2018 London Chess Championship — Details

February 9, 2018

Official Format – 2018 London Chess Championship


The following format is meant to address and construct a fair and equitable system outlined well in advance to players and organizers of the event. The format delivers several benefits including; A championship title cycle open to all players each year, Elements of all the competitive formats of swiss, round robin and match play, Ability to showcase the final match play to higher profile venues and times. One admitted disadvantage is the cycle is a longer process, but only for the eight players who qualify past Phase 1. The stress on those players is cushioned by a two week break March 29th and April 19th.


Phase 1

Goal: To allow in all players who wish to compete for the title and determine required qualified players into Phase 2.

Requirements: Know all legal chess moves / rules, score games, use clock, have equipment, good social behavior.

Format: Six round swiss system (accelerated pairings in round 1), Scoring system; Win 1 pt, Draw .5 pt, Loss 0 pt.

A six round swiss is appropriate to determine place winners for up to 64 players

Number of players

Swiss Rounds Required














Proposed dates: 6 Weeks, March 1st to April 12th, 2018 (Easter March 29th, BYE WEEK)

Entry fee: $ 40 (or $ 20 if pre-registered by 8pm February 22nd, 2018), non LCC members add $ 10

Byes: Maximum of one half point bye in rounds 1-3. Zero point byes available rounds 4-6.

Time Control: Sudden death 75 minutes, start time 6:45pm.

Re-scheduled games: Not allowed.

Prizes: Top four by total point score qualify into Phase 2, and granted a $ 40 performance bond. No class prizes.

Tie breaks: Head to head results used when clear, otherwise chose player with higher pre-tournament club rating.

Declined spot: If a player declines to move forward into Phase 2, then the next place finisher is offered the vacant spot.




Phase 2

Goal: To determine one qualified winner into Phase 3 match against current champion Kevin Gibson.

Format: One x 8 player single round robin section event.

Proposed dates:

April 19th, 2018 Draft & draw lots
April 26th, 2018 Round 1
May 3rd, 2018 Round 2
May 10th, 2018 Round 3
May 17th, 2018 Round 4
May 24th, 2018 Round 5
May 31st, 2018 Make up round
June 7th, 2018 Round 6
June 14th, 2018 Round 7
June 21st, 2018 Playoffs if required


Re-scheduled games: Allowed within reason, must be made up by May 31st. No re-schedules in rounds 6 and 7.

Entry fee: Covered by $ 40 performance bond won in Phase 1.

Time control: Sudden death 75 minutes plus 10 second increment (digital clocks required). Start time 6:30pm.

Qualifying: Top four rated players who apply by pre-registration as of 8pm Thursday February 22nd, 2018 (see appendix B), plus top four scores as determined from Phase 1 swiss event.

Pairing placement: Chosen randomly ahead of the start of event, probably by choice of eight playing cards.

Prizes: Top scorer of 8 player RR qualifies to the final match, Phase 3 of the championship, plus a $ 75 bond.

Tie breaks: Head to head results used when clear, then use playoff format appendix I.

Declined spot: If a player declines to move forward into Phase 3, then the next in that section is offered vacant spot.


– by withdrawing the player forfeits their $ 40 performance bond prize from Phase 1 and is eliminated from the cycle.

– before 5 games are played, the players results are dropped from standings, but are club rated.

– after 5 games, results count and his remaining opponents receive unrated forfeit wins which count in the standings.

– If without valid reason, the withdrawing player is banned from competing in next year Ch. cycle.

Completion: Once players complete their participation commitment they can be paid their $ 40 bond from Phase 1




Phase 3

Goal: To determine a championship match winner for title of London Chess Champion.

Format: 4 game match, winner first to 2.5 points, or 6 game match (if BOTH players agree) to 3.5 points.

Proposed dates: August 2018 (or July 2018 or September 2018 if BOTH players agree)

Entry fee: Covered by $ 75 performance bond from Phase 2.

Time control: Sudden death 80 minutes plus 10 second increment (or other T.C. if BOTH players agree)

Match tiebreak system: See Appendix I

Colors: Drawn by random lot at time of agreement by players.

Setup: Recommend a separate room or bids for location. Demo board display at club with moves texted to club site.

Withdrawal: Player withdrawing forfeits their $ 75 bond from Phase 2.

Prizes: Championship title, plus $ 150 performance bond to skip into Phase 3 in 2019, or $ 150 immediate cash.

Completion: Once players complete their participation commitment they can be paid their $ 75 bond from Phase 2

Brand of championship title

The winner of the title who completes all three phases of the championship cycle is regarded as a “full cycle” champion. This type of winner would be allowed to seed themselves (by choice) directly into Phase 3 of the next year’s cycle to defend their title. In consequence however they are not paid their $150 bond prize until the end of that cycle. A full cycle champion could request their $150 prize in cash immediately upon victory, however at the cost of requiring themselves to have to go through regular qualifying of the next years cycle should they chose to compete again.

