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TCCL Rules

Published on: 2016-03-25

Twin Cities Chess League Rules
Modified March, 2016

The Twin Cities Chess League (TCCL) is an Open, Team competition consisting of a team of four players matched against another team of four players.
The event is not US Chess rated but uses published US Chess ratings and rules except as noted below.
US Chess membership is not required.
Minnesota Chess Association memberships are encouraged ($20/year) but not required.
There are 7 rounds played once a month from September through March.
There are four divisions. Three 8 team round robin sections and one Open Swiss section paired by Match score and average rating.
If a team scores 2.5 or more game points that team scores 1 match point; 2.0 is a match draw (0.5 match point); 1.5 or less is 0 match point.

Division 1 (Gold): Eight team Round Robin
Division 2 (Silver): Eight team Round Robin
Division 3 (Bronze): Eight team Round Robin
Division 4 (Open): Seven Round Team Swiss System

Team assignments to divisions:
Gold: The top six teams from the previous season, plus 1st and 2nd from Silver
Silver: 3rd to 6th from previous Silver season, 7th and 8th place from Gold, and 1st and 2nd from Bronze.
Bronze: 7th and 8th from Silver, 1st and 2nd from Open, plus the top four teams by average rating registered before or on the first match of the season.
Open: 7th and 8th from Bronze, plus all remaining registered teams.
New teams will be placed in the Open Division “pool” and may qualify (by rating) for the Bronze division.
New teams entering in rounds two or three will be placed in the Open division.

These assignments are not optional. E.g. a qualified team (1st and 2nd) from the Silver division will move up to the Gold division. (Likewise moving up from the Bronze to Silver, and from Open to Bronze). If the team refuses to move up, then that team will be placed in the Open Division and will be considered as a “New” team (may qualify for Bronze by rating).

Other vacancies in the RR sections:
For example, teams not returning from the previous season.
This may include moving more teams from the lower division or retaining teams that may have been moved to the lower division. If needed to fill vacancies in the division above, the following options are available (order of priority):
(1) 3rd and
(2) 4th place from lower division, then
(3) 7th and
(4) 8th place retained in the division.
If vacancies still exist, then by rating from the Open Pool.
These assignments are optional, and the teams may decline to move from their assigned division without penalty.

ALL TEAMS IN THE ROUND ROBIN SECTIONS MUST COMMIT TO PARTICIPATING IN EVERY MATCH. If unable to make, and keep that commitment, please request to be placed in the Open division.
Emergencies or hazardous driving conditions, please try to inform the TD and/or opponents of your inability to attend and to arrange a time and place to complete the match.
If it is known in advance that your team cannot make it to a particular match for a good reason (e.g. attending or travelling to a national chess event), you may arrange to play your match early. Any games or matches scheduled must be played on or before the scheduled date. You may make arrangement with the team you are paired against, but that team has the right to refuse and to keep the schedule.
Open division: If, for some reason, your team cannot attend a match, notify the Tournament Director at least 24 hours ahead of the scheduled match. That will give the TD enough time to re-pair the section. Other than the loss of the match, there are no further penalties.

Team Roster:
On registering, each team will list four “core members”. These players are expected (not required) to play in at least 4 of the 7 matches for their team. If registering in advance, those four players are to be listed on the registration application. If registering at the site, the four players playing in the first match are considered the core members. The numerical average of those four players is the team rating for division (Bronze and Open) placement purposes and to initiate the pairings. Official US Chess Regular Ratings from the current (i.e. September) US Chess supplement will be used for this and for each player’s rating throughout the season.
Rating adjustments may be made for a significant change in playing ability and rating with the permission of and at the discretion of the Tournament Director. An estimated rating may be given to a player not rated in the US Chess rating system.
It is the responsibility of the team captain or coach to assure that their team has four players available for each match. (Also see “free substitutes”, “forfeits”, below)

Any number of substitutes may be used throughout the season.
Substitution limitations:
Gold, Silver and Bronze -- Once a person plays for a team within a division, that player is considered a member of that team. A player may not play for more than one team within a division (Exceptions may be made with the permission of and at the discretion of the Tournament Director, and with the “moving up” rules, below).
Open -- With the TCCL policy of trying to get everyone a game that attends any particular match, even if not currently assigned within a team, the rule above is relaxed in the Open division.

Free substitutions: Often there is a pool of players not assigned to a team that are available to fill in as substitutes. These may be used by a team that needs an additional player to fill their roster for a particular match and avoid a game forfeit, subject to the restrictions above. Those substitutes are exempted from those restrictions if used in the Open section.

Board order placement:
Board order is determined by official US Chess rating as of the September supplement.
Estimated ratings may be given player who are not US Chess rated or who have not been active in rated chess for 5 years or more.
The highest rated player present will play on board 1, and so on.
Players are expected to play in rating order. (Exceptions may be made with the permission of and at the discretion of the Tournament Director). However, the general rule is that once a team has established a relative order, that order is to remain in subsequent rounds even if ratings change during the season.

Forfeits and no shows:
Forfeit time is 30 minutes from the start of the match.
As stated above, it is the responsibility of the team captain/coach to show up with a full roster of 4 players. There is only one game on a given league night, and for a person to come and not get a game is disgraceful.
A limited number of unassigned players (“free substitutes” above) come with the hopes of getting to play. These may be available, but do not count on it. Note that these substitutes need to play in their relative rating order.
Double forfeit: though rare, it has happened where both teams paired against each other only have three players. Both teams are charged with a forfeit loss on 4th board, and the missing game is not counted toward team score. Thus, if the remaining games have a result of 2-1 score, then the “2” will be recorded as a team draw, and the”1” as a team loss.
Team forfeit: If an entire team does not attend (or with only 1 player), without notification or attempting to reschedule. This is a “team forfeit” and may result in the team being withdrawn for the remainder of the season.

Team forfeit: A team forfeit is defined as 0 or 1 participant in any given match. The team will get no points toward the match score. In the round robin sections, the team may be withdrawn from the competition, and will be assigned the Open division for the next season without the opportunity to move to Bronze by rating.
In the Open division, a team forfeit without notification, the team may be withdrawn from the competition. See above for notifying the TD prior to the scheduled match time.

Moving up in board order:
All players are expected to arrive and start on time. If, at the start of a match, one (or more) of your players is missing:
“Move up” and fill in the upper boards. That way, if there is a game forfeit it will be on board 4.
If you are absolutely certain that the player will attend and arrive within the 30 minute forfeit window you may choose to leave that board position vacant. However if that player does not show on time there are serious consequences.
If any board forfeits, all games on lower boards are also forfeited for the team score. For example, if there is a forfeit on board two for your team, the games on boards three and four are also counted as 0F-1F for the team. (The individual games still count towards the player’s total score, but not for team score.)
If you are NOT absolutely certain the player will be there on time, move up anyway. The missing player may “fill in” on board 4 when he/she arrives (out of rating order). Please indicate this by marking “late arrival” on the result slip and there will be no penalty.

Awards will be given to the first place team and the team’s members (four).
Board prizes: Awards will be given to the highest score individuals by board number.
Eligibility for board prize: A player is eligible for a board prize on the “lowest” board that the player was placed on in the season. All of that player’s games count toward that prize. For example, If a player usually plays on board 2 for the team, but due to substitutes, and the rating of the substitutes, that player is moved to board 3 for any matches, that player is eligible for the board 3 award.

Tie break:
Duplicate team awards may be given.
In the case of a tie (match points) either for the division title or for the opportunity to advance to a higher division, total game points, and then the head to head match score.
Duplicate board awards may be given.
If necessary, board tie break: Team match points, # games on board number, head to head

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