Stockport and District Chess League
There are no written rules specifically for the Match Captain, but he is usually responsible for selecting the team, and agreeing and communicating details of matches. The Captain should arrive with his team in time for a prompt start at the time agreed. He should see that all clocks are started when the match begins, giving special attention to boards where one player is absent or late. He should stress to all players that the need to use a substitute or to default through absence should be a rare event.
Each captain should check the nominated players of the opposing team to ensure they are both registered in the handbook/website and being played in the correct board order in accordance with the League rules. Any anomaly shall be brought to the attention of the opposing captain, prior to the start of the match, so that any anomaly may be explained.
The two captains are in charge of the match and it is their duty to ensure that the rules of the competition are observed. The home captain must always have a copy of the League and F.I.D.E. rules available for reference in case any dispute should arise. The captain may not offer advice on the games of team players other than advice on whether to offer, accept or decline a draw in response to a request for such advice from the player concerned. In fact some teams have a rule that where practicable no-one should offer a draw or respond to an offer without consulting his captain.
At the close of play the captain should ensure that correct records of the positions and clock times are kept in any unfinished games. The procedure for sealing moves on adjournment is given in 'Notes for Match players'. It is essential to make complete records before beginning any analysis which disturbs the position.
Do remember that the Rules of the League Competition allow a Captain and the individual player time for reflection on adjourned games away from the pressure of the match environment. This will often help agreement to be reached with an opposing team.
A game of Chess should be played in a sporting manner, and to avoid unpleasant incidents, players should become fully conversant with the "Laws of Chess". The rules most commonly violated are clarified below.
TOUCH AND MOVE
If a player touches a piece he must move it if he can do so legally. When he takes his hand off the piece he is committed to the move and cannot retract it if the move is legal even though he may not have stopped his clock. A player who studies the position before removing his hand from the piece is considered by most people to have "poor chess manners" but this is strictly not illegal.
Always remember to stop your clock after making your move, but however short of time you may be you should never stop it before making your move. Clocks must be operated with the hand which moved the chess piece. Don't punch the clock with the full weight of your arm in an effort to gain a fraction of a second. Clocks are delicate, and if your pounding causes your finely balanced flag to fall prematurely you will have only yourself to blame.
The correct way to offer a draw is to make your move, offer a draw and then press the clock. Your opponent may reply at any time before beginning his next move (i.e. touching a piece), which in any event has the effect of a refusal. Remember that while playing individual games you are also playing for a team. Consult your captain before agreeing to any result which might affect the outcome of the match.
DRAW BY REPETITION
A claim of a draw by repetition is based on the same position occurring 3 times, with the same player to move on each occurrence of the position. A claim can be made only by the player to move. Thus a player may claim a draw in a position repeated as above if it is his turn to move. A player may claim a draw if he has the possibility of playing a move which would repeat the position as above. He must indicate the move and claim the draw before playing the move. The sequence of moves causing a repeat in position is of no significance. Costly surprises can occur if repeating moves are counted instead of repeating positions.
Try to arrive on time. If you are late the clocks may already have been started and you will have penalised yourself and your team. Do remember that if you are late your captain's anxieties will not help his own game to get off to a good start! The home team should have the boards, pieces, clocks and scoring sheets in position by the agreed time for starting the match. Failure to do so allows the visiting captain to insist that the clocks of the home team be set up with an appropriate time deficit.
When castling, the King must be moved first. This is because a movement of the King two spaces to one side is unambiguous and commits the player to completing the full castling move. If the rook is touched first the opponent may, if he wishes, insist that a simple rook move be made under the "touch and move" rule.
Any move to be sealed must be written down before the clock has stopped. The player sealing the move should sign across the seal of the envelope and then hand it to his opponent for safe keeping. Upon resumption be sure to set the clock before declaring the sealed move. The visiting player has choice of venue.
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