The 1st Welsh Chess Union Online League 2020 including Rules

With the continued lack of over the board opportunities to play chess due to the continuing Covid-19 Pandemic the Welsh Chess Union is organising an on line league to begin in September 2020. 

There is no entry fee for competing in this event.

There will be two sections, Open and Under 1800. All players in the under 1800 League must be rated under 1800 on the WCU July 2020 list or other National Bodies latest published list.

The event will not be used for over the board ratings. However, these will be used to determine qualification for the Under 1800 section and also board order (see below)

Further instructions regarding team lists for each match, how to join games, etc will be sent to the Captains of the teams competing in early September.

 TOURNAMENT CONTROLLERS:  Kevin Staveley and Mark Adams


  • General

      (i)      All entries must be done by submitting to Kevin Staveley the team information in a manner
                 similar to that below.  Amendments can be made by emailing the details to the controller.

      (ii)     The event is open only to WCU members.

      (iii)   All participants should agree to having their name, age, gender, nationality, title and rating to
                be shown on any official WCU owned website. Those wishing to withhold their consent will not
                be allowed to take part in the event.

       (iv)   The games will NOT be WCU rated.

        (v)   The competition will be an all play all, with teams of 4 players drawn from a named squad of up
                to 8 players.
 The controller reserves the right to change the format, depending on the number of

        (vi) Board pairings will be published 1 hour before the start of each round. 

        (vii) Matches can be played on an alternative night or time, providing
            a) It is in the same week as the original fixture
            b) the controller agrees 
            c) the opposing team’s captain agrees
            d) the request for a new date is made, and agreed by all parties, no later than 1 week before the
                 original fixture

  • Platform

           (i)   The event will be hosted on lichess

           (ii)  If players have existing accounts, then that is the one to be used for entry. Players are NOT
                  allowed to have more than one lichess account.

            (iii) Players must agree to have their real names disclosed so that it is clear to all who they are

             (iv) Participants are advised to become familiar with the sites on rules. Pay particular attention to
                    the rules on fair play, sportsmanship and online conduct. Details here:

  • Team Lists
  1. Team lists have to be sent to the controller no later than August 31st 2020, using the entry form below.
  2. The team list submitted must include each players’ name and lichess user name.
  • Team Composition
  1. The team for a match shall be 4 eligible players in rating order. However, a player may play above another player who has a higher rating, provided the rating difference is no greater than 80 ELO points. 
  2. Clubs are not restricted to choosing players only from their own clubs. Players cannot, however play for another team in the same section. Also, teams do not need to be affiliated to a club. The only condition is that all team members are members of the WCU, registered for the 2019-20 season.
  3. New members can qualify for this event, provided they are registered with the WCU no later than 31st August 2020. After this date, the player must be registered as a WCU member no later than 7 days before the round they are scheduled to play in. The cost is £15 per adult of £7 per junior. This must be acknowledged by the controller, who will add the name of the player to the published team list as confirmation.  
  4. Each team must appoint a captain.
  5. The ratings used for board order will be assigned in the following order: 

      –  WCU Rating (latest available)

      –  National Rating,if no WCU rating 

       –  Nominated Rating (estimated by the controller)

       The controller will collate the ratings and publish the team lists in rating order.

  • Fixtures
  1. (i) A league schedule will be issued by the controller before 7th September. This will be published on the WCU site.
    (ii) Matches will be scheduled to start on Tuesday 15th September.
    (iii) All matches will be played fortnightly on Tuesday evenings beginning at 7pm (but see 5.vii below).
    (iv) The first named team shall play white on board 1, with alternating colours on all boards below.
    (v) All match fixtures must be fulfilled.
    (vi) Board pairings will be published 1 hour before the start of each round.
    (vii) Matches can be played on an alternative night providing

    1. a) it is in the same week as the original fixture
    2. b) the controller agrees
    3. c) the opposing team’s captain agrees
    4. d) the request for a new date is made, and agreed by all parties, no later than 1 week before the original fixture.
  • Postponement Requests
  1. In very exceptional circumstances the match may be postponed with the agreement of the controller.
  2. Any match thus postponed must be re-arranged with the agreement of both captains and the controller, with no penalty, to any date not later than 14 days after the original scheduled date.
  • Rate of Play

          The rate of play will be all moves in 45 minutes with an increment of 15 seconds per move from
          move one for the whole game

  • Default Time

            The default time is 45 minutes after the start of the match. (ie once a clock reaches 0)

  • Scoring

             Match points will be used to determine final positions. In the event of a tie, game points will be
              used. If teams are still tied, then the result between the two teams will be taken into account.

