This document sets out the Constitution, Rules, and Guidelines for the Welsh Chess Premier League (WCPL). The WCPL is subject to the FIDE playing rules, except where overridden by this document. This document is meant to be the only source of such information; any updates will be circulated to all interested parties as an updated version of this document. Any club entering the WCPL are agreeing to be bound by the stipulations within this document.
WCPL: Welsh Chess Premier League. This shall be an annual all play competition consisting of a maximum of up to 8 clubs. The league is subject to the rules contained herein. Additionally:
- For the purposes of the WCPL the Zones are:
- West Wales
- East Glamorgan
- ‘North Wales’
- If there are less than 8 teams then the number of fixtures shall be adjusted accordingly.
- If there are 4 teams or less then the competition will revert to a double set of all play all (home and away).
- The zones shall be guaranteed a minimum allocation of teams as follows:
- East Glamorgan 2 teams
- All other Zones 1 team
- For the purposes of the WCPL the Zones are:
- West Wales
- East Glamorgan
- If there are more than 8 clubs wishing to participate in a season then the league composition shall be made up in the following way:
- The highest placed team (in the preceding WCPL season) from each of the above 5 zones shall automatically qualify (highest 2 for East Glamorgan).
- The WCPL controller shall organise a qualification tournament for the remaining clubs, dependent on the Zonal distribution of the remaining clubs. Wherever possible this qualification shall ensure that no zone shall have 3 more clubs than any other zone. Note that it may be possible for some of the remaining clubs to qualify without actually having to play.
- Players who play in clubs eliminated from the selection process may join a successful WCPL club for that season.
- ‘North Wales’If the number of applicant clubs for a particular season is less than or equal to 8 then the maximum number of clubs per zone rule shall be waived.
- Candidate teams for a season must register their interest before the first day in July immediately prior to the season. This application must be accompanied by the proposed squad list. (Waived for 2008/09 season).
WCPL Controller: A person appointed by the WCU Management Board following the WCU AGM but prior to the season beginning, to perform the day to day running of the WCPL. The WCPL Controller shall report to the Home Director on a regular basis. If the WCPL Controller is not available for an extended period, then a nominated person shall assume the role.
Season: This is the period during which the WCPL will run – nominally from September 1st until the 31st May the following year.
Club: A collection of players drawn from one or more WCU affiliated clubs in one or more affiliated zones. The following restrictions shall apply to a club:
- A club shall have a nominated base in a WCU Zone.
- In order to be recognised as being from a particular zone, a club shall have at least 1 team that completed a full set of fixtures in the relevant zones league in the season immediately preceding the current WCPL season.
- A club shall be allowed to register with the WCPL as many players as it likes from its own WCU Zone. (Subject to Zonal Eligibility rules defined below).
- A club shall be allowed to register with the WCPL as many players as it likes from other WCU Zones. (Subject to Zonal Eligibility rules defined below).
- A club may also have WCU registered players drawn from outside of Wales.
Although there is no restriction on where the players come from a player may only play for ONE WCPL club in a season. Although this does not apply to players of clubs who made an unsuccessful application to join.
Club Nominee: A representative from a club who can act as the contact point for the club. All club nominees should have access to email facilities. The clubs are responsible for internal communication.
Squad List: The list of eligible players for a club. This list is to be provided to the WCPL Controller and each club nominee 2 weeks before the start of the season. Additions to the list can be made, but the WCPL Controller and each club DATEB nominee must be advised of such additions at least 2 weeks before the published end date for the round BEFORE the round in which new player is to be used to allow for verification of the new player’s eligibility. Any other club in playing in the current WCPL must lodge any objections/queries on a players eligibility in this period. The squad list shall also include the players’ ratings, and zonal/national affiliation. A player may not play until clearance has been given by the WCPL Controller (or appointed nominee). It is the responsibility of the club to provide the evidence of qualification credentials of its players.
