Return to Home page

HOME --> TIPS --> IECC Guidelines

(Excerpts from the) IECC Guidelines

Rules and policies for the other email chess organizations are very similar. It's a good idea to adhere to these practices in all your email games, even if you're only playing a "friendly" game.

Note: (.....) indicates deleted information not relevant to this page.


4. Conduct

4.1 Players who withdraw from an event shall notify their opponents, CEO David Glew, and the TD. Failure to do so may result in the loss of membership.

4.2 Anyone involved in illegal activities will be subject to loss of membership.

4.3 Your opponents and the IECC Staff are to be treated courteously. Disregard for this rule may result in the loss of membership.

4.4 Any member of IECC who does not respond to inquiries from an IECC Staff member is subject to loss of membership.


6. Ratings

Formulas are similar to those used by USCF and CFC.

Please note: National ratings with appropriate conversions can apply. Subject to correction/revision, the following adjustments are believed to be appropriate.

Quebec [FQE] : Add 100 points England : Multiply 3-digit rating by 8; add 700 Netherlands : Add 150 points Norway : Add 180 points Sweden : Add 200 points ELO : Add 100 points FIDE : Add 50 points Germany DWZ : Add 100 points

The minimum starting rating is 1000.


Please note that for pairing purposes, Events are normally divided into specific rating categories so that members are normally paired against opponents of similar abilities, usually within a 200 point rating differential.

Exceptions are Thematics and Open Swiss Events which are open events where players with significantly different ratings may be paired against one another.


8. Rules of Play/Time Controls

8.1 Players are free to consult chess publications or literature in printed or electronic form. Any other form of consultation, including the use of computer chess programmes that analyse a position and suggest moves or play chess games, is prohibited.

8.2 All calculations of Reflection Time are based on your local date of receipt and transmission.

8.3 Reflection Time is the number of days from the date that a legal move becomes available to you on your server until, and including, the date you respond to your opponent with a legal move.

For example: if your opponent's move is available to you on your server on July 4 and you respond on July 4 you accumulate zero days of Reflection Time; or, if you respond on July 5 you have accumulated one day of Reflection Time; or, if you respond on July 6 you have accumulated two days of Reflection Time.

8.4 IECC time controls are 10 consecutive moves in 30 days of your own Reflection Time. 10 consecutive moves is represented by moves 1-10, 2-11, 3-12, etc.

8.5 You may NOT take longer than 10 days of your own Reflection Time for any one move.

8.6 Conditional ("if") moves are permitted in forcing situations to accelerate play.

8.7 Any legal move dispatched, including acceptance of any conditional move(s), is binding. Mistaken or missing announcements of check or capture, or any other clerical or typographical errors, do not invalidate the move sent.

For example, if a player sends the move Bxc4+ and the bishop can legally move to c4, even if the move is not a capture, and does not give check, it is still a binding legal move, and the bishop must move to c4.

8.8 If an illegal or ambiguous move is sent, either by itself or as part of a conditional move, then this move shall be referred back to the sender for immediate correction but without obligation to move the piece in question. If an illegal or ambiguous move is sent either by itself or as part of a conditional move, the moves immediately preceding the illegal or ambiguous move are binding.

The offending player shall be charged 1 additional Day of Reflection Time and the illegal or ambiguous move must be remedied without delay.

8.9 If, in the course of a game, it is discovered that an illegal move has gone previously undetected, the position existing immediately before the illegal move was made shall be reinstated and the game shall be continued from that position.

If, in the course of a game, it is discovered that an ambiguous move has gone previously undetected, the position reverts to the ambiguous move, which must be clarified without delay, and the game shall be continued from that point.

No penalty is assessed to either player provided the correction or clarification is deemed to have been made by the offending player without delay.

8.10 If a player exceeds 30 Days of Reflection Time for any 10 consecutive moves, OR 10 Days of Reflection Time for any one move, the match and the calculation of Reflection Time are suspended. The Senior Arbitrator and the TD must be notified immediately.

