South Hams Chess Club
South Hams Chess Club

Club Competitions in the 2021-22 Season

This page describes the Club's internal competitions; there are separate pages describing the Club's participation in the Torbay Leagues and the Devon County Chess Association Leagues.

Implications of the Coronavirus Pandemic

At the beginning of the season, a majority of Club members expressed reluctance to resume over-the-board chess in view of the high Covid case rates in the UK. However a sizeable minority expressed a desire to resume over-the-board chess immediately. It was decided that games in the Club's two premier internal competitions (the Homan League and the Cookworthy Cup) would be played online by default, but if both players prefer to play the game in question over-the-board, they are free to do so.

  • Games in the Club's competitions can be played online via the chess.com website.
  • Thursday nights will be club nights, with lots of South Hams competitive games being played at the same time - so you can keep your eye on how other online games are progressing while you play youir own game!
  • The Homan League will be operate primarily as an online competition from 9th September 2021 to 23rd December 2021.
  • Players can start playing their games in the Club's knockout competition (the "Cookworthy Cup") online from 9th September 2021.

If BOTH players agree to play a game in these competitions over-the-board rather than online, they may do so. Over-the-board games may be played at one of the player's homes using their own equipment, or at the Regal Club. If games are to be played at the Regal club, it is necessary to phone the Regal first to ensure that the room is unlocked ad ready - phone 01548 852613 and ask for Bill Potter or Gerogia Turner.

Homan League

For the period 9th September to 23rd December 2021, the Club is operating a single league online - the Homan League. The Homan League during this period is open to all club members.

  • The players participating in the Homan League are set out on the Homan League website page.
  • For the period 9th September 2021 to 23rd December 2021 the Homan League operates an all-play-all-twice basis. When opponents first play each other colours are determined by toss (or by setting colours on chess.com to "Random"). When the same two players meet for the second time, colours are reversed.
  • Certain players, not wishing to play quite so much chess, have opted to play each opponent once only. For games involving these players, colours are determined by toss (or by setting colours on chess.com to "Random")
  • League positions are determined by points scored (1 point for a win, ½ a point for draw, 0 for a loss). When players finish equal on points, their relative league positions are determined by applying the following criteria in sequence:
    1. each player's points-per-game in the games between the tied players
    2. each player's Neustadtl Sonneborn–Berger score for the league in question.
  • In the unlikely event that the above criteria fail to determine relative league positions, the Competition Secretary may, at his discretion, set a date by which two tied players can attempt to break the tie by playing sudden death Standardplay replays with alternating colours. If the deadlock has not been broken by the date set by the Competition Secretary, then the players' relative positions will be resolved by the toss of a coin.
  • The players finishing in the top two positions of the Homan League on 23rd December 2021 qualify for a 4-player knockout at the end of the season to determine the Club Champion. The top two players in the second half of the season who did not qualify for the knockouts in the first half of the season will complete the line-up for the knockouts. This means that any member who opts not to participate in the pre-Christmas Homan League will nevertheless have an opportunity to become Club Champion at the end of the season.
  • In the semi-finals of the knockout:
    • the player finishing 1st in the first half of season plays the 2nd qualifier in second half of the season
    • the player finishing 2nd in 1st half of season plays 1st qualifier in second half of the season.
    • the players will play each other twice, with colours random in the first game and reversed in the second game; in the event of a tie after both games have been played, they will replay with alternating colours until there is a winner.
  • The final will be played over two games, with colours random in the first game and reversed in the second game. In the event of a tie after both games have been played, the two finalists will be declared joint Club Champions.

Cookworthy Cup

  1. The Club runs an annual knockout graded Standardplay competition, the Cookworthy Cup.
  2. At the beginning of each season, the draw will be made and published on this website.
  3. For any player's first game, colours will be determined when the draw takes place; for subsequent rounds colours will be drawn on the night.
  4. With the exception of the final, a drawn game will be replayed, with alternating colours, until there is a winner.
  5. The final will be played over two games, and the winner of the final will be awarded the Cookworthy Cup. The cup will be shared in the event that the final is tied.

