Chess Rulebook

Last Modified: July 12, 2021.

These rules are subject to change at the administrator’s discretion. If rules should change, all captains will be notified accordingly.

The Handbook’s General Rules apply to all CEA games, please read them first!

I. CHESS Overview

  1. Player Eligibility: Extending on the general player eligibility for CEA participants:
    1. Corporate: A player on a corporate team playing in a CEA tournament has to be employed by the company for the full duration of the tournament and must be able to authenticate this via a corporate email address. Temporary workers, contractors, or interns are eligible to play as long as the previous conditions are met. Leaving the company mid season voids a players eligibility to play and can no longer be added to a team's roster.
      Collegiate: A player on a collegiate team playing in a CEA tournament has to be a full time student at the collegiate institution the team is representing. Authentication of such needs to be verified to the tournament director prior to the tournament. (Usually using a transcript stating the student's enrollment).
    2. All players participating in the CEA Chess competitions must have a chess.com account in good standing.
    3. All players participating in the CEA Chess competition must be in good standing with FIDE and their national chess federation.
    4. All players must have signed the CEA fair-play waiver before starting the tournament.
  2. Player Rating: Each participating player must reveal their FIDE Player ID, national Player ID (e.g. USCF(US)), chess.com login (required), and lichess login if available. Those ratings will be translated to a USCF Rating (see Rating Conversion table in VIII). A player’s highest available rating (National, FIDE, Online Rating) will determine a player’s tournament rating.
    Games in this tournament are not rated on chess.com and not with USCF or FIDE. A player’s tournament rating is solely used for pairings and team order purposes.
  3. Team Roster: A team may start the season with 4-10 participants. Rules for qualifications for rostered members can be found in CEA general rules.
    1. After the beginning of Regular Season play (Week 1 matches), a player rostered on a team may not transfer to another roster within the same company for the same game with out the Game Lead's approval.
      1. The main circumstance permitting a transfer would be a team losing players and falling below the minimum team size.
      2. Companies with multiple teams playing the same game may have players on multiple rosters as outlined in the general rules under “Team Eligibility.” Being a floater is not considered transferring.
    2. After Week 5, removing players from the roster does not free up additional spots.
  4. Roster Order: A team’s roster order is determined by the players’ tournament rating starting with the strongest player and in descending order.
  5. Weekly Structure:

    1. Sunday (for Swiss tournaments and playoffs): Matchups for the week are released (assuming all previous match results have been reported). Pairings for Round Robin sections are published before the start of the tournament.
    2. Thursday 6pm Pacific: Team captains have to submit their match roster for the next scheduled match by Thursday 6pm Pacific Time. Failure to do so results in a 1 board point penalty for the upcoming match. Match lineups for both teams are made public and locked as soon as both teams submit them. If a team fails to submit their lineup at least 2 hours before the match, the match will be counted as forfeit and the violating team will receive a warning.
    3. Saturday:
      Corporate matches are played starting at 10am Pacific Time
      Collegiate match start time are dependent on the group: Group A starts matches at 10am Pacific Time and Group B starts matches at 10am Eastern Time
  6. Match Rescheduling: Team captains of opposing teams may independently coordinate a different match time after matchups are published to accommodate the players. Note that the default time is heavily preferred and captains should be looking to field alternate players if their players cannot make the default time. Reschedules must be mutually agreeable. If there is no agreement, all matches will be played at the default time. Failure to show up for a scheduled match will result in an automatic loss and a warning. Sunday 6pm Pacific time (30 hours following the traditional start time) is the deadline for rescheduled matches to be completed for Swiss sections and Playoffs. The Sunday, 6pm Pacific time, of the last round of Round Robin sections is the last date to reschedule matches in Round Robin sections.
    A reschedule announcement must come along with the time lineup announcement of both teams. The 48-hour rule does not apply to rescheduled matches since both captains have to agree on the timeline for the rescheduled match.
    See General Rules in the handbook for rescheduling rules and post in the #reschedule-reporting channel if a reschedule is agreed upon. Forfeits will be reported to the #forfeit-reporting channel in the CEA Discord server by the team captain.
  7. Match reporting: It is the obligation of the winning player to submit the result of a game immediately after a game has been played. If a game ends in a draw, the white playing player has to submit the result.
  8. Prizes: This is a tournament benefitting charity. 100% of registration fees and additional donations go towards a donation pool with the top 3 teams deciding to which non-profit they want to support. CEA will make the donation in the name of the teams after completion of the tournament. 60% of the donation pool is allocated to the charity of the first placing team, 30% to the second placing team, 10% to the third placing team.

