The competition is organised as a 5 round Swiss tournament over the course of the season. All players will compete in each round unless they choose to take a half-point bye in that round. All entrants must be (at least) bronze members of the English Chess Federation.
Two trophies will be awarded: the Jim Carr trophy to the overall winner and the John Dawson trophy to the highest-placed player from the lower half of the draw. In the event of a tie the winner will be the player with the higher sum of progressive scores. If this is also level the Championships will be shared.
The tournament controller will post the draw for each round on the website, together with the results at the end of each round. 5-6 weeks will be allowed for the completion of each round. In exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of the controller the deadline may be extended. Failure to play the match will lead to a double default or a default by the player deemed to be at fault.
As soon as possible after each draw has been made the players should agree when and where their game will be played. This will normally be the chess club, but games may be played at players’ homes or other suitable venues if they prefer. A set and clock may be borrowed from the club for this purpose provided they are returned on the next club night.
The time limit is 70 minutes each for the game plus a 15 second increment per move. Juniors are entitled to play a slightly quicker game of 60 minutes plus a 10 second increment, and other players may also opt for this quicker time-limit by agreement. Games will be ECF standard-play rated.