The Season and Summer Chess

  1. The official Club season normally runs from the beginning of September up to the AGM, which is held the following May.
  2. Outside the official season, i.e. during the summer months, the Club still meets, but normally with reduced numbers attending. Generally during the summer an informal competition is arranged, or members may play one another in Friendly Games (see below), which are not part of any competition and have no league tables.
  3. For the 2020-21 season, uncertainties about the course of the Coronavirus pandemic mean that we are deferring decisions on the date of the AGM and the end date of the Club season.

Friendly Games

  1. Members may play one another in "Friendly Games". Before starting such a game, players should agree which of these categories the game is being played under:
    • Friendly Standardplay Graded
    • Friendly Standardplay Ungraded
    • Friendly Rapidplay Graded
    • Friendly Rapidplay Ungraded
  2. Results of graded games need to recorded on the website; it is optional whether players have the results of ungraded Friendlies recorded on the website (they should agree this in advance).

Time Controls

  1. Graded Club Standardplay games use incremental (also known as "Fischer") time controls. Each player will have 75 minutes for the entire game, plus 30 seconds per move (starting from move 1). So, for example, if a game has 40 moves, each player will have 75 + (40 x 0.5) = 95 minutes. Both players are obliged to write down all their moves.
  2. For graded Rapidplay games the rate of play is all moves in 25 minutes with 10 seconds increment added per move from the beginning. There is no obligation to write down moves.

ECF Rating

Results of games played over-the-board in Club Competitions and Friendly games designated "graded", will be sent to the ECF for rating. Results of games played online will not be submitted to the ECF for normal grading purposes, but they will count towards their chess.com ratings.

Administration - General

  1. Club members should wherever possible arrange their games in the internal Club competitions in advance - ideally at least a week beforehand. Arranging games in the Homan League and Cookworthy Cup takes priority over the Friendlies. You can record a pre-arranged game, and view all pre-arranged games, in the Members Area of this website.
  2. After each game, one of the players should email Phil McConnell with the result, the colours, and the competition in which the game was played. As a courtesy, please cc your opponent on the email. Phil will record all results on the Club website.
  3. If any new members join part way through the season, the Competition Secretary may, at his discretion, allocate them to enter the Homan League or Cookworty Cup.

Administration - Over-the-Board Games

  1. If your opponent requests a late start due to work commitments, please accommodate this request.
  2. Digital clocks are used. Our DGT 2010 digital clocks should be set into the appropriate mode as follows:
    • Use Option 18 for both Standardplay and Rapidplay games with incremental time controls.
    • For Standardplay games, on both left and right hand sides set the intital time to 01 hours, 15 minutes and 00 seconds, followed by a bonus time of 30 seconds.
    • For Rapidplay games, on both left and right hand sides set the intital time to 00 hours, 25 minutes and 00 seconds, followed by a bonus time of 10 seconds.
    Once the clock has been set in this way, every time you press your clock button 30 seconds (Standardplay) or 10 seconds (Rapidplay) will automatically be added to your time.

Administration - Online Games

  1. Click here for detailed guidance on arranging, setting up and playing games on chess.com.
  2. Special Rules for Mishaps During Online Games

    We recognise that problems occasionally arise during online games, for example due to connection failures or one player moving a piece to an unintended square because of "mouse problems". We have therefore created "house rules" to address these problems:

    1. In the event that either player suffers a connection failure, the two players will may amicably agree an outcome bearing in mind the position at the point of the failure, i.e. a result (win, loss or draw) or a decision to replay. If either player wishes to carry on, the players will take a photo or screenshot of the position at the time of failure, including the clocks, and will subsequently recreate the board and clock times and resume the game. Click here for guidelines on how to do this.

    2. In the event that a player moves a piece to an unintended square because of mouse or trackpad problems, that is bad luck but the game will simply carry on.


Don't forget to check the website regularly for results! There is a separate web page for each Club competition.