Continental Chess Rules and Penalties on use of Electronic Devices

Revised 9/8/18
These rules apply to all regular rated or dual rated tournaments.
Major changes are as follows:

     A) Most rules now apply to all regular rated (or dual rated) tournaments, regardless of prize fund..
     B) A device may not be carried during play and must be kept in a bag. Even better is to leave it home, or in your hotel room or car.
     C) Posession of a device in a bathroom requires a forfeit or the maximum time penalty.
D) Except for games in which both players have minus scores (more losses than wins), players may not leave the tournament area, or go to a different floor if the tournament uses multiple floors, during play without Director’s permission.

1. Players may not posess or view, while playing, devices (cellphones or other electronic devices capable of chess analysis or communication), without permission of a Director. Devices may be stored in a bag or case that must remain at the playing table. See rule 11 for penalties.

2. Music players, which cannot communicate or operate software, will generally be allowed if the opponent does not object, however see rule 5, special events. The use of a computer or phone to play music is prohibited, even if the computer or phone is disabled so that it can do nothing but play music.

3. During play, devices must be stored out of sight in a pocket, bag or case. etc. and turned off (no vibrate, silent or sleep mode without permission of a director). A player who posesses or views an electronic device during play will be penalized (see rule 11). 

4. Posession of or viewing a device in a bathroom while playing is a serious offense and warrants greater than the minimum penalty. Penalty 11C will not apply and the penalty will be either 11A or 11B. Spectators are also not allowed to possess or view devices in bathrooms. Players whose games have finished are considered spectators, and may be penalized through loss of time in the next round.

5. Special events: At tournaments with at least $20,000 in guaranteed prizes, and for all FIDE rated games, the following additional rule is in effect: Music players are not allowed if either player has an 80% or higher score in round 3 or after, even if the opponent does not object.
6. Except for games in which both players have minus scores (more losses than wins), players may not leave the tournament area, or go to a different floor of the hotel if the tournament uses multiple floors, during play without Director’s permission. The tournament area consists of the tournament room(s), skittles room(s), vendor room, lecture room, and adjacent bathrooms or foyers.

7. A player who wishes to make a call during play should see a director and request permission to call.

8. A player who anticipates possibly receiving an emergency call should notify a director at least an hour in advance, and will provided with an alternate procedure.

9. If a player’s cellphone rings in the tournament room while games are in progress, there will be a penalty (see rule 11). However, the player does not automatically forfeit, even if the event is FIDE rated, as FIDE rules no longer require this.  If an offending player’s game is over when his or her cellphone rings, the penalty shall apply to the following round.

10. A player who simultaneously violates more than one of these rules may obtain only one penalty.

11. The penalty for violating rules 1, 3, 4, 6 or 9 is one of the following:
       A. The player is forfeited.
       B. The player loses 20 minutes or 75% of remaining time, whichever is less.
       C. The player loses 10 minutes or 50% of remaining time, whichever is less. This penalty does not apply to rule 4 (cellphone in bathroom), for which the penalty is either 11A or 11B.
       D. If no more than 5 moves have been played, the offender may receive a warning rather than a penalty.
       The director will determine the penalty, taking into consideration the details of the offense, the scores of the players, and the size of the prize fund. If there is sufficient evidence of cheating, the player will be forfeited regardless of score or prize fund, and may also be ejected from the tournament, barred from future tournaments, or reported to USCF for possible revocation of membership.
12. Players must submit to a search for electronic devices if requested by a Director. Refusal to cooperate with a search request warrants forfeiture of game and ejection from the tournament, with no refund. Cellphone detecting wands may be used to check players entering, exiting or inside bathrooms or anywhere else in the tournament area. 

13. A player whose performance rating far exceeds his or her rating may be assigned to a spectator free room, at the Director’s discretion. No evidence of cheating is needed for the Director to make such an assignment.

14. Electronic scoresheets are usually permitted if approved by USCF or FIDE.

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