Team: A selection of 6 eligible players from a club that play in a designated WCPL match. The following restrictions shall apply to a team:
- At least 4 of the 6 players must come from the clubs home zone.
- Up to 2 of the 6 players may come from another Zone (subject to 3 below)
- Only 1 player may come from outside the WCU Zones
Eligible Player: A player who has played at least 3 games in either the current or immediately preceding season in one of the following qualifying competitions:
- Any WCU Zonal League
- Newport and District (Gwent)
- Chester and District league/cup OR Wirral League and Cup (North Wales)
- East Glamorgan
- West Wales
- WCU Inter-Zonal competitions
- WCU knockout cup
- 4NCL for one of the following teams
- South Wales Dragons
- Celtic Crusaders
- Etc.(they must be a WCU member)
To qualify for as a player for the clubs home Zone a player must have enough qualifying games for the appropriate zone in the competitions specified in 1above. A player must have satisfied the above criteria BEFORE an application to become eligible is made.
The grades used will be in the following order.
- WCU Rating (latest available)
- Relevant National Grade (converted to WCU if necessary)
- FIDE rating (latest available)
- Nominated Grade estimated by the WCPL Controller
The WCPL Controller will publish the WCPL rating to be used for each player.
A match between 2 clubs will consist of 6 boards. Each board will contribute 1 game point to an overall score. At each board, a win for a team will be worth 1 game point, a draw will be worth half a game point and a loss will be worth 0 game points. The number of game points in a match will determine the distribution of 2 match points. Even after the application of penalties no team shall score more than 6 or less than 0 game points in any one match. If a team scores more game points than the opposition then the club will be awarded 2 match points and the losing club 0 match points. A tie in the number of game points shall result in the clubs each being awarded 1 match point each.
Teams shall be allowed to negotiate the following with their respective opponents.
- Midweek fixtures shall only be played if BOTH clubs agree.
- Weekend fixtures shall adopt the 5 hour time format unless BOTH clubs agree.
- If the distance between the 2 teams is greater than 40 miles then the away team shall be allowed to request a halfway venue. This request must be made at least 2 weeks before the relevant ‘Date A’ (not applicable for Round 1, where the limit is 5 days but 7 is preferable). If the away team exercise this option then the away team shall be responsible for the hosting of the match, including the offering of the dates, cost of the venue, and the provision of equipment. However, they shall still be classed as the away team for the purposes of board colours.
- For MID-WEEK matches, the actual dates when the matches may be played will be just BEFORE Dates 1 through 7 (which are all Fridays) depending on which evening the Home Club meets. By the end of Date A (which doesn't change) the HOME team must have chosen which THREE of these dates it would prefer to play the match, and offered these THREE dates to its opponent. Note that they don't all have to be on the same weekday, but they MUST be in three different weeks. By the end of Date B (which also doesn't change) the AWAY team must have selected ONE of these offered dates and notified the HOME team of its decision. The match will be played on this date.
- For WEEK-END matches, the actual dates when the matches may be played will be the Saturdays and Sundays just AFTER Dates 1 through 7 (which are all Fridays) giving more than TEN possible dates. By the end of Date A (which doesn't change) the HOME team must have chosen on which FOUR of these dates (which must include at least one Saturday, at least one Sunday, and include at least 3 different weekends) it would prefer to play the match, and offered these FOUR dates to its opponent. By the end of Date B (which also doesn't change) the AWAY team must have chosen ONE of these offered dates and notified the HOME team of its selection. The match will be played on this date.
Any match may be postponed, or brought forward, and with no penalty, to any legal date with the agreement of both teams
In exceptional circumstances (e.g. extremely bad weather) the match may be postponed with the agreement of the Director. Any match thus postponed may be re-arranged, with the agreement of both captains, and with no penalty, to any date not later than 15 days after the original date regardless of whether or not this new date, according to the fixtures, is technically legal.
