South Hams Chess Club
South Hams Chess Club

Club Competitions in the 2017-18 Season

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

Homan and Dunleavy Leagues

  1. The Club runs two graded Standardplay league divisions. The top division is the Homan League; the second division is the Dunleavy League. Both divisions are named after former Club members who did great service for the Club.
  2. In both divisions, the format is all-play-all twice during the period up to Christmas, after which there is relegation from the Homan and promotion from the Dunleavy. From January until the end of the season the all-play-all format, followed by promotion and relegation, is repeated.
  3. The players participating in the Homan and Dunleavy leagues are set out in the website pages describing these competitions.
  4. In each half season, when opponents first play each other colours will be determined by toss. When the same two players meet for the second time, colours will be reversed.
  5. League positions are determined by points scored (1 point for a win, ½ a point for draw, 0 for a loss). In the particular case of the Dunleavy League in the second half of the 2017-18 season, only the best 14 results of each player are counted. 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 calculated ECF grading performance 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.
  6. Normally, promotion and relegation is as follows at the end of each half-season:
    • The bottom four players in the Homan League are relegated to the Dunleavy League.
    • The top four players in the Dunleavy League are promoted to the Homan League.
  7. However, at the start of January 2018, the Homan League was expanded from six to eight players, and as a one-off, promotion and relegation at the end of calendar 2017 was as follows:
    • the bottom two players in the Homan were relegated
    • the top four players in the Dunleavy will be promoted.
  8. The Club Champion for the season will be determined by a two-game play-off between the players who finish first in the pre-Christmas Homan League and first in the January-to-May Homan League. If the play-off is tied after two games, the tie will be resolved by sudden death Standardplay replays with alternating colours. If the same player finishes first in the Homan in both parts of the season, without being tied on points with the same player on both occasions, then that player will be Club Champion without a play-off. If the same two (or more) players tie on points for first place in both parts of the season (an unlikely eventuality), then the play-off will be between the two players finishing first and second in the Homan for the season as a whole, determined as set out in 5. above.

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.

M Wray Shield

  1. The M. Wray Shield is a Standardplay league in which members can play one another in a graded game on nights when they are not involved in a Club match, and are unable to arrange a game in the Homan/Dunleavy leagues or the Cookworthy Cup.
  2. League positions are determined in the same way as in the Homan and Dunleavy leagues.

The Season and Summer Chess

  1. The official Club season runs from the beginning of September up to the AGM, which is held the following May. There is a Christmas break; this year the last Club night before Christmas is on Thursday 21st December 2017, and the Club will re-open on 4th January 2018.
  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, members play one another in Friendly Games (see below), which are not part of any competition and have no league tables.
  3. For the 2017-18 season, it has been agreed that members may, if they wish, start playing games in the Homan and Dunleavy leagues from 1st July 2017 onwards.

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 Grading

Game results in the the Homan League, the Dunleavy League, the Cookworthy Cup, the M. Wray Shield, the Cookworthy Cup, and Friendly games designated "graded", will be sent to the ECF for grading twice a year.


  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 and Dunleavy leagues 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. If any new members join part way through the season, the Competition Secretary may, at his discretion, allocate them to play in the Homan League or Dunleavy League.
  3. If your opponent requests a late start due to work commitments, please accommodate this request.
  4. Please do not start an M. Wray Shield game before 7:15pm, as the other internal competitions take priority; if a member arrives after 7:00pm, it is possible that his arrival will enable a game in one of these other competitions to take place that evening.
  5. 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.
  6. Results are entered into this website - normally by Phil McConnell, but in his absence either Steve Levy or David Archer (??? any other volunteers???) can enter results. If Phil, Steve and David are all absent, then the members attending that evening should nominate one person to collect all the results, noting colours and the competition in which each game is played, and email this information to Phil McConnell. League tables on the website are automatically updated as each result is entered.
  7. Don't forget to check the website regularly for results! There is a separate web page for each Club competition.