In-House Competitions

From October to April each year three in-house Club competitions take place.

Chess Circle Fixtures 2021/22

For the Chess Circle Fixtures for 2021/22 click here.

Contacting Other Members

Other members can be contacted by using the ‘Member Connect’ function within My Account.

Handicapping

All three competitions incorporate a handicap feature to equalise opposition.

The Chess Circle Gradings Committee have assigned, or assign new players, a grading that reflects the player’s strength. Starred (*) players are players who have won either the Sir Clarence Sadd competition or the Ralph Eastman competition. (In rare cases, the Gradings Committee reserve the right to assign a starred grading immediately to a new player if he or she is deemed to be very strong.) After starred players, the gradings (or ratings) used are ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ where A is the strongest and C is the weakest.

General Rules

A player may not claim a win on time if he or she has insufficient material to checkmate the opponent. Insufficient material is defined as: 1. Lone King; 2. King and Bishop; 3. King and Knight.

All players are requested to make every effort to play their match as early as possible, preferably on a Thursday evening at the Club. The result of the match must be appended to the Chess Notice Board in the ground floor foyer of the Pall Mall clubhouse. Failure to do so will result in both players being scratched at midnight on the last designated day of play unless the Competitions Secretary has been previously informed in writing (email or letter).

In the event of a match not being played by the due date the Competitions Secretary will take the following action: the second-named player will go through by right provided that the first-named player has been deemed to have made no reasonable effort to organise the match; however, should that first-named player be deemed to have made that reasonable effort with no reasonable response from the second-named player, the first-named player will go through to the next round. ‘Reasonable’ is defined in this context as ‘making proper contact at least two weeks before the ‘play by’ date, giving at least two alternative dates as to when the match can be played’.

Any match played on the ‘play by’ date that results in a draw (with insufficient time to replay the match that day) will be resolved by the ‘toss of a coin’.

Clarence Sadd Trophy Rules

2022 Draw sheet: Sir Clarence Sadd 2022

2021  Final Draw sheet: Sir Clarence Sadd 2021

The Royal Automobile Club Clarence Sadd chess competition is played according to a time-honoured handicapping system with a varying number of pieces held by one or other player at the beginning of the game. The higher-graded player plays with fewer pieces; in this way the odds of either player winning are equalised to some degree.

A new player is firstly allocated a Club-recognised internal grading of ‘Star’, ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’ by the Chess Circle Gradings Committee. (An A, B, or C player automatically becomes a Star player the following year if he or she wins one of the Club’s two main competitions, the Clarence Sadd Trophy or the Ralph Eastman Trophy.)

Material handicaps are set according to gradings:

  • Star gives A: KB Pawn; A is White
  • Star gives B: Q Knight; Star is White
  • Star gives C: Q Rook; Star is White
  • A gives B: KB Pawn; B is White
  • A gives C: Q Knight; A is White
  • B gives C: KB Pawn; C is White

Players of equal grading start with a full set of 32 pieces.

Players toss for colour only when playing an opponent with the same grading. A clock is used if either player so desires on any day before the expiry date of the round; a clock is mandatory for both players, however, on the expiry day of that round.

When clocks are used the following rules apply:

  • Clocks are set initially at 4.45.
  • At the first time-control, each player must have completed his first 30 moves within the allotted 75 minutes, in other words, before the player’s flag falls at 6.00.
  • After that first time-control, the clocks are set back a further 30 minutes. For example, if after a player makes his first 30 moves and his or her time stands at 5.55, the clock is set back to 5.25.
  • After the first time-control adjustment has been made, each player must complete all his or her remaining moves before his or her flag falls at 6.00.
  • If the flag of a player falls, the other player must have mating material to win. If he or she does not have mating material, the game is a draw and must be replayed.

In the event of a drawn game, each player plays with the same colour again.

Ralph Eastman Trophy Rules

2022 Draw sheet: Ralph Eastman 2022

2021 Final Draw sheet: Ralph Eastman 2021

The Royal Automobile Club Ralph Eastman and Chairman’s Cup chess competitions – commonly referred to as the ‘Time’ competitions – are played according to a time-honoured handicapping system with a varying amount of time held by one or other player at the beginning of the game. The higher-graded player needs to play more quickly; in this way the odds of either player winning are equalised to some degree.

A new player is firstly allocated a Club-recognised internal grading of ‘Star’, ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’ by the Chess Circle Gradings Committee. (An A, B, or C player automatically becomes a Star player the following year if he or she wins one of the Club’s two main competitions, the Clarence Sadd Trophy or the Ralph Eastman Trophy.)

The Ralph Eastman competition is open to players of all grades.

Time handicaps are set according to gradings:

  • Star playing A: Star has 20 minutes; A has 40 minutes
  • Star playing B: Star has 10 minutes; B has 50 minutes
  • Star playing C: Star has 5 minutes; C has 55 minutes
  • A playing B: A has 20 minutes; B has 40 minutes
  • A playing C: A has 10 minutes; C has 50 minutes
  • B playing C: B has 20 minutes; C has 40 minutes

Players of equal grading have 30 minutes each on the clock.

A full set of 32 pieces is used in all games and players toss for colour.

Use of a clock is mandatory in all games of course.

In the event of a drawn game, players alternate colours.

Chairman’s Cup Rules

2022 Draw sheet: Chairmans Cup 2022

2021 Final Draw sheet: Chairmans Cup 2021

The Royal Automobile Club Ralph Eastman and Chairman’s Cup chess competitions – commonly referred to as the ‘Time’ competitions – are played according to a time-honoured handicapping system with a varying amount of time held by one or other player at the beginning of the game. The higher-graded player needs to play more quickly; in this way the odds of either player winning are equalised to some degree.

A new player is firstly allocated a Club-recognised internal grading of ‘Star’, ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’ by the Chess Circle Gradings Committee. (An A, B, or C player automatically becomes a Star player the following year if he or she wins one of the Club’s two main competitions, the Clarence Sadd Trophy or the Ralph Eastman Trophy.)

The Chairman’s Cup competition is open to all grades other than Star.

Time handicaps are set according to gradings:

Star playing A: Star has 20 minutes; A has 40 minutes

  • Star playing B: Star has 10 minutes; B has 50 minutes
  • Star playing C: Star has 5 minutes; C has 55 minutes
  • A playing B: A has 20 minutes; B has 40 minutes
  • A playing C: A has 10 minutes; C has 50 minutes
  • B playing C: B has 20 minutes; C has 40 minutes

Players of equal grading have 30 minutes each on the clock.

A full set of 32 pieces is used in all games and players toss for colour.

Use of a clock is mandatory in all games of course.

In the event of a drawn game, players alternate colours.