7th Edition Rule Book Chapters Now Available For Download; Updated For 2020—Newly Adapted Chapter 10 Added

Note: The 2020 updates of these chapters were uploaded on December 20, 2019 and incorporate the rules changes to 11D and 11D1 that go into effect on January 1, 2020 and also incorporate minor corrections.

UPDATE 1: Minor corrections were incorporated on May 11, 2020. Note: v7.1 of these chapters were uploaded on July 19, 2019 and incorporate minor corrections.

UPDATE 2: A new Chapter 10 (Rules for Online Tournaments and Matches), adapted at the Special Delegates Meeting on August 15, has been posted and goes into effect on August 21, 2020. The combined Chapter 1-2-11 download has been updated to include Chapter 10, and slightly revised individually downloadable Chapters 1 and 2 (updating Chapter 10 references) have been uploaded as well. 

UPDATE 3: "Update 2" files have been revised to fix various typos.

At the 2018 Delegates Meeting in Middleton, Wisconsin, a motion passed to make portions of the 7th Edition of the US Chess Federation’s Official Rules of Chess edited by Tim Just available on-line in a free, downloadable format. The most utilized chapters in past rulebooks were: Chapter 1 (Official Rules of Chess), Chapter 2 (Tournament Section), and Chapter 11 (Blitz Chess). Those three 7th edition chapters are now available, individually or packaged together, for viewing and downloading at no cost using the below links. After the Special Delegates Meeting on August 15-16, 2020, it was also decided to make Chapter 10 (Rules for Online Tournaments and Matches) also available for free download.

2020 Version (Effective 1/1/2020; Updated on 9/17/2020):

Note: Rule 28A references pairing cards. As those are no longer available for purchase, you can download pdfs here, in three different colors, for you to print out: White, Green, Blue.

2019 versions for reference:

Chapters 1, 2, and 11 Combined

Chapter 1 Only

Chapter 2 Only

Chapter 11 Only

With a simple point and click within the Table of Contents and on cross-referenced items, the rules become easily accessible. You can also do a text search within the PDF. The easy access of these on-line chapters makes excellent reference material for both the Tournament Director (TD) and player alike. TDs are encouraged to compare the on-line material to any printed material presented to them by players before making any rulings. The full, unabridged paperback of the 7th edition is available for purchase from US Chess Sales here. The eBook version is available via Amazon. Both of these have been updated for 2020. These versions contain pairing rules, prize fund distribution rules, equipment standards, the US Chess Code of Ethics, rating information, correspondence rules, round robin tables, Tournament Director Certification regulations, an index, and much more. All chapters will cross reference rules for the entire book. All TDs should have a complete copy of the 7th edition of the rulebook either as an eBook or paperback copy. If you note any typos or other mistakes, please send them to dlucas@uschess.org and put “Rulebook” in the subject line.


Re: Official Rules, 7th edition

Does a pawn have to be physically moved to its 8th rank to be promoted?

Rule 8F6 effectively says "yes," while rule 9D mentions "...regardless of whether the pawn has been physically touched or placed on the promotion square."

It is a common practice to pick up the new piece and place it on the promotion square before touching and removing the pawn, which still is still sitting on its seventh rank.

I once had an opponent complain gently about my using this procedure.

Thank you.

I am 83 use to play a little cheers & Chess when I was 8 by watching some old guys in the park in the Bronx. Now live in MD Notice there is a game coming to my area October 9&10 would like to play ? Can i

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