County Championships archive

2009/10 | 2010/11 | 2011/12 | 2012/13 | 2013/14 | 2014/15 | 2015/16 | 2016/17 | 2017/18 | 2018/19 | 2019/20 (rules only)


Once again the cream of the County teams gathered at Moat College, Leicester. This increasingly popular venue, with its ease of access and spacious playing hall, is ideally suited to this event and we are very grateful for the continuing support of the school which is gaining an excellent reputation as a science college.

Lancashire thought they were lucky to defeat Surrey in the semis, and faced Middlesex with trepidation. The closeness of the match was reflected in the number of times that controllers were asked as to the status of the board count. Eventually, the holders triumphed over Middlesex by 9-7.
The Minor Counties final saw Norfolk trying to go one better than their runners-up spot last year against the Midlands Minor Champions, Shropshire. Here the result was never in doubt after Norfolk gained an early lead eventually winning 10-6.
Essex’s match against Surrey saw the swan song as a county captain after 102 matches of John Philpott. This match was always very close with Surrey ending John’s dream of a winning exit by 8½ – 7½. An Essex player allowing a mate in one did not help.
Yorkshire, regular visitors to this event played Hertfordshire in the U150s in another match which was not as easy as it looked with Yorkshire running out 10-6. Applause for the venue was also shared with the appreciation for the controllers, headed by John Shaw assisted by Adrian Elwin. Dave Welch and Cyril Johnson with administrative assistance from Liz Gist and Tarek Rahman.

Open Final
Lancashire 9 – 7 Middlesex
Semi Finals
Lancashire 9½ – 6½ Surrey; Herts 7½ – 8½ Middlesex
Quarter Finals
Lancashire 9½ – 6½ Staffordshire; Surrey 10½ – 5½ Warwickshire; Manchester (defaulted) Middlesex; Bye: Hertfordshire

Minor Counties Final
Norfolk 10 – 6 Shropshire
Semi Finals
Norfolk 9 – 7 Hampshire; Shropshire 8* – 8 Cambridgeshire
Quarter Finals
Norfolk 9 – 7 Leicestershire; Byes: Hampshire, Shropshire, Cambridgeshire

U175 Final
Essex 7½ – 8½ Surrey
Semi Finals
Yorkshire 6 – 10 Surrey; Devon 7 – 9 Essex
Quarter Finals
Suffolk (defaulted) Surrey; Manchester 5 – 11 Devon; Byes: Yorkshire, Essex

U150 Final
Hertfordshire 6 – 10 Yorkshire
Semi Finals
Hertfordshire 9½ – 6½ Cambridgeshire; Yorkshire 9 – 7 Nottinghamshire
Quarter Finals
Warwickshire 7 – 9 Hertfordshire; Lancashire 4½ – 11½ Cambridgeshire; Essex 5½ – 10½ Nottinghamshire; Norfolk 7 – 9 Yorkshire

U125 Final
Norfolk 9½ – 6½ Sussex
Semi Finals
Norfolk 8½ – 7½ Hampshire; Worcestershire 6 – 10 Sussex
Quarter Finals
Warwickshire 8 – 8* Sussex; Middlesex 8 – 8* Hampshire; Cleveland (defaulted) Worcestershire; Norfolk 9 – 7 Leicestershire
Lancashire 5 – 11 Leicestershire

U100 Final
Hertfordshire 7 – 5 Nottinghamshire
Semi Finals
Hertfordshire 7½ – 4½ Suffolk; Surrey 5½ – 6½ Nottinghamshire
Quarter Finals
Warwickshire 4½ – 7½ Hertfordshire; Lancashire 4 – 8 Nottinghamshire; Surrey 10½ – 1½ Norfolk; Suffolk 7 – 5 Staffordshire

(no records for 08/09)

Results in full – Minor | Open | Under_100 | Under_120 | Under_140 | Under_160 | Under_180

The County Championships Final Stages ended as last year’s, at Moat College in a heat wave!
We were again fortunate to obtaining the services of Sir Peter Soulsby M.P., the member for Leicester South in whose constituency the College is found. His opening speech was the epitome of brevity, wit and awareness of the game of chess. We are grateful for his support of the ECF and its campaign to restore the cuts imposed by the DCMS..
Back to the actual games. In the Open, Lancashire made their traditional pilgrimage to the Finals, and defeated a very strong Sussex team 11-5. An excellent result in the circumstances.
The Minor Counties saw Hertfordshire come with their trophy and defend it successfully against Middlesex 10-6.
The newer grading bands threw up some interesting matches. An all-Midlands match saw Warwickshire clash with Nottinghamshire in a match with no fewer than 8 draws, Warwickshire getting home by 9-7.
Yorkshire were again defending their County 3rd team trophy in the U160s against Suffolk. The East Anglians defeated their higher rated opponents by 9½- 6½.
The U140s was the closest match of all, with Hampshire drawing 8-8 with Nottinghamshire, another match with 8 draws with Hampshire winning on board count.
The U120s was an all SCCU affair, with the men of Kent defeating Hertfordshire 8½- 3½ in a match which ended surprisingly quickly. The “new” U100 saw a weakened Warwickshire team succumb to Essex, also 8½- 3½.
I must thank David Welch, Adrian Elwin, John Shaw and John Wickham for their quiet work as a very good arbiting team. Peter Cresswell worked tirelessly in the back ground, and we thank him. Julie Johnson excelled herself in providing food and drinks for all present.
I took this task on at the request of some friends to prevent the changes of controller having a deleterious effect on this event. I told Adam Raoof that I would do this for one year, and so I walk away, accompanied by Julie. I will offer help and advice to anyone who seeks to take this most rewarding of jobs on, but warn that from the end of March to early July, they must make themselves available for queries, contacts and to act as the successor to Solomon. My thanks to Julie for putting up with this, and to my friends who attended the finals, and to Moat College for their help

