Masonic Postal Chess Club
The following set of Appendant Rules has been adopted by the MPCC Board of Directors, in accordance with Article XII, Sections 1 and 2 of the MPCC BY-LAWS. They shall be considered as binding upon all Officers, Directors and Members of the Club until such time as they may be modified, as specified in the above referenced ARTICLE.
The laws of chess as published by F.I.D.E and the U.S.C.F. (United States Chess Federation) in the official rule book shall govern all MPCC play, except in such instances where they are obviously inapplicable to Postal Chess. Players must know these rules before starting play.
Descriptive Notation is adopted as the standard for MPCC play. The following symbols should always be used: K-King, Q-Queen, R-Rook, B-Bishop, N-Knight, and P-Pawn; O-O = Kingside Castling, O-O-O = Queenside Castling, x = Captures, + or Ch = Check, Dbl Ch = Double Check, e.p. = Capturing en-passant shown as PxP (e.p.) or PxP e.p.
Comments on a move are expressed by: ! = well played, !! = very well played, !!! = extremely well played, ? = bad move, ?? = very bad move, ??? = extremely bad move, ?/! = could be a bad or good move, depending on the outcome. (Sometimes making a comment on a bad move is considered poor etiquette.)
The use of Algebraic or Numeric Notation is permissible ONLY by "Mutual Agreement" between opponents; otherwise Descriptive Notation is to be used.
2. CAPTURING en passant:
A Pawn (on the fifth rank only) attacking a square crossed by an opponent’s Pawn which has been advanced two squares on the previous move, can capture the opponent’s Pawn as though the latter had only move one square. This capture can only be made on the very next move following such an advance by your opponent’s Pawn.
3. ILLEGAL MOVES:
a. If a player sends an illegal, ambiguous, or impossible move, the opponent should not send a reply move, but rather call for a legal move.
b. If an illegal move is not discovered immediately and the game progresses beyond it, then as soon as the illegal move is discovered, the game must revert to the position of the illegal move, and a legal move substituted for the illegal one. If the game has ended before the discovery of the illegal move, the results will stand.
4. "IF" MOVES:
a. An "if" move may be sent when the opponent’s reply is fairly obvious. It is purely a time and postage saving device and is therefore NOT binding on the recipient.
Example 1 Example 2
1. P-K4 1. P-K4 1. P-K4, P-K4
If 1. - - - P-K4 or If 1. - - - P-QB4 If 2. N-KB3
THEN 2. N-KB3 THEN 2. N-KB3 THEN 2. - - - N-QB3
c. When "if" moves are accepted, they must ALL be acknowledged.
The FORSYTH NOTATION may be used to verify the position of pieces on the board at any stage of the game. This method of notation is to be used to clarify or reinstate board positions, and may be used in place of sending a diagram. The following guidelines and illustrations apply:
a. The same abbreviations are used for designating pieces as are used in Descriptive Notation, i.e. P-Pawn, etc.
b. Always assume a position on White’s side of the chess board, and begin notation in the upper left hand corner, at White’s QR8, reading across the board from left to right and top to bottom, just like reading a book.
c. White pieces are designated with CAPITAL letters, Black with small or lower case letters. Numbers denote the number of empty squares. All eight squares must be accounted for in each row and all eight rows must be accounted for.
d. Example: p2PnB2 means black pawn, two empty squares, WHITE pawn, black knight, WHITE bishop, and two empty squares.
e. Example of a typical game position:
1r4k1/pq3ppp/8/Q2Nr3/8/1P6/P4PPP/2KRR3. To translate, start at the upper left hand corner of the board (White’s Queen Rook Eight): (1r4k1) 1 empty square, black rook, four empty squares, black king, and one empty square / (pq3ppp) black pawn, black queen, three empty squares, black pawn, black pawn, black pawn / (8) eight empty squares / (Q2Nr3) White queen, two empty squares, White knight, black rook, three empty squares / (8) eight empty squares/ (1P6) one empty square, White pawn, six empty squares/ (P4PPP) White pawn, four empty squares, White pawn, White pawn, White pawn / (2KRR3) two empty squares, White king, White rook, White rook, and three empty squares.
