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Rules and reminders

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Nowadays ICCF webserver can be used in 12 languages (English, Polish, German, French, Spanish, Czech, Russian, Japanese, Croatian, Finnish, Italian, Dutch).

Time control

Some requests for clarification have been raised.

Fischer time control in OTB chess is used for many years and it’s normal. Chess players playing only correspondence chess may have a problem understanding time control correctly like this.

Time control for server jubilee tournaments is 30 days per game plus 3 days EVERY 1 move (from the first move until the end of the game).

It means that at the beginning of the game player has 30 days initial time and then after each move 3 days (increment) is added. Time can be accumulated.

In comparison to standard time control:

  • First 10 moves: 30+3*10=60 average 60 days/10 moves
  • First 20 moves: 30+3*20=90 average 45 days/10 moves
  • First 30 moves: 30+3*30=120 average 40 days/10 moves
  • First 40 moves: 30+3*40=150 average 37,5 days/10 moves etc.

A time duplication (with regard to reflection time for one move) follows after a number of days (20 by default).

Following ICCF Rules, article 2.4.2.:

Playing time is accounted for in whole days (24-hour periods). A player will have 24 hours of reflection time to respond to a move before one day of time is charged against the player’s clock by the ICCF Webserver. Time charged against a player in responding to a move will be the whole number of days reflection time used by the player, up to 20 days, plus twice the whole number of days of reflection time used beyond 20 days, for any single move. For instance, a player who used at least 23 days of reflection time, but not 24 days, will be charged 26 days against the player’s clock. Time remaining on a player’s clock, when reaching a time control, is carried forward. Both response time and reflection time are stopped during a valid leave.

Games to be completed

The system allows many different ways for games to be completed. Players are encouraged to be familiar with these methods, as it may be their responsibility to take action.

The system can automatically detect certain conditions, including checkmate or stalemate, exceeded the time limit or taken more than 40 calendar days for one move without notification. However, some situations require from a player to claim a result (through the option provided at the server from game window “Claim win” or “Claim draw” under “Game” pull down menu), for example:

  • win – if, say, position comes to 7-piece winning ending (in this case 50-move rule doesn’t apply)
  • draw – if, say, a threefold repetition or the 50-move rule has occurred or position comes to 7-piece drawish ending.

The system automatically detects correctness of a claim, then stops a game and enters a result.

Please remember that claim (of a draw or a win) has to be submitted when player is on move!

If in doubt, please communicate with TD in good time.


There are few solutions to avoid time-trouble or game forfeited on time.

  • Better time management.
  • Take leave. Each player has 45 day leave per calendar year. So please take it (you can see it in green in your leave calendar window).
  • Submit “Use 40+ reflection” under “Game” pull down menu in your game window, if you have spare time and want to use reflection time more than 40 days.
  • It is better to inform TD about your problem, when you cannot continue your games instead of being silent. You may avoid suspension from ICCF events for longer period than 6 months, if accepted withdrawal (in case of not accepted withdrawal usually 1-year suspension, in case of silent withdrawal at least 2 years).

Fair play

Few excerpts from ICCF Rules, article 1.7. “Code of conduct”, should be reminded here in support of players’ awareness, because some behavioural issues happen again and again.

In 1984, ICCF adopted the motto “Amici Sumus” (we are friends) and this is the underlying philosophy in setting behavioural standards for players, for officials and for member federations (MFs). This must prevail in all communications between players in a game of CC, between players and tournament directors, officials of ICCF and international contacts of member federations. Sending an abusive, obscene, or objectionable communication is not acceptable, under any circumstances. […]

Players should observe the rules carefully. Ignorance or unfamiliarity of the rules cannot be plead as an excuse.

Any disputes or claims by a player must, in the first instance, be communicated to the official TD of the tournament (from the drop-down menu on the game screen). The facts must be clearly reported and a player should avoid creating any unnecessary antagonism towards a partner, even when disputes occur. Abusive remarks have no place in ICCF philosophy.

Wherever possible, players should try amicably to resolve any problem quickly with a playing partner, before referring the matter to the TD.

Extending of a game

It is good practice to finish game in good time, especially when it comes to 7-piece ending (but not exclusively). Sometimes players hesitate to come to an agreement, but please be aware that Tablebases (EGTB) for 7 pieces (or less) are accessible online for everybody (e.g. Lichess). So extending of a game is not fair or worse – might be suspicious when ending goes to a different conclusion from EGTB. Both cases might be considered by TD as behavioural issues.

ICCF Rules

ICCF Rules Valid from
ICCF Rules 2021-01-01
ICCF Laws of Correspondence Chess 2020-01-01