– Cyril Johnson

P1 Essex [S3] v Gtr Manchester [M3] [result]

Quarter Finals
Q1 Norfolk [E1] v Essex [S3] [result]; Q2 Lancashire [N1] v Kent [S2] [Kent conceded, Lancashire win]
Q3 Staffs [M1] v Yorkshire [N2] [result]; Q4 Sussex [S1] v Warwickshire [M2] [result]

Semi Finals
SF1Essex v Lancashire [result]; SF2 Staffordshire v Sussex [result]

Quarter Finals
Q1 Lincolnshire [M1] v Suffolk [E2] [result]; Q2 Middlesex [S1] v Hampshire [W2] [Hampshire conceded, Middlesex win]
Q3 Cambridgeshire [E1] v Hertfordshire [S2] [result]; Q4 Gloucestershire [W1] v Leicestershire [M2] [result]

Semi Finals
SF1 Lincolnshire v Middlesex [result]; SF2 Hertfordshire v Leicestershire [result]

Under 180
Quarter Finals
Q1 Yorkshire [N1] v Essex [S2] [result]; Q2 Bedfordshire [E1] v Nottinghamshire [M2] [result]
Q3 Warwickshire [M1] v Lancashire [N2] [result]; Q4 Surrey [S1] v Devon [W1] [result]

Semi Finals
SF1 Essex v Nottinghamshire [result]; SF2 Warwickshire v Devon [result]

Under 160

P1 Norfolk [E2] v Surrey [S3] [result]; P2 Lancashire [N2] v Nottinghamshire [M3] [result]

Quarter Finals
Q1 Yorkshire [N1] v Surrey [S3] [result]; Q2 Essex [S1] v Staffordshire [M2] [result]
Q3 Suffolk [E1] v Nottinghamshire [M3] [result]; Q4 Leicestershire [M1] v Hertfordshire [S2] [result]

Semi Finals
SF1 Yorkshire v Essex [result]; SF2 Suffolk v Leicestershire [result]

Under 140
P1 Sussex [S3] v Worcestershire [M3] [result]; P2 Staffordshire [M2] v Yorkshire ‘A’ [N2] [result]

Quarter Finals
Q1 Surrey [S1] v Nottinghamshire [M1] [result]; Q2 Yorkshire ‘B’ [N1] v Sussex [S3] [result]
Q3 Suffolk [E1] v Staffordshire [M2] [result]; Q4 Hampshire [W1] v Kent [S2] [result]

Semi Finals
SF1 Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire [result]; SF2 Suffolk v Hampshire [result]

Under 120
Quarter Finals
Q1 Staffs Bulldogs [M1] v Lancashire [N2] [result]; Q2 Norfolk [E1] v Hertfordshire [S2] [result]
Q3 Kent [S1] v Warwickshire [M2] [result]; Q4 Yorkshire [N1] v Nottinghamshire [M3] [result]

Semi Finals
SF2 Lancashire v Hertfordshire [Lancashire conceded, Hertfordshire win]; SF2 Kent v Yorkshire [result]

Under 100
Quarter Finals
Kent [S2] v Yorkshire [N2] [Kent conceded, Yorkshire win]

Semi Finals
SF1 Warwickshire v Yorkshire [result]; SF2 Lancashire v Essex [result]


The County Championships Finals were again held at Moat College in Leicester. The proceedings were opened by the Chief Executive Officer of the Midlands Counties Chess Union, Julie Johnson. Immediately following her speech, John Wickham presented Julie with the Presidents Award

In the Open, an all-SCCU clash saw Surrey attempting to win their first Open title since 1954 against a strong Kent team. In a very tight match there were only 4 decisive games with Surrey making Kent wait until the last game for their first full point, Surrey prevailing 9-7.
The Minor Counties saw Hertfordshire attempting to win the trophy for the third consecutive year, this time against neighbours Bedfordshire. Despite slightly out-grading Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire were unable to claim the hat-trick with Bedfordshire winning 9-7.
Nottinghamshire returned to the Under 180 final hoping to put last years defeat behind them. Another very close match saw them triumph against Devon by a single point.
Kent were the most successful county in getting teams to the Finals, being the only team with 3 representatives. However, their only success was in the Under 160s where they defeated Lancashire by 10½- 5½.
The U140s was yet another very close match, with Hampshire winning 8½- 7½ over Kent.[br]Warwickshire had 2 representatives in the lowest graded sections with the teams having mixed results, the Under 120 team narrowly defeating Lancashire 6½- 5½.
However, the Warwickshire Under 100 team succumbed to Essex by the score 8½- 3½.
I would like to thank Dave Welch, John Shaw and John Wickham for their excellent work as a very good arbiting team. Cyril Johnson also helped with his considerable arbiting experience as well as ably assisting Julie who excelled herself in providing food and drinks for all present

