Kasparov Chess Foundation University Cup

KCF University Cup Regulations


  1. Organizers
     Michael Khodarkovsky, KCF President
     GM Alex Onischuk, US Chess College Committee Chair
     Grant Oen, International Arbiter, International Organizer
     GM Zlatko Klaric, KCF Adriatic Director
     Graham Jurgensen, KCF Africa Director
     Ignatius Leong, KCF Asia-Pacific Director, International Arbiter
     GM Darcy Lima, KCF Lusophone Director
     Official Contact Email: KCFUniversityCup@chessstream.com
  2. Arbiters
     Chief Arbiter – IA, IO Grant Oen
     Assistant Arbiters will be present to monitor Zoom and handle other tasks.
     The Chief Arbiter has discretion to make case-by-case exceptions to the below
    regulations or to make decisions on issues not clearly defined in the regulations.
     Decisions of the Chief Arbiter are final and not appealable.
  3. There is no entry fee for this event.
  4. All registration is online. Registration closes 12 hours before round 1.
  5. Teams must register using their official academic institution email address.
  6. To complete registration, each team must also submit an eligibility form (see below).
  7. Teams must submit the name and contact information of a team captain who will be the
    main point of contact for the team. The team captain may be a player on the team.
  8. Although this is a single-section event, each academic institution may only register up to
    four teams, with a maximum of one team per rating category (2200+, 2000-2199, 1800-
    1999, Under 1800), based on the team average rating defined in #15.
  9. A team is made up of four players plus one optional alternate.
  10. Teams with less than four players will not be permitted to register.


  1. The KCF University Cup is an international online event which is open to teams from any
    post-secondary school (university, college, community college, etc.) enrolled in at least one
    class in the January 2021 semester.
  2. At least 12 hours before the start of round 1, each team must submit an official letter which
    proves every player’s active status in their academic institution. This letter must be
    signed/stamped by the registrar or a similar official.
  3. Except for student workers and teaching assistants, academic faculty and staff are not
    eligible to compete.
  4. The January 2021 Universal Rating System (URS) rating list will be used.
    a. If a player does not have a URS rating, their January 2021 FIDE rating will be used.
    b. If a player does not have a URS or FIDE rating, their January 2021 US Chess rating will
    be used.
    c. If a player does not have a URS, FIDE, or US Chess rating, they will count as unrated
    unless the Chief Arbiter assigns a rating.
    d. If a player’s FIDE, US Chess, or other rating greatly exceeds their URS rating, the
    Chief Arbiter may, at his discretion, assign a different rating for this event.
  5. The team average rating is the average of the four highest ratings, excluding unrated
    players. This team average will be used for pairings and rating category prize eligibility.
    Format and Pairings
  6. This is a nine round Swiss System tournament played on lichess.org.
  7. The time control is 10 minutes plus 5 second increment per move.
  8. This is a team vs team event – each match will be played with 4 boards vs 4 boards.
  9. The team listed as White on the pairings will have the White pieces on boards 1 & 3, and
    the Black pieces on boards 2 & 4.
  10. This is a one section event with additional prizes based on rating category and continent.
  11. The prizes for rating category are Open, Under 2200, Under 2000, and Under 1800 – each
    academic institution may only submit up to one team per rating category (e.g. one team
    2200+, one team 2000-2199, one team 1800-1999, one team U1800).
  12. Half-point byes are not permitted, only zero-point byes. Withdrawals must be submitted to
    the Chief Arbiter before the next round’s pairings are posted.
  13. FIDE Pairing rules and software will be used.
  14. Teams from the same academic institutions will not be paired against each other in the last
    two rounds. They may be paired against each other in rounds 1-7.
  15. This event is not rated by US Chess, FIDE, or URS.
  16. Team scoring, in order of priority
    a. Match Points
    b. Game Points
    c. Average Opposition (Team) Rating
  17. Ties for all places except for first place team will be broken by the above tiebreaks.
  18. If there is a tie for first in the overall team standings, the top two teams on tiebreaks (stated
    in #25 above) will contest in a playoff:
    a. Shortly after round 9 concludes, the playoff will be a four vs. four blitz match (3
    minutes + 2 second increment) against the corresponding player on the other team.
    b. The playoff lineups must be the same as in round 9. There will be a drawing of lots
    for colors.
    c. If the above playoff match ends in a 2-2 tie, then each team will designate one
    player for a one-on-one tiebreak blitz match (3 minutes + 2 second increment) until
    the first decisive game. There will be a drawing of lots for the color of the first game.

