Pittsburgh Chess League Playing Rules

  1. All matches shall be played in accordance with the Official Rules of Chess as currently set forth by all organizations rating the games, except where specifically amended in the Constitution, Playing Rules or By-Laws.

  2. The PCL shall meet monthly from September through April. Except when circumstances dictate otherwise, the third Sunday of each month should be selected.

  3. All matches shall be played at the designated time and place. In emergency circumstances, games may be played in advance of the designated time if both Team Captains agree, and if the approval of the Match Director is obtained in advance. No game may ever be played after the scheduled time.

  4. The PCL shall be divided into N Divisions, called I, II, III, etc. The first N-1 Divisions shall be divided into groupings of eight teams by ratings, with the eight highest rated teams in Division I, the next eight highest rated in Division II, etc. Division N shall contain all remaining teams and shall include between twelve and eighteen teams. When there is an odd number of teams, Division N-1 shall contain seven teams. Changes may be approved by a majority of the Officers.

  5. The first N-1 Divisions shall be played as seven-round Round Robins. They are to be paired as follows:

    Round 11:82:73:64:5
    Round 27:16:25:38:4
    Round 31:62:53:84:7
    Round 45:18:27:36:4
    Round 51:42:38:57:6
    Round 63:14:25:76:8
    Round 71:23:46:58:7

  6. Division N shall be played as a five-round Preliminary Swiss System, followed by a three-round Round Robin Final. After the Preliminary Swiss is completed, all teams in Division N shall be divided into groupings of four teams by rank, with the four highest-ranked teams in the first section, the next four highest-ranked in the second section, etc. If the last section contains less than four teams, it shall be merged with the next-higher section, and that section paired as a three-round Swiss.

  7. All team members must be listed on an Official Team Roster, to be submitted to the Match Director prior to the first PCL round. This Official Team Roster must be in the hands of the Match Director three days prior to the first round. Late registration, up to two hours before the first round, may be accepted with a late fee of $10.00. Late registrations will normally be accepted only if it removes the need for byes. The Official Team Roster may be modified prior to the second round of the PCL, provided that the new Team Rating would not have caused that team to be seeded into a different division nor, in the first N-1 Divisions, into a different half of the division. Thereafter, changes to the Official Team Roster must be approved by a majority of the Officers.

  8. Team members must be listed on the Official Team Roster in rating order, except that a player may be listed above any player rated less than 75 points above him. Unrated team members may be listed in any place on the roster, regardless of the ratings of other team members. The Team Rating shall be determined by averaging the ratings of the top four rated players listed on the Official Team Roster, but excluding from calculation any unrated players.

  9. Each team is required to supply two boards, two sets, and two chess clocks for each match. If sufficient equipment is not available, the deficient teams shall forfeit the games. Double forfeits may be issued according to this rule.

  10. All games shall be played at the rate of 30 moves in 90 minutes. This shall be followed by an allegro control of 60 minutes. There will be a 5-second delay used for the entire game.

  11. At all matches, team members must play in the order in which they are listed on the Official Team Roster. A team with fewer than four players present at a match may forfeit boards below their last player and/or any board where they can legally list someone not present. The only exception is that, if one game of a match is played prior to the scheduled round, that game shall be excluded from consideration of player order. Any violation of this rule will result in forfeiture of the offending board positions.

  12. Match Results should be submitted to the Match Director at the completion of each round on the form provided. Team Captains are responsible for submitting accurate results.

  13. Alternates present at a PCL round, but not actually playing in a PCL match, may be paired against each other. Such pairings should be made so as to match players with similar ratings who have not played previously. All alternate games will be rated, but will not count toward team standings.

  14. A team scoring two Game Points in a match shall receive one-half (1/2) Match Point, and a team scoring at least two and one-half (2.5) Game Points in a match shall receive one Match Point.