— Adrian Elwin

Open Results
Preliminary Middlesex 9 – Greater Manchester 7
Quarter Final 1 Suffolk 6 – Kent 10
Quarter Final 2 Surrey 14½ – Warwickshire 1½
Quarter Final 3 Lancashire 11 – Middlesex 5
Quarter Final 4 Yorkshire default, Staffordshire go through
Semi Final 1 Surrey 9½ – Staffordshire 6½
Semi Final 2 Lancashire 7½ – Kent 8½
Final Surrey 9 – Kent 7 | CBV
Minor Counties  
Quarter Final 1 Hampshire 6 – Sussex 10
Quarter Final 2 Hertfordshire 8 – Leicesershire 8 – Herts go through on board count
Quarter Final 3 Bedfordshire 13½ – Gloucestershire 2½
Quarter Final 4 Lincolnshire 10½ – Norfolk 5½
Semi Final 1 Bedfordshire 9 – Sussex 7
Semi Final 2 Lincolnshire 7½ – Hertfordshire 8½
Final Bedfordshire 9 – Hertfordshire 7 | CBV
Under 180  
Preliminary Middlesex 6½ – Warwickshire 9½
Quarter Final 1 Cambridgeshire 3½ – Yorkshire 12½
Quarter Final 2 Essex 8 – Lancashire 8 – Lancashire go through on board count
Quarter Final 3 Nottinghamshire 9½ – Kent 2½
Quarter Final 4 Devon 8½ – Warwickshire 7½
Semi Final 1 Yorkshire 7 – Devon 9
Semi Final 2 Lancashire 5 – Nottinghamshire 7
Final Devon 7½ – Nottinghamshire 8½
Under 160  
Preliminary 1 Greater Manchester 9½ – Norfolk 5½
Preliminary 2 Middlesex withdrew – Notts w/o
Quarter Final 1 Kent 11 – Cumbria 5
Quarter Final 2 Lancashire 9½ – Greater Manchester 6½
Quarter Final 3 Suffolk 6 – Nottinghamshire 10
Quarter Final 4 Warwickshire 6½ – Essex 9½
Semi Final 1 Essex 7 – Lancashire 9
Semi Final 2 Kent 9 – Nottinghamshire 7
Final Lancashire 5½ – Kent 10½
Under 140  
Preliminary Derbyshire 6 – Hertfordshire 10
Quarter Final 1 Kent 11½ – Nottinghamshire 4½
Quarter Final 2 Hampshire 9½ – Surrey 6½
Quarter Final 3 Yorkshire 7 – Hertfordshire 9
Quarter Final 4 Worcestershire 10 – Lancashire 6
Semi Final 1 Kent 9½ – Hertfordshire 6½
Semi Final 2 Worcestershire 7 – Hampshire 9
Final Kent 7½ – Hampshire 8½
Under 120  
Quarter Final 1 Norfolk 9 – Kent 3
Quarter Final 2 Worcestershire 6 – Yorkshire 6
Quarter Final 3 Hertfordshire 6 – Warwickshire 6 – Warks go through on board count
Quarter Final 4 Lancashire 7½ – Staffordshire 2½
Semi Final 1 Yorkshire 5½ – Warwickshire 6½
Semi Final 2 Lancashire 6 – Norfolk 6 – Lancashire go through on board count
Final Warwickshire 6½ – Lancashire 5½
Under 100  
Quarter Final 1 Lancashire 7½ – Nottingham 4½
Quarter Final 2 Yorkshire 7½ – Kent 4½
Semi Final 1 Lancashire 6 – Essex 6 – Essex go through [ruling]
Semi Final 2 Warwickshire win by default
Final Essex 8.5 – Warwickshire 3.5


National Controller – Alex Holowczak

The draw for the national stages of the County Championship was made at 10am on 14th January, 2012, at the Barcelo Hotel, Hinckley Island. It was made by David Welch, Adam Raoof and Alex Holowczak. In accordance with Rule E11, these matches shall be played on, or by mutual agreement before, or on the Sunday immediately following, the dates here listed:

Preliminary Round April 28th | Quarter Finals May 19th
Semi Finals June 9th | Final July 7th

The Finals will again be played at Moat Community College, Maidstone Road, Leicester, LE2 0TU. The draw (and results) for each of the sections is as follows —

Open     Results
Preliminary Round Warwickshire Lancashire 4½ – 11½ [details]
Quarter Final 1 Somerset Yorkshire 8 – 8 Somerset win on board count [details]
Quarter Final 2 Staffordshire Middlesex 4½ – 11½ [details]
Quarter Final 3 Norfolk Sussex 6½ – 9½ [details]
Quarter Final 4 Surrey Lancashire 9 – 7 [details]
Semi-final 1 Somerset Middlesex 7½ – 8½ [details] 
Semi-final 2 Sussex Surrey 5 – 11 [details]
Open Final Middlesex Surrey 8½ – 7½ [details]
Quarter Final 1 Gloucestershire Hertfordshire 7½ – 8½ [details]
Quarter Final 2 Suffolk Hampshire 0 – 16 default
Quarter Final 3 Essex Lincolnshire 8½ – 7½ [details]
Quarter Final 4 Leicestershire Cambridgeshire 10 – 6 [details]
Semi-final 1 Hertfordshire Hampshire 9 – 7 [details]
Semi-final 2 Essex Leicestershire 7 – 9 [details] 
Minor Final Hertfordshire Leicestershire 8 – 8 Herts win on board count [details]
Under 180      
Preliminary Round Kent Lancashire 0 – 16 default
Quarter Final 1 Middlesex Warwickshire 8½ – 7½ [details]
Quarter Final 2 Devon Surrey 7½ – 8½ [details]
Quarter Final 3 Yorkshire Nottinghamshire 9 – 7 [details]
Quarter Final 4 Bedfordshire Lancashire 7 – 9 [details]
Semi-final 1 Middlesex Surrey 9 – 7 [details] 
Semi-final 2 Yorkshire Lancashire 10½ – 5½ [details]
Under 180 Final Middlesex Yorkshire 9 – 7 [details]
Under 160      
Preliminary Round Greater Manchester Cambridgeshire 8½ – 7½ [details]
Quarter Final 1 Nottinghamshire Middlesex 16 – 0 default
Quarter Final 2 Kent Yorkshire 5 – 11 [details]
Quarter Final 3 Norfolk Hertfordshire 5 – 10 [details]
Quarter Final 4 Lancashire Greater Manchester 7 – 9 [details]
Semi-final 1 Nottinghamshire Yorkshire 6 – 10 [details]
Semi-final 2 Hertfordshire Greater Manchester 6 – 10 [details] 
Under 160 Final Yorkshire Greater Manchester 8 – 8 Gtr Manchester win on board count [details]
Under 140     Results
Preliminary Round Yorkshire Kent 16-0 default
Quarter Final 1 Lancashire Warwickshire 11½ – 4½ [details]
Quarter Final 2 Surrey Leicestershire 10 – 6 [details]
Quarter Final 3 Hampshire Hertfordshire 4½ – 11½ [details]
Quarter Final 4 Worcestershire Yorkshire 9½ – 6½ [details]
Semi-final 1 Lancashire Surrey 10½ – 5½ [details] 
Semi-final 2 Hertfordshire Worcestershire 11 – 5 [details] 
Under 140 Final Lancashire Hertfordshire 7½ – 8½ [details]
Under 120      
Quarter Final 1 Hertfordshire Yorkshire 12 – 0 default
Quarter Final 2 Lancashire Worcestershire 6 – 6 Lancashire win on board count [details]
Quarter Final 3 Norfolk Warwickshire 5½ – 6½ [details]
Quarter Final 4 Staffordshire Essex 4½ – 7½ [details]
Semi-final 1 Hertfordshire Lancashire 7½ – 4½ [details]
Semi-final 2 Warwickshire Essex 4 – 8 [details] 
Under 120 Final Hertfordshire Essex 3½ – 8½ [details]
Under 100      
Quarter Final 1 Essex Warwickshire 16 – 0 default
Quarter Final 2 Lancashire Kent 6 – 6 Kent win on board count [details]
Semi-final 1 Yorkshire Essex 0 – 12 default
Semi-final 2 Nottinghamshire Kent 6 – 6 Kent win on board count [details]
Under 100 Final Essex Kent 6 – 6 Essex win on board count [details]

