2021 BUCA Championship

Entry Form

Registration Form

Saturday, February 22nd & Sunday, February 23rd 2020

Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport
Telford Center Shropshire
Coventry Road
B26 3QW

Chief Organiser: Alex Holowczak - alexholowczak@gmail.com


Saturday Sunday
Round One 12:00 - 14:30 BUCA AGM 09:00
Round Two 15:00 - 17:30 Round Four 10:00 - 12:30
Round Three 18:00 - 20:30 Round Five 13:00 - 15:30
Blitz 22:00 - 00:00

Prize giving will follow as soon as possible at the end of the final round (not after 16:00).


There will be four tournaments:

(1) Championship, open to 1st teams

(2) Plate, open to 2nd teams, and by request, 1st teams whose average grade for their top 4 registered players is below 160, and

(3) Bowl, open to 3rd teams, and by request any teams whose average grade for the top 4 registered players eligible to play for that team is below 130.

(4) Shield, open to 4th teams, and by request any teams whose average grade for the top 4 registered players eligible to play for that team is below 100.

The organiser reserves the right to transfer one or more teams between any sections - either up or down - as necessary. This shall usually be done in order to ensure an even number of teams are in as many sections as possible.

Championship, Plate & Bowl Tournaments

The time control will be 60 minutes plus 10 seconds per move; all games will be played with DGT clocks. The tournaments will be played over 5 rounds. The tournaments will be ECF standardplay graded.

Shield Tournament

The time control will be 25 minutes plus 10 seconds per move; all games will be played with DGT clocks. The tournament will be played over 5 two-game rounds, with one game for each colour; a total of 10 games. A team may not be changed between both halves of a round. The tournament will be ECF rapidplay graded.

Pairings & Results

Seeding within scoregroups for the sake of pairings will be done by mean ECF grade. Each team shall earn 2 matchpoints for a win, 1 matchpoint for a draw, and 0 matchpoints for a loss. If a team receives a bye, it shall be credited with 2 matchpoints and 4 gamepoints except for the Shield, which will be 2 matchpoints and 8 gamepoints. The team with the most matchpoints at the end of the tournament shall win. If two or more teams are tied on matchpoints after five rounds, then the tie will be split as follows: (i) The team with the highest scoring using the Olympiad Sonnenborn-Berger tiebreak (ii) If still tied, the team with the most gamepoints shall be placed higher (iii) If still tied, the gamepoints scored from the bottom-most player in the team shall be removed from the gamepoints total - similar to 'board elimination' - the team with the highest remaining number of gamepoints in its total shall be placed higher; if still tied, this process shall be repeated for the next-lowest board and so on, until no boards remain. (iv) If still tied, the team with the higher Sum of Opponents' Matchpoints shall be placed higher. (v) If still tied, the places shall remain tied.

Blitz Tournament

The time control will be 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move; all games will be played with DGT clocks. The tournament will be a 9-round individual Swiss, paired using Swiss-Manager. Entry to this is free to any player who is eligible as per the definition below, irrespective of whether or not their HEI has entered a team into the tournament. Entry forms will be available at the event. The tournament will be FIDE-rated. All players who play in this tournament must get a FIDE ID from their national rating officer, except if you wish to be registered as England, in which case the organisers will be able to do that for you. You can find your Federation, and your national rating officer here. Please note it will cost you 250 Euros to transfer to another country later, so it is important to get this right at the time you enter! If two or more players are tied after nine rounds, then the tie will be split as follows: (i) The Direct Encounter tie-break (ii) If still tied, Median-Buchholz (iii) If still tied, Buchholz Cut 1 (iv) If still tied, Buchholz (v) If still tied, the places shall remain tied.

Player Eligibility

All students progressing towards an academic qualification at a Higher Education Institute (HEI) are entitled to play for a team. Of course, the team itself must be from a HEI that is a member of BUCA. This competition is open to all players regardless of citizenship or FIDE registration.

Number of Players

Universities may field as many teams as they wish, with the only limitation of being able to enter 1 team into each of the Championship, Plate and Bowl sections. Each team is composed of four players. Reserves are permitted; squads have no limit in size. A scratch team will be composed of reserves in other teams if there are an odd number of teams in any section. Note that the Organiser will aim to have an even number of teams in the Championship, and then the Plate, and then the Bowl, and will move teams if necessary; the scratch team would play in a section at the discretion of the Organiser. Should this not be necessary, graded friendly games will be available for reserves who want them.

Registering a squad of Players

Universities must register a squad of players in descending standardplay grade order. Variances to this within the squad are permitted within a 10-grading point tolerance. Players must then play in that position within their squad for the duration of the event. For example, if a University registers 8 players for its squad, then the player registered fourth will always play on board 4 for the University 1st team, and the player registered fifth will always play on board 1 for the University 2nd team. Note: Squads of split strength are not permitted.

