A. Mode of Play
1. All matches will be played over the board at a venue on UCL's Bloomsbury campus in the heart of Central London. See the "Getting here" tab for more information.
1. Each team will have a roster of 5 or 6 players, 4 of which will compete in each league match.
2. Teams entered from the same university will not be placed in the same division.
1. All players on a team must be studying at the same university.
2. One alumni player is allowed per team.
3. A player may only play for one university within the league throughout the season.
4. The fee to enter a team is £25, due upon registration.
5. Up to three teams per University may enter.
D: Monthly Lineups
1. Each team chooses 4 players to play for their team in each match. For example, #1 #2 #3 #reserve for Oct fixture, #1 #2 #3 #4 for Nov fixture, #1 #3 #4 #reserve for Dec fixture etc.
2. A team may choose the same team composition each month if they wish to do so. It is encouraged to play all team members at least once for the team.
3. No substitutions can be made during the match. Whichever four players start the match must complete all 4 games of the match.
4. For any fixture, teams may opt to substitute a player from any other team from their uni, as long as the player doesn't raise the team of four's average grade over the maximum.
E: Match Format
1. Matches are an all-play-all format. This means that each player in your team's lineup will play a single game against each player on the opposing team.
2. In the group stages, a match win gives the winning team 3 point in the standings. A drawn match gives each team 1 point in the standings. A lost match gives the losing team 0 points in the standings.
3. In the case of a group stage tie-break in the standings, Game Points are used (1 game point for every individual game won by the team)
4. In the case of a playoff tie-break, a battle royale format blitz match will determine the winner. First, Board 4 for both teams will face off and the winner stays to play Board 3 on the opposing team. Play will continue in this fashion until all players are eliminated and a winner is determined. In case of a draw, both players are eliminated. In case of a draw between both team's Board 1, games will be played until there is a decisive result. Time control in this format will be 3 minutes plus a 2 second increment.
5. The time control is 20 minutes per side with a 5 second increment in all games except playoff tie-breaks (see above).
F: League Structure
1. There are four divisions: Carlsen, Fischer, Kasparov, and Tal. We will aim to make each division with equal strength. The top 4 teams (in order of average grade) are seeded as "first seeds", the next 4 teams are seeded as "second seeds" and so on. One team from the first seeds will be randomly selected into each of the four divisions. One team from the second seeds will be randomly selected into each of the four divisions (and so on, until there are 4 teams in each division).
2. Teams from the same university will not be placed in the same division.
3. The regular season (taking place during term 1 of an academic year) consists of each team playing all of the other teams in their division. Upon promotion, they will enter the playoffs (see section F).
G: Playoffs and "Relegation"
1. The top 2 teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs.
2. The bottom 2 teams in each division do not make playoffs and their season ends in December.
3. The number of total match points determines who finishes ahead of other teams in the standings. Game points are the first tiebreaker. Head to head performance is the second tiebreaker.
4. The playoffs begin with a quarter final. The quarter final pairings will be as followed:
1st Carlsen vs 2nd Tal
1st Fischer vs 2nd Kasparov
1st Tal vs 2nd Carlsen
1st Kasparov vs 2nd Fischer
Teams that are knocked out at the quarter final stage will finish their season in January and not progress to February/March fixtures.
5. The semi-finals involve the winner of "1st Carlsen vs 2nd Tal" playing the winner of "1st Fischer vs 2nd Kasparov", and the winner of "1st Tal vs 2nd Carlsen" playing the winner of "1st Kasparov vs 2nd Fischer".
The semi-finals take place in February, and winners of the semi-final will progress to the Grand Final held in March.
6. The third place winner is determined by a tiebreak between the two losers from the semi-finals who scored the most total match points, then the most total game points.
7. Grand Finals take place in March. There will be prizes for the winners and runners up of the tournament.
H: Fair Play
1. ECF rules will be followed. PUCL arbiters will have the final say on any decisions in contention.
J: Additional rules:
1. For each fixture, a set team of four is played. It is encouraged that for every fixture, the main four players are rotated to give all players a chance to represent the team.
2. The average rating of the 4 players in a match may be above 170 ECF, so long as the overall team of 5 or 6 has an average rating of ECF 170 or under.
3. Phones and other electronic devices should be switched off prior to the start of each match. Violations will result in a warning followed by a forfeit of the game.
4. A player may be replaced mid-way through the season (for example, a player withdrawing due to illness). However the new player must fit all the above rules + mandatory rules, and the PUCL team must be given one week advanced notice about the player change before the match day.
5. During a match, a team player is allowed to ask their team captain for the current score of the match. This does not include predicted scores of games that have yet to be concluded. Team captains can only state the score, and not insinuate whether a player should win, draw or lose. Verbal strategising during live games is prohibited.
6. In the unfortunate case a team pulls out before the season ends, we will work quickly to look for an alternate team to take its spot (for instance, teams that signed up too late on a waiting list). This may result in your team facing a tougher or easier match than you had hoped for, however your team will not have the right to refuse this alternate opponent.
7. Trying to find "loopholes" in the rules listed above that are a clear violation of the spirit of the league may be disallowed.
8. In the case we have forgotten to include a rule (quite possible), the PUCL team have the right to update the rules of the league throughout the season, providing timely notice to all team-captains.
9. If a team does not show up for the match before the clock runs out during the first game, the absent team forfeits the match.
Please read ALL 5 mandatory regulations before signing up a team. Failing to meet these regulations will lead to your team being disqualified and removed from the league.
1) Average grade of the team must be ECF 170 and under. This includes every member of the team.
For those without an ECF rapid grade, FIDE rapid ratings will be converted, followed by ECF Std. grade, followed by FIDE Std. ratings to make estimations of a player's ECF Rapid grade.
Unrated players' ratings will be treated as ECF 110. Ratings of players with an ECF under 110 will also be treated as ECF 110 for the average grade calculation. Likewise, ratings over ECF 210 will be treated as ECF 210.
ECF ratings are to be taken from the July 2019 rating list.
2) Every player on a team must have Bronze ECF membership or above. Any players that compete without an ECF membership will be subject to a fine incurred by the ECF which will have to be paid by the player or their respective university chess society. Let's please avoid this situation!
3) Teams must confirm availability for all fixtures (Oct 12th, Nov 9th, Dec 7th, Jan 11th, Feb 8th, Mar 7th) before signing up, even though your team may be knocked out before the playoffs and consequently miss fixtures in Jan, Feb and Mar.
4) Each team must include at least 5 players. A 6th player is optional for teams that need the flexibility (I.e. if a team has multiple players that cannot commit to all fixtures of the league).
5) Up to Three teams per university can enter.