Click here

Click here (results)

The 2014 ECF County Championship Finals Day was played on Saturday, 12th July at the Trident Centre in Warwick. 7 matches were played, involving over 200 players. You can download the complete PGN here. Essex won four out of four Under 100 Championships, but failed to qualify for the Final Stage this year. In their absence, Warwickshire and Kent qualified for the Final and were convincing 8½ – 3½ winners.

Nottinghamshire made it to three Finals, the most of any county. The Under 120 Championship was their only successful Final, as they beat Hertfordshire 7 – 5

When the Under 140 section was created in 2010, Hampshire won the first two competitions, and made it back to the Final this year to play Nottinghamshire. The two teams were very evenly matched, but Hampshire prevailed 9 – 7

Yorkshire and Middlesex met in both the Under 160 Championship Final and the Open Final. The Under 160 Final was a 10 – 6 win for Yorkshire, who were victorious on 6 of the bottom 7 boards

Warwickshire had home advantage in the Under 180 Championship, but were nevertheless outgraded against Essex. The match was live with two boards remaining, but Warwickshire won both to secure a 9½ – 6 ½win

Nottinghamshire’s route to the Final of the Minor Counties saw them beat Leicestershire three times before meeting Suffolk. Suffolk fielded three juniors on the top three boards, and Alan Merry and Justin Tan on boards 1 and 2 hold the FIDE Master title. They won their games as part of a 9½ – 6½ win for Suffolk

The Open was a comfortable win for Yorkshire, 11½ – 4½. Yorkshire outgraded their opponents, but the result was unexpectedly one-sided. It was their first win since 2009. All boards of the Final were broadcast live on the Internet via the ECF website for the first time

I would like to thank Andrew Zigmond, the Controller this year in his first year in the role; as well as the team of David Sedgwick, Sean Hewitt, Thomas Thorpe, Matthew Carr, Bruce Holland and John Philpott for providing assistance in various capacities on Finals Day. I would particularly like to thank all of the captains, whose endeavour over the course of the season has enabled over 1000 people to participate in these Championships at the Union Stage, and I hope they all return to the competition next season

— Alex Holowczak, ECF Director of Home Chess


Download the PGN here, or replay the games below …


Open Yorkshire 11 – 5 Middlesex
Minor Counties Norfolk 9 – 7 Lincolnshire
Under 180 Essex 9 – 7 Lancashire
Under 160 Middlesex 8.5 – 7.5 Essex
Under 140 Worcestershire 10 – 6 Surrey
Under 120 Nottingham 8 – 4 Warwickshire
Under 100 Essex 8.5 – 3.5 Kent

This was Yorkshire’s 3rd win in a row in the Open section. This was Worcestershire’s 1st section win of the County Championship in their history!

Download the PGNs — Open | Minor | U180 | U160 | U140 | U120 | U100

Full draw 2015/16 – click here


Open Lancashire 8* – 8 Yorkshire
Minor Counties Suffolk 7½ – 8½ Lincolnshire
Under 180 Devon 8* – 8 Middlesex
Under 160 Lancashire 6½ – 9½ Yorkshire
Under 140 Nottinghamshire 7 – 9 Lancashire
Under 120 Middlesex 5½ – 6½ Essex
Under 100 Leicestershire 8½ – 3½ Warwickshire

Full results 2016/17 – click here

Replay the games from the final …


Under 180

Under 160

Under 140

Under 120

Under 100


Open Lancashire *8 – 8 Yorkshire (*win on tie break)
Minor Counties Surrey 9 – 7 Lincolnshire
Under 180 Yorkshire 8.5 – 7.5 Warwickshire
Under 160 Yorkshire 5 – 11 Lancashire
Under 140 Yorkshire 6 – 10 Nottinghamshire
Under 120 Warwickshire 5 – 7 Norfolk
Under 100 Leicestershire 7 – 5 Lancashire

