Brewood Chess Circle

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AGM Matters - Proposed 'Digital Rapidplay Tournament'

Posted on May 13, 2015 at 12:25 AM

This article was originally written by Andrew Davies for the club's May 2015 newsletter, which was given to club members who attended the club on Tuesday 12th May 2015. 

It is reproduced here on the club's own website so that members who did not attend the club on that date can have knowledge of the detailed proposals for a ECF graded rapidplay club championship tournament which will use Fischer timed controls ahead of the club's AGM on Tuesday 19th May 2015 at the club. 

Of course if anyone who is not currently a member of our club wishes to take part in this tournament and join our club to do so, they will have the full detailed proposals for it.  The full details of the rules are below, in italics purely to make it easier to read. 

Digital chess clocks are coming into widespread use at all levels of competition.  To help encouage members to familiarise themselves with their use and operation I was invited to draft rules for a digital clock tournament.  Here is a summary of what I came up with: 

  • Entry must be voluntary. 
  • Because of the desire to encourage familiarity with the use and operation of digital clocks Fischer incremental time will be used.  Set for 20 minutes with an increment of 10 seconds after each move. 
  • There will be an overall winner's title and a separate plate title available for those who are less successful early on. 
  • The first stage runs from September to January with two pool groups. 
  • After the end of the first stage, the high scoring players have until April to compete for the Rapidplay title.  Lower scoring players will compete for the Plate. 
  • I have already received an offer to ECF grade the results for rapidplay. 
  • The winner will be called the Brewood Chess Circle's Rapidplay club champion. 

Although several members do have their own digital chess clocks, Brewood Chess Circle itself has just one.  For that reason this tournament will need to be informal, keep the number of deadlines to a minimum and allow players as much time as possible to play their games.  Despite this players will be encouraged to play as the season progresses.  For those who are interested in the gory details, below is a draft copy of the rules I have put together. 

Draft rules for a 'Digital Rapidplay tournament.'


i)  To encourage players to familiarise themselves with the use and operation of digital chess clocks which are coming into widespread use in competitive chess. 

ii)  To provide players with an opportunity to develop and improve their rapidplay skills in competitive play. 

Laws of Chess

i)  FIDE rapidplay laws of chess, Article A.4 shall apply except as follows: 

a)  Players lose their game after completing two illegal moves.  (Article A.4b) 

b)  Players will be awarded one bonus point for each game played.  (Article 10) 


i)  The tournament shall be organised as a two stage competition. 

Rate of Play

i)  Fischer incremental time control will be used.  The time control will be 20 minutes for all moves with a 10 second increment after each move. 

Taking Part

i)  Any member of the club may enter. 

ii)  Any player who wishes to enter shall give their name to the tournament controller before the end of August. 

Stage one:  Pool groups

i)  On 1st September the tournament draw shall be made as follows: 

a)  Players shall be seeded in order of playing strength. 

b)  Players with odd numbers shall go into pool A.  Players with even numbers shall go into pool B. 

ii)  Each pool group shall be organised as a separate all-play-all event. 

iii)  All games in each pool shall be completed by the end of January. 

Selection of players for stage two

i)  On 1st February any player who has a total points score lower than the number of games that they should have played in their pool group will be withdrawn from the tournament and shall not progress through to the next stage of the competition. 

ii)  The top half of players from each of pools A and B shall progress forward into the Championship group. 

iii)  The bottom half of players from each of pools A and B shall progress into the Plate group. 

iv)  If a tie occurs when deciding places for either the Championship or Plate groups the following tie-breaks will apply in order of sequence until all places have been decided. 

a)  Result of games between the players involved. 

b)  Sonneborn-Berger. 

c)  Toss of a coin. 

Stage two:  Championship and Plate groups

i)  Each of the Championship and Plate groups shall be organised as a seperate all-play-all. 

ii)  All games in the Championship and Plate groups shall be completed by the end of April. 

iii)  Where players have already met either as part of pool A or B, those results and scores shall be carried forward to the new pool. 

Winners: The tournament Champion and Plate winner

i)  On 1st May the tournament winners will be decided. 

ii)  The highest scoring player in the Championship group shall be named as tournament Champion. 

iii)  The highest scoring player in the Plate group shall be named as the winner of the tournament Plate. 

iv)  Should there be a tie for either the Champion or Plate winner titles, the following tie breaks shall be applied in order of sequence until a winner is decided. 

a)  Result of games between the players involved. 

b)  Sonneborn-Berger within the Championship or Plate groups. 

c)  Sonneborn-Berger using the complete list of opponents. 

d)  Armageddon playoff.  (Six minutes for white, five for black.  White has to win the match to win the title, black only has to draw the match to win the title.  Toss of a coin to decide colour.) 

Andrew Davies emailed the club committee on Monday 20th April 2015 commenting on the general reaction that this proposed ECF graded rapidplay club championship tournament had at the Staffordshire Chess Congress. 

Andrew Davies:  "I mentioned the project during the Staffordshire Chess Congress and had an offer to grade the results and, separately, interest in joining the club so that they could compete in it." 

David Blower gave this reaction to the website:  "To have our own ECF graded rapidplay club championship tournament using Fischer time controls will mean we have both a standard play club championship and a rapidplay club championship which are both ECF graded. 

It is possible in the future that the Wolverhampton & District Chess League will introduce Fischer time controls as not only an option in the time control, but in actual fact the default time control, providing the required number of digital chess clocks are available for a match.  Fischer time control is already an option in the Shropshire Chess Rapidplay League. 

The committee may also consider introducing Fischer time controls in the standard play club championship tournament.  The committee are in agreement that Fischer time controls is the direction that chess is going and the committee aim to be proactive about the issue of using digital chess clocks and introducing Fischer time controls into our club tournaments." 

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