Event Date Eastern Standard Time (New York)
Registration Closes Friday, February 5 10:00pm
Round 1 Saturday, February 6 10:00am
Round 2 Saturday, February 6 10:45am
Round 3 Saturday, February 6 11:30am
Round 4 Saturday, February 6 12:15pm
Round 5 Saturday, February 6 1:00pm
Round 6 Sunday, February 7 10:00am
Round 7 Sunday, February 7 10:45am
Round 8 Sunday, February 7 11:30am
Round 9 Sunday, February 7 12:15pm
Playoff (if necessary) Sunday, February 7 1:00pm

  1. When alternates play, they must do so on board 4.
  2. Teams will play in descending rating order, except that 50-point transpositions are allowed.
  3. Teams must use the fixed board order that they submit upon registration, unless an
    updated board order is submitted at least 12 hours before round 1.
  4. Teams must use the same four players for a given day, but may change their lineup
    between days by submitting an alternate lineup at least 12 hours before round 6.
    a. The same four players must play all the rounds on a given day.
    b. For example, boards 1, 2, 3, 4 may play rounds 1-5 on Saturday, and at least 12
    hours before round 6, submit an alternate lineup for Sunday, using boards 1, 2, 3,
    and the alternate.
  5. All players must have a lichess account (free to register).
  6. The built-in lichess server rules will apply.
  7. What happens on the lichess board is official, including flag falls, disconnection, mouseslips,
    (in)sufficient mating material, threefold repetition, accidental resignation, etc.
  8. The arbiters will usually start player’s lichess clocks two minutes after the start of the round.
  9. Players will have the entire base time (10 minutes) to join their game before being forfeited.
  10. Players are responsible for maintaining a stable internet connection. While playing, a short
    disconnection will keep the clock running. A longer disconnection may result in a forfeit.
  11. Plaques will be awarded to the top three teams in the final overall standings.
    a. The first place team winner will receive the KCF University Cup and an online team
    training session with Garry Kasparov.
  12. Plaques will be awarded to the top team in the U2200, U2000, and U1800 rating categories.
    a. The top team in the U2200 category will also receive an online team training session
    with Garry Kasparov.
  13. Plaques will be awarded to the top team per FIDE Continent (Africa, Americas, Asia,
    Europe). Continental prizes can be earned in addition to the prizes in #39 and #40.
    Fair Play
  14. Players shall not use outside assistance of any kind.
  15. Players shall not listen to music, wear headphones, or have other electronic devices near
    them while playing.
  16. Players may only have their lichess game, the pairings/standings page, and the tournament
    Zoom meeting open. While playing, no other browser tabs or programs may be open.
  17. During or after the event, players or teams found or strongly believed to be using outside
    assistance may be deemed ineligible for a prize and/or expelled from the event.
  18. The Chief Arbiter may remove a player or team from the event, make a player and their
    team ineligible for a prize, or adjust the standings even if lichess does not find the account
    guilty of a fair play violation.
  19. While playing in the event, all players must be in the event’s Zoom meeting with video and
    screenshare enabled. The screenshare shall show the entire desktop view.
  20. Players should expect to join the Zoom meeting 20 minutes before the first round on each
    day to ensure connectivity and receive announcements from the Chief Arbiter.
  21. Even during games, players must agree to Zoom requests by tournament arbiters, including
    turning on audio, giving a scan of the playing area, adjusting the camera angle, etc.
  22. If possible, players are strongly encouraged to also join Zoom from a secondary device to
    provide a side or rear-view angle of the entire playing area (see image below) in addition to
    the front-facing webcam from the playing computer.
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