The league positions will be decided in the following order:
- Higher number of match points
- Higher number of game points
- Head to Head result between two clubs (or head to head mini league for 3 or more clubs). If tied on game point scores then:
- Board count between the teams
- Bottom Board Elimination between the teams
- Play-off between the clubs – either single head to head or mini league if 3 or more still tied after the application of 1, 2, and 3 above.
Each match shall be played to the time limit of 40 moves in 120 minutes then clocks back 30 minutes and play to a finish. However, by prior agreement these limits can be relaxed to 40 moves in 100 minutes and then clocks back 20 minutes and play to a finish. For midweek games the time limits may be further relaxed to 35 moves in 75 minutes and then clocks back 15 minutes and play to a finish.
The choice selection of colours for top board shall be made by the away club nominee. In the case of games played at a neutral venue the colour shall be decided by coin toss.such that the away team has white on odd numbered boards.
3.3 Team Composition
The team for a match shall be 6 eligible players arranged in grading order. However, a player may play above another player who has a higher grading provided the grading difference is not greater than 80 elo points, based on the grading lists in operation at the time of the match.
Each team must have at least 4 players from the home ‘zone’, and no more than one from outside the WCU Zonal system. All must be WCU members.
Penalties and default losses.
If a team defaults a match then the score shall be 0-6.
If a team defaults 3 matches in a season then the results of the team for the season will be annulled and the team will not be allowed to apply for entry in the following season’s competition, unless there are less than 8 applicants.
If a club is unable to raise a team of 6 to fulfil a fixture, then the available players must play on the highest boards – i.e. defaults shall start from board 6 upwards. Each board thus defaulted shall be scored as a loss (0-1).
If a player fails to turn up for a match then the board shall be counted as a default loss (0-1). Furthermore each non defaulted board below this shall be deducted 0.25 points from the overall match score – rounded UP to the nearest 0.5 of a point. For multiple defaults this deduction penalty shall only be applied once, from the highest board. The deductions shall NOT be added to the opposition score.
If a team plays an ineligible player then the affected board and all boards below shall be treated as a default loss to the offending team. If challenged by the opposing team captain before the match starts then the result shall be 0-6.
If a team plays a player on a board which violates the point difference rule, and is challenged by the opposing captain before the match starts then the affected board and each lower board shall be treated as a default loss.
If a team violates the team composition rule then the penalty will be applied starting at board 1 and working to board 6 as follows. The first board on which the violation occurs shall be counted as a default loss. Any other lower boards that also violate the team composition rule will also incur a default loss. All other boards lower than the highest offending board shall incur an additional 0.25 game point penalty, this additional penalty being rounded up to the next half point.
The following procedures shall apply, in the following order, in matters relating to the operation of the WCPL:
- The WCPL Controller shall provide initial ruling on all matters.
- If any club disagrees with the Controller’s decision then they shall, within 3 days of item 1, ask for the decision to be reconsidered giving reasons.
- The WCPL Controller shall then, within 2 days of item 2, give a revised ruling – stating the rationale for the decision. Note that this decision may be the same as the original.
- If any club disagrees with the revised decision then they can launch a further appeal, within 2 days of item 3.
- An appeal panel will be convened, within 7 days of item 4. This meeting will be chaired by an independent third party, appointed by the Home Director. Each club currently playing in the WCPL will have 1 representative on the appeal panel, each of whom will be entitled to vote. The WCPL Controller may attend in a witness capacity, but is not entitled to vote and shall not be present at the vote. The chair will not get a vote unless the result of the representatives vote is a tie, in which case the chair gets the casting vote. The exact format of the appeal hearing is the decision of the chair, subject to the agreement of the majority of the appeal committee.
- The decision of the appeal hearing is final.
- Matters can only be referred up to the WCU Management Board if they involve actions that require possible disciplinary measures to be taken against individuals and/or teams. The WCU Management Board shall make the decision as to whether any WCPL matter can be referred to the WCU Management Board or not.