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Regulations (Spielordnung)

Attention: The German language version of the »Regulations of the German E-Mail Chess Club (DESC)« and the Valuation directive will be used as the deciding version in case of differences. Not involved in these rules, but maybe useful for further informations: ICCF's rules.

Regulations of the German E-Mail Chess Club (DESC)

1. Principle

The regulations define the rules for each E-Mail game of chess played in the DESC. If no deviating procedures are made within the regulations, the chess rules of the FIDE apply, as far as they are appropriate. For certain forms of tournament supplementing specifications can be met in the respective tournament stipulation.

2. Organization and management

2.1 Tournament managers

The tournaments are organized and operated by tournament managers (TM). They determine the course of the particular form of tournament and coordinate the imminent tournament. The tournament managers make their decisions in the context of the regulations and the respective tournament stipulation. As far as no regulation has been made, the tournament managers decide to the best of their judgement considering all interests and according to sportsmanship.

The tournament managers can request of the players of their tournaments/groups information concerning the start, the progress and the conclusion of the game as well as about all facts in connection with the tournament, as far as this is destined in the regulations or is necessary for the execution of the tournament. The players are obligated to give the information to the tournament managers in an appropriate period of time.

2.2 Tournament directors

As far as is necessary, tournament directors (TD) are appointed for certain forms of tournament. They take over the central co-ordination of a form of tournament in collaboration with the responsible tournament managers. As far as the term “tournament manager” is used in this regulation, the tournament directors of the corresponding forms of tournament are also meant.

3. Types of matches

3.1 Single matches

Each club member can challenge every other club member to a single match. If the challenge has been accepted, both players play 2 games simultaneously with changing opening. The single matches are supervised by a tournament manager. He is the contact person of both players in all questions concerning the single matches.

3.2 Running tournaments

The running tournaments start as soon as the intended number of players have signed up.

The DESC organizes the following running tournaments:

  1. Round tournaments with three, four, seven or 15 participants
  2. Round tournaments with five participants for players with a DESC score under 1800
  3. Tournaments in the KO-mode and in the Swiss system
  4. Topic tournaments
  5. Winner tournaments
  6. the DESC pyramid
  7. the DESC teampyramid
3.3 Special tournaments

The special tournaments are arranged annually.

The DESC organizes the following special tournaments:

  1. DESC-championship
  2. DESC-cup
  3. DESC-open
  4. DESC-team’s open
  5. DESC league

The administration team can stipulate tournaments for special reasons beyond that.

3.4 Team tournaments

The DESC participates with teams in comparison tournaments, national tournaments and team tournaments.

4. Registration and beginning of game; Substitution of players

4.1 Registration

Each player, who would like to participate in a form of tournament, signs up at the tournament office. Deviating from this rule are players who want to play single matches or want to participate in the DESC-pyramids; they have to sign up directly at the responsible tournament manager.

4.2 Challenge and starting confirmation in single matches

A player starts a single match by conveying his opening move of his white game to another player and challenges him to a single match. The challenged player decides whether he accepts or rejects the challenge. If the challenge is rejected, the challenged player informs the challenger of the refusal; the game is not continued.

If the challenged player accepts the challenge, he sends his first E-Mail in copy (CC) to the responsible tournament manager for single matches; in this way the match is signed up. In the first E-Mail the challenged player answers the opened game with a move with black and at the same time opens the second game with white. The challenger also sends following his answer in copy (CC) to the responsible tournament manager. Games that were not signed up are not rated for the ranking list and are not recorded in the game archives. Club members who have a special interest in single matches, can let themselves be registered into the player search list.

4.3 Tournament start

The tournament manager dispatches a list of entrants to all participants at least 10 days before the official beginning of a tournament or a round and there also states the beginning of the tournament. The calculation of the time for consideration begins on the day of the beginning of tournament; the games can already be started beforehand, for this period no time for consideration accrues.

If a fixed starting day for the first round of a special tournament is already specified during the stipulation, then it does not require a further period of time between the dispatching of the list of entrants and the beginning of tournament; the same applies, if during the stipulation the starting days of further rounds were specified.

