Nations League Season 4 Rules

Nations League Season 4 Rules

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A. Schedule

A1.'s Nations League Season 4 will be Sunday, February 13 through Sunday, March 27, 2022.

A2. The Nations League will have weekly matches on 6 Sundays – February 13, February 20, February 27, March 13, March 20, March 27, 2022.  Sunday, March 6 is reserved as a break week with no scheduled matches (can be used to make up missed matches).

A3. The suggested default match time is Sunday 9:00am Pacific / 18:00 CEST. Teams may also schedule matches on Fridays or Saturdays.

A4. Nation admins must report weekly results by the end of day on Sunday.

A5. The estimated total match time is 90 minutes. The blitz segment should be scheduled for 75 minutes after the rapid segment.


B. Eligibility

B1. Players in the Nations League may only compete for one nation in a season. No exceptions.

B2. If it is found that a player has played for multiple teams, the player may be disqualified from the League for the current season.  The results of the player’s most recent matches may be changed to forfeits for the purposes of scoring.

B3. The Nations League is open to official clubs and chess federations representing a country.


C. Pairings, Standings, Scoring, Tiebreaks

C1. The Nations League will generally have a 6 round Swiss system format, with some clarifications:

         C1a. Nations will not have any rating or seeding.

         C1b. When possible, the Leagues Administrator will try to pair nations in similar time zones.

         C1c. In general, nations will play other nations with similar match points after accounting for C1b.

C2. The Leagues Administrator will post the nation vs nation pairings each Tuesday before the match. These pairings are tentative and subject to change until finalized on Wednesday.

C3. If a team anticipates not being able to participate in a given week, they may request to skip a regular season match, in which they will receive a half-point bye (0.5 match points).  Only one half-point bye may be requested - any future skipped rounds are worth zero points.  The bye request deadline is the Monday before each match. Nations may withdraw from the league using the same deadline (Monday, before the pairings go up on Tuesday).  Nations which request byes are still eligible for prizes.

C4. Team Tiebreaks (if match points are tied) – Tiebreak 1: Head-to-head. Tiebreak 2: Game Points. Tiebreak 3: Sonneborn-Berger.

C5. Individual team tiebreaks (for top performer prizes) - Tiebreak 1: Total game points scored throughout season. Tiebreak 2: Higher rapid rating


D. Match format

D1. Each match is a nation vs nation (club vs club) match of two segments. Players must be in their nation’s club to represent their nation in league matches.

D2. Each match will consist of two segments – a rapid segment and a blitz segment.  Each segment is weighted equally – if a team wins both segments, they earn a full match point, if one team wins the rapid and the other team wins the blitz, it is a tied match.  In case one segment is tied, the team that wins the other segment will receive the full match point.  Game points are not relevant in determining the winner of the match, only the result of each segment (win, loss, draw).

D3. Players are not required to play both segments in a match – they may play either segment, or both.  All matches must have both segments – nation admins may not agree to skip either segment.

D4. In each segment (rapid and blitz), each player will play 2 games against the same opponent (white/black).  Players will not necessarily play the same player in both segments.

D5. The rapid time control is 15 minutes plus 2 second increment.  The blitz time control is 3 minutes plus 2 second increment.

D6. In each segment, the nation with the most game points wins that match segment.

D7. Nations may recruit any players for a match. There is no rating minimum or maximum. See section B (eligibility).

D8. Matches will be played based on Rapid ratings (rapid segment) and Blitz ratings (blitz segment) at the time of the match - Board 1 vs Board 1, Board 2 vs Board 2, etc.

D9. It is not permitted for nations or players to alter the match format of a specific match, even if both players/admins/nations agree.  All games and matches should be played with the same conditions. 

D10. If two teams are not able to schedule a match, the Leagues Administrator may declare the match an unplayed draw, or a forfeit loss for one or both teams if either or both teams have not made a fair effort to schedule the match.

D11. Players are recommended to show up early for their matches and ensure a stable connection. It is recommended but not required to play from a computer in case of connectivity issues. All players are responsible to ensure their connection is stable and they have joined each match segment correctly.  Players must join the rapid and blitz segments separately.

D12. Nations are strongly encouraged to bring as many players as possible to each match.  The minimum number of players for each segment of each match is 10 players per team.  If a team brings less than the minimum number of players, the match will still be played, but they will be forfeited on the "missing" boards.


E. Nation Admin Responsibilities

E1. Nation admins must be a Super Admin or Club Admin of their nation’s club on  They should also request to join the Nations League club, which is only for nation admins – this is where pairings, announcements, and information will be posted.

E2. It is recommended to have multiple admins who may share the nation’s responsibilities; however one admin should be ultimately responsible for their club.

E3. Nation admins are responsible for advertising the matches and recruiting players to join the matches.

E4. All nation admins must report weekly results and issues to the Leagues Administrator by the end of day Sunday.  This is required of both teams in each match (losing and winning team).

E5. Nation admins from both teams are responsible for setting up each Live Chess match with the opposing team. The Leagues Administrator will post the nation vs nation matches at the beginning of the season, but the individual nation admins are responsible for creating  match with each other.  The title format for each live chess match should be in the format: “Nations League: Nation A vs Nation B, Rapid - Round 1” or “Nations League: Nation A vs Nation B, Blitz - Round 1”

E6. Matches should be played on Sundays whenever possible, preferably at the suggested match time mentioned in A5. Matches may be played on Friday and Saturday also.  However, playing a league match on any other day requires the advance permission of the Leagues Administrator.

E7. Admins of both nations should contact each other to first determine if they would like to play at the suggested match time in A5. If either nation does not agree, both admins should negotiate potential match times by offering a few time slots which may be acceptable.  Nation admins are expected to be able to compromise regarding match time negotiation, as the highest priority is to have the match played.

E8. There is no prior lineup submission required. Admins are responsible to ensure their members are logged into Live Chess at the match time. 


F. Fair Play

F1. will monitor and review Nations League games and matches for fair play.

F2. If an account is closed for Fair Play, the result of those games will generally be amended as if the closed account had lost all of their match games. This may be the case even if the Fair Play Violations did not occur in a league match.

F3.  Even after their conclusion, game and match results are subject to being overturned based on findings from the Fair Play team.

F4. Players and nations may face penalties for fair play violations, including match point/game point adjustment and disqualification from the league.


G. Prizes

G1. Prizes will be based on standings/scoring/tiebreaks in section C.

G2. Players found in violation of Fair Play rules (section I) are not eligible for prizes.

G3. Prize Article

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