The winner of the title who has achieved so via seeding themselves into Phase 3 is regarded as a “match” champion and must complete the full cycle (all three phases) in the next year to remain city champion (unless they pre-qualify into Phase 2 as described).

Should a full cycle champion declare they will defend their title in Phase 3 only, then Phase 2 is amended from two x 4 player double round robins to one x 8 player single round robin in order to determine one challenger to match against the champion.

A full cycle champion should declare their intention to defend their title in Phase 3 of the next year’s cycle by February 1st of the next year after they win their title. If the champion is non-communicative by April 1st, then the assumption is that they will not defend their title and they may be paid their $150 bond once that assumption has been made.

Replacement players

Players who just miss the cut in Phases 1 and 2 of the cycle should consider themselves on standby (in seed order) if required upon any withdrawals by players who originally make the cut and have to drop out. Those players withdrawing do forfeit their performance bonds to next in line players who can complete their performance.

Post event into years 2019-2022 Similar scheduled dates for each phase should be determined 10-12 months prior to commencement of each new cycle.

Appendix A – Prize fund and sample budget (subject to change) based on 40 entries.

Revenue = 36 players x $20 plus 4 players x $40 plus $ 200 sponsorship (external) = $1,080


4 x $ 40 plus 8 x $ 20 Phase 1 bonds = $ 320

2 x $ 75 plus 2 x $ 40 Phase 2 bonds = $ 230

1 x $ 150 plus 1 x $ 75 Phase 3 bonds = $ 225

London C Ch winner = $ 75

Supplies & misc. = $ 150

Net surplus = $ 80

Appendix B – Pre-registration

Players declare if applying for direct Phase 2 entry by rating. Players must register before 6:30pm on February 27th, 2018 to be paired for round 1. After this point they may be forced to accept a half point bye for round one.

Players applying to Phase 2 by rating must be club rated 2000+ and have competed at least 5 games in previous year’s London Ch or Active Ch. These players do not qualify for the Phase 1 $ 40 bond prize.

Appendix C – Phase 3 match agreement

Club board must also approve dates of match, times, location and time controls. Should players not be able to agree on match terms, then default parameters are imposed and LCC board will make any other required decisions.

Appendix D – Basic tournament rules

Only offer a draw after you move, but before you press your clock

You may only adjust pieces while your own clock is running and you must clearly communicate this intent

Do not interfere with other players games by communication either verbal or body language

In all cases noise and distractions while competitions are in progress has to be kept to a minimum

In any ongoing game a player can pause their clock to leave the board and summon the arbiter

Players must keep up to date score sheets, but can cease scoring if their clock drops below 5 minutes remaining

Cell phones need to be turned sound off, and announced before start of each round

No perceived cheating of any kind, any suspicions can be ruled on by arbiters

Do not whisper analysis or use body language about another game within 30 feet of the game location, watch only or leave

Appendix E – London B and C section championships

The London B Ch will in majority mirror the London Ch cycle outlined. However a London B Champion cannot defend their title by optioning to seed directly into match play the next year. Also the Phase 1, 2 and 3 performance bonds are $20, $40 and $75 respectively. Any required next in line players from Phase 1 can qualify to fill up to eight spots making up two 4 player double quads with section winners pairing off into match play. Time controls for phase 2 are SD 75 minutes. The London B-Ch can seed into A-Ch Phase 2 the following year only if that format is for one 8 player RR.

The London C Ch will consist of another 6 round swiss of any remaining qualified players wishing to compete. Time controls SD 75 minutes. Winner $75 prize is required to have pre-phase 1 rating U1700.

Appendix F – Administrative & general

Format is set to allow as minimal administration issues as possible. Players themselves decide on CFC rating and renew their own CFC memberships. Only four digital clocks required for Phase 2. Players not pre-registering need to pay double fee of $40 for suffering caused by last minute additions affecting all stakeholders involved.

NCR score sheets to be used and copy turned in by all players. LCC ratings are used for pairing and tiebreak purposes. Players unsure of rules during a game can stop the clock when it is their move for the purpose of summoning the arbiter. Accelerated pairings are used in round 1 of phase one. The accelerated ghost point for the top half of players is also kept for the round two & three pairings as well, but then dropped thereafter. This is to assist in the avoidance of the largest rating mismatches at start of event. Arbiters on site will default as much as possible to FIDE rules of play.

Players need to recognize efforts of organizers and arbiters who likewise will recognize need towards players to be as fair as possible to lay out all information beforehand. Should any situation arise not covered by this document, the LCC Executive Board shall have full authority to make the most fair determinations possible.

