2023-2024 Policies for Tournaments

The policies below are the default policies of Hart House Chess Club (HHCC) tournaments except where otherwise stated on the tournament webpage. Not all the policies below may apply to all tournaments.

Refusal of Entry:

  • We reserve the right to refuse entry.


Ontario Chess Association & CFC Membership 

  • All players must either be CFC members or purchase a CFC Tournament Membership (Adult $20, Junior $10) suitable for the tournament. FQE members and visiting Masters are excepted in accordance with CFC guidelines. 
  • Ontario Chess Association Memberships are covered with a CFC membership. 
  • Participants are strongly encouraged to purchase CFC memberships online. 



  • Pre-registered and pre-paid entries who find it necessary to withdraw prior to the start of an event can receive a full or partial refund on entry fees subject to the following fees and conditions:
    • For entries that involve us cashing or writing a cheque, a $5 handling fee will be withheld
    • If notice of withdrawal is received before the close of early registration, a 100% refund will be issued (less handling fees described above).
    • If notice of withdrawal is received between the close of early registration and 24 hours before the close of onsite registration, we will withhold $10. 
    • If notice of withdrawal is received between 24 hours before the close of on-site registration, we will withhold 50% of entry fees.
  • All emergencies should go through hhtournaments@gmail.com for communications regarding withdrawal, travel delays, or other late-breaking information.
  • HHCC tournaments will only allow for play-up requests if submitted before the listed play-up deadline. 



  • Players are expected to play all rounds if no byes are requested, as a Swiss format means players are paired based on the number of points. We do not do knock-out format. 
  • 1/2 point byes for up to two rounds are available for every round except the last two if requested before the tournament.
  • Zero-point byes are available for any round, including the last, if requested before pairings are made (usually at the end of the previous round).
  • Taking a half-point bye or a zero-point bye does not affect eligibility for prizes.
  • Requested byes will be posted before Round 1 for players to verify their requests.
  • It’s important to send registration and bye requests by email to hhtournaments@gmail.com. Do not contact HHCC staff members through our social media channels for this purpose. Once registered in a tournament, the assumption is that you will show up for each round unless you inform HHCC by email or before pairings of an exception in your attendance. We also do not have a phone number, do not call Hart House for inquiries about your status in the tournament; use the tournament email. 



  • We will supply chess sets and clocks. 
  • We will provide score sheets and pens for chess notation. 
  • We will provide water stations/refill stations. 


  • We use a 1/2-hour grace period from before the game is forfeited.

 FIDE and CFC Rules:


  1. Players have an obligation to disclose all previous ratings in other countries and regions.
  2. The TD has the absolute right to use any rating they deem appropriate, although they will generally follow the terms below.
  3. The primary rating used is the CFC regular rating, provided that the player has an established rating and it is current.
  4. If the player does not have a current, established CFC regular rating but has a current, established rating in another ‘official’ system (excluding CFC active ratings), then that rating will be used.  If, in this situation, a player has multiple current established ratings in ‘official’ systems, FIDE will be used as the first choice, the player’s ‘home’ system will be used as 2nd choice, and otherwise, the TD will use their discretion.  The TD will decide if a given rating is ‘current.’  In general, we consider ten games in the last year in that system to be current.
  5. If the player has a rating(s) in an official system(s) but is not current or established, then the TD will use their discretion but will be biased towards the player’s home system and more recent activity.
  6. If the player does not have any official ratings but has a rating in an unofficial system, the TD, at their discretion, may use that rating.  Internet ratings will typically not be used.
  7. Conversion of other ratings to CFC equivalent will be at the TD’s discretion.
  8. Ratings posted before Round 1 will be used for both pairing and prize distribution.  Pre-registration lists, wall charts, etc., will use this rating.
  9. Unrated players are not eligible for class prizes. Unrated players may play in any section and are not subject to the play-up fee. Unrated players are strongly recommended to email or speak with organizers to determine their most appropriate section. Unrated players, when questioned, must be able to provide reasoning for playing up in sections. 



  • Ties for cash prizes will be split (no tiebreaks will be used).
  • Special prizes as announced for a particular event may be in addition to any other prizes.   Otherwise, a player is usually entitled to only one cash prize.


  • We will endeavour, if asked, to avoid pairing family members.  This is not guaranteed, particularly in the later rounds, depending on the competitive situation. 
  • Players should inform the TD prior to the tournament if there are family members in the same section. 



  • No food is allowed in any room where chess sets have been placed.
  • Water will be supplied; however, participants are strongly recommended to bring their own water bottles. 



  1. All electronics capable of making noise, communicating elsewhere, or playing chess must be turned off.  Turned ‘off’ means fully off, not sleeping or on “hibernate” modes.
  2. All such electronics must not be on the player’s person but stored in a bag under the desk or on the table. In particular, it is forbidden for a player to take such devices into the washroom. Just taking such a device to the washroom is sufficient for TD to apply penalties as they see fit.
  3. Players and spectators may not use these devices at any time while in the playing venue, including washrooms, associated hallways, and anywhere players are allowed to be unless they have the permission of the TD.
  4. We allow players and spectators to take photos and video, including using a cell phone as a camera, in the first 10 minutes of play.  No flash, please.



  • No equipment, books, or other commercial merchandise may be sold at our venue without our express permission.  Whether we grant permission will depend on if we have exclusive arrangements with someone else, the nature of the merchandise (must be chess related), our rental agreement with the venue, and our discretion in the matter.
  • Chess-related flyers for tournaments, lessons, etc., may be left in the registration area.  They may not be distributed to each board except with our express permission. 
  • Non-chess-related advertising material is not allowed and will be removed.


  • Accommodation is the player’s responsibility, the Club does not have official tournament accommodation or group rates. 
  • University residences will be full during HH Holidays Open and HH Reading Week Opens. 

Tournament policies updated February 2023.