Continental Chess Association Rules

NOTE: "REG" indicates a rule only for regular time controls, such as 40/2. "SD" indicates a rule only for sudden death time controls, such as SD/1 or G/30. "FIDE" indicates a rule only for FIDE. Rules not marked "REG," "SD" or "FIDE" apply to all. More rules appear in the USCF rulebook and also apply.

1. Leave the room as soon as your game ends. Post result on yellow pairing sheet, then go to skittles room if you wish to analyze, talk, whisper, play blitz, etc. NO ANALYSIS IN TOURNAMENT ROOM, PLEASE- EVEN "QUIET" ANALYSIS IS DISTURBING!

2. Schedule is listed in CHESS LIFE, and our mailings and posted. It's not necessary to ask when the round will start- it's posted!

3. Start clock promptly when round begins. Set analog clocks to expire at 6:00- for instance, 4:00 if 40/2. Time delay clocks should be set for the specified delay for entire game.

4. If you have no clock, borrow one from another player or buy one from bookseller. If not possible, start without it; try to borrow as soon as you can, splitting elapsed time. Directors do not furnish equipment.

5. You may not subtract time from late opponent without setting up clock, set & board.

6. If opponent is an hour late (or up to the length of his first time control, whichever is less), as measured by your clock, you may claim a win on time. If you do not start opponent's clock, forfeit occurs when all opponent's time of first control is used up, as measured by Director's official time. Post a no-show win as 1F-0F, not 1-0. The "F" is important, as players who forfeit are usually not paired for the next round.

7. If both players arrive late, first to come should split elapsed time. If this is not done, times stand unless adjusted by Director.

8. If you are have a minus or zero score and are a half hour late, your name may be crossed off the pairings in order to allow two players without opponents to play each other. If you then arrive within the hour, you will get either another opponent or a full point bye.

9. REG: To win on time, you must have no more than two move pairs omitted when opponent's flag falls. Do not fill in moves after that; this may void the claim. Score need not be accurate, just decipherable. SD, FIDE: Score is not needed to win on time.

10. REG, SD: Players are allowed to write their move on the scoresheet before playing it on the board. However, players using an electronic scoresheet, such as "Monroi," must make their move on the board before recording it. FIDE: Players should not write their move on the scoresheet before playing it.

11. REG, SD: To claim a win on time, stop clocks and state claim. If opponent does not concede, see Director. If claim is denied, 2 minutes will be added to opponent's remaining time. FIDE: You still may claim a forfeit win, but if you don't, it's also possible a TD (tournament director) will claim for you.

12. REG, SD: To win on time, you must have sufficient material to mate, moving for both sides. EXCEPTIONS: You cannot win on time with a lone Bishop, lone Knight, or two lone Knights (except for 2 N vs pawn ending), unless there is a forced win. FIDE: Same, but with no exceptions..

13. REG: If both flags are down, the game continues into the next control. SD and FIDE SD: If both flags are down, the game is drawn. FIDE REG: If both flags are down, the Director may rule a forfeit if it is known which flag fell first, otherwise the game continues into the next control.

14. REG, SD: If either player has under five minutes remaining, neither is required to keep score. FIDE: Only the player with under five minutes is not required to keep score.

15.SD: If delay is not used and you are on move with under 2 minutes left, you may stop clocks and claim a draw by insufficient losing chances. This is much different than "book draw," requiring a position in which a Class C player has a 90% or more chance to at least draw a Master, with ample time for both. The ratings and clock times of the players are irrelevant. If your claim is denied, one minute may be deducted from your time, possibly causing you to forfeit. FIDE: The TD will rule on the claim regarding whether "the player is making an effort to win by normal means.".REG, SD: TD may adjudicate ridiculous positions.

16. SD: If your flag is down, it is too late to claim insufficient losing chances.

17. SD: For a "losing chances" ruling, Director may insert a delay clock, in which case claimant receives half his remaining time (maximum 1 minute), opponent all his time, and both get an extra 5 seconds per move (which is defined as sufficient to hold a position with insufficient losing chances). Note: no one may "claim" a delay clock- that is only one of the Director options for resolving "losing chances" claims.

18. In case of a problem, stop clock and see TD. If Director feels clocks were stopped without good reason, a penalty is possible. If you don't see a TD in the tournament room, go to the Director's Room or area.