Board Order - Shield

Having fixed the playing order within the squad, should a University have a team or teams in the Shield, the four players in that team must play in descending rapidplay grade order, notwithstanding their order within the initial squad of registrations. Variances to this are permitted within a 10-grading point tolerance.

Grades to be used

The national grades of players will be used depending on the country in which a University is situated. Other grades may be used upon request, subject to the organiser's agreement. Grades outside England will be converted to ECF using the formula ECF = (Other Elo - 700) / 7.5. Where a player has no grade, the Organiser will provide an estimate for the player upon request. The Organiser will use the grades in the January 2020 ECF Grading List.

Entry Fee

£30 per team:

Entries received after Friday 31st January will incur a further late fee of £20. Accommodation cannot be guaranteed after this date. Team lists may be modified after this date. Reserves must purchase extra rooms through BUCA at the rates quoted below. It is recognised by the Organiser that this deadline is before the Grading List comes out - please do not wait for the January grades before filling in the team list when you enter.

Staying at the Hotel

All registered players must stay at the hotel. If this cannot be done because the hotel is full, then the team must bring receipts to the BUCA Treasurer at the AGM. The Treasurer will then set a fee that ensures the late-entering team does not pay less money than a team entering on time. It is essential that as many players stay at the hotel as possible in order to ensure the event's viability.

Accommodation Options (per team of 4, per night):

Guaranteed Events will handle the accommodation requirements for this event. When you have completed the entry form, your contact details will be passed to Guaranteed Events, and all accommodation bookings must be made by Friday 31st January. Changes to names on rooms will still be permitted beyond this point. They will be able to supply you with any invoices or receipts you may require to make the payment.

In order to make your accommodation booking, please fill in the accommodation form.

We recommend ticking the "Group" option, and booking rooms for your entire squad at once. The box will only allow you to fill up to 4, but you can increase this by typing an appropriate note in the "Secure your booking" field.

All rooms are booked on a bed & breakfast basis with the following prices:

Single room: £69 per night

Double room: £79 per night (i.e. £39.50 per person per night)

Full refunds are available up to 30 days before the event. Thereafter the following cancellation fees are required for refunds: 50% 14-29, 75% 8-13, 100% 7-0.

There is a limit of twin rooms, and if necessary, these are available on a "first come, first served" basis. Please note that, in this respect, bookings will only be made with the hotel once the entry fee has been received.

Hotel Food

Dinners not booked in advance can be purchased for £20 from the reception upon arrival. Lunch will be available from the hotel on both days. Sandwiches, drinks and other light refreshments will be available at reasonable prices from outside the playing area. It is not permitted for players to bring in their own food and drink to the venue. All food and drink consumed on site must be purchased at the hotel. The organisers at the venue will be supervising this, and penalty gamepoints may be applied. Severe breaches may result in teams being disqualified from the competition.

BUCA Membership

All Universities that field teams must be BUCA Members. BUCA Membership for the 2018/19 season is £20.

ECF Membership

All players at English universities must be ECF Bronze Members or above. They can do this by contacting the ECF directly on: 01424775222.

Championship Prize

The winner of the Championship section will receive the trophy and the title of BUCA Team Champion. The top four teams will win the right to represent Great Britain at the 2020 European Universities Championships, subject to approval from British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS). These are scheduled to be held in Belgrade, Serbia, on 16-22 July, 2020.

Division Prizes

The winning team in each Division will win the Championship, Plate, Bowl or Shield trophy as appropriate. There will be individual keepsakes for all members of the winning team.

Individual Prizes

Individual prizes will be awarded to all players who score the following percentage scores, subject to playing a minimum of 4 rounds of the competition:

Gold medal: 85% or higher

Silver medal: 75% or higher

Bronze medal: 65% or higher

Playing a graded friendly in a round will count as "playing in a round" for the purposes of this calculation; and the result will be used to calculate the percentage.

Blitz Prizes

Gold medal: 1st place

Silver medal: 2nd place

Bronze medal: 3rd place


The FIDE Laws of Chess will apply. The default time shall be 30 minutes.

Appeals' Committee

An Appeals Committee of three will be formed, the members of which will be published at the event. Volunteers to be on this Committee are welcome.

Entry Refund Policy

Universities who withdraw any team entries before Friday 8th February will be entitled to a full refund of their entry fees. All potential refunds after this date will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the BUCA AGM. Please see the Accommodation Options section for information about refunds on Accommodation.


Entries should be e-mailed to Alex Holowczak at alexholowczak@gmail.com. No entry will be accepted without payment of the relevant entry and membership fees. Information for transferring the fees will be provided upon receipt of a completed entry form.

Travel to the venue

The nearest railway station is Birmingham International, which is regularly served by trains from London Euston and Birmingham New Street.