Replay the games from the final …

For a suite of excellent photographs by Chris Lamming, click here

National stage results | National stage draw [PDF]

This year the ECF League Management System was utilised for the knockout stages of the County Championships.  There you will find default fixtures for now, results and of course the draws for the various sections.  The draws appear under the League Fixtures tab but do read first the notes on the welcome page at


100th Counties Championship – Finals Day 13th July

Follow this link for live games, the Controller’s blog and more …

Historical winners list (1908 – 2017)

Counties Championships 2018-19 ECF National Stages Draw

The first named county is the notional home team. Away teams may elect to play at an intermediate venue they arrange.
Click here to download the PDF

The draws and full results will once again appear on the County Championships section of the ECF League Management System.
Players without both a July 2018 and a January 2019 published ECF standard play grade who have been cleared to play by the National Controller and allocated a competition grade for the national knockout stages will be listed below the following competition rules. Grade estimates previously assigned by Union Controllers do not apply in the national stages.

RULES 2018/19

Reference in these rules to counties shall be construed as applying to counties admitted to membership in accordance with Article 5.2 of the ECF Articles.

Section A: The Competitions & Financial Arrangements

A1. Competition Structure

A1.1. The Championship shall have the following sections —
(i) Open, having no upper grade limit.
(ii) Minor Counties: mean grade a maximum of 180 (see C4)
(iii) Under 180 grade
(iv) Under 160 grade
(v) Under 140 grade
(vi) Under 120 grade
(vii) Under 100 grade

The Championship shall be held each year under the direction of the Director of Home Chess who shall appoint a Controller.

A1.2. Each section of the Championship shall be divided into two stages: the Union Stage and the Final Stage. Entry to the Final Stage is by nomination from the Unions as provided by Section B.

A1.3. In the Union Stage, each team shall pay an entry fee, which shall be decided by the Board, to the ECF, and any games played will be charged according to the normal ECF regulations for leagues.

A1.4. All games played in all sections of the Final Stage will be ECF graded. In addition, all games played in the Open section will be FIDE rated.

For this season, the entry fee is £24 for A1.1.(i) to A1.1.(v) inclusive, and £18 otherwise.

A2. Membership Requirements & Fines

A2.1. In the Final Stage all players in all sections must be ECF members at bronze level or above. Counties will be levied the cost of bronze membership for each non-member in their team, and such players will be upgraded to bronze membership.

A2.2. All players who are registered to England with FIDE, must be ECF members at gold level or above if they play more than one game in the Final Stage of the Open section. Counties will be levied the difference between the player’s level of membership and the cost of gold membership, once a player has played a second game in the Final Stage of the Open section, and such players will be upgraded to gold membership.

Section B: The Union Stage

B1. The Union Stage shall be conducted by the Unions and shall be run by them according to their own rules. It may, but need not, include qualifying competitions for one or more sections of the Final Stage.

B2. Each Union may nominate two counties for the Final Stage of any section, whether or not it has conducted a qualifying competition for that section.

B3. If a Union conducts a qualifying competition for a section of the Championship, and in the qualifying competition five or more teams complete their fixtures without defaulting a match, the Union may nominate three counties for the Final Stage of that section. The National Controller may give a dispensation if the last round of fixtures could not be completed because of inclement weather.

B4. Counties nominated for, or declining nomination for, the Final Stage of the Open section may not be nominated for the Minor section.

B5. The Secretary or County Match Controller of each Union shall, not later than 24th March, send to the National Controller the name(s) of the nominated team(s) of that Union in each section of the Championship, stating the order in which they are being nominated, and that the teams so named have accepted nomination.

Section C: Eligibility

C1. Competition Season and Grading Lists

C1.1. For the purposes of these rules, a season shall start on 1st September and shall end on the date of the Final Round of the current Championship.

(a) Grading limits shall be based on the published ECF standardplay Grading List current at the start of the season. A captain may use either this list, or that season’s January Grading List for the purposes of board order (see E4.2(a)).

Note, as of 1st September, the August grading list had not been published – this this season, the July grading list will be used as the start of season grade.

(b) A player who has no grade in the list current at the start of the season may play in the Final Stage if:

(i) the player acquires a grade in the ECF standardplay Grading List in January, in which case this grade will be used, or

(ii) permission has been previously obtained from the Controller. Requests for permission must be submitted to the Controller so as to arrive at least seven days before the player is due to play. The team captain must submit evidence from the local grader or master list or other source. Such a player shall be declared ineligible (or no longer eligible) if the Controller is not (or has ceased to be) entirely convinced that the player’s strength is clearly below the relevant grading limits. The Controller shall, as soon as practical, assign the player a grading for the purposes of the Championship only.

(a) For the purposes of board order in the Open section (see E4.2(b)), the following FIDE standardplay rating Lists will be used for each round:
Preliminary Round – 1st April
Quarter Finals – 1st May
Semi Finals – 1st June
Final – 1st June

(b) A player who has no FIDE standardplay rating will be assigned a rating equal to his grade in the January Grading List, multiplied by 7.5, plus 700.

(c) A player who has no grade in the January list will be assigned a rating equal to his grade in the previous year’s July Grading List, multiplied by 7.5, plus 700.

(d) An ungraded player will be assigned an estimated grade assigned according to the procedure of C1.2, and this will be converted into a rating equal to this assigned grade, multiplied by 7.5, plus 700.

C2. Counties Entitled to Participate

All nominated Counties are eligible to compete in the Final Stage of the Championship provided that they have paid the entry fee and that neither they nor the nominating Union are in arrears with any other monies due to the ECF.

