Dear all,

I hope everybody is well and thriving.
Firstly, congratulations to all the winners of the online league that has just concluded.  Final tables may be seen here:
Generally the competitions ran smoothly, particularly after the first one or two rounds as everybody became used to the process involved.
Secondly, we propose, if there is sufficient interest, to run an Online Summer league along similar lines to the competitions just finished, and also with a split between adult (open) division(s) and a junior division.  We are now inviting entries for this.  The plan is to run the competition from late June to mid-September, depending on entries, with matches at roughly 2-3 week intervals – depending on numbers, on a Wednesday evening.
I’m attaching a document of rules for the proposed competition – these are only lightly edited from the competition just finished, with the main difference being that the default start time for the Junior league is proposed to be 6.30pm instead of 7.30pm.
The deadline for entry is 6th June.  Clubs may enter as many teams of four as they wish, but bear in mind that it is not permitted for players to play for more than one team. If there are sufficient entries to have more than one adult or more than one junior division, then a divisional split will be made according to an estimate of strength. With this in mind, entrants are asked for a rough estimate of the average strength of their team.  We will also bear in mind the results of the competition just finished in determining any divisional split.
We hope to resume traditional over the board chess competitions in October, as usual.
Best wishes,

Mid Sussex Chess League Online Team Competition Rules 2021

N.B.  These rules do not seek to cover all eventualities, or provide specific sanctions for rule-breaking.  It is expected that most issues that arise can be amicably resolved between teams, but in case of doubt, captains should refer to the tournament controller.

  • There will be adult and junior divisions, with the number of divisions dependent on entries.
  • Teams of 4 players. A club may enter as many teams as they like.  No player may play for more than one team in the competition (this is to avoid complications around nominations and eligibility).  No grading limit, but teams should play in reasonable order of strength.
  • Fixtures will be at approximately 3-weekly intervals from late June to mid-September, dependent on entries for each division.
  • One game per pairing, 25 minutes each plus a 10 second increment
  • Matches to be played at 7.30pm on a Wednesday for senior divisions, and 6.30pm for junior divisions.  Captains may vary the time and / or date of a fixture by mutual agreement, up to (+/-) three days
  • The winner of each division will be decided by match points, with game points acting as any tie-break.
  • Platform will be Lichess:
    • The service is free and it is simple for individuals to register and use
    • While Lichess is setup principally for individual competitions, the ECF LMS system has been given a number of enhancements which enables it to integrate reasonably well with Lichess (for example identification of Lichess user names, and the ability to virtually “swap team sheets” an hour before each match). Match results will be recorded on LMS in the same way that we have used LMS for other MSCL competitions
  • Playing rules will follow standard online conventions. Players that lose connection may lose on time, and “mouse slips” are treated in the same way as touch and move – Magnus Carlsen himself has lost like this in a Grandmaster tournament
  • If an opponent does not give / accept a challenge within 5 minutes of the start time, the player present online should advise their team captain, who should then contact the opposing captain. If the absent player cannot be contacted a substitute may be provided, but should be available for challenge within 15 mins of the original start time, otherwise the game will be defaulted
  • While Lichess has user names that are anonymous, the LMS result will show both real names and user names. Parents may prefer for safeguarding reasons for juniors to disable the chat function within Lichess.

Fair Play:  It is a requirement of Lichess (as of normal chess) that players should not use any external assistance, whether through books, computers or other people.  Lichess has detection software that can result in players being banned, which will in turn result in that player’s games being recorded as losses.  The MSCL online league will rely on this software; we do not have the capability / capacity to effectively conduct our own testing or to consider appeals.  Ultimately, we are running a friendly league and rely on the honour of our players