BRAILLE CHESS ASSOCIATION POSTAL TOURNAMENT RULES
1. All postal tournaments will normally start on 1st January. All games must be completed by 31st October of the following year.
2. Moves may be transmitted in Braille or, where one or both of the players are non-Braillists, on cassette; preferably using both the algebraic and English notations. Where both players are Braillists, they may play on cassette provided that both players are in agreement.
3. Whichever form of communication is used, it is essential that both players keep a record of the game. Should there be a dispute over the position of a game, and only one player’s score is available, that record of the game will be taken to be the correct position. If during the game a player makes an illegal move they will have to move the piece involved. However if this is not possible, it will be up to the two players involved to rectify the error. If this still causes a dispute between both players then clarification should be sought from the group leader, who may refer the problem to the postal tournament director.
4. All moves must be preceded by the date of receipt and dispatch. Players should note that the date of dispatch is the date the move will be collected. 10 moves must be made in 20 days, not counting days in the post. Time saved can be counted in lieu.
5. The onus is on the player with the white pieces to start the game and provide either the plastic envelope or cassette and wallet. On the completion of the game, these should be returned to their rightful owner. Should the plastic envelope or cassette wallet be lost or damaged, the player who did not provide them in the first place will be expected to provide the replacements.
6. Where a player beyond the British Isles is involved, all games involving that player shall start on 1st January of the year concerned. In all such cases airmail must be used for both Braille and cassettes.
7. Where games are unfinished by the closing date of the tournament, and the players concerned have not reached agreement as to the result, the game will be sent for adjudication provided that at least 35 moves have been made. The postal tournament director, however, in exceptional circumstances, is empowered to send games for adjudication after 30 moves. Each player will be required to send his/her score of the game, together with their claim to the result to their group leader who will send it on to the postal tournament director who will pass it on to the BCA adjudicator whose decision shall be final. 8. If a player does not hear from his/her opponent within 14 days, a reminder should be sent by recorded delivery repeating the move. If no response is received within a week of that reminder, the matter should be referred to the group leader who will endeavour to establish contact between the players. Should this fail, the postal tournament director should be informed and he/she will take appropriate action.
9. Ties for first place or in any position involving promotion or relegation will be resolved by the tie-break system as follows:
(a) Sonneborn-Berger – sum of scores of those beaten and half the score of those with whom drawn.
(b) Kashdan - 4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw and 1 point for a loss.
(c) Result of the game between the players involved.
(d) Examination of results from top downwards.
(e) Number of games with black pieces.
10. All players involved in a particular tournament will be asked by the group leader whether they wish to enter the next tournament. However, the postal tournament director has the right to refuse a member’s entry if in his/her opinion that member has shown a reluctance in observing the postal rules. In such cases the postal tournament director will notify the player or players concerned. In such cases the player or players shall have the right of appeal to the committee.
11. The postal tournament director may appoint group leaders whose responsibility it will be to:
(a) Send out fixture lists together with addresses and media for all players within the group, rules etc.
(b) Receive results and send them on to the postal tournament director.
At the end of the competition if a group leader has received claims for a result or results these also must be sent to the postal tournament director for adjudication.
(c) Re-establish contact between players where necessary.
(d) Refer major problems to the postal tournament director.
12. Members are asked to adhere to the spirit of these postal rules in order to ensure the smooth running of BCA postal tournaments.