4.4 Starting confirmation in tournaments

In tournaments all players inform the responsible tournament manager as soon as all the games in which they are involved have begun. The message has to be sent not later than the 10. days after the starting date of the tournament. If at this point in time not all games have begun yet, the tournament manager is also to be informed about this under indication of the games concerned (please indicate game number/opponent).

4.5 Substitution of a player at the beginning of a tournament

If a player does not line up for a tournament, then the tournament manager can replace him by another player after his discretion within the first 4 weeks since beginning of the tournament. As far as a player is replaced after the starting date of a tournament, the tournament manager specifies a deviating starting date for all games of the substitute from which in these games the time for consideration begins; the end of these games is not dependent on the deviating starting date.

4.6 Substitution of a player at the beginning of a subsequent round

If a player, who has qualified for the subsequent round, does not line up in a tournament with several rounds, in which the participants of one round do not completely participate in the next round, then his last opponent or the one on the following rank of the last round takes his place.

The special tournaments for tournament winners are not subsequent rounds in this sense; the same applies to tournaments with special entering conditions, which result from the results in other tournaments.

5. Time for consideration; Vacation; Maximum duration of games

5.1 Principle; Exceptions for single matches

Basically all regulations about vacation and time for consideration should help to complete if possible all games within the maximum duration of a game in a sporty fashion. The tournament managers and the tournament office are urged to subordinate their decisions in the context of their scope of deciding to this goal. The regulations about time for consideration and vacation apply to all single matches and tournaments. The two participants of a single match can jointly decide on deviations from these regulations at the beginning of the match; the responsible tournament manager is to be informed about the agreed deviations.

5.2 Calculation of the time for consideration

Time for consideration is the time difference between the day on which a player receives a move (day of arrival) and the day at which he sends the answer to his opponent (day of dispatch). If a player answers on the same day, the time for consideration for this move amounts to 0 days.

Each player communicates with delivery of a move the day of arrival of the last opposing move as well as the dayof dispatch of the own move, and both the time for consideration for this move and all his moves altogether up to now to his opponent. The day of arrival of the e-mail is considered to be the day according to valid Central European time on which it reached the mailserver of the player; the time the message is retrieved by the player is insignificant; the day of dispatch is considered to be the day according to valid Central European time, on which the e-mail was actually sent.

5.3 Duration of the time for consideration

If a player thinks that his opponent’s data about the time for consideration is not correct, then he must check this immediately with his opponent. If he does not do this, a complaint about exceeding the time limit is not possible. If the players cannot agree on the used-up time for consideration, then is the tournament manager is to be consulted. He then specifies the data about the time for consideration obligatorily for both players.

5.4 Duration of the time for consideration

The time for consideration amounts to 30 days for 10 moves. Time for consideration that has not been used up is credited.

5.5 Maximum time for consideration per move

Each player is entitled to at the most 10 days time for consideration per move. If a player needs more than 10 days, he communicates this to his opponent. In emergencies a message can alsobe transmitted by fax, by telephone or by post.

If a player takes more than 10 days for a move, without announcing this beforehand, then his additional time for consideration counts doubly, as soon as he has received a reminder-mail from his opponent in accordance with point 5.5. The day on which he receives the reminder-mail already counts double (see example). An extension of the time for consideration for an individual move to more than 30 days is impossible; if a player does not deliver a move within 30- day period of time for consideration, then this is rated as exceeding the time limit in the sense of paragraph 5.7, even if the player did not exceed the time for consideration according to paragraph 5.4 yet.


5.6 Reminding obligation with pending answers

If a player waits longer than 10 days for the answer of his opponent and if he has not received information about the reason for this delay, then he first sends a reminder-mail to his opponent, in which he also notes his last move again; this reminder-mail and an answering mail are to be sent in copy (CC) to the responsible tournament manager. If no reaction takes place within further 5 calender days, the tournament manager is to be informed; he assigns an appropriate time limit for the player, whose moves are pending, for the resumption of the game(s).

