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 stronger player in each game having less time and the weaker player more time. There are usually five events in the series, each of seven rounds. Each of the five tournaments are stand alone events, so members can enter as many or as few as they like. Points scored in each event are aggregated during the course of the season to find the overall Grand Prix winner. Cash prizes are awarded for each event and a final Grand Prix award. We now have a Grand Prix trophy. In the last two seasons, we have also awarded a “Petit Prix” for the highest score by a player appearing in only four events.

Conditions and Playing Rules are given below.

Handicap Blitz Grand Prix Conditions

Core time 8 minutes on each clock per game

Rapidplay grades, where available, will be used

In each event, players will be allotted to a grading group:–
1: 175 and above
2: 155–174
3: 135–154
4: 115–134
5: 95-115
6: 94 and below

The Time Handicap: for each game, take the difference between the players’ respective grading groups, call this figure minutes. Deduct these minutes from the higher-graded player’s clock and add those minutes to the lower-graded player’s clock. The greatest time adjustment is therefore +/– 5 mins. Players in the same grading group play with equal time, 8 minutes each.

HBGP Playing Rules

1. “Clock move” applies, meaning that the ‘touched piece’ rule does not apply; the player may change their move, even move a different piece, until the clock is pressed. Once the clock has been pressed, the move is complete and can no longer be changed.

2. 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 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.


– 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. If no queen or acceptable alternative (i.e. upturned rook) is available, stop the clock to find a queen).

– 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 time must read 0.00 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.

*** Note this Rule 4 is changed from 2018 to use the indication of the black flag ***

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.