  • Penalties
  1. If a team defaults a match, then that team will incur a penalty of 1 match point. The match will be rearranged as per the non-offending team’s requirements.
  2. If a team defaults 3 matches, then the results of that team will be annulled and the team will not be allowed to apply for entry into the following season’s competition. 
  3. If a captain is unable to raise a full team for a match, then they must default from the lowest board upwards.
  4. If a player fails to play a match, then the board on which they have been named shall be counted as a default loss. Should the default occur higher than the bottom board with other team members playing below, then all winning boards below the offending board, will forfeit half a board point to the opposition. 
  5. If a team plays an ineligible player, the opposing Captain has the right to protest prior to the start of the match. A subsequent written complaint must be sent to the controller within three days of the match being played. If the complaint is upheld by the controller, the team infringing the rules will be penalised by forfeiture of all points scored in the match concerned with effect from the highest offending board downwards.  
  6. If a team plays a player on a board which violates the rating point difference rule, they will be treated as an ineligible player.
  7. If a team violates the team composition rules, then starting at board 1 and working to board 4, the player on the first board on which the violation occurs, shall be treated as ineligible.
  • Anti-cheating

        (i) lichess’s anti-cheating software will be in use for all games. Players must make themselves
              familiar with lichess’ rules and the consequences if malpractice is discovered. For further details

         (ii) The WCU will not be held responsible if lichess bans or flags a player.

         (iii) The WCU forbids the use of any 3rd party advice, whether by engine, books, advice from
                 another player or coach.

         (iv) Players must not use other player’s accounts

          (v) Players must not interfere with any other games in the event, this includes the use of the chat

          (vi) Items (iii)-(v) are NOT an exhaustive list. The WCU will consider any other means that are
                  used to aid the player as appropriate.

          (vii) The WCU will send ALL games for scanning to Prof. Ken Regan. He has developed a
                    sophisticated anti-cheating program which is endorsed by FIDE.

           (viii) Players who have been repeatedly banned by the host platform (more than twice), will not be
                      permitted to enter the event.

  • WCU Sanctions
  1. Any sanctions that are applied by the WCU will vary depending upon the severity, circumstances and the number of occurrences of the offence
  2. The list of sanctions is listed below


Offence Circumstances Consequence
Online account closed by host Player hasn’t used a computer or other method of assistance The WCU will only apply sanctions if the host flags a specific concern. This could range from a 1 match ban to a permanent ban. Otherwise no sanctions will apply.
Account closed by host for using computer or other assistance First offence The WCU will disqualify the player from the event
Account closed by host for using computer or other assistance Second offence The WCU will disqualify the player from the event and ban for the remainder of the season
Account closed by host for using computer or other assistance Third offence As this will have happened after a season’s ban, the WCU will permanently bar the player from all online events.


  1. The sanctions will apply from the round immediately following on from the round where the offence is reported.
  2. Players will be informed of the sanction and be advised than an appeal can be made.
  3. The WCU will NOT publish the name of the player being sanctioned but will inform the player’s captain that one of their team members has been flagged.
  4. The player’s results will not be removed in the interests of protecting a player’s anonymity.
  • Appeals
  1. An appeal against sanctions, can only be made to the WCU after a player has appealed to lichess and it has been denied.
  2. If a player is banned or flagged by lichess they should decide whether to appeal. This must be directly to lichess and done as soon as possible.
  3. The WCU Appeals board will consist of Zonal representatives plus a technical expert on anti-cheating. The panel can co-opt a player of sufficient strength (e.g.) a GM to provide an opinion as to whether they agree than computer assistance was used. 
  4. The results from the scanning of games by Ken Regan’s software can be made known to a player who has appealed against a sanction.
  5. If the appeal is successful, then the player will not be sanctioned.
  6. If the appeal is successful then the player, subject to the host platform’s rules, will be allowed to create a new account on the host platform, and to compete in future competitions.
  7. The WCU will not provide damages to a player where their appeal has been successful.
  8. There will be a cost of £50 by the player for the appeal. This will be refunded if the appeal is upheld or the committee deem the appeal worthy of consideration.
  • Disconnections and Other Issues
  1. If a player gets disconnected, then their clock continues to run until their flag falls.
  2. If your opponent cannot reconnect, lichess will present a player with the option to claim the game or accept a draw. It is up to the player to choose.

Teams entering the WCU On Line League should send the information below to Kevin Staveley ( by 31st August 2020. 



Name of Team  
Team Captain           
Email Address  


Section entered (Open or Under 1800)  


Please add additional lines if required


  Player Name lichess Username National Rating