Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - November 2012

Edited by Rebecca Blaevoet
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

Correspondence Tournament Rules: August 2012

The BCA runs two correspondence tournaments:

The BCA correspondence championship; lasting for 22 months and commencing in odd-numbered years. It is open to all visually-impaired members and has a premier division and one or more challenger groups.

The BCA correspondence league; lasting for 22 months and commencing in even-numbered years. Open to both visually-impaired and associate members with several divisions.

All games will normally start on the 1st January and may run until the 31st October in the following year. In games played by post involving overseas players, all moves must be transmitted by airmail.

Moves may be transmitted in Braille, on tape, by email or any other method agreed by both players. If the players do not agree on the method of communication to be used the matter shall be referred to the correspondence chess director who will resolve the issue. Where moves are transmitted by cassette, it is recommended that players use the Algebraic phonetic notation.

Whichever form of communication is used, both players are expected to keep a record of the game. Should there be a dispute over the position of a game; and only one player can produce a score of the game, that score of the game shall be taken to be the correct record.

All moves must be preceded by the date of receipt and dispatch. Moves should be transmitted as soon as is practical, to keep all games moving and reach their natural conclusion by the closing date. (Players should note that the date of dispatch is the date the move is collected).

If, during a game, a player makes an illegal move, the move must be replaced by a legal move. Any dispute between the players caused by the making of an illegal move shall be referred to the correspondence chess director for a ruling.

The onus is on the player with the white pieces to start the game and provide either the plastic envelope or the cassette and cassette wallet. Should these be lost or damaged, the player who did not provide them in the first place will be expected to provide replacements. On completion of the game, these should be returned to their rightful owner.

Where games are unfinished by the closing date of the tournament; and players concerned have not reached agreement as to the result, the game shall be sent for adjudication, provided at least 35 moves have been completed. In exceptional circumstances, however, the correspondence chess director is empowered to send games for adjudication after 30 moves. Each player shall be required to send his/her score of the game, together with their claim, to their group leader who will send it on to the correspondence chess director, who will pass it on to the BCA adjudicator whose decision shall be final.

If a player does not hear from his/her opponent within 14 days without any knowledge of absence, a reminder should be sent repeating the move. If no response is received within a further 7 days, the matter should be referred to the group leader who will endeavour to re-establish contact between the players. Should this fail, the correspondence chess director should be informed; and he/she will take appropriate action. Where a player persistently offends, the correspondence chess director is empowered to award the game to the offended player, or, if it is felt appropriate, to disqualify the offending player from the tournament.

It is recognised there may be periods when players are unable to continue play due to holidays, training courses, medical reasons, etc. In such cases, players are expected to notify their opponents or group leader. It is expected that this may not always be possible in the case of sudden illness, etc.

Tie-breaks: Ties for first place or in any position involving promotion or relegation shall be resolved by the tie-break system as follows:

Sonneborn-Berger: sum of scores with those beaten and half the score of those with whom drawn;

Amdan: 4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw and 1 point for a loss;

Result of the game between the players involved;

Examination of results from the top downwards;

Number of games with the black pieces.

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 if in his/her opinion that member has shown reluctance in observing the BCA correspondence rules. In such cases, the correspondence chess director will notify the player or players concerned. However, players have the right of appeal to the committee in any circumstances where a decision of the correspondence chess director is felt to be inappropriate.

The correspondence chess director may appoint group leaders whose responsibility it will be to:

Send out fixture lists together with addresses and mediums for all players within the group, a copy of the BCA correspondence rules, etc.

Receive results and send them on to the correspondence chess director. Send unfinished games together with claims received, to the correspondence chess director who will pass them on for adjudication.

Re-establish contact between players where necessary.

Refer major problems to the correspondence chess director

Ask players involved in their groups if they wish to participate in the next tournament.

To keep the group informed of any relevant information that may not otherwise be known.

Members are asked to adhere to the spirit of these correspondence tournament rules in order to ensure the smooth running of the BCA correspondence tournament.

August, 2012

David Hodgkins, Correspondence Chess Director