C3. Players Eligible to Participate

C3.1. A player is eligible to represent a County in the Championship if the player meets one of the following criteria:
(i) Birth in that county.
(ii) Five years’ domicile in that county at any time.
(iii) Two months’ immediate previous and present membership of a club either in or affiliated to that County.
(iv) One month’s immediately previous and present domicile in that County.
(v) Present attendance as a student at a school, college or university in that County.

C3.2. In the course of a season no player may represent more than one County, and no player may represent more than one team in the same section of the Championship.

C3.3. The penalty for playing an ineligible player in any match shall be the loss of the game for that player and a win for the opponent, provided the opponent is present and eligible; plus a deduction of one penalty point for each ineligible player from the resulting total score made by the County in that match. The game will still be graded according to the result of the game as played. The Controller may impose an additional penalty if he is satisfied that the inclusion of an ineligible player was deliberate or wilful.

C4. Eligibility of Minor Counties Teams

C4.1. Each team must have an average grade not exceeding 180. For every point, or part thereof, by which the average grade exceeds the limit, one penalty game point will be deducted from the team’s total score in the match.

Section D: The Final Stage: Administrative Arrangements

D1. The Role of the Controller

D1. The Final Stage of each section shall be conducted by the Controller. Any decision made by the Controller regarding the administration of the competition may be appealed to the Appeals Committee. The captain shall submit a written statement to the Controller within 48 hours of the scheduled start time of the match, and have paid a deposit of £50 which will be returned if the appeal succeeds. The Appeal will be heard in accordance with Rule F2.

D2. The Draw for the Final Stage

D2.1. If there are less than eight nominations in total for any championship, the Controller may invite extra entries from eligible teams. If a Union is invited to field an extra team in a section in one year, it shall only be asked to fill a vacancy in the next season if all other Unions decline.

D2.2. Should there be more than eight nominations, a preliminary round shall be played before the Quarter Final. Teams placed in the preliminary round shall, where possible, be the third nominees of Unions. They shall only be first nominees if there is no other legal way to do the draw.

D2.3. The draw for the preliminary round (if required), and for the Quarter Finals and Semi Finals, shall be made once all Unions have nominated their teams in accordance with B5. The draw will be made by a Committee consisting of the Controller, the Director of Home Chess and the Chief Arbiter, and shall be published not later than 1st April.

D2.4. The home teams in the Quarter Finals shall be drawn from the first nominees of the Unions. The Controller has the right to adjust the Quarter Final draw or the preliminary round as he deems fit in the light of teams actually nominated by Unions and the need to fill any vacancies.

D2.5. The first and second nominees of a Union in a section will be kept apart in the draw until the Final. The third nominee of a Union in a section will be kept apart from other teams in that Union until the Semi Finals. This shall not apply in respect of any extra nominations accepted by the Controller under rule D2.1.

D3. Arrangements for Final Stage Matches

D3.1. Matches shall be played on, or by mutual agreement before, or on the Sunday immediately following, the dates here listed:

Preliminary Round – Fourth Saturday in April
Quarter Finals (Open, Minor, Under 160, Under 120) – Second Saturday in May
Quarter Finals (Under 180, Under 140, Under 100) – Third Saturday in May
Semi-Finals – Second Saturday in June
Finals – First Saturday in July

These dates may be varied by the Director of Home Chess not later than 31st October in each season and shall be notified within 7 days to Union Controllers. Notwithstanding the date of the Finals, they shall be graded in the same grading list as the rest of the Final Stage Matches.

This season, the default dates are — 27th April, 11th/18th May, 8th June, and the Finals will be played on 13 July.

D3.2. In the Final of the Championship, the Director of Home Chess may at his discretion nominate a central venue. With this exception, all matches shall be arranged by the Counties concerned. The County drawn away may insist on an intermediate venue provided they notify the home county of their decision at least a fortnight before the scheduled date and provided it is prepared to make all the arrangements and that all expenses are shared by the teams concerned. It is the responsibility of the County drawn at home to provide refreshments for the away County, except that where a match is played at an intermediate venue, refreshments should be provided for both teams, expenses to be shared.

This season, the Finals will be played at the Kettering Conference & Leisure Centre, Thurston Drive, Kettering, NN15 6PB.

D3.3. The match captain of the team arranging the venue shall be responsible for advising the other team’s match captain in writing of the venue arrangements so they are received seven days before the date of the match and shall also be responsible for setting up boards, sets and clocks and providing scoresheets.

D3.4. At the request of either match captain, made not less than seven days before the match takes place, a neutral arbiter shall be appointed. Upon receiving such a request, the Controller will make a suitable appointment, which may not be appealed against. Both counties will be charged £18 at the conclusion of the Championship, and the ECF will pay the arbiter’s expenses. It is strongly recommended that counties arrange for arbiters to be present at each match.

D4. Penalties

D4.1. Any County which fails to pay entry fees or any other monies due as provided by these rules shall, unless the Director of Home Chess decides otherwise, not be accepted for nomination to the Final Stage of that Championship in the following season.

D4.2. Should any County, having been nominated by its Union for the Final Stage of any of the Championships and having accepted such nomination in accordance with Section B, default any match, or any game in a match, it shall be required to reimburse such of its opponent’s reasonable expenses incurred as the Controller shall determine; and unless the Controller decides otherwise shall also pay a fine of £20 per game defaulted or £100 per match defaulted, whichever is less; such fines being payable to the English Chess Federation.

D5. Reporting of Results

D5.1. The arbiter will report the result of a match to the Controller. If an arbiter is not present, results must be reported by both teams on the results server not later than 48 hours after the match was played. If a result is not reported or confirmed within the due time, the Controller may impose a fine of £10 on the offending County or Counties. If neither team reports the result, the Controller may eliminate both teams.