19. Players should not be absent from the tournament area for more than 15 minutes without the permission of the TD. The penalty is at the TD's discretion and can range from a warning to loss of the game.

20. Don't touch clock when it's not your move, pick up clock unless defective, or bang clock. You may be penalized, at TD's discretion. Players must press clock with same hand that moves pieces.

21. If you make an illegal move and press the clock, and opponent claims this before touching a piece, two minutes are added to opponent's time. Touch-move also applies.

22. REG, SD: Touch-move rule is used. In castling, it is proper to touch the King first, but there is no penalty for touching the Rook first. FIDE: If you touch the rook first, you must move the rook.

23. If 50 moves (no exceptions) by each side elapse without a capture or pawn move, either player may claim a draw.

24. It must be your move to claim triple occurrence of position. Don't move and press the clock, or it will be opponent's move and you cannot claim. State move, claim, and stop clocks. If opponent disagrees, see Director. If claim is denied, 2 minutes are added to opponent's remaining time.

25. REG: To claim triple repetition or 50-move rule, scoresheet need not be complete, but must be adequate to verify claim, and moves filled in after the claim don't count. SD, FIDE: TD may also use observation.

26. No smoking is allowed in tournament rooms, pairings/charts areas, skittles room, or adjacent hallways.

27. All players must promptly post their results on the yellow pairing sheet. They should not write on the white wall chart. Top section players also must turn in a copy of their scoresheet.

28. Black has the choice of equipment providing it is standard- otherwise, the Director will rule in favor of the equipment more commonly used, if in good condition. If Black is late and White has already set up, then White obtains this choice. Non-standard equipment includes: excessively shiny sets or boards, sets with Bishop's top a different color than rest of piece. Standard sets are the USCF Special, Player's Choice, Cavalier, or Lardy wood, or similar sets. The standard clock is a time-delay clock using the delay feature.

29. REG, FIDE: If you make the last move of the time control having time, but your timer runs out when you hit the clock, you forfeit. It doesn't matter if time runs out before or after you hit the clock.

30. Electronic scoresheets must always be visible to the opponent. This is not required for paper scorsheets unless requested by the TD. Scoresheets may not be removed from the playing area during the game without TD permission.

31. Clocks should not be set to halt or beep when time expires. Clocks with incorrect delay settings may be corrected by the TD. After each side has completed 10 moves, a game using a clock without delay or an incorrect delay will continue without change unless corrected by the TD.

32. IF YOU DROP OUT, OR WON'T PLAY NEXT ROUND, NOTIFY DIRECTOR, PREFERABLY AT LEAST AN HOUR BEFORE. If you can't do this in person, use email or call the hotel and ask for "the chess tournament." Don't leave a message with the hotel; it may not reach us in time. Violators may be fined up to the amount of the entry fee.

33. It is improper to abandon a lost game without resigning. Violators may be penalized at TD's discretion.

34. Color assignment priorities. Order of priority is: 1) color totals (player with less "whites minus blacks" gets white), 2) color history (most recent round that was different decides), 3) player with higher score (higher rating if same score) gets due color. Extra blacks (even 3 straight) are sometimes inevitable. No tosses, except for round 3 of quads.

35. It is illegal to "throw" a game, or to agree to split a prize. Players offering or accepting deals may be forfeited or have USCF membership revoked. During last round games affecting prizes, it is illegal to engage in discussion with your opponent away from the board, even if no one hears what is said.

36. An improperly rated player, who did not provide full info on a USCF, foreign, or FIDE rating, may be expelled at any time. Those who lost to the player will be given half point byes, while those who drew with him will be given forfeit wins. If the tournament is over, prizes that have been paid will not be redistributed.

37. Players may not use or look at cellphones during play. For detailed rules concerning electronic devices, see

38. REG, SD: If your cellphone rings in the tournament room during play, you lose 10 minutes or half your remaining time, whichever is less. For a second offense in the same tournament, you forfeit your game. If your game is over when your phone rings, the penalty applies to the next round. FIDE:  The same rule applies; first offense is no longer an automatic forfeit.

39. You must show social security ID, and picture ID if requested, to obtain a prize of $600 or over.

40. 30% of any prize won by a non-resident alien will be withheld and sent to the Internal Revenue Service.