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1. The tournament starts on January 15, 2018, and ends on December 31, 2018. Games not completed by the tournament end date will be adjudicated by a neutral arbiter, most likely not an USBCA Member so no bias will be shown.
2. The tournament will consist of 10 rounds, each round will start on the 15th day of each month. For example, January 15th, February 15th, March 15th, and so on, with the last round starting on October 15th. There is no deadline for any single game, just a tournament end date of which all games must be completed (Refer to #1 above). Therefore, depending on the length of your games, there is a possibility that your games could overlap. I have given one month to complete each game without overlapping.
3. All players playing white must send their first move by midnight on the 15th of each month. Failure to do so will result in being charged a day of allotted time.
4. The players of the tournament are divided up into groups of 5 players depending on their playing strength. Each group of 5 players make up a division.
5. There is a total of 10 rounds in the tournament, but since there is an odd number of players in each division, each player will have 2 bye rounds during the tournament. This will mean that each player will play a total of 8 games during the tournament.
6. Each player will play two non consecutive games against each of the other players in their division. One game being white, and one game being black. Again, the two games will be non consecutive. The goal is to win more games than the other players in your division.
7. The player who wins the most games in their division at the end of the tournament will be the winner of their division!
8. the time control Rule of midnight to midnight will be in place . This means that you will have till midnight the following day after recieving your move to submit your next move. For example, if you recieve your move on Monday, then you will have until midnight on Tuesday to submit your next move. But all players are encouraged to submit their next move the same day a move is recieved.
9. Each player will be given 5 days "Allotment Time" in which to complete all the moves of a game. This means that if one of you exceeds your allotment of 5 days without completing the game, the player who first exceeds the time limit loses the game on time violation. What is a day of allotted time? In basic terms, one day of allotted time is a day that you do not submit your next move by the required midnight (see #8 above). So in simple terms, if you make a move late 5 times, you have used up all of your allotted time. And just one more late move could result in you losing the game on a time vilation.
10. In regards to the 5 days of allotted time rule above (rule #9), the "Carbon Copy Rule" will be mandatory in this event however, so if your Counterpart has missed 2 allotted Days, send a email message to them, with "Repeat Move" in the subject line and copy your Tournament Director to show you are indeed trying to contact your opponent.
11. Also in regards to the 5 days of allotted time rule above (rule #9), please be aware, your time continues to run if you make an impossible or ambiguous move, so be very careful. An impossible move is a move which cannot be played as recorded. Notify your opponent immediately of your finding. An impossible move or an illegible move in no way obliges the player to move the piece in question. In a case of an ambiguous move, the ambiguous move must be clarified and executed. For example, if your opponent writes Nd2 and either Nbd2 or Nfd2 can be played, the person writing the ambiguous move must execute Nbd2 or Nfd2. Clerical errors are binding and once posted, can in no way be taken back.
12. When sending a move, you should not only repeat your opponent's latest move and give your new move in your game Record, but you should also declare how many days of allotted time your opponent has used up and how many days of allotted time you have used up. A sample of a game record might look like this:
*** Sample Game Record ***
Player A verses Player B
2018 Correspondence Open Divisional Tournament
Player A allotted time used: 0 / 5
Player B allotted time used: 0/5
*** End of Sample Game Record ***
13. The winner of a game is responsible for reporting the game and sending the game record to the Tournament Director. In case of a draw, the player playing white is responsible. If you are claiming to win on a time violation, this must be noted both in the subject as well as in the game record.
14. Any vacations or time that you plan on being away from home must be submitted to the Tournament Director 2 weeks prior for consideration and approval so it will not count toward your 5 allotted days. Submissions are not guaranteed to be approved. So the earlier this information can be submitted, the better.
15. Sickness, Hospitalization, family emergencies, and computer issues. All of these situations will not count against your 5 allotted days as long as one important thing is done. As soon as one of these unfortunate events happens to you, it is extremely important that you contact the Tournament Director either by email or by phone. Failure to contact the Tournament Director is risking having to use your 5 allotted days for missed time.
16. All games will count toward your correspondence ratings.
17. Regular tournament updates will be posted to the US BCA Website.
18. In regards to determining the winner of a Division, In case of a tie, the Sonneborn-Berger Tie Break System will be used in determining the winner of the Division.
19. Getting Help: You may consult chess books and periodicals but not other players. You cannot use a computer or computer program (chessplaying algorithms) to evaluate a game, but you may use computers for record keeping and databases.
20. Any disputes arising should be referred to the Tournament Director. The Tournament Directors ruling on a dispute is final.
This concludes the official rules of the tournament.
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