II. Tournament Rules

    1. Season Format: The season format is determined by the number of participating teams:
      1. For less than 32 teams:
        • Regular season (a 7-week Swiss team tournament)
        • The Top 24 teams qualify for a single elimination playoff with the top 8 teams receiving a first round BYE
      2. For more than 32 teams:
        • Teams are divided into Divisions of 16 teams based on strength, location, and timezone.
        • Each division is further split into two groups of 8 based on similar criteria.
        • Within each group, teams play a 7 week Round Robin.
        • Top 2 teams of each group qualify directly for quarterfinals. Teams 3 through 6 of each group qualify for wildcard weekend determining the other 4 teams of quarterfinals. (A3 - B6, A4 - B5, B3 - A6, B4 - A5). Teams placing 7th and 8th after regular season are eliminated. Quarterfinal qualifying teams are ordered based on their regular season standings and paired up as following: 1v8, 4v5, 2v7, 3v6. Semifinals are determined by the winner of the first two quarterfinals and the winners of the last two quarterfinals.
    2. Time Control:
      • Corporate: Time control for each game for each player is 7min + 2 sec increment per move
      • Collegiate: Time control for each game for each player is 5min + 2 sec increment per move
    3. Point System / Tiebreaks
      • A match between two team consists for 16 games played (see III. Match Rules)
      • Each win of a game will give the winning team 1 board point.
      • A draw of a game will give both teams ½ board points.
      • Once all games are played, the team with the larger amount of board points will receive 2 match point. In the case of teams achieving a tied board score during their match, both teams will receive 1 match point.
      • For standings, the following tiebreak order is used:
        1. Match points
        2. Board points
        3. Buchholz
        4. Avg. team rating
    4. If a company fields multiple teams, intercompany matches are avoided as much as possible for the first 3 rounds but not guaranteed.

III. Match Rules

  1. Roster submission: Team captains are required to submit a match roster of 4 players participating in the match by Thursday 6pm Pacific Time.
  2. Match format: A match between two teams is run in the Scheveningen system in which every player of one team players every player of the opposing team.
    For Team A and Team B with each players 1-4 this results in following games in which the first named player will receive the white pieces:
    Round 1: B4-A1 B3-A2 A3-B2 A4-B1
    Round 2: A1-B3 A2-B4 B1-A3 B2-A4
    Round 3: B2-A1 B1-A2 A3-B4 A4-B3
    Round 4: A1-B1 A2-B2 B3-A3 B4-A4

  3. The player with the white pieces is required to send their opponent a challenge (see VI.3 Match Challenge).

  4. A team has a 15 min grace period from the scheduled match time to arrive for a match. If a team does not arrive within this grace period, the match will be counted as forfeited and the offending team will receive a warning.

  5. Players are given a minimum break of 2 minutes and a maximum break of 5 minutes between games.

IV. Anti-Cheat / Penalties / Misconduct

  1. Anti-Cheat
    • The tournament directors reserve the right to require individual players to use an external camera during their matches, if the league feels it is warranted.
    • A cheating committee will be formed, and made up of several members. This Committee holds final authority over Fair Play discretion.
    • The league reserves the right to change results of the match due to any violations of Fair Play Policy.
    • Appeal process:
      If a player raises suspicions of their opponent violating fair-play regulations, that player can do so by contacting the Tournament Directors no less than 12 hours after the match is played. The Tournament Directors will investigate the violation claims and act according to the findings. Players that raise concerns against one of their opponents maliciously or without any supportive argument may receive a warning themselves based on the discretion of the Tournament Directors.
  2. Penalties & Misconduct
    • Late lineup submission
      • Team captains are required to submit a match roster of their 4 players participating in the next match by Thursday 6pm Pacific Time. Late submissions will be penalized by 1 boardpoint for the upcoming match.
      • Failure to submit a lineup at least 2 hours before the match will be counted as forfeit and the team will receive a warning.
    • Lineup changes: Lineup changes after a lineup was submitted will result in a 1 board point penalty.
    • No-show: If a team does not show up for their scheduled match without notifying the other team of their forfeit (See general CEA rules for forfeiting), the match will be counted as forfeited and the offending team will receive warning.
    • Cheating: If the Tournament Directors detect a player cheating in the event, the player will be disqualified resulting in losses of all previous games played by this player. Previous rounds will be adjusted accordingly at the time of cheat detection. The team rostering a cheating player will receive a warning but is allowed to continue playing on if the resulting warning does not result in their third team warning. The violating player will not be allowed to participate in any current and future CEA organized tournaments.
    • Team warning: A team is disqualified from the tournament if it accumulates three warnings over the duration of the tournament.