Appendix G – RR pairing lots

Annex 1: Berger Tables for Round-Robin Tournaments

Where there is an odd number of players, the highest number counts as a bye.

3 or 4 players:
Rd 1: 1-4, 2-3. Rd 2: 4-3, 1-2. Rd 3: 2-4, 3-1.

5 or 6 players:
Rd 1: 1-6, 2-5, 3-4. Rd 2: 6-4, 5-3, 1-2. Rd 3: 2-6, 3-1, 4-5. Rd 4: 6-5, 1-4, 2-3. Rd 5: 3-6, 4-2, 5-1.

7 or 8 players:
Rd 1: 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5. Rd 2: 8-5, 6-4, 7-3, 1-2. Rd 3: 2-8, 3-1, 4-7, 5-6. Rd 4: 8-6, 7-5, 1-4, 2-3.
Rd 5: 3-8, 4-2, 5-1, 6-7. Rd 6: 8-7, 1-6, 2-5, 3-4. Rd 7: 4-8, 5-3, 6-2, 7-1.

9 or 10 players:
Rd 1: 1-10, 2-9, 3-8, 4-7, 5-6. Rd 2: 10-6, 7-5, 8-4, 9-3, 1-2. Rd 3: 2-10, 3-1, 4-9, 5-8, 6-7.
Rd 4: 10-7, 8-6, 9-5, 1-4, 2-3. Rd 5: 3-10, 4-2, 5-1, 6-9, 7-8. Rd 6: 10-8, 9-7, 1-6, 2-5, 3-4.
Rd 7: 4-10, 5-3, 6-2, 7-1, 8-9. Rd 8: 10-9, 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5. Rd9: 5-10, 6-4, 7-3, 8-2, 9-1.

Appendix H – A section, Phase 2, agreed draws rule

For Phase 2, A section only, agreed draws cannot occur before White’s 31st move is made. Failure to follow this rule will result in both players receiving a NIL point score into the event standings.

Appendix I – Default tie-break systems

For Phase 1: – A two player tie-break occurs first by head-to-head result if available. Next by higher established rating going into start of the event. For three players or more tied in a score group, tie-break goes to highest established ratings going into start of the event unless one player has beaten all the other players in Phase 1.

For Phases 2 and 3: – A two player tie-break, first default is head-to-head result, then next to;

Week 1 – Two x Quick games, Time control 25 mins. + 10 second increment Week 2 (if required) – Two x Quick games, Time control 25 mins. + 10 second increment Week 3 (if required) – Two (+2 more if required) x Speed games, Time Control 15 mins. + 5 second increment Week 4 (if required) – Two x Blitz games continuously as required, Time Control 5 mins. + 2 second increment

For Phase 2: – A three players (plus) tie-break playoff system will be determined by LCC executive, unless one player has beaten all the other players in Phase 2.

Appendix J – Bye requests

Due to pairings being posted early Tuesday evenings, these are required to be communicated as soon as possible and cannot be guaranteed if organizer is informed less than 48 hours before the start of a round. We prefer bye requests to be communicated in person at registration or the week before. Next option is “Contact Us” via London Chess Club website.

Appendix K – Pre-registration form for London Chess Championship – Phase 1

1. Player name: _________________________________________________ LCC Rated: _________________

2. Are you applying by LCC rating to skip Phase 1 event for direct entry to Phase 2 ? YES NO

3. Circle requested byes (maximum 1 x half point bye in rounds 1-3)

Byes for Rounds: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Date pre-registered _________________________________

Paid ___________________________

I have read and understood the conduct of player guidelines listed below;


Player or guardian signature _____________________________________________


Conduct of player guidelines:

a) Round 1 – Clocks start 6:45pm Thursday March 1st, 2018, and etc… for RDS. 2-6

b) Players not arriving for their game by 7:45pm will be time forfeited for that round

c) Players are required to maintain an accurate game score on the provided NCR scoresheets

d) Players must submit the yellow copy portion of their NCR score sheet upon game completion

e) Players found not keeping score will be asked to catch up their score sheet on their own game time

f) Players can cease scoring once under 5 minutes left on the clock

g) Players can offer a draw to their opponent by making their move, offering a draw, then pushing their clock

h) Players can accept the draw offer or decline by simply making their next move

i) Cell phones ringers are to be silent or the arbiter will forfeit your game

j) Players with a rules query can on their move pause the clock in order to summon the arbiter

k) Players are not to receive any form of external playing assistance



RECEIVED FROM: ____________________________________________________


DATED: ____________________________ FOR ENTRY TO PHASE 1 – 2018 LONDON CHESS CH

SUM OF: TWENTY DOLLARS __ xx/100 $20


SIGNATURE OF LONDON CHESS CLUB OFFICIAL:____________________________________________



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