8.11 If a situation occurs which cannot be resolved by mutual agreement between players, the matter should be brought to the attention of the Senior Arbitrator and the TD.

Where possible, the match should continue unless otherwise directed by the Senior Arbitrator or the TD.

9. Vacations and Interruptions in Play

9.1 A player may be granted a leave of absence from ongoing games for reasons of business or vacation for a maximum period of 30 days without penalty. Absences in excess of 30 days will be allowed but will render current games liable to forfeit, in order to ensure the timely completion of events and to avoid keeping opponents waiting for an extended period of time.

All absences must be notified in advance to the Absence Coordinator at, and to all current opponents.

Leaves of absence must not exceed 30 days in any one match.

9.2 Interruptions in play, without prior notice to the TD, Absence Coordinator and opponents, due to personal or family illness, or other emergencies, will be accommodated by IECC to the extent considered reasonable.

9.3 Although a leave of absence for an equipment or access problem is allowed, the Absence Coordinator and the TD must be notified within the 10 days permitted for a single move. If this rule is not heeded, any affected game(s) may become subject to forfeit.

10. Transmission of Moves

10.1 Players MUST use short form English algebraic notation. An example is provided below.

If Roger Jones and Sally Howe are playing a 2-game match:

Event Name eg M-xxx Trio-xxx etc

Game 1 RJ - SH 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 ?

Game 2 SH - RJ 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.?

where Roger is playing White in Game 1, and Sally is playing White in Game 2, with Sally to move in both games.

10.2 Although allowed, a game diagram has no official standing and will not be used to resolve a discrepancy. It should not normally be included in transmissions to your opponents without their prior agreement.

10.3 As a minimum -- if both players agree -- only the most recent moves (ie your opponent's last move, any "if" moves accepted, and your move) need be sent.

Using the following example:

Event Name eg M-xxx Trio-xxx etc

Game 1 RJ - SH 2. ... Nc6 3.Bb5 ?

Game 2 SH - RJ 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.?

11. Arbitration

11.1 Notice for a Reflection Time Violation MUST contain the following information, and should be sent to     1. Event name and number 2. Your name and email address 3. Your opponent's name and email address 4. The date of the start of the game or games 5. The date of your last move transmission 6. The date(s) of any resend(s) 7. The game(s) record 8. The nature of the violation 9. Any other information that may be pertinent in assisting the Arbitrator or the TD in resolving the matter in a timely manner.

12. Game Reports

12.1 When a game has been completed, the winning player, or white in the case of a draw, must report the result -- including the IECC PGN-format moves record. This should be sent to the Tournament Director who issued the game to you.

12.2 It is not necessary to submit a report for a game that ended by a forfeit. The Senior Arbitrator will inform the staff about any such games, and they will be rated when the CEOs are so notified.

12.3 Game reports must be in PGN format. Below is an example of an IECC game in PGN format: (The game was composed to include as many different types of chess moves as possible.)

[Event "KO-50.2"] [Site "IECC"] [Date "1997.04.15"] [White "Brown, Mary"] [Black "Green, John"] [Result "1-0"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 b6 4.O-O Bb7 5.d4 Qf6 6.c3 O-O-O 7.Nbd2 exd4 8.cxd4 Nge7 9.d5 Ne5 10.Qe2 N7g6 11.Ba6 Bd6 12.Nxe5 Qxe5 13.Bxb7+ Kxb7 14.Nf3 Qh5 15.b3 c5 16.dxc6+ dxc6 17.Bb2 Rhe8 18.Rfc1 Bf4 19.Rc4 Rd2 20.Qxd2 Bxd2 21.Nxd2 Nf4 22.e5 f5 23.exf6 Qg5 24.g3 Ne2+ 25.Kf1 Qb5 26.f7 Kc8 27.fxe8=Q+ Kc7 28.Rd4 Nc1+ 29.Kg1 c5 30.Qe3 Nxb3 31.axb3 g5 32.Rda4 c4 33.Ra6 Qa5 34.R6xa5 c3 35.Nc4 cxb2 36.Rd1 b1=N 37.Qe4 Nc3 38.Rxa7+ Kb8 39.Qb7# 1-0


- The Result line must be "1-0" for a win for white, "0-1" for a win for black, and "1/2-1/2" for a draw.


