Except as noted below, the national finals of the Canadian Chess Challenge are played according to FIDE (World Chess Federation) rules for rapidplay games.
- The touch move rule applies to all grades.
- When castling, the king should be touched and moved first. Players will receive a warning for the first violation of this rule. Thereafter, if the rook is touched before the king, castling is not allowed and the rook must move (if legally possible).
- Chess clocks will be used for all games in grades 3 to 12. The time control is 25 minutes for each player with a 5 second delay. Digital clocks will be provided.
- For grades 1 to 2, clocks are added if necessary, after 40 minutes of play. The clocks are then set for 10 minutes with a 5 second delay. If both players agree, a clock may be used from the start of the game. The chief tournament director may, at his discretion, put a clock on a game at any time if it appears that either player is stalling or using an excessive amount of time..
- Players must make their move and press the clock with the same hand. Clocks may not be picked up or moved during the game. The organizers determine on which side of the board the clocks are placed.
DISPUTES AND IRREGULARITIES
- In case of a dispute, or any violation of the rules, or any irregularity (illegal move, illegal position), players should stop the clock and notify a referee immediately. Do not make another move or wait until after the game to make a claim. Once the game continues, most claims are invalid.
- The penalty for illegal moves varies depending on the situation. In games with clocks, the penalty for the first illegal move is adding two minutes to the opponent's clock. A second illegal move forfeits the game. In games without clocks (grades 1-3), there is no penalty for illegal moves. After a clock is added, the penalties are the same as in games that start with a clock (adding two minutes for the first illegal move, forfeiting the game on the second).
- A game is won:
1) By checkmate;
2) If the opponent resigns;
3) If the opponent runs out of time, provided the following conditions are met: To claim a win on time, a player must notify a referee and have mating material. Claiming a win on time is invalid after a checkmate or stalemate has been played, or after a player has resigned or agreed to a draw.
- A game is drawn:
1) By stalemate;
2) By agreement of the players during the game;
3) If the same position is repeated three times and a player claims the draw on their own turn before moving. A game score may be required to support the claim;
4) If fifty moves are made by each player without a capture or a pawn move and a player claims the draw on their own turn before moving. A game score may be required to support the claim;
5) If a player has insufficient mating material (lone K, only K+B, or only K+N) and the opponent runs out of time.
Claiming a draw in a position that "cannot be won by normal means" is not allowed with the 5 second delay time control.
- Players are not required to write down their moves.
- If a player has any questions concerning the rules, they may raise their hand and talk to a referee, in the language of their choice (French or English). In case of any dispute or claim, stop the clocks and summon a referee. Any decision by a referee may be appealed, if done immediately, to the chief tournament director. The decision of the chief tournament director is final.
- Only the two players in a game may make claims concerning their game. For example, players may not call touch move or indicate that time has expired in someone else's game. One exception to this rule is that referees may point out illegal moves, but only when both players have at least 5 minutes remaining (Referees may not call touch move or indicate that time has expired).
- It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any way whatsoever. This includes talking and repeatedly offering a draw.
- Spectators (including parents and coaches) are not allowed in the playing area. Players may only leave the playing area during a game with the permission of a referee. Players may not speak with spectators during their game, even if they are permitted to leave the playing area. When a game is completed, the players become spectators and must leave the playing area. Spectators should remain quiet and not interfere in any game.
- It is forbidden for players to have cell phones, or other electronic communication, computer, or media devices in the playing area (even if turned off). Spectators should have the ringer on their cell phones turned off.
- Good sportsmanship is expected of all players and will make the event a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Shaking hands with your opponent before and after a game is customary. Players are encouraged to exchange provincial pins before the start of the game.