. A match date may be changed, but only in exceptional circumstances by mutual agreement between the clubs concerned and provided the new date is approved by the controller.

12. Rules for Matches
12.1 All matches shall be played in accordance with these rules and with the Rules of Play currently in force.
12.2 The whole of the play in League competitions shall be governed by the Chess Scotland. Laws of Chess authorised by F.I.D.E., a copy of which, together with a copy of these Rules and a copy of the Rules of Play must be made available by the home teams for consultation if required.

13. Competition Management and Dispute
13.1 The Management Committee shall manage the League competitions and settle all disputes and questions arising therein. See also Dispute Procedures.


1. Conditions of Play
1.1 Unless agreed otherwise a team match shall commence at a starting time nominated by the home team. All clocks shall be started at this time. The starting time must be between 7.15pm and 7.45pm. It shall be notified to the League Secretary at the start of the season and be published with the Fixture List.
1.2 Smoking by players whilst at the board or by players or spectators in the immediate vicinity of the board is not permitted.

2. Team Declaration and Playing Order
2.1 The match captains (or their deputies) of opposing teams, who, except in the Junior League, must be adults unless approved by the Management Committee, shall, five minutes before the commencement of the match, exchange lists of their players in descending order of playing strength.
2.2 Except for the provision laid down in clause 4, no rearrangement of player order is permitted after team lists have been exchanged.
2.3 Any blatant infringement of this rule concerning order of playing strength shall be considered by the Management Committee and may incur penalties extending as far as the loss of two match points.

3. Choice of Colour
3.1 After team lists have been exchanged the match captains shall toss for choice of move at board 1 and the move at the remaining boards shall alternate accordingly.

4. Substitutes
4.1 If a player has not arrived 30 minutes after the official starting time his game shall be lost by default unless, before expiry of this period, a substitute has been put into the team.
4.2 Any player so substituted is not eligible to play in the match in question.

5. Clocks and Rate of Play
5.1 It shall be obligatory to use clocks with flags in all divisions.
5.2 The rate of play shall be 30 moves in the first 60 minutes followed by 15 minutes each quickplay finish in all divisions.
5.3 FIDE.Quickplay finish rules will apply.
5.4 In the event of a Draw claim, the two captains should attempt to resolve claim at the venue, should they not be able to do so, the final position and moves made should be sent to the League Controller for resolution. The League Controller's decision is final in this matter.

6. Notification of Match Results
6.1 The League Controller must be notified of the result of a match by the match captains of BOTH teams within 7 days of the date on which it is played.
6.2 The notification must give the names of the players in BLOCK LETTERS with the scores achieved.
6.3 Defaulted games should be indicated with a (D) in the results column.
6.4 If a team defaults a match the team captain must provide the league controller with a full explanation in writing.
6.5 League controllers are empowered to impose penalty match points should a team fail to report results within 28 days of the match, up to a maximum of one penalty match point for each four unreported game results.

7. Rights of Match Captains
7.1 A match captain is not permitted to intervene during play except that he/she is authorised to:
(i) Resolve any problems that might occur during the match in conjunction with the opposing match captain.
(ii) Call flag-fall if this occurs.
(iii) Advise any of his players to make or accept the offer of a draw, provided he does so in the presence of the opposing match captain.

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


1. In the first instance clubs should endeavour to resolve their disputes by negotiation between their nominated representatives and the League Controller.
2. Failing agreement each club must within 21 days of the dispute arising refer the dispute in writing to the League Controller. The respective club secretaries will be notified by letter of the date when the dispute will be heard by a panel of the Management Committee.
3. The panel may invite clubs to:
(i) Present their case by written submission and/or
(ii) Arrange for persons to appear before the panel to speak on matters relevant to the dispute.
4. The clubs involved will be notified in writing of the decision of the Management Committee.


These notes are intended for the guidance of club secretaries and match captains responsible for the arrangement of League matches and for players taking part in League matches. While it deals primarily with those requirements considered essential or desirable for League matches, there are included in these notes some points of procedure and interpretation or clarification of certain rules. However, it is emphasised that these notes are basically recommendations and in no way override or take the place of the laws of chess or the rules of the Lanarkshire Chess League.

It is fully expected that problems will arise which are not covered in these notes. Organisers of League matches are therefore invited to bring any new point to the attention of the League Management Committee who will study the matter and, if appropriate, include it in future versions of these notes.

