1/ The competitions are open to chess clubs that are affiliated to Counties that in turn are affiliated to the Northern Counties Chess Union.
2/ ECF laws of chess and rules of the ECF National Club Championship to be adhered to except by specific modifications within these rules set out
3/ All Counties are entitled to enter as many teams as they wish (4 players per team) in each of the competitions: The Open, The Major, The
Intermediate and The Minor. The appropriate entry fee, made out to "The Northern Counties Chess Union", MUST accompany the entry form.
4/ All players must be bona fide members of the Club represented. In the interests of fair play, it is the responsibility of each Club and County to
ensure that "guest stars" are not introduced into this competition. All players must be current members of the ECF either by a Membership Organisation or directly.
5/ Each Club MUST pay the entry fee before they are allowed to compete.
6 a/ A player who has represented a Club in any of the competitions may represent another Club in a different section but not in the same section.
b/ If the same Club enters two teams in any one of the sections, any player who represents one of these teams is thereafter ineligible to represent
the other. Subject to that, it is permissible for a player to represent the same Club in different sections.
7 a/ In the Minor section, the aggregate total of the grades of the four players in the team must not exceed 399. There is no maximum
grade but the average of the two highest graded players must not exceed 115. Further, all players (except Juniors) in this section MUST have a registered grade unless
this has been discussed and agreed with the Controller in advance of the match. Unless otherwise agreed with the Controller, ungraded Juniors shall be deemed to have a
grade of 99 in the Minor.
In the Intermediate section, the aggregate total of the grades of the four players in the team must not exceed 499. There is no
maximum grade but the average of the two highest graded players must not exceed 140.
In the Major section, the aggregate total of the grades of the four players in the team must not exceed 599. There is no maximum grade
but the average of the two highest graded players must not exceed 165.
b/ For the purposes of this rule, any ungraded player shall be deemed to have a grade of 124 in the Intermediate, and 149 in the Major. An ungraded
junior shall be deemed to have a grade of 99 in the Minor. The assumed grade of any other ungraded players allowed to play in the Minor (as per rule 7a above) must be
agreed with the Controller prior to the match.
c/ Ungraded players may represent a Club only if the match captain feels certain they are eligible and, where appropriate, this opinion is supported
by the local grading officer.
8/ a/ Each competition will be run as a knock-out. Rounds are zoned if entries permit as follows:
West Zone - Cheshire + North Wales, Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside.
East Zone - Cleveland, Durham, Northumberland, Yorkshire.
b/ The draw shall be made by the Controller in such a way as to ensure, as far as practicable, that teams from the same County are kept apart until
the Zonal final, and that each competing club has an equal number of home and away fixtures.
c/ For this year’s event, as agreed at the NCCU Council, then once the number of entries is known, the timetable for completion of each round will
set by Controller (after consultation with the County representatives) and communicated to all captains. Except in emergencies, no fixture may be played after the date
specified for completion of the round except with the permission of the Controller. The Controller may disqualify either or both clubs in the event of a breach of this
rule. Subject to entries, a repêchage round will be played in each section apart from the Open and the Controller will arrange the draw and dates accordingly. It
should be noted that a team which defaults in the first round will not then be allowed to take part in the repêchage round but will be eliminated from the competition.
9 a/ The first team drawn has home advantage and, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, is responsible for providing the venue and all
equipment. If both Captains agree then the venue may be varied. If competing Clubs are more than 100 miles apart, the away team may insist on an intermediate
venue but shall be responsible for providing the venue and paying the cost.
b/ In the final stage, the match shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary with the Controller, be played at the intermediate venue
provided by the NCCU.
10/ The team winning the toss takes white on boards 1 + 4 black on 2 + 3. Teams must be played in order of playing strength. This will be taken to
be grade order unless there are compelling reasons why grades are not indicative of playing strength. In the case of a dispute, the team captain must be able to
explain why grade order was not followed.
11/ The rate of play is 40 moves in two hours, followed by all moves in 30 minutes each. This may only be reduced upon joint agreement by
both the captains.
12/ In the event of a 2-2 result, the tie will be resolved by board count. If the tie is still drawn then the team with the lower grade total will
progress. For the purposes of this rule, an ungraded player shall be deemed to have a grade of 124 in the Intermediate section, 149 in the Major and 200 in the Open.
An ungraded Junior in the Minor shall be deemed to have a grade of 99 and any other ungraded player in the Minor will use the grade agreed with the Controller (see
13/ The team drawn at home shall, unless agreed by both captains, offer the opposition at least 3 different weekend dates for playing the
match as soon as they have received notice of the pairing. By mutual consent matches may be played mid-week. The home team will write to their opponents confirming the
agreed date of match, with timetable and adequate directions. This date can then only be altered by mutual consent or by reason of force majeure.