Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People


  1. All correspondence tournaments will normally start on 1st January. All games must be completed by 30th September of the following year.
  2. Using the algebraic notation, moves may be transmitted in the formats of Braille, cassette, email or any other method mutually agreed by the two players concerned. If cassette is the chosen medium, moves should be announced twice using the phonetic chess alphabet as to avoid any confusion. Should there be a dispute between two players concerning the format to be employed, the matter should be brought to the attention of the Correspondence Chess Director, who will judge accordingly the most appropriate method and whose decision will be final.
  3. Whichever form of communication is used, it is essential that both players keep a record of the game. Should there be a dispute over the position of a game, and only one player's score is available, that record of the game will be taken to be the correct position. If there is a dispute and no record of the game has been kept, the game will be deemed a draw. If a player makes an illegal move, said player must replace the move by moving any piece legally.
  4. All moves must be preceded by the date of receipt and dispatch. Where possible moves should be returned within two days of receipt unless time has been accrued in lieu. However, it is appreciated that players may need to take a break from their games due to holidays, guide dog training, illness or other valid reasons. In such an event, it is important that the player concerned should normally notify his/her Group Leader who can then inform the other players in the group.
  5. The onus is on the player with the white pieces to start the game and provide either the plastic envelope or cassette and wallet. On the completion of the game, these should be returned to their rightful owner. Should the plastic envelope, postal wallet or cassette be lost or damaged, the player who did not provide these in the first place will be expected to provide the replacements.
  6. Where a player beyond the British Isles is involved in a postal game it is important that such games should take priority and moves should be sent by airmail.
  7. Where games are unfinished by the closing date of the tournament, and the players concerned have not reached agreement as to the result, the game will be sent for adjudication. If appropriate, both players shall be required to send their score of the game together with their claim to the result to the Correspondence Chess Director, either directly or via their Group Leader. The game will then be sent to an Adjudicator whose decision shall be final.
  8. If a player does not hear from his/her opponent within 7 days (or 14 days for an overseas game) then the player should seek to contact said opponent in order that the game may be resumed or to ascertain any problems. If this fails to resolve the issue, then the Group Leader should be informed who will look into the matter and endeavour to re-establish contact. Should this fail, the Group Leader shall inform the Correspondence Chess Director, who will investigate the matter and take appropriate action.
  9. The use of chess engines to assist players to work out moves is not permitted.
  10. Ties for first place or in any position involving promotion or relegation will be resolved by the tie-break system as follows:
    1. Sonneborn-Berger - sum of scores of those beaten and half the scores of those drawn against.
    2. Kashdan - 4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw and 1 point for a loss.
    3. Result of the game between the players involved.
    4. Examination of Results from top downwards. Example, for two players finishing joint first, result of their games against player in third place and working downwards until a deciding game is found.
    5. Number of games with black pieces.
  11. All players involved in a particular tournament will be asked by the group leader whether they wish to enter the next tournament. However, the Correspondence Chess Director has the right to refuse a member's entry, or indeed to disqualify any such player from a current tournament, if in his/her opinion that member has failed to observe the correspondence rules. In such cases, the Correspondence Chess Director will notify the player concerned. However, players have the right of appeal to the Committee in any circumstance where a decision of the Correspondence Chess Director is felt to be inappropriate.
  12. The Correspondence Chess Director may appoint group leaders whose responsibility it will be to:
    1. Send out fixture lists together with addresses and a copy of the rules to all members of the group.
    2. Receive results or games which need to go for adjudication and send these on to the Correspondence Chess Director.
    3. Re-establish contact between players where necessary.
    4. Inform players of any relevant information.
    5. Refer major problems to the Correspondence Chess Director.
    6. Participants are expected to adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of these rules in order to ensure the smooth running of BCA correspondence tournaments.

    Last modified 28 April 2017