6. TIME FORFEITURE:
a. A player may claim a win by forfeit, when his opponent’s move is overdue, but ONLY after two repeat cards are sent to the delinquent opponent. The first repeat card is to be mailed directly to the opponent. The second repeat card (addressed & stamped) should be enclosed in a letter to the Secretary, explaining the delinquency. The Secretary then notes receipt of the second repeat card and records the date that he forwards it. If the offended player has not heard from the delinquent opponent within two weeks (from the time the Secretary forwards the card), he may then make his claim. The Secretary will notify the offended player as to the date he forwarded the card.
b. A player may cite an opponent for lateness without claim for forfeiture by simply reporting the fact with the opponent’s name, section number, and the date he sent his unanswered move. The Secretary shall then attempt to get the game resumed without penalty, but warns (on the first offense) the offender. If the offender does not answer the inquiry by the Secretary within thirty days (accidents and illness exempted), the offended player will be awarded the game or games in question. However, there will be a thirty day waiting period after the first thirty days of notice.
c. If a player abandons his games in any section, or withdraws, ALL his games in a section will be scored as wins by default for his opponents. He should notify opponents, and the Secretary of his intention.
a. Forfeits may not count toward rating points, as we intend to measure only the results of actual play. Such games can be fully credited, provided the remaining contestant can clearly demonstrate a winning position or combination. To make such a claim, the player must submit the record of the game, a diagram of the game position, and a statement outlining his intended strategy.
b. There is no firm criteria for determining a winning position. Such decisions must be based on material, position, and potential.
c. If a player has recorded any wins within a section, all of his subsequent forfeits shall be rated.
d. In the event the Secretary is unable to render a decision on any given situation, the Vice President and Trustees, in their capacity of Adjudicating committee, shall be the final judges.
8. TIME LIMITS:
a. In Leisure Sections, ALL moves must be answered within FIVE DAYS of their receipt. This limitation excludes Sundays and Holidays.
b. In Tournament Sections, ALL moves must be answered within 72 HOURS of their receipt. The same Sunday and Holiday exclusion applies.
c. In Tournament Sections, the slow player will be charged with a forfeit following the THIRD substantiated report of time delay.
d. Allow FULL TIME for your opponent to reply. Generally, a three day margin allows for possible delays by the postal service, and may be considered adequate. Report all tardiness, at the latest, one week after you estimate your opponent’s reply is overdue. You can base that estimate on the number of days it has previously taken your opponent to respond to moves.
9. TIME OUT:
a. In the event that it is desirable to discontinue play temporarily due to illness, business trips, vacations, moving, etc., the player who desires such should notify both his opponents and the Secretary in advance.
b. Each member is entitled to a "Time Out" total of four weeks (twenty eight days) each year. This may be used consecutively, or a week at time.
c. In the event that a longer "Time Out" is required, the member should notify the Secretary, stating ALL the details and an estimation of his return to active play. If the member desiring an extension does not notify the Secretary, his games will be forfeited. To protect their games, the requesting member should ask for confirmation of the extension from the Secretary.
a. All response cards must include the section number and the member’s return address (current and legible).
b. ALWAYS underline your last move, the one you are sending in reply to your opponent’s last move.
c. ALL PLAYERS are required to:
(1) Indicate the date your opponent’s last move was received.
(2) Indicate the date you mail your reply.
(3) Correctly acknowledge your opponent’s previous move.
(4) Designate the correct number of each move.
(5) Keep all opponent’s moves for your records until the games are finished and declared.
d. Once a legal move has been postmarked it is binding upon all players and MAY NOT be altered by phone call, additional correspondence, or any other means.
11. REPORT OF GAMES:
All completed games MUST be reported to the Secretary within five days. The report should include:
a. The complete names of both players.
b. The date of completion.
c. The section number and game designator (A or B).
d. The name of the reporting member.
The winner of each game is responsible for reporting the completion. In the event of a draw, the member playing white has that responsibility.
Any use of chess playing computers shall be considered unfair and UNMASONIC, except in those sections specifically designated for computer play.