South Hams Chess Club
South Hams Chess Club

Club Competitions in the 2019-20 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 Crisis

The club suspended its meetings with effect from 16th March 2020. After that date, games in the Homan League, Dunleavy League and Cookworthy Cup may be played online via the website. Note that results of games played online will not be submitted to the ECF for grading purposes.

To enable house-bound members to play lots of competitive chess during the crisis, we have also set up two online league competitions - one Standrd Play, one RapidPlay. See the "News" section of this website for further details.

Homan and Dunleavy Leagues

  1. The Club runs two graded Standardplay league divisions.
    These divisions are named after former Club members who did great service for the Club.
  2. The two leagues are of approximately equal playing strength, with no promotion or relegation.
  3. Participating members are allocated to these leagues on the basis of their July 2019 ECF grades. Starting with the highest-graded member and working down, odd numbers (1st, 3rd, 5th etc.), are allocated to the Homan League, and even numbers (2nd, 4th, 6th etc.) are allocated to the Dunleavy League. When two or more members have the same grade, alphabetical order of surname determines their position on the list. New members who join part way through the season will be allocated to the Homan or Dunleavy League at the discretion of the Competition Secretary.
  4. The players participating in the Homan and Dunleavy leagues are set out in the website pages describing these competitions.
  5. Each league operates on an all-play-all-twice basis over the course of the 2019-20 season. When opponents first play each other colours are determined by toss. When the same two players meet for the second time, colours are reversed.
  6. 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.
  7. The players finishing in the top two positions in each league will enter a mini-knockout play-off to determine the Club Champion. The Homan winner will play the person finishing second in the Dunleavy, and the Dunleavy winner will play the person finishing second in the Homan. In both these semi-finals, the league winners will be rewarded by having the white pieces. If a semi-final is drawn, the players involved will play again using reverse colours, and repeat until there is a winner.
  8. The two semi-final winners will contest a final to be played over two games to determine the Club Champion. In the first game colours will be decided by toss, and in the second game colours will be reversed. If the finalists are tied after two games, they will be declared joint Club Champions.
  9. For the 2019-20 season, there will be a cut-off date of 30th April 2020. The four players participating in the semi-finals will be determined by the league positions at midnight on that date. Dunleavy and Homan league games may be scheduled after that date, but the results of these games will not affect who participates in the semi-finals and final. This means that members in contention to qualify for the play-offs should aim to complete all their Homan or Dunleavy games by 30th April.
  10. The last two club nights before the 2020 AGM will be given over to a team competition between the Homan players and the Dunleavy players, with colours reversed on the second evening. In the event that we have an odd number of players for either of these evenings, a guest from one of the other clubs will be invited to make up numbers.

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 normall runs from the beginning of September up to the AGM, which is held the following May. In 2020 the AGM was originally scheduled for Thursday 21st May, but it's date is currently uncertain because of the Coronavirus crisis. There is a Christmas break; this year, the last Club night before Christmas was on Thursday 19th December 2019, and the Club re-opened on Thursday 2nd January 2020.
  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.

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. It is the responsibility of each individual to make sure their result is recorded on the results sheet which is in the Regal every club nght. The Webmaster (or his delegate) will photograph the results after each club night to ensure that the results get posted on the website. Results are entered into this website - normally by Phil McConnell, but in his absence either Steve Levy or David Archer can enter results. If Phil, Steve and David are all absent, then the members attending that evening should nominate one person to photograph the result sheet at the end of the evening, and email the photo 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.