5.7 Exceeding the time limit

If a player thinks his opponent has exceeded the time for consideration, then he communicates this immediately to the responsible tournament manager; the email is to be conveyed in copy (CC) also to the opponent. The complaint of exceeding the time limit must contain a perfect list of the times for consideration considering all details. This list must be submitted to the tournament manager within an email text. Email attachments are not admissible. During the consideration for the complaint of an exceeding of the time limit, any moves continuing the game are not allowed. If the tournament manager validates an exceeding of the time limit, the game is rated as lost for the player who exceeded the time limit. If the tournament manager does not validate the exceeding of the time limit, he will call off the time-out at a given time from which the time will be running again and the game will be continued as is.

5.8 Vacation

When desired each player can take up to 6 weeks vacation in one tournament year; in special cases the player can ask for a special leave according to 5.9. The tournament year begins in the month, in which the beginning of tournament takes place. The vacation must be taken at the same time for all games of a tournament and must amount to at least 7 consecutive calender days; it leads to a repose of all the times for consideration and all periods of this TO for the player on vacation. For the opponent of the player on vacation whose move it is after the beginning of vacation his time for consideration keeps on running up to the day of dispatch. A move received in the vacation is ‘dated’ as of the day after vacation ends.

For supervision over and complaints because of the usage of the vacation the player himself and/or his opponent are responsible.

Each player communicates his vacation to all opponents and responsible tournament managers in advance, otherwise the vacation counts as not having been taken, the time for consideration is then calculated according to paragraph 5.2. This applies even if the player in a tournament with several rounds does not have open games at the moment. If a player does not have current tournaments, however would like to take vacation during a tournament which he has signed up for, he communicates this to the tournament office. If the player delivers a move in one of the games, then the vacation is considered altogether as terminated.

With the start of each tournament the responsible tournament manager has to send the following text as well as the fixture (who play against whom), the EMail addresses of the players involved and any other data that is important for the tournament to every one of the players involved:

Vacation: The “vacation in teams and single tournaments” is regulated in the regulations in paragraph 5.7 (vacation). Per tournament year each player is entitled to 6 weeks vacation. The one who wants to take vacation, must send an e-mail with the appropriate data to all opponents, all tournament managers concerned and to the tournament office ( During the vacation one may not send any moves, or differently formulated: the vacation ends immediately, if one makes a move in a game. It would however be nice, if a player, who wants to end his vacation - for whatever reason – would announce this in an e-mail to the above-mentioned persons.

5.9 Special leave

If a player needs more vacation, then he has to justify this. Special leave is usually granted to the extent of at the most 5 weeks per year. Note: Deviating from the “normal” vacation regulation special leave can be taken only in all DESC tournaments at the same time! The tournament office decides on the granting of special leave and its duration. The tournament office considers with its decision whether the smooth tournament process is improperly impaired thereby or not.

5.9.1 Unexpected events, retroactive vacation

If one has technical problems with online access or with other emergencies a report to the tournament office about necessary vacation/special leave can take place also by fax, by telephone, by post or by e-mail, if the player is prevented from a usual vacation message.

Vacation/special leave can be approved on request in sufficiently justified cases up to the total extent retroactively; however, this applies only, if the requesting player did not retard requesting the vacation on purpose, which he convincingly has to make clear. A request on retroactive special leave is to be addressed to the tournament office.

5.10 Maximum play duration in tournaments

In order to ensure the progress of tournaments within an appropriate time frame, a maximum duration for games is applied to each game which is played within a tournament. For a game maximally one year is granted both players together (including vacation periods) starting from the official beginning.

If a game is not finished after one year, then both players inform the tournament manager about the situation of the game (including the notation of all moves in accordance with 7.1) and request the valuation according to the valuation directive.

Games, in which the players did not transact at least 30 moves within a year, are rated Remis. In all other respects the valuation committee decides according to the Valuation directive on the outcome of the game, provided that the valuation is not omitted.

The regulations apply similarly to games, for which by deviating rules or the tournament stipulation another maximum duration of the game was specified.