D6. Return of Trophies

It is the responsibility of trophy winners to take all reasonable steps to look after the trophies and to return them in a clean condition. The trophy winner shall have the trophy engraved and may claim the cost from the Director of Home Chess. Trophies must be returned in a secure manner to the Controller or his nominee at least three weeks before the next season’s Finals Day. By prior agreement of the Controller, at least one month beforehand, trophies may be returned on Finals Day itself.

Section E: The Final Stage: General Rules

E1. Pre-Match Arrangements

E1.1. Any matter affecting the arrangement of a match on which officials of the Counties concerned cannot agree shall be referred to the Controller whose decision shall be final on all points, whether arising under these rules or otherwise.

E2. Number of Boards

E2.1. In any match in the Final Stage of the Championship, each County shall be represented by 16 players except in the Under 120 and Under 100 sections, where the number of players shall be 12.

E2.2. The number of players in any match may be varied by agreement between the team captains and the Controller.

E2.3. One game shall be played between each pair of players. No player may play more than one board in any one match.

E3. Time Limit

E3.1. The time limit shall be 40 moves in 110 minutes, plus a 25-minute quickplay finish, plus a 10-second increment per move from move 1.

E3.2. Where suitable digital clocks are not available for an entire match to be played with this time limit, then the time limit shall be 40 moves in 2 hours, plus a 30-minute quickplay finish.

E3.3. The time limit of any match may be varied by agreement between the captains with the permission of the Controller.

E4. Responsibilities of the Captains

E4.1. At least 15 minutes before the time fixed for the start of play, the captains shall exchange team lists, with players arranged in board order. Any known defaults shall be placed on the lowest boards. It is the responsibility of the captain to provide the names of the players, their ECF grading reference numbers and their grades on the result sheet. Where an opponent’s team list is not available to a captain by this deadline, then the captain may insist that: (i) the start be delayed until at least 15 minutes after the completed result sheet has been provided to him, and (ii) the amount of time lost by starting late is deducted from the opposing team’s clocks.

(a) In all sections other than the Open, a player cannot be listed on a board below another who is graded (or deemed to be graded) more than 10 ECF points lower than the player. The captain must use a single Grading List for the purpose of this rule. If a captain’s board order does not comply with this requirement, then the opposing captain may at his discretion insist, prior to the coin toss only, that the captain must provide an alternative board order complying with this rule.

(b) In the Open section, a player cannot be listed on a board below another who is rated (or deemed to be rated) more than 80 FIDE points lower than the player. The captain must use the rating list and ratings outlined in C1.3 for the purpose of this rule. If a captain’s board order does not comply with this requirement, then the opposing captain may at his discretion insist, prior to the coin toss only, that the captain must provide an alternative board order complying with this rule.

E4.3. Upon completion of E4.1 and E4.2, the captains shall toss for colour. The home captain shall toss the coin, and the away captain should call. The captain winning the toss shall choose to take white on either the odd- or the even-numbered boards.

E4.4. At the time fixed for the start of play, the captains shall start the clocks of the players having the move. If this cannot happen on any game of a match because the team responsible for setting up boards, sets and clocks and providing scoresheets in accordance with D3.3 has not done so by the time fixed for start of play, then the amount of time lost due to the delayed start must be deducted from the clock of each player from that team whose game is late starting.

E4.5. If a player is absent, a substitute may be put in up to one hour from the start of the clock, and the original game shall be annulled. A new game shall be started between the substitute and his opponent, with the clock of the substitute adjusted such that the elapsed time since the start of clocks shall be deducted from his thinking time. If no substitute is available, then his opponent, if present, shall score the game a win. If neither player is present nor can be substituted, then the game shall be scored as lost by both players. (For clarification, because a substitution is made after the coin toss, the substitute does not need to comply with the requirements of E4.2.)

E4.6. A player may only ask the arbiter, or if no arbiter is present, his captain for the match score at any time. No other information may be provided by a captain to any player. Players must not ask their captain about whether or not they should offer, or accept the offer of, a draw. If a captain communicates with a player in his team contrary to the provisions of this rule, then the arbiter may decide to declare the game lost for that player. If no arbiter is present, then the incident may be reported to the Controller after the match, who will decide the result of any affected games.

E4.7. The Controller may impose a penalty if he is satisfied that the board order did not meet the requirements of E4.2 because a captain deliberately or wilfully provided incorrect grades of players to the opposing captain.

E4.8. In the Open section, the captain should make sure that all players have a FIDE ID before the player plays the game. For all players without a FIDE ID, the captain must either:

(a) In the case of a player who wishes to appear as English on the FIDE-rating list, inform the Controller of the player’s date of birth and a FIDE ID will be created for the player, or

(b) In the case of a player who wishes to appear as something other than England on the FIDE-rating list, instruct the player to contact the appropriate Federation in order to acquire a FIDE ID. Should the player not have a FIDE ID seven days before the match, the player may only play in the match with the permission of the Controller.

E5. Result of the Match

E5.1. The match shall be won by the team which has scored more game points. Where game points are equal, the result shall be decided by:

(i) Board Count: the numbers of the boards won by each team shall be added, and the team with the lower total shall win. If the tie is not thereby resolved;

(ii) Elimination: the lowest board shall be eliminated from the match score. This operation shall be repeated until the scores are unequal. If the tie is not thereby resolved;

(iii) Colour: the match will be won by the team which had black on board 1.

E6. Mobile Phones and Electronic Communication Devices

E6.1. During play, a player must not have any access to mobile phones, electronic means of communication or devices capable of suggesting chess moves. Such devices, if brought into the playing venue, must be completely switched off and placed in a bag on or under the player’s table before play starts. A player, when still in play, is forbidden to leave the playing area with such a bag, unless an arbiter gives permission. If it is evident that a player has such a device on their person in the playing venue, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. Dispensation from this rule may be sought from the Controller.

