On March 25, 2020, the US Chess Executive Board passed the following motion 7-0:
The Executive Board (EB) moves that all games submitted by Tournament Directors (TDs) for rating that were played online via the internet or by other means specified in Chapter 10 of the Rules of Chess (7th Ed.) shall only affect players’ online ratings. Online play shall not be used to update players’ over-the-board ratings.
This motion, while defining online play as ratable strictly through the “online-only” category in the US Chess database, actually expands affiliate privileges as now any qualifying affiliate can run online-quick or online-blitz rated tournaments, effective immediately. US Chess has modified the TD/Affiliate event submission area to include a check box for online rated events.
These events will appear in members’ MSA history with “ONL” in front of the ratings update. Please note: these events will not affect players OTB ratings, but fall into a separate category of US Chess rated events.
The motion only provides for online-quick or online-blitz events at this time, meaning that any such events cannot use a time control slower than Game/29 and also cannot be FIDE rated. Online-blitz events encompass time controls between G/3;+2 and up to G/10;d/0, while online-quick events use a time control between G/10;+1 up to G/29;d/0.
Update on May 11: US Chess has extended the waiver of all ratings fees for online-only events through May 31, 2020. Starting June 1, 2020, all online-only events will be charged ratings fees equivalent to regular OTB events ($0.25/game). Please remember: US Chess membership requirements have not changed and it remains the TD’s responsibility to ensure all participants are current members. END Update.
Submitting the tournament rating report will follow exactly the same procedures in the TD/A area that tournament directors are familiar processing. A reminder that events can be either input into your pairing software, generating the three ‘export’ files which can be uploaded, or events can be input directly online, using the “Enter New Tournament” feature – which uses an online data entry form instead and is on the same page of the TD/A.
Using either method, the way to designate the tournament as being an “Online Event” will be the same. On the right side of the Rating Report Edit Form, underneath where the Time Control is listed, there are the Other Section Info options. One of those five checkboxes (in bold font for the time being, to bring added awareness to its location) is the selection for
After doing a Save on the section, the line with the Time Control will now indicate, in red, Blitz Rated ONLINE RATINGS or Quick Rated ONLINE RATINGS. This ensures that you will be submitting a tournament report that only affects the Online ratings, not the OTB ones. An example submission is below:
The Ratings Department will monitor submitted events to ensure compliance with US Chess rules, particularly those around online ratings and membership requirements for rated events. Potential penalties for violating these rules are the same as for OTB events.
Instructions on creating an online-only rated event through chess.com and chessclub.com will be coming very soon. Links to the relevant literature will be added to this release.
Please send any questions about this procedure to our Ratings Department, [email protected]