Competition Rules

Round Times

Saturday Round 1 10.00 am
Round 2   2.15 pm
Round 3   6.30 pm
Sunday Round 4 10.00 am
Round 5   2.15 pm
Prizegiving   6.30 pm, or soon afterwards

Time Controls

Normal: All moves in 90 minutes plus 10 seconds/move from first move.
Re-paired: All moves in 75 minutes plus 10 seconds/move from first move.

Players Grades

Players grades shall be as appear in the latest published ECF Grading List in grade bands A-E.

Ungraded players, including those with F-band grades, may play provided they supply written evidence of their current playing strength to the organisers at least one week in advance of the competition.

Evidence of playing strength may include the results of recently played graded games, an authenticated estimate by a chess club official or another agreed source.

Ungraded players, including those with F-band grades, may not win more than £50, unless playing in the Open, and are ineligible for all grading prizes.

Conversion between ELO rating and ECF grade, where necessary, will be made according to the formula: ECF= (ELO - 700)/7.5


Swiss Pairing rules shall be used to provide players with an opponent in all rounds unless they have previously requested a half point bye.

Players who cannot be paired satisfactorily, for whatever reason, will be entitled to a one point bye and be offered a friendly game.

The results of the friendly game shall not contribute to the player's score in the competition but may be sent for grading, if agreed in advance.

Players who plan to withdraw during the competition, for whatever reason, should inform the Controller so as to avoid problems in pairing the next round.

Reporting of Results

Where duplicated scoresheets are provided, both players shall return a legible signed copy indicating the result of the game.

Where a Result Slip is provided the winner or the player with the White pieces, in the event of draw, shall return it properly completed to the control desk.

Requested ½ point Byes

Players may request on their entry form a ½ point bye in any one of the first four rounds.

Requests for ½ point byes may be accepted by the Controller during the tournament provided they are received in sufficient time to be included in the pairing of the next round.

Late Entry To Tournament

Players who enter after the close of Online Entry will incur a £10 late entry fee and may not be able to be paired until 30 minutes after normal start of play at the scheduled repairing.

Late Arrival For Play

Players arriving more than 30 minutes after the scheduled start time for any round will be defaulted unless the controller can re-pair them satisfactorily.

Players whose opponents have not arrived within 20 minutes of the scheduled start should report to the control desk where they will re-paired after 30 mins.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones and other electronic devices shall be switched off in the Playing Hall.

Should any electronic device ring or make an audible noise the offending player shall lose by default. The result of the game for the opponent shall be as determined by the Controller

Players who may be "on call" and require access to their mobile should seek the prior agreement of the Controller.


Hertfordshire County Council do not permit Smoking within County Hall or its grounds.

Car Parking

Players and visitors are invited to make use of the extensive free car parking. Please, be aware that parking is not permitted elsewhere on the site.


The organisers will resolve all disputes in accordance with the FIDE Laws of Chess and Hertfordshire Congress Tournament Rules.

The decision by the Controller in all matters shall be final.


The organisers reserve the right to refuse entries, transfer entries and to revise prize money according to circumstances.