Section F: The Appeals Process

F1. Resolution on the Day

(a) If there is a dispute between two players in a game, it shall be resolved by the arbiter present at the venue.

(b) If there is no arbiter present at the venue, then a player who has finished their game – ideally the captains – shall attempt to phone one of the arbiters provided by the Controller at the start of the competition, who shall make a ruling to resolve the dispute.

(c) If it is impossible to contact one of the arbiters in (b), then the captains may attempt to resolve the dispute until such time as an arbiter can be reached.

Any decision made by an arbiter may be appealed to the Appeals Committee. The captain shall submit a written statement to the Controller and Director of Home Chess within 48 hours of the scheduled start time of the match, and have paid a deposit of £50 which will be returned if the appeal succeeds.

F2. Appeals Committee

The appeal will be heard by the Appeals Committee, which shall be composed of three members of the Appeals Panel appointed by the Director of Home Chess. The Committee shall be Chaired by an International Arbiter; the other two members shall not be International Arbiters. The people on the Panel will be published before the start of the Final Stage, and it will have at least five members plus the Chief Arbiter.

F3. Appeals Process – Director of Home Chess

Upon receipt of an Appeal by the Director of Home Chess, he shall go through the following process:

1. Inform the opposing team of the receipt of the appeal.
2. Appoint an Appeals Committee
3. Ask the Controller, or the arbiter who made the decision, to provide a written statement about the incident within 48 hours of being invited to do so by the Director of Home Chess.
4. Ask the opposing team to provide a written statement about the incident within 48 hours of being invited to do so by the Director of Home Chess.
5. Send these statements to the Appeals Committee.

F4. Appeals Process – Appeals Committee

1. The Committee shall receive all statements provided to them by the Director of Home Chess, and invite all parties to comment on each statement. The Committee may put specific questions to each of the respondents about their statements, or their responses to each statement.
2. The Committee shall meet and make any decision necessary.
3. The Committee shall write a report of the incident, including any explanations and recommendations going forward, and send it to the Director of Home Chess. This report should be received by the Director of Home Chess within 72 hours of the statements being sent to them by the Director of Home Chess.

F5. Appeals Process – Notification to all Parties

1. The Director of Home Chess shall then distribute the report of the Committee to both teams, the arbiter who made the decision, and the Controller.
2. The Director of Home Chess will, if the appeal is successful, instruct the Office to refund the £50 deposit.

Section G: The Final Stage: Arrangements for Finals Day

G1. Timing Rules

G1.1. The Director of Home Chess may arrange a Finals Day, on which all Finals are played at a central venue. (see Rule D3.2) The start time for the Finals shall be 1:30pm. The time control will be as specified in Rule E3.1, which will not be varied.

G2. Captains’ Responsibility before Finals Day

G2.1. The captain must submit his team using the form provided, in board order, by e-mail to the Controller or his nominee before 6pm on the day preceding the Final. If a captain fails to submit his team, a £10 fine will be imposed unless the Controller decides otherwise. Captains will still be able to make changes to their team after this point.

G3. Captains’ Responsibilities on Finals Day

G3.1. The captain must report to the Controller or his nominee not less than 30 minutes before the start of play. Where the captain is unavailable, one of the players in his team list submitted as in F2 may instead represent the captain.

G3.2. The captain or his representative will be asked for confirmation of their team list submitted as in G2.1. After this point, the team list may not be altered, subject to the provisions of E4.5.

G3.3. The coin toss will be carried out in accordance with Rule E4.3, under supervision of the Controller or his nominee.

G3.4. During play, the captain may act in accordance with Rule E4.6.

G3.5. At the conclusion of the match, both captains should sign the match card and submit it to an arbiter.

Players cleared to play (07/6/19)

315921J Anwar, Siti Hajar Warwickshire 90
302377B Ambadkar, Jay Norfolk 81
322008E Brenchley, Harry Warwickshire 99
321479F Chapman, Volodymyr Norfolk 79
287556B Chiu, Chun Warwickshire 83
321400L Davis, Cameron Warwickshire 90
310499A Gill, Riya Berkshire 31
320790A Polak, Karol Essex 156
312952E Nagy, Viktor Greater Manchester 141
319137A Shepherd, Toby Warwickshire 76
306619J Gogia, Abeer Berkshire 34
192683E Holmes, Matthew A Worcestershire 121
286572F Amarasinghe, Prabath Kent 115
308023H  Gill, Yadveer Berkshire 49
308972B Kingham, James Berkshire 70
317448H Rao, Pradeep Berkshire 56
319514E Weston, Samuel Norfolk 65
116170C Newman, Stephen J Sussex 186
320823A Busznyak, Arpad Greater Manchester 130
318568A White, Graham Yorkshire 100
322388H Gallagher, Andy Norfolk 43
320806A Sharp, Chris Derbyshire 96
284788H Wood, Ben Yorkshire 117
320608H Fewell, Euan Nottinghamshire 153
314272D Hurst, Chris Nottinghamshire 110
240876E Sumner, Jim Lancashire 190
323173C Filkin, Steve Staffordshire 90
321823F Saranut, David Essex 62
319283A Lindsay, Benjamin Essex 74
118866F Walker, Martin Norfolk 207
321535A Tharkabhushanam. Anirvin Hertfordshire 65
323175G Patalay, Atharva Hertfordshire 60
320599L Badhe, Abishek  Nottinghamshire 85
259996 Leverett, Jason Norfolk 179
322880A Mackellar, Laurie Middlesex 170
318100F Fielding, Malachy Lancashire 29
323071F Fielding, Conrad Lancashire 25
321434F Brixel, Christof Middlesex 153