The Playing Hall And General Playing Conditions
In League matches the interests of the players should get first priority. The following points deserve consideration.
(i) Ensure if possible that each player has sufficient space at his table; not only for his board but also for his score sheet and items such as cup and saucer.
(ii) Playing tables should be placed so that players experience no difficulty in leaving the playing area at any time during the playing session.
(iii) If possible someone should be given the responsibility for maintaining conditions of near silence in the playing hall during the playing session.
(iv) Before starting play the members of the visiting team should be informed of the location of toilet facilities.
(v) It is highly desirable that the same size of Staunton pattern chess pieces are used at each board.
(vi) The playing area should be adequately lit.
(vii) Spectators should be prevented from approaching too close to the players, especially near the end of the playing session when one or both players may be in time trouble.
(viii) It is preferable that play is not stopped during a playing session for the purpose of taking refreshments. Most players find it a distraction if they have to take a break in the game.

Match Arrangements
Apart from the actual result the success of a League match depends very much upon ensuring that all necessary arrangements have been completed before the scheduled time for starting play. It is very irritating as well as disrespectful to a visiting team, especially when the match has involved them in a lengthy journey, if the start of play is delayed because the host team is still setting up equipment when play is due to start. Always the interests of the visiting team should receive first priority. In this respect the following points should be given attention:
(i) If possible one person, but preferably two, should be in attendance at the playing venue at least half an hour before the scheduled starting time. Quite often visiting teams overestimate the time required for travel, with the consequence that they arrive rather early for the match.
(ii) Every effort should be made to have tables and chairs in position, equipment set up, and clocks wound and correctly set, at least 10 minutes before play is due to start. It is strongly recommended that clocks be placed on the right hand side of players having the black pieces. Clocks should be set so that they register 6 o'clock when the time control expires.
(iii) Standard forms of score sheets should be placed at each board before play commences.

Match Preliminaries
To ensure the match starts on time it is essential that team lists are exchanged and colours decided upon at least 5 minutes before the scheduled commencement of play.
Sometimes it happens that none or perhaps only one or two visiting players have arrived when play is due to start. If this prevents the exchange of team lists and delays the start of the match then the home team is entitled to claim that their opponents must make the prescribed number of moves in a reduced given time. That time will be dependent upon the time lost. The recommended procedure is:
(i) At the scheduled starting time the home team captain should start the clock at board 1.
(ii) As soon as possible alter the exchange of team lists and colours been decided upon, play must start. The clocks of the visiting team are to be set to the time showing on the clock at board 1.
In the case where the home team, for any reason, delays the start of the match the visiting team would similarly be entitled to claim that the home team make the prescribed number of moves in a reduced given time.

The Playing Session
Most of the problems and disputes that arise during League matches occur mainly as a result of a lack of knowledge of the Laws of Chess. While it would obviously be desirable for all players to be familiar with the Laws there is no doubt that all match captains should have a good working knowledge, not only of the Laws of Chess and the League Rules, but also of the various requirements which ensure the smooth running of the playing session. Some important points are:

Game Scores
In any League game it is mandatory for the players to write down the moves made by each side until in the Quickplay Finish when there is less than 5 minutes on the players clock. If a player then has no copy of the moves he may make no claims regarding perpetual check etc.

If, during the playing session a player has cause to complain about any matter, for example, excessive noise or distracting behaviour by his opponent, he should refer the issue to his match captain who should endeavour to resolve the problem in conjunction with the match captain of the other side. On no account should clocks be stopped while a dispute is being resolved unless both match captains agree to this action. If playing conditions are regarded as unacceptable, the visiting team should register a formal protest with the home team captain during the playing session.

Behaviour Of Players
While it is generally understood that players are forbidden to refer to printed notes during a playing session it is not so well known that discussion with another player or a spectator about the game in progress is also not allowed. Match captains are recommended therefore to warn their players to refrain from distracting behaviour or indulging in conversation with others during the playing session.

Time Trouble
If at all possible a person should be nominated by the home team to keep an eye on the clocks during a match, especially near the end of a playing session when both players may be in serious time trouble. This precaution could very well be the means of avoiding a dispute (e.g. Whose flag fell first).
The S.C.A. Rules for Quickplay finishes apply. These are published in the S.C.A. Yearbook and are not the same as the rules applying to allegro games. They come into effect only when either player has less than 5 minutes on the clock and are designed to prevent a player winning on time when the position on the board does not justify it. All references to Arbiters must be regarded, as far as the League is concerned, to Team Captains acting in concert.
Briefly, normal rules of chess apply except when they conflict with the following which are additional to the laws of chess.
1. Each player must press the clock button with the hand that made the move.
2. A player whose turn it is to move may claim a draw on any of the normal grounds (substantiated where necessary by a complete scoresheet), or on one of the following:
a) That he can keep his opponent in perpetual check;
b) That his opponent cannot, or is making no effort to win by normal means.
It should be remembered that neither player should abuse the equipment, illegal moves should not be made and if noticed should be replayed in the correct player's clock time. Also 2b above requires gentlemanly conduct on behalf of players and captains.
Neither player shall pick up the clock after the game starts, unless a time control has been reached, and the clocks are to be altered.

