How to File a Rules Complaint Print E-mail
By Judy Misner   

How To File a Rules Complaint

US Chess maintains a standing Rules Committee to review questions pertaining to the rules of play. In case of doubt as to the application or interpretation of these rules, the US Chess Rules Committee will examine the case in point and render an official decision.

An appeal may be filed by:

1. Any player adversely affected by a decision by a tournament director or organizer, e.g., (game result, prize distribution, standings, etc.)

2. A parent or coach on behalf of a player under the age of 16.

3. A team coach or team captain on behalf of a team member if the decision affected the team's score or standing.

In accordance with Section 21L1, Procedure, US Chess Federation Official Rules of Chess, 7th Edition, appeals in writing must be postmarked and sent to the US Chess office within seven days of the end of the tournament. Click here for online version 7th Edition rules.

To file a formal rules complaint, contact office Liaison Judy Misner by email ([email protected]), phone (931.787.1234, Ext. 126), or by regular mail to the US Chess office in Crossville, TN. Mark the envelope to the attention of Judy Misner, who is the Committee's liaison in the office. All complaints and responses should be typed. In addition to the complaint, a $50 good faith deposit check must be included. The fee is subject to change as determined by US Chess. The deposit will be returned unless the ruling authority finds the complaint to be frivolous and rules that the deposit is to be forfeited.

The complaint should make specific reference to the section(s) and rule(s) from the Official Rules of Chess which apply. It should include ALL the evidence you want considered. The Committee will not research web sites, newsgroup postings, etc. It is up to the complainant to include all material to be considered, to include statements by other individuals supporting the case. If certain situations, but not always, the Committee may ask the US Chess office liaison to contact other individuals for statements.

Once the complaint and the Good Faith Deposit are received at the US Chess office, the complaint will be sent to the members of the Rules Committee who will examine it to determine if it falls within their jurisdiction.  If they vote that it does not, the originator will be notified.  If they vote that it does, the complaint will then be sent to the respondent(s) with a request for a formal response by a given deadline.  When that response is received, it will be sent to the Rules Committee along with the original complaint for their review and decision.  Once a decision is made all parties will be informed. 

If the Rules Committee recommends sanctions against the respondent(s), he or she has 30 days from the date the decision letter is sent (to both complainant and respondent(s)) to submit an appeal to the US Chess Executive Board through the US Chess office. No appeals shall be permitted in cases where the Rules Committee has ruled in favor of the respondent(s) and has recommended no sanctions. Appeals to Rules Committee decisions must be submitted to US Chess, Attn: Judy Misner, P. O. Box 3967, Crossville, TN 38557 or by email to:  Executive Director, Carol Meyer at [email protected] and Judy Misner at [email protected].

(Revised: August 6, 2019)