Handicap Blitz Grand Prix


The Handicap Blitz Grand Prix (“HBGP”) runs throughout the winter season as one of our “first of the month” activities – events run on the first Clubnight of each month. (Others are the Lightning Championship and the Blitz Championship, which is an entirely separate event).

The basis of the HBGP is a time handicap, with the higher rated player in each game having less time and the weaker player more time. There will be five events in the series, each of six rounds. Each of the five tournaments are stand alone events, so members can enter as many or as few as they like. But for the Grand Prix points scored in each event are aggregated during the course of the season to find the overall Grand Prix winner. We now have a Grand Prix trophy.

Conditions and Playing Rules are given below.

Handicap Blitz Grand Prix Conditions

  • Core time is 8 minutes on each clock per game;
  • Rapid ratings, where available, are used. Note 29 October 2022: the new ECF Blitz ratings will be used instead as soon as they can be taken as representative, probably from HBGGP2;
  • In each event, players will be allotted to a rating group.

The following are the rating bands now translated to 4-digit ratings:

0 – 2151+
1 – 2001-2150
2 – 1851-2000
3 – 1701-1850
4 – 1551-1700
5 – 1401-1550
6 – 1400 and below

To calculate the time Handicap: for each game, take the difference between the players’ respective rating groups, call this figure minutes. Deduct these minutes from the higher-rated player’s clock and add those minutes to the lower-rated player’s clock. The greatest time adjustment is therefore +/– 6 mins. Players in the same rating group play with equal time, 8 minutes each.

Example – a game between a player in group 3 and a player in group 5: the difference in their rating groups is (5-3) = 2, so the lower rated player has 8+2 = 10 minutes, while the higher rated player has 8-2 = 6 minutes.

On the pairings screen each player’s rating group will be shown in the column headed “Origin”.

Clocks with the various possible time differences wil be available on the table below the pairings screen. When each round is announced, players should work out the time difference, collect the appropriate clock from the table – remember the clock should be place on Black’s right side. On completion of the game, the clock should be re-cycled, i.e. returned to the table below the pairings screen.

HBGP Playing Rules

1. RULE CHANGEFIDE Laws of chess apply, meaning that the ‘touched piece’ rule DOES apply.

2. A completed illegal move loses, so long as opponent claims before completing a reply (i.e. before clock press) and provided it is possible for the opponent to win by any series of legal moves, otherwise the opponent can only claim a draw. If no claim is made, the game continues.

3. An illegal move is claimed by stopping clock – centre button – and drawing opponent’s attention to it and if necessary the Controller.

3. Notes:

– a Pawn promotion must be completed before clock press otherwise it is an illegal move, e.g. pawn must be replaced by new piece; if you leave the pawn on the promotion square and say “Queen!” and press the clock, this is an illegal move, the queen must be placed on the promotion square and the pawn removed. If no replacement piece is available, you may stop the clock to find a the promotion piece, then start the clock before placing the promotion piece on the promotion square.

– Do not take a King left in check but claim the illegal move.

4. To claim a win on time, stop the clocks. For the claim to succeed, the Opponent’s clock must be showing the black flag and the claimant must have ‘mating material’, defined as ‘the means to deliver mate by any series of legal moves’. If the Claimant does not have mating material, he/she can only claim a draw.

If both clocks read 0.00, then the clock which shows the black flag is the clock which time-expired first.

5. If pieces are accidentally knocked over in the course of making a move, they must be replaced in the player’s own time. If the player presses the clock with pieces displaced, this will NOT be deemed an illegal move; however, the opponent should restart the player’s clock and require the piece(s) to be replaced.

6. Draw claims in last two minutes does not apply.