  15. A team receiving a bye shall receive one Match Point and four Game Points.

  16. Team Rankings shall be determined first by total Match Points, and, if a tie exists, by total Game Points. If a tie still exists, it shall be broken for Swiss System Sections by the following methods, in the order given:

    1. Cumulative Score (Match Points)
    2. Solkoff System (Match Points)
    3. Sonnenborn-Berger System (Match Points)
    4. Cumulative Score (Game Points)
    5. Solkoff System (Game Points)
    6. Sonnenborn-Berger System (Game Points)
    7. Coin Toss.

    For Round Robin Sections, the above list is modified as follows:

      a. Head on Head Result (Match Points)
      d. Head on Head Result (Game Point)

    For Sections arising from a preliminaries tournament, the above lists are modified as follows:

      g. Preliminary Tournament Ranking

  17. Prizes will be awarded to winning teams, as listed below. The PCL Council may specify additional prizes to be awarded, provided that such determination is made prior to the October PCL round. The exact cash value of all prizes shall be determined by the PCL Council at its annual meeting.

    1. The two highest ranked teams in each of Division I to (N-1) shall receive prizes.
    2. The highest-ranked team in each of Division I to (N-1) from among the four teams ranked fifth through eighth in that division in September shall receive a prize.
    3. The highest-ranked team in each finals section of Division N shall receive a prize.
    4. The team in Division N which wins the Preliminary Swiss shall receive a prize. If they should also win their finals section, then this prize will go to the second-ranked team in that finals section.

  18. No team may receive more than one prize, and no prize will be awarded to a team with outstanding fines due the PCL. Such prizes will be awarded to the next highest-ranking qualified team or, if no team is eligible, shall be returned to the PCL Treasury. Prizes may be taken as trophies, either individual or team, or may be applied to that team's fees for the following year. If trophies are chosen, a team may add additional funds to permit an increase in the size and/or number of trophies. If no choice is made within two months of a Team Captain's notification, the prize will be applied to that team's fees for the following year.

  19. Board prizes will be given in each of Divisions I through N for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and Alternate Boards. A player's board shall be determined by position on the Official Team Roster. Only games played in team matches (including forfeits) will be counted. The prize will be based on the formula:

    Wins + 1.5(Wins - Losses),

    where Wins is the total points scored and Losses is the total points given up. Ties will be broken by using the average rating of opponents calculated using post-tournament ratings.

  20. Performance Prizes will be given to all players who do not receive a board prize and whose performance fulfills the formula:

    Wins + 1.5(Wins - Losses) > 1.5(Matches),

    where Wins is the total points scored, Losses is the total points given up, and Matches is the number of matches played by teams in their division.

  21. A fine shall be levied against any team which has forfeited more than two individual games. Such fines will be deducted from that team's Escrow Fee in accordance with the schedules given below. Should there be insufficient funds in that team's escrow account to cover the fine, the team will be required to pay to the PCL enough additional funds to cover the fine and to restore their entire escrow account, prior to the next round. Failure to do so may result in suspension or expulsion from the PCL, as outlined in Section 22 of these Playing Rules. A fine is considered to be payable by the Team Captain upon receipt of written notification of the fine.

    # of ForfeitsTotal Fine
    Divisions I to (N-1)
    Total Fine
    Division N

    The total fine for forfeit number F can be determined for Divisions I to (N-1) by the formula $((F * (F + 5) - 14) / 2), and for Division N by the formula $((F * (F - 1) - 2) / 2).

  22. Any violation of these Playing Rules, except where specifically stated herein, may be punished by any or all of the following:

    1. A fine of up to $25.00.
    2. Forfeiture of individual games.
    3. Forfeiture of matches.
    4. Expulsion of a team member from the PCL.
    5. Suspension of a team from the PCL for the PCL Season.
    6. Expulsion of a team from the PCL.

  23. Any decision of the Match Director or Officers may be appealed to the PCL Council. A three-fourths (3/4) vote of the entire PCL Council is required to overrule a decision of the Match Director.

  24. These Playing Rules may be amended by a majority vote at any meeting of the PCL Council.

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Last Revised: March 31, 2014