New Correspondence Chess Rules Effective 10/1/2021

All US Chess Correspondence Chess (CC) players should be aware that a revised set of US Chess CC Rules come into effect on October 1, 2021. Once effective, the revisions will apply immediately to all ongoing events as well as any new events. The revised rules can be viewed in full at https://new.uschess.org/correspondence-chess/rules.

The last rules revision for CC play was done in 2004 and this revised version brings the US Chess CC rules up to date in terms of the ever expanding electronic methods of CC play. The revised rules also make significant changes to the general overseeing of US Chess rated CC events, such as changing references to the "US Chess Correspondence Chess Director" to "Tournament Director" and the addition of "Daily Chess" time controls, which will allow for a future where affiliates/TDs can run their own US Chess rated CC events. However, while the rules have been revised with this future direction in mind, affiliates/TDs will not be able to run their own CC tournaments until a mechanism is in place to allow them to submit such events for rating.

Here are some of the most important changes CC players should be aware of:

  • The new standard US Chess CC time control will now be "30 days reflection time for each 10 moves, with a maximum of 10 days for any one move." Note the addition of the "a maximum of 10 days for any one move" which is hoped will keep games running at a reasonable pace and also reduce the amount of repeats a player has to send.
  • Repeats will now be sent after 14 days (2 weeks) instead of 10 days. Time complaints, after a repeat, are now submitted to the TD 28 days (4 weeks) after the initial move send instead of 20 days. This allows for delays in the postal service and, along with the change to the time control mentioned above, should severely reduce the number of repeats being sent by CC players.
  • Penalties for impossible, ambiguous, illegible moves or failing to confirm an opponent's last move are now at the discretion of the TD and each event can specify whether these rules will be in effect.
  • The main rule for overstepping the time control now results in loss of game. However, a variation was added to allow the TD to provide a less severe penalty for their events.
  • Significant changes were made to the withdrawal/forfeit section to allow a TD to rule a silent withdrawal if a player does not respond within a reasonable amount of time to the TDs inquiries.
  • Games submitted as forfeit wins/losses will be based on the number of moves completed and the amount of time a game has been in progress.

US Chess would like to acknowledge the work of the Correspondence Chess Working Group (CCWG) for their time and efforts on revising the US Chess CC Rules. If you have any questions regarding the revised rules, please contact the US Chess Correspondence Chess Director at correspondence@uschess.org.

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