12.5 The Move List     - The move list must be in abbreviated algebraic notation using English piece initials. The IECC New Member Program offers instruction in this notation for those who are not familiar with it.

- When received by IECC, all movelists are verified for correctness. Games containing ambiguous moves, or movelists which depart greatly from the accepted notation cause a great deal of trouble for the IECC staff, and may be returned to the player for correction. Your help is greatly appreciated in taking care that your movelists contain only valid, unambiguous moves. Reading them into any of the excellent chess recorder programs that are available is a good way to check them for accuracy. A few trouble-spots are noted below:

- Pawn captures are recorded in the format "exd4", but NOT "ed", "exd", or "ed4".

- En passant captures are NOT specially designated. i.e. Do not include the letters "ep" after the move.

- Promotions are recorded in the format "d8=Q", but NOT "d8Q" or "d8(Q)".

- Castling must be recorded using the capital letter O, and NOT the number zero (0). Correct is O-O or O-O-O, but NOT 0-0 or 0-0-0. To a person reading the PGN there may be little difference, but a PGN program will reject the castling move recorded with zeros.

- All captures must include an "x". For example: Nxd6, but NOT just Nd6 or N:d6.

- All moves that give check, even if the check is incidental, must have a "+" after the move, without a space in between.

- Checkmate must be indicated by "#", but not "++" or "mate".

- If two identical pieces can move to the same square, differentiate between them by file letter only. If they are on the same file, then use rank number only. This letter or number should come right after the initial of the piece and should NOT be contained in brackets. For example: Nge7, R6xa5 - but not N(g)e7 or Ra6xa5

- Move numbers must be followed by a period. For example: 4.Bh5 -- but not 4Bh5 or 4 Bh5

- The same result that is in the Result line of the header must also be at the end of the movelist, but here it should not be in quotation marks or brackets. For example: 1-0, but NOT "1-0", (1-0), [1-0], etc.

- Technically, resigning or drawing is not a move. If the game ends after black's move, the result should NOT be preceded by a move #. For example: 38.Rf6 Qh7 0-1, but NOT 38.Rf6 Qh7 39.0-1

- Words such as "resigns", "stalemate", "draw by repetition", etc. must NOT be included at the end of the move list, or anywhere in the game report for that matter.

- Annotations (!, ?, etc.) must not be included in the move list.


13.7 New players frequently ask: "What is a good number of games to start?"

Difficult to answer without knowing the player's available hobby time, other commitments, and threshold of stress. Start with a minimum of games, and please discuss the specifics of your situation with the CEOs.

13.8 Do I have to read my email and respond on weekends?

No, but you must keep the standard pace: 10 consecutive moves in 30 days, and you may not take longer than 10 days of your own Reflection Time for any one move.

13.9 Am I going to get flagged if I am confronted with other commitments / job change/ a rush project / an-exam / a-week's-vacation / a family-crisis?

You will not get flagged if you advise your opponents and Absence Coordinator Tim Nagley at, requesting an adjournment.

In short, adjournments are permissible -- but ONLY IF the above notifications are made.

13.10 How do I keep the game(s) going if my opponent won't move?

Notify the Senior Arbitrator and TD with full details as described in section 10.

13.11 How do I and my opponent resolve typographical errors? (touch-move?)

Please refer to sections 8.7 through 8.9

14. General Recommendations

The following guidelines are highly recommended.

14.1 Each player should maintain a complete written record of each game. It is valuable in the event of a dispute. This record should include the dates that you started your games.

14.2 Players are similarly asked to keep copies of their last ten moves messages, sent and received, to assist in settling disputes.

14.3 Players are encouraged to set up a resend policy early in the game. If a message then goes missing, the game can be continued with a minimum cost of time and trouble. Three or four days is a reasonable standard. (.....)