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ENGLISH CHESS CHALLENGE (ECC)

RULES AND REGULATIONS

R1    The decision of the Chief Controller (appointed by CCF) is final in all matters.
R2    Decisions made by controllers at tournaments are, according to the laws of chess, final.
R3    All matches in all rounds shall be played according to the current FIDE Laws of Chess.
R4    In all rounds, players shall score 3 points for every win, 2 points for every draw and 1 point for every loss.  Players score 0 for absence (other than in rule Q4).
QUALIFICATION ROUND - SPRING TERM
Q1    All 1st round events must be officially registered with the Chief Controller.  There are 2 levels of entry:  A school/club/tournament can either purchase a full prize pack or register for a cheaper pack and run the tournament without Mascots and 70% prizes.  However, the badges, spots and trophy for the winner are compulsory.

Q2    Qualification tournaments shall be played over 7 rounds.  Nobody shall play more than 7 games in a qualification tournament.  Where possible (ie with 9 players on more),  tournaments should be run on a Swiss System basis (click link for information).  Failing this, all-play-all formats should be used.  If you have 8 or less players, contact CCF for a recommended format.

Q3    Each game played shall be part of the same round for both players.  (In other words, players cannot play each other if it round 2 for one player and round 3 for another).

Q4    BYES & ABSENCES:  In a Swiss system, if a player is "the odd one out" after the pairings are done for any given round (ie. because there is an odd number), they shall be given a bye.  This may only happen to a player once in the tournament.  In addition, if a player is absent, the controller can opt to give them a special bye if they feel that the reason for the absence is out of their control (ie. they give 0 if the player simply forgot to turn up - See Rule R4).  However, nobody may have more than 2 byes (only 1 for being the odd one out) in any tournament.   

If a player is given a bye for being "the odd one out" then they shall be given the full 3 points, unless they have previously been given a 2 point bye for unavoidable absence (see below) in which case they may only be given a 2 point bye.  In any event, only one other bye for unavoidable absence may be given beyond that and it shall be at a value of 1 point.  After that, any byes are at a value of 0.  No player may receive more than 4 points total as a result of receiving byes.

In an all-play-all format (8 players or less), then matches can be caught up provided that rule Q2 is applied - this is because the result of the previous match does not affect who players play in the next round.

Q5     PRIZES - For tournaments where the organiser has booked a full prize pack:
               3 points - Badge
               6 points - Sticker 1 to go on the badge
               9 points - Sticker 2 to go on the badge
             11 points - Mascot
             15 points - Sticker 3 to go on the badge & 70% Prize
             18 points - Sticker 4 to go on the badge
             21 points - Sticker 5 to go on the badge
              Winner    - Trophy - to be presented at the Semi-Final (or failing this sent to the school)
                (There will still be a trophy for schools who do not buy the prize pack).
Q6     HOW TO QUALIFY FOR THE SEMI-FINALS
Players who score 15 points or more will automatically qualify for the semi-finals.  In addition, the top one third (or part one-third thereof) of boys and girls in each age bracket will also qualify for the finals.  Where players are tied, then both/all players tied qualify (there is no tie break).  Clarification shall be given by the Chief Controller should it be needed.
Q7     QUALIFICATION PROCESS
The Controller of the Opening round must send the full results to CCF by the end of April.  Ideally, this should be in a cross table (there are programs that can be bought cheap that will run the whole tournament for you and provide the facilities you need).  All result submissions must include the first name and surname of every player, plus their school name (which will normally be obvious by where the event has been held) date of birth and school year (all this information is vital and will hold up the processing and checking of results if not done before submission).  CCF will then assess the results and list the qualifiers on the web site.
Q8     EXTRA QUALIFICATION PROCESSES
A child qualifying more than once for the semi-finals (ie through success at more than one qualification event) will enable other players (as nominated by the Chief Controller - see below) who would otherwise not have qualified, to be allowed to play in the semi-final.  In these cases, the player that has multiple qualifications shall take qualification from events as follows:   1) The 1st Open tournament they qualify from, 2) A chess club, 3) A school club.  CCF shall rule in the event of an anomaly. 
SEMI-FINALS - LATE MAY OR JUNE
S1     Only players who have qualified according to the rules above play in the Semi-Finals
S2     Qualified players may only play in 1 of the semi-finals, but are free to choose whichever one they want to play in.  Once they have started their first game in a semi-final, they shall be deemed to have played in that semi-final.  (This rule is to stop players playing in an event and withdrawing through "ill health" when they can no longer qualify). 
S3     The semi-finals will be played over 5 rounds in the following age groups (with boys and girls in separate sections):
    Under 18, Under 15, Under 13, Under 11, Under 10, Under 9, Under 8, Under 7, Under 6
    (ages taken as at 31 August at the start of the school year in which that particular ECC begins)
CCF holds the right to merge small sections if appropriate but will do all it can to avoid this.  Where this happens, instruction will be given in respect of how players qualify for the finals.
S4     QUALIFICATION FOR THE FINAL
Players scoring 11 points or more (basically those scoring above 50%) in the semi-final shall be eligible to play on National Finals' Day in September.  The highest 2 placed players from each semi-final will play in their age group's National Final whilst the rest of the eligible players will be eligible for the Challengers' tournament (although they might be "sucked up" to the main final if places are not taking by higher scoring players).  
NATIONAL FINALS' DAY - SEPTEMBER
F1     Only players who have qualified according to the rules above may play in the events on National Finals' Day.
F2     AGE GROUP FINALS
In the main age group finals, there will be 6 players competing in each. These will be all-play-all events.  They shall be the highest 2 finishers from each of the 3 semi-finals.  However, should a player not take the place offered for the final, the next player down the final rankings from their semi-final will be offered the place.  Should a player pull out on the day, the highest eligible player present will be moved up from the Challengers' Final.  Should all possibilities in this regard be exhausted, the Chief Controller will obtain the highest placed available player from one of the other semi-finals as appropriate to ensure 6 players.  Matches will be 20 minutes each on the clock.  A play-off shall take place in the event of a tie that cannot be split by the tie break of direct results.
F3     CHALLENGERS
The remaining qualified players will play in Challenger Finals split into age groups as for the semi-finals as far as is possible.  These events will run on a Swiss System Basis.

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