Sacramento Chess Club
Blitz Rules

The officers of the Sacramento Chess Club have agreed to adopt the rules below for blitz events beginning January 1, 2005. These rules are derived from the WBCA blitz rules as revised on December 17, 1999. These rules may be fine-tuned based on our experience in using them.

Overview of the Main Rules

1.  Touch move.

2.  Illegal move loses.

3.  Sufficient mating material required to win on time or by opponent's illegal move.

4.  No insufficient losing chances draw claims.

Details of the Rules

1.  Each player must make all his moves in the time specified for the game. Time limits may be from three to ten minutes, with the same amount of time allotted to each player.  Time delay may be used.

2.  All the clocks must have a special device, usually called a "flag", marking the end of the time control period. Either player may object to using a digital clock, provided they produce a clock with a standard face. In the event that both players prefer their own standard face clock, the player with Black will have the choice each game.

3.  Before play begins, both players should inspect the position of the pieces and the setting of the clock, since once each side has made a move no position or clock setting claims are permitted.

4.  When the rules below call for the standard penalty, it will be one minute added to the opponent's remaining time.

5.  Each player must move the pieces with one hand and push the clock with the same hand. Exception: when castling, a player may use both hands. When capturing, only one hand may be used. The first infraction will get a warning, the second the standard penalty, and the third a forfeit.

6.  The tournament director should state at the start of the event the direction the clocks are to face, and the player with the Black pieces then decides which side he will play with that opponent.

7.  Except for pushing the clock, neither player should touch the clock except to straighten it.
a.  If either player knocks over the clock, the standard penalty is imposed.

b.   If your opponent's clock does not tick you may push his side down and repunch your side; however, if this procedure is unsatisfactory, please call for a director.

c.  Each player must always be allowed to push the clock after his move is made. Also, neither player should keep his hand on or over the clock.
8.  Defining a win --

A game is won by the player:
a.  Who has mated his opponent's king.

b.  Whose opponent resigns.

c.  Whose opponent's flag falls first at any time before the game is otherwise ended, provided that he points it out and stops the clock while his own flag is still up and that he has mating material.

d.  Who after his opponent’s illegal move takes the king or stops the clock, provided he has mating material.

e.  An illegal move doesn't negate a player's right to claim on time, provided he does so prior to his opponent's claim of illegal move. If the claims are simultaneous, the player who made the illegal move loses.
9.  Defining Mating Material

Either two minor pieces (except king versus king + knight + knight), a pawn, a rook, or a queen will be sufficient mating material. Less material will be mating material only if a forced win can be demonstrated to the director within two minutes after the claim is made.

10.  Defining a Draw

A game is a draw:
a.  If one of the kings is stalemated even if a fallen flag is claimed simultaneously.

b.  By agreement between the players during a game only.

c.  If the flag of one player falls after the flag of the other player has already fallen and a win has not been claimed, unless either side mates before noticing both flags down.

d.  To claim a draw by repetition of position, a three-time repetition is necessary with the player counting 1, 2, 3, out loud so as to make it quite clear and easier for the director to assist. Claimant should stop the clock after third repetition.

e.  If one player has insufficient mating material when his opponent's flag falls or his opponent makes an illegal move.

f.  If both players each have just one identical piece in addition to the king, either may claim a draw by stopping the clock if neither side can show a forced win within 2 minutes after the claim is made to the director.

g.  In king + bishop versus king + bishop of opposite colors, with only 1 pawn on the board, or in 2 versus 1 in a clearly blockaded position, a draw can be claimed by stopping the clocks and summoning director, if necessary, provided no forced win can be demonstrated within 2 minutes after the claim is made to the director.

h.  King + rook-pawn versus king can be claimed as a draw once the defender is on the rook file in front of the pawn. King + pawn versus king can be claimed as a draw once the defender is immediately on the square directly in front of the pawn as long as the pawn is not on the 7th rank.

i. King + rook + rook-pawn versus king + rook is a draw if the pawn is blockaded by the king and there is no immediate win.

j. Other positions are drawn if the director upholds a claim under Rule 11.
11.  When a clearly drawn position is reached either player may stop the clock and appeal to the director for a draw. The claimant will have two minutes to convince the director that the position is clearly drawn.
a.  If the director allows a draw as in rule 10, the game is over.

b.  If the claim is rejected then the standard penalty is imposed against the claimant.
12.  If a player accidentally displaces one or more pieces, he must replace them on his own time. If it is necessary, his opponent may start the opponent's clock without making a move in order to make sure that the culprit uses his own time while replacing the pieces. If a player touches one piece, then moves another, his opponent can restart the player's clock and make him move the piece he touched. Finally, it is bad sportsmanship to knock over any pieces then punch the clock. For a first offense the player will get a warning (unless he causes his opponent's flag to fall, in which case the offended will get one extra minute on his clock); for a second offense the standard penalty will be imposed; for a third he will forfeit the game. Thereafter the director may use any other penalties or expel a player from the event for repeated offenses.

13.  In case of a dispute either player may stop the clock while the director is being summoned. In any unclear situation the director will consider the testimony of both players and any reliable witnesses before rendering a decision, which in all cases is final.

14.  The director shall not pick up the clock except in the case of a dispute when both players allow him to do so.

15.  Spectators and players in another game are not to speak or otherwise interfere in another game. If a spectator interferes in any way, such as calling attention to a flag fall or an illegal move, the director may cancel the game and rule that a new game be played in its stead, and he may expel the offending party from the playing room. The director should also be silent about illegal moves or flag falls (unless there are sufficient directors and they have agreed with players to call them before the event started) as this is entirely the responsibility of the players.

16.  A player who has played an illegal move and sees it before pressing the clock must retract it and make a legal move. If no legal move exists with that piece then he may make any legal move and there is no penalty. Illegal moves unnoticed by both players cannot be corrected afterwards, nor can they become the basis for making a claim, although a piece once touched must be moved. An illegal move is completed when the player presses the clock, whereupon the opponent may claim a win provided he has mating material.

17.  A player's illegal move stands with no penalty after the opponent has touched any piece except to capture the player's king.

18.  If the player promotes a pawn and leaves the pawn on the board, the opponent has the option of stopping the clocks while a replacement piece is found.

19.  A director may determine that a clock is defective and may change clocks at his discretion.

20.  Before the tournament the organizers should post at least two copies of the complete blitz rules in the tournament area unless there are less than 25 players, in which case one list will suffice. Posting one hour before play would be advisable.

21.  If the king and queen are set up incorrectly, then you castle short on the queenside and long on the kingside! Once each side has made a move, the incorrect setups stay unless both parties agree to restart.

22.  Excessive banging of pieces or clock will not be tolerated!

23.  Finally, in all Sacramento Chess Club blitz tournaments, the decision of the director is final.