Chess.com’s “Clubs League” is an online league for over-the-board (OTB) clubs seeking competition and online community. It’s a global online league to provides international competition for clubs and their members.
- Pairings will be issued weekly by the league.
- Admins will be responsible for scheduling matches on the Chess.com server and for reporting match results.
- Players may only compete for one club in a season.
A1. Chess.com’s Clubs League 2020 season will be Saturday, May 23 (first match) through Saturday, July 11 (final match).
A2. The league will have weekly matches on eight (8) consecutive Saturdays – May 23, May 30, June 6, June 13, June 20, June 27, July 4, and July 11.
A3. The suggested default match time is Saturday 10:00am Pacific / 1:00pm EDT / 19:00 CEST. See E6 and E7 for rescheduling matches.
A4. The Leagues Administrator will post the club vs club pairings each Tuesday (see D2).
A5. Club admins must report weekly results by Sunday (see E4).
A6. The estimated match time is 1 hour.
B1. There will be two divisions – Division A and Division B. There is no difference in the divisions besides the minimum number of players per match.
B2. The Leagues Administrator will divide clubs into Division A or B based on size and strength. Clubs may request to go to the other division, which may or may not be granted.
B3. Division A (large and medium-sized clubs) will have a minimum of 10 boards per match – 10 players per club. Division B (smaller clubs) will have a minimum of 4 boards per match. See F8 and Section G for “extra” players.
C. Club and Player Eligibility
C1. To be eligible for the Chess.com Clubs League, a club must have an in-person (face-to-face) component, i.e. a physical chess club or academy. Clubs which only operate in an online presence are not permitted. Clubs must also have a Chess.com club. League management (see H3) will determine whether each club is eligible or not. Clubs which are found to be ineligible during the season will be removed.
C2. Clubs must apply to enter the league by Monday, May 11.
C3. Chess.com admins may require club admins to change their Chess.com club name and/or description at any time.
C4. Clubs may recruit any players to play each specific match. Clubs do not have to use the same players for each match.
C5. There is no requirement for being a member of the physical club to represent the club in the Clubs League. However, in the spirit of the “clubs” league, clubs which extensively recruit players who have no physical, social, or online connections to the club may be deemed ineligible.
C6. Players may only compete for one club in a season. No exceptions.
D. Pairings, Standings, Scoring, Tiebreaks
D1. For team pairings, the Clubs League will use Swiss pairings, with some clarifications:
D1a. Clubs will not have any team seeding or rating.
D1b. In general, clubs will play other clubs with similar match points.
D1c. When possible, the Leagues Administrator will try to pair clubs in similar time zones.
D2. The Leagues Administrator will post the club vs club pairings each Tuesday. These pairings are tentative (may be changed) until finalized on Wednesday.
D3. In case a club anticipates not being able to participate in a given week, they may request to skip a match, in which they will receive a half-point bye (0.5 match points). Only one half-point bye may be requested, any future byes are worth zero points. The bye request deadline is the Monday before each match.
D4. League standings are first based on match points, then the tiebreaks in D5.
D5. Tiebreak 1: Solkoff. Tiebreak 2: Sonneborn-Berger. Tiebreak 3: Cumulative.
E. Club Admin Responsibilities
E1. Club admins must be a Super Admin or Club Admin of their Chess.com club. They should also request to join the Chess.com Clubs League club, which is only for club admins – this is where pairings, announcements, and information will be posted.
E2. It is recommended to have multiple admins who may share the club’s responsibilities; however one admin should be ultimately responsible for their club.
E3. Club admins are responsible for recruiting the appropriate number of players for each match and avoiding forfeits.
E4. All club admins must report weekly results, forfeits, and other issues to the League Administrator by end of day Sunday.
E5. Club admins from both teams are responsible for setting up each Live Chess match with the opposing club. The Leagues Administrator will post the club vs club pairings each Tuesday, but the club admins are responsible for creating the match with each other. The title format for each live chess match should be: “Club League: Club A vs Club B – Week 1”
E6. Matches should be played on Saturdays whenever possible, preferable at the suggested match time mentioned in A3. Matches may be played on Friday and Sunday also, however the reporting submission in E4 applies to all matches. Playing a league match on any other day requires the advance permission of the Leagues Administrator.