The Drawn Game
A game is drawn:-
(a) If stalemate occurs.
(b) By agreement between the players.
(c) If the flag of one player falls after the flag of the other has already fallen unclaimed.
(d) If a player demonstrates a repetition of position or satisfies the 50 move rule, provided the player making the claim has kept a score of the game.
(e) If both players have insufficient material for a checkmate (lone king vs lone king; king and bishop vs lone king; and king and knight vs lone king).
(f) If one player has insufficient material for a possible checkmate and his opponent's flag fell first.

General Rules
The player with the black pieces has the right to decide on which side of the board the clock shall be placed.
If a player accidentally displaces a piece, he shall replace it in his own time. If necessary his opponent may stop his own clock whilst the player replaces the piece.
Play shall be governed by the Laws of Chess (e.g. the touch and move rule applies) except where they conflict with the foregoing rules.
Spectators (including participants in other games) are not to interfere in games. For instance, a spectator must not call flag-fall or illegal move.
Please switch mobile phones off. For a first offence in a game, this will cost you 2 minutes, for the second in the same game, then the game is lost. Unless your opponent does not have mating material, the game will be scored 1-0 to your opponent. If your opponent does not have mating materiel, it will be scored 0.5-0.


1. A game with a quickplay finish is NOT the same as a lightning or allegro game, and certain rules are designed to prevent a player winning on time when the position on the board does not justify it.
2. The time controls for league games are 30 moves in one hour followed by an additional 15 minutes per player.
3. A copy of this guide must be available to players.

Note for the Guidance of Arbiters and Players
1. The purpose of the special rules is to endeavour to ensure that a player does not lose who, from the position on the board and his/her demonstrated standard of play, would be able to gain at least a draw had time considerations not played a critical role.
2. Both players must continue to record their moves until they have less than five minutes left.
3. A player may claim a draw when he has less than two minutes left on the clock and before his flag falls. The player claiming the draw should stop the clocks and consult the captains. This concludes the game. If either captain is still playing, this consultation can be delayed.
4. The player may claim a draw on the basis that (a) the opponent cannot win by normal means, or (b) the opponent has been making no effort to win by normal means. In (b) the player must write down the final position and submit an up-to-date scoresheet, which must be completed before play has ceased. The opponent shall verify both the scoresheet and the final position.
5. If both captains are satisfied that the opponent cannot win by normal means (which includes the case where the opponent with more time is very much behind on material), or that the opponent has been making no effort to win by normal means, then they may declare the game drawn. If they are not satisfied, they may declare the game lost.
6. The team captains' decision is not an adjudication. The decision process should involve only the players concerned and the team captains.
7. In the majority of cases, players know perfectly well which player has a winning advantage, and there is no dispute if that player claims a draw. The more difficult cases are those in which the material is more even, but the player claims that his opponent cannot win for positional reasons.
8. The reasons for awarding the draw include:
(i) the player's material and/or positional advantage is clear, and that the opponent has no reasonable way to create counter play that would give him winning chances, and the opponent cannot refute this. The more material on the board, the greater the advantage must be.
(ii) the position is clearly drawn, e.g. the player's bare king controlling the queening square vs K plus a or h pawn, plus B on the "wrong" diagonal.
(iii) the opponent has not been trying to win on the board, but has been trying to win on time by making passive moves.
(iv) the player's offer of a draw had been declined when the opponent had a clearly inferior position, and the opponent has not since then created any counter play.
(v) the player's play has fully demonstrated that he knows how to draw the position which is materially even or disadvantageous to him, e.g. K + N vs K + R with no pawns.
9. The team captains should allow each player to make a brief statement of his view on the position.
10. The team captains' decision is not an adjudication, but an ad hoc decision based on the position on the board and the claims of the players. Pieces must not be moved on the board, and only the players concerned and the team captains must be involved in the decision.
11. The onus of proof is on the player who has made the claim. If there is reasonable doubt, his claim must fail.
12. If the players and team captains are unable to agree, the matter should be referred to the league controller for a decision. The league controller's decision will not be an adjudication.


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