V. Broadcasting

  • Each week, one or more matches will be selected for live broadcasting.
  • Matches will be broadcasted on twitch.tv/cea_chess and twitch.tv/chess
  • The Tournament Organizers will decide which weekly match will be broadcasted during the week leading up to the match and will coordinate with team captains accordingly.
  • Games that are broadcasted might be asked to reschedule to a non-default time in order to maximize broadcast exposure through partnering platforms.

VI. Tournament Direction / Technical Support

  1. Tournament Direction
  • Any kind of CEA communication to captains/teams, reschedule/forfeit reporting, and technical support will happen through CEA’s discord server.
  • CEA Game Leads and Tournament Directors will be present during the matches to support any kind of technical issues and questions.
  • Technical Support
    • Disconnection: If a player disconnects during their game, the game continues as is with clocks running. A player that disconnects is allowed to contact the tournament organizers to request a delay for any future games of a given match. Such a delay cannot exceed 10 minutes and has to be granted explicitly by the tournament organizers.

    This section will grow with more technical information and FAQ until the start of the tournament.

    VII. Rating Conversion

    Any national ratings will be converted by the Tournament Direction into USCF ratings which will be used as tournament ratings. Such ratings are only used for pairings and team order purposes. The tournament itself is not rated with FIDE or any national rating system.

    USCF

    FIDE

    FQE (Quebec)

    DWZ/NCFP
    (German / Philippine)

    ECF (English)

    Chinese Rating

    >2300

    >2250
    → USCF = FIDE+50

    >2060
    → USCF = FQE +40

    >2180
    → USCF = DWZ+70

    >206
    → USCF = FQE*11

    >1970 → USCF = Chinese Rating + 300

    2250

    2190-2249

    2110-2179

    198-205

    1900-1970 → USCF = Chinese Rating + 270

    2200

    2130-2189

    2040-2109

    190-197

    2150

    2070-2129

    1970-2039

    182-189

    1800-1899 → USCF = Chinese Rating + 210

    2100

    2000-2069

    2020-2059

    1900-1969

    174-181

    2050

    1930-1999

    1620 - 2019
    → USCF = FQE +80

    1830-1899

    166-173

    2000

    1860-1929

    1750-1829

    158-165

    1700-1799 → USCF = Chinese Rating + 175

    1950

    1790-1859

    1670-1749

    150-157

    1900

    1720-1789

    1590-1669

    142-149

    1850

    1650-1719

    1510-1589

    134-141

    1600-1699
    → USCF = Chinese Rating+115

    1800

    1580-1649

    1430-1509

    126-133

    1750

    1510-1579

    1350-1429

    118-125

    1700

    1440-1509

    1270-1349

    110-117

    1500-1599
    → USCF = Chinese Rating + 60

    1650

    1370-1439

    1560-1619

    1190-1269

    102-109

    1600

    1300-1369

    1500-1559

    1110-1189

    94-101

    1550

    1240-1299

    1440-1499

    1030-1109

    86-93

    1500

    1180-1239

    1380-1439

    950-1029

    78-85

    1400-1499
    → USCF = Chinese Rating +15

    1450

    1120-1179

    1320-1379

    870-949

    70-77

    1400

    1060-1119

    1200-1319

    800-869

    56-69

    <1400
    → USCF = Chinese Rating

    <1350

    <1060

    → FIDE+300

    <1200

    → FQE+200

    <800
    → DWZ+500

    30-55
    → ECF * 26

           

    <30
    → 1200

     

    USCF

    Chess.com Blitz

    Lichess Blitz

    >2300

    >2350 → USCF = chess.com - 120

    >2300 → USCF = lichess - 120

    2250

    2150-2349 → USCF = chess.com - 75

    2200

    2150

    2000-2300 → USCF = lichess - 70

    2100

    1800-2149 → USCF = chess.com - 50

    2050

    2000

    1950

    1900

    1850-1999 → USCF = lichess -150

    1850

    1800

    1500-1799 → USCF = chess.com

    1750

    1700

    1650

    <1850 → USCF = lichess - 200

    1600

    1550

    1500

    1350-1499 → USCF = chess.com - 50

    1450

    1400

    <1350

    <1350 → USCF = chess.com - 100

     

    VIII. Contact

    1. Discord Server: discord.gg/cea
    2. Email Contacts:
      1. Game and Rules related: chess@cea.gg
      2. Business, money, and sponsorship related: business@cea.gg
      3. Other: administrator@cea.gg