In the respective final round of DESC Open or DESC Team’s Open or the DESC Championship the tournament management can decide in particular cases a lengthening of the maximum duration of games by consent of the involved players, if it concerns a game with direct influence on the assignment of the first place.

6. Move transmission

6.1 HTML prohibition

The moves are transmitted by E-Mail. The use of the HTML format, so-called “writing paper” and similar manners is not desired; in particular its use is absolutely to be refrained from when desired by the opponent; this does not apply, if compelling technical reasons are present.

6.2 PGN obligation

The e-mail should contain the complete past game in the PGN format apart from the data prescribed in 5.2.

The PGN info-page is a component of the regulations, its contents is binding for all members. From this regulation may be deviated only for compelling reasons; the deviation must be approved by the tournament manager.

Portable Game Notation (Wikipedia)

6.3 Contingent moves

Contingent moves (“If … then …”) can be indicated; they are to be clearly marked as such. There is no express obligation to consider contingent moves. A exceeding the time limit cannot be prevented by an contingent moves. For the sender of the contingent moves the time to reflect goes to loads of the first delivered move, for the receiver to loads of the answer move on the last accepted contingent moves.

6.4 Transmission errors

The moves are to be conveyed in a notation which is free of doubts. (Algebraic Chess Notation) If a player conveys an impossible move, a move that is against the rules, or a move, which cannot be doubtlessly reconstructed, then the resulting time delay counts as his time for consideration. In addition to this 5 days time for consideration are taken into account as punishment.

The opponent has to point out immediately that the move that was transmitted is not noted free of doubts, is not possible,or is against the rules; the time up to the complaint by the opponent is not considered as a time for consideration of the conveying player.

This regulation is to be applied correspondingly to the repetition of the opposing moves; without correct repetition of the last opposing move (or in case of accepted contingent moves of the entire contingent move sequence) no valid move can take place.

6.5 Inadmissibility of the move cancellation

The cancellation of a valid move is inadmissible also with agreement of the opponent.

7. Result message; Valuation and archive

7.1 Result message to the tournament manager

After conclusionof a game both players are committed to immediately sending a report about the game to the responsible tournament manager independently from each other; in each case it is also to be sent as copy (CC) to the opponent. The report about the game contains a recording of all played moves and must without fail be presented in the PGN format. Only after receipt of the report, the game will be rated. Reports, which do not correspond to the PGN format, can be and are usually supposed to be rejected by the tournament manager. If the tournament manager rejects the report about the game, then this is to be corrected immediately and be transmitted to the tournament manager again in a corrected version.

7.2 Data protection resposibility of the players

The players are obligated to secure the game notation and all remaining substantial data about the game process at least until 6 weeks after the end of a tournament and/or a round that has been formally disclosed by the tournament manager, in such a way that they can be conveyed to the responsible tournament manager or the tournament office on request at short notice. If a player does not convey the data on request, then ambiguity accrues at his expense in case of doubt.

7.3 Tournament winners

The winner of a tournament or a round is he, who obtained most of the points. If two or more players obtain the same score, they come in on the placesthat correspond to their points. If two or more players obtain the same score in a pre or an intermediate round, without allall of the players to be able to ascend into the next round, a valuation decides according to the Sonneborn-Berger-System; if even here two or more players obtain the same result, first the results between the players concerned decide, thereafter the lot.

The remarks to the subsequent round in paragraph 4.6 apply accordingly.

7.4 Ranking list

The DESC maintains a ranking list according to the Elo-procedure. For the ranking list all tournament games, announced single matches and team competitions are evaluated, which are played in the context of the DESC by e-mail or on a chess server and their results are correctly announced; justified exceptions can be made.

7.5 Archive

All games which are played in the framework of single matches and tournaments in the DESC are archived in the context of the possibilities of the administrators of the DESC and published on their homepage; justified exceptions can be made. Each member of the DESC agrees to the publication of his games with the mentioning of his name.

8. Special rules for team tournaments

8.1 Principle

The general rules of the game apply to the full extent to team tournaments, as far as they are applicable and are met in this article with no deviating regulations.