E7. Admins of both clubs should contact each other to first determine if they would like to play at the suggested match time in A3. If one club does not agree, club admins should negotiate potential match times by offering a few time slots which may be acceptable. Club admins are expected to be able to compromise regarding match time negotiation, as the highest priority is to have the match played.
E8. There is no prior lineup submission required. Admins are responsible to ensure their club members are logged into Live Chess at the match time.
F. Match format / Player recruitment
F1. Each match is a club vs club (team vs team) match. Players must be in their Chess.com club to represent their club in league matches.
F2. Each player will play 2 games against the same opponent (white/black).
F3. The time control is 15 minutes plus 2 second increment. All league games and matches are to be Chess.com rapid rated.
F4. In each match, the club with the most game points wins the match. Each player plays 2 games, so in a 10 vs 10 match, the maximum game point score for a club is 20 points.
F5. Clubs may recruit any players for a match. There is no rating minimum or maximum. See C6.
F6. Matches will be played based on Chess.com Rapid Ratings at the time of the match – Board 1 vs Board 1, Board 2 vs Board 2, etc.
F7. It is not permitted for clubs or players to alter the match format of a specific match, even if both players/admins/clubs agree. All games and matches should be played with the same conditions.
F8. See the division board capacities in B3. However, clubs may bring more than the minimum number of players.
G. Forfeits, Withdrawals, Disqualifications
G1. Forfeits only occur when a club does not bring the required number of players to a match. The forfeits will automatically occur on the bottom boards.
G2. Example: in a Division A match (10 vs 10), if only 8 players show up for Club C and 10 players show up for Club D, then Club D receives 4 game points by forfeit (2 games * 2 missing players = 4 points)
G3. Example: in a Division A match (10 vs 10), if 14 players show up for Club E and 12 players show up for Club F, the match will automatically be played 12 vs 12, but there will not be any forfeit points awarded, since both clubs brought more players than the minimum required. In this case, the lowest 2 rated players, by Chess.com rapid rating for Club E would not be paired.
G4. Clubs with many forfeits may be moved to Division B or removed from the League for future rounds.
G5. Any club may withdraw from the league at any time. The Leagues Administrator, in cooperation with the Board of Directors, may remove any club from the league at any time.
G6. If it is found that a player has played for multiple clubs (see C6), the player will be disqualified from the League for the current season. The results of the player’s most recent matches will almost certainly be changed for forfeits for the purposes of scoring. If a player, after playing for one team, then plays multiple games for another team, then the scores will be adjusted as if the multi team player lost all games, for all teams he has played for.
G7. If two teams are not able to schedule a match, the Leagues Administrator may declare the match an unplayed draw, or a forfeit loss for one or both teams if either or both teams have not made a fair effort to schedule the match.
H. League Management / Appeals
H1. Leagues Administrator: Grant Oen, firstname.lastname@example.org, @GrantOen
H3. “League management” refers to the Leagues Administrator, in cooperation with the Board of Directors.
H4. The official language of communication to and from League management is English.
H5. League management may give the following penalties to any player or club: warning, match score adjustment, game point adjustment, match result adjustment, disqualification.
H6. A club wishing to appeal a game, result, ruling, or other league issue should have a club admin submit the appeal via email to the Leagues Administrator, who will distribute it to the board. No appeals should be submitted directly to board members. Any game/match-related appeals must be submitted within 24 hours of the match.
H7. League management has full discretion regarding issues which are not clearly defined by the rules and may make an exception to the rules or edit these rules at any time.
H8. Appeals decisions made by League Management are final.
I. Fair Play
I1. Chess.com will monitor and review Clubs League games and matches for fair play.
I2. If an account is closed for Fair Play, the result of those games will generally be amended as if the closed account had lost 0-2. This may be the case even if the Fair Play Violations did not occur in a league match.
I3. Even after their conclusion, game and match results are subject to being overturned based on findings from the Chess.com Fair Play team.
I4. Players and clubs may face penalties for fair play violations, including match point/game point adjustment and disqualification from the league.
I5. Club admins may submit specific fair play complaints, which will be reviewed by the Chess.com Fair Play team.
J1. Prizes will be based on standings/scoring/tiebreaks in section D.
J2. The prizes will be several Chess.com premium memberships. Details coming later…