Chess is a game that owes much of its enduring appeal to the generosity of spirit, in which it is usually played and league chess demands a high level of integrity from players. When chess is played in the correct spirit harmony is developed between clubs, teams and players, and long term friendships developed but a lack of this spirit causes disrepute to the game itself and the individuals concerned.

The guidance notes written here are intended to complement the laws of the game and rules of the Stockport League, and to provide a framework of good behaviour, so that chess in the League is played within the spirit, as well as within the letter of the laws.

The responsibility for ensuring fair play resides with, respectively, clubs, teams, captains and players.

Responsibility of Clubs

Clubs should set an example of fair play to their members, teams and players. Clubs should ensure that their premises, conditions, and playing equipment are comfortable and accommodating to the opposition, and that opposing teams are made welcome.

Clubs should not seek to obtain unfair advantage over other clubs, by looking to exploit loopholes in the rules, or otherwise acting against the spirit of the rules. Clubs should register with the League only bona fide players, and adhere to board orders specified by the rules.

It would be helpful if each club made all members aware of the existence of these guidance notes, for example by posting a copy within the club premises.

Responsibility of Teams

Teams should wherever possible turn out with a full complement of eligible players. They should arrive in sufficient time to allow a reasonably prompt start.

Responsibility of Captains

Captains should set an example to players of fair and sporting play. The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted in a sporting manner and within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws (see also under Captain’s Responsibilities in the Handbook). On match nights at least, it is the captain’s responsibility to adjust and correct any behaviour not within the bounds of fair play, or against the spirit of the game.

Conduct of Players

Players should at all times act in a fair and sporting manner. Players should be respectful to opponents, and take due care of playing equipment and premises. In defeat over the board players should remain gracious to opponents and, conversely, in victory should avoid any display of arrogance.

In the event of a player failing to comply with the Spirit of the Game, such failure should in the first instance be politely drawn to the attention of that player. Further failure should then be drawn to the attention of his Captain. Continued action against the Spirit of the Game may then be referred to the League Committee and Disputes Committee

The Spirit of the Game Involves

Respect and courtesy towards your opponent.

Respect and courtesy towards all members of the opposing team.

Respect and courtesy towards your own captain and team.

Respect for the traditional values of the game

Respect of and care for all items of playing equipment.

Respect for the playing premises, and all their management officers and agents

Turning off mobile ‘phones prior to commencement of the game

It is against the Spirit of the Game

To act in any discourteous manner

To indulge in cheating or sharp practice, for instance,

To seek to distract an opponent either verbally or by actions. This includes, illegal offers of a draw, particularly when offered in the opponent’s thinking time. To advising any team member on the state or future play of his/her game (however, this does not prevent the captain from advising one of his players whether or not to accept a draw).

To abuse the playing equipment, e.g. the petulant striking of the clock with undue force.

Breaches of the Spirit of the Game

In the event of non adherence to the spirit of the game or fair and sporting play, which cannot be amicably resolved between clubs, teams, captains or players, the matter may be referred to the Management Committee or Disputes Committee.