8.2 Team captain

As far as a team captain (MK) is intended, he is to be designated during the registration of the team, otherwise the player at board 1 is held liable as team captain; the team captain should be member of the team; if he is not a member of the team, then he may only then be a member of another team, if no conflicts of interest are to be feared.

As far as a team captain was determined, he represents the team in particular towards the tournament manager; the tournament stipulation regulates the individual obligations of the team captain. If a team tournament is played without team captains, the team can designate a representative in certain cases (e.g. in case of a revision).

8.3 Tournament winners in team tournaments

The winner of a team tournament or of a round in such a tournament is the team, which gained the higest team score. The team score is calculated by summing up the results of the individual teams amongst themselves, whereby a victory (higher sum of the points achieved per board) over another team yields 2 points for the team, a Remis (same sum of the points achieved per board) 1 point for the team and a defeat 0 points. If 2 or more teams obtain the same team score, they occupythey are placed equally according to their team score. If 2 or more teams obtain the same team score in a pre or an intermediate round, from which not all teams can ascend into the next round, first the sum of the points achieved per board decides; if here also 2 or more teams obtain the same result, first the results between the teams concerned decide (with point equality according to the Berlin-valuation), thereafter the lot decides.

8.4 Substitution of a player in team tournaments

Deviating from paragraphs 4.5. and 4.6. the substitution of a player is also possible during a current game with the agreement of the tournament manager, if important reasons can be presented. In this case the team captain has to request special leave immediately according to paragraph 5.9a. The new player may not already be participating in the tournament; he takes over the current games of the substituted player particularly including the time for consideration, any time exceed and used-up vacation.

If players do not continue games, offend otherwise against the rules to a substantial extent, do not answer the tournament manager or offend against the principles of sportyness, the tournament manager can also command the substitution and set a time limit for this for the team. The responsible tournament manager determines whether and to which extent the replacing team is burdened during the substitution by the resulting time for consideration. A player, whose team has dropped out of the tournament, may participate in none of the following rounds in the tournament.

9. Sportsmanship of the game; Sanctions

9.1 Excused resignation

A player can withdraw from a game or a tournament in justified cases. He communicates this, including reason, to his opponents and to the responsible tournament manager; the tournament manager then decides whether a sufficient reason has been presented. If the withdrawal is approved by the tournament director, will the games concerned according to decision of the tournament officials evaluated according to the Valuation directive, canceled or as lost counted.

9.2 Decision by tournament manager concerning rule offences

If a player quits a game or a tournament off without (sufficient) reason, offends the regulations and/or the tournament stipulation in other ways or behaves unsporty in some way, the responsible tournament manager can impose one or several of the following measures against the player:

  1. Admonishment of the member
  2. Disqualification for the current game concerned with a valuation of the game in favor of the objecting opponent
  3. Disqualification for the current tournament with a valuation of all the remaining games against the appropriate player
9.3 Tacit resignation

A tacit resignation is present, if a player answers neither to reminders of his opponents nor to inquiries or requests of the tournament manager. This is a serious offence against the regulations and a grossly unsporty behavior. A player, who commits a tacit resignation, can receives a starting barrier for the duration up to 12 months, in case of repetition for the duration of 24 months, and if it happens a third time a durable starting barrier for lifetime. A tacit resignation must be announced by the tournament manmager to the Admin team and this decides on the promulgation of a start barrier. A starting barrier forbids the barred player to sign up for any tournament of the DESC; this applies expressly also to tournaments, for which participation does not require membership in the DESC. It is also insignificant whether this player is a member of the DESC or not. A starting barrier does not impair the current tournaments of the player.

9.4 Restraints by the revisal commission

In particularly serious and/or in repeated cases of offences against the regulations and/or of unsporty behavior the tournament manager can request from the admin-team that the revisal commission deals with this affair (according to § 7 (4) of the statute of the DESC). The revisal commission can impose restraints on the member concerne, a measure according to paragraph 9.2. and/or impose a starting barrier for the duration of one to 12 months.

10. The coming into effect of the regulations

These regulations come into effect by the resolution of the general meeting in October 2003.