KCF University Cup

4th Annual Kasparov Chess Foundation University Cup

Saturday-Sunday, February 03-04, 2024, Online: KCFUniversityCup.org

Joining Zoom with camera is required for this tournament!
Zoom link will be here during the tournament:

  1. Organization Team

    • GM Alex Onischuk, KCF University Cup Chairman
    • Grant Oen, International Arbiter
    • Chacha Nugroho, National Arbiter
    • GM Zlatko Klaric, KCF Adriatic Director
    • Graham Jurgensen, KCF Africa Director
    • Ignatius Leong, International Arbiter, KCF Asia-Pacific Director
    • GM Darcy Lima, KCF Lusophone Director
    • Hiquingari Carranza, KCF Ibero-America Director
  2. Arbiters

    2.a. Chief Arbiter – IA, IO Grant Oen
    2.b. Technical Director – Chacha Nugroho
    2.c. Deputy Chief Arbiter - IA, IO Aris Marghetis and other staff will be present to monitor Zoom and answer questions during the tournament.
    2.d. The Chief Arbiter has discretion to make case-by-case exceptions to the below regulations or to make decisions on issues not clearly defined in the regulations.
    2.e. Decisions of the Chief Arbiter are final and not appealable.
  3. Registration

    3.a. There is no entry fee.
    3.b. Registration for all teams is online through this website. Registration closes 24 hours before round 1. Eligibility must be submitted at least 24 hours before round 1. Teams without eligibility for all players may not be permitted to play.
    3.c. Teams must register using their official academic institution email address.
    3.d. To complete registration, each team must also submit an eligibility form (see below).
    3.e. Teams must submit the name and contact information of a team captain who will be the main point of contact for the team. The team captain may be a player on the team.
    3.f. Each academic institution may only register up to five teams, with a maximum of one team per rating category (2200-2399, 2000-2199, 1800-1999, 1600-1799, Under 1600), based on the team average rating defined in #5, and noting the below exception, 3.g.
    3.g. Each academic institution may enter multiple teams rated under 1600, but only the highest rated team under 1600 will be eligible for prizes. The other teams may enter and play, but are not eligible for prizes. There is still a limit of five teams per academic institution.
    3.h. A team is made up of four players plus one optional alternate.
    3.i. Teams with less than four players may not be permitted to play.

  4. Eligibility

    4.a. The KCF University Cup is an international online event which is open to teams from any post-secondary school (university, college, community college, etc.) enrolled in at least one class in the January 2024 semester.
    4.b. At least 24 hours before the start of round 1, each team must submit an official letter which proves every player’s active status in their academic institution. This letter must be signed/stamped by the registrar or a similar official. It is strongly recommended to provide one single eligibility letter verifying the active student status for all players on the team (or teams).
    4.c. This eligibility document should be uploaded online through this website page. Teams and players may not be able to play unless all members of their team have their eligibility approved.
    4.d. Except for student workers and teaching assistants, academic faculty and staff are not eligible to compete.
    4.e. Under the current circumstances, teams from Russia and Belarus are not allowed to participate.
  5. Ratings

    5.a. The January 2024 Universal Rating System (URS) rating list will be used.
    5.b. If a player does not have a URS rating, their January 2024 FIDE rating will be used.
    5.c. If a player does not have a URS or FIDE rating, their January 2024 US Chess rating will be used.
    5.d. If a player does not have a URS, FIDE, or US Chess rating, they will be assigned a rating of 1000, unless the Chief Arbiter assigns a higher rating.
    5.e. NEW - If a player does not have a URS, FIDE, or US Chess rating, or they have a rating under 1000, they will be assigned a rating of 1000, unless the Chief Arbiter assigns a higher rating.
    5.f. If a player’s FIDE, US Chess, or other rating greatly exceeds their URS rating, the Chief Arbiter may assign a different rating for this event.
    5.g. The team average rating is the average of the four highest ratings on the team.  This team average will be used for pairings and rating category prize eligibility.
    5.h. The Chief Arbiter reserves the right to assign any rating to any player or team for any reason.
  6. Format and Pairings

    6.a. This is a nine round Swiss System tournament played on lichess.org.  Half-point byes are not permitted, only zero-point byes. Withdrawals must be submitted to the Chief Arbiter before the next round's pairings are posted.
    6.b. The time control is 10 minutes plus 3 second increment per move.
    6.c. This is a team vs team event – each match will be played with 4 boards vs 4 boards.
    6.d. The team listed as White on the pairings will have the White pieces on boards 1 & 3, and the Black pieces on boards 2 & 4.
    6.e. This is a single section event with additional prizes based on rating category and continent.
    6.f. The team rating is the rating average of the top four players on each team.
    6.g. There is a team rating cap of 2400 – no team may have an average rating exceeding 2400.
    6.h. In addition to the Overall KCF University Cup winner, there are prizes for each rating category: 2000-2199, 1800-1999, 1600-1799 and Under 1600. There are not separate rating sections, but prizes to the top-finishing team based on the team average rating.
    6.i. Each academic institution may only submit up to one team per rating category for a maximum of five teams, except that more than one team Under 1600 may enter. 
    6.k. Teams must have four players per match to compete. Teams with less than four players may be withdrawn at any time.
    6.l. Teams from the same academic institutions will not be paired against each other in the last two rounds. They may be paired against each other in rounds 1-7.
    6.m. This event is not rated by US Chess, FIDE, or URS.
  7. Scoring

    7.a. Team scoring, in order of priority.
    7.a.1. Match Points
    7.a.2. Game Points
    7.a.3. Average Opposition (Team) Rating
    7.b. Ties for all places except for first place team will be broken by the above mathematical tiebreaks.
    7.c. If there is a tie for first in the overall team standings, the top two teams on tiebreaks (stated above) will contest in a playoff:
    7.c.1. Shortly after round 9 concludes, the playoff will be a four vs. four blitz match (3 minutes + 2 second increment) against the corresponding player on the other team.
    7.c.2. The playoff lineups must be the same as in round 9. There will be a drawing of lots for colors.
    7.c.3. If the above playoff match ends in a 2-2 tie, then each team will designate one player for a one-on-one tiebreak blitz match (3 minutes + 2 second increment) until the first decisive game. There will be a drawing of lots for the color of the first game.
  8. Schedule

    All times are in Eastern Standard Time (New York)!
    Friday, February 2
    10:00 AM

    Registration Closes

    Saturday, February 3
    10:00 AM Round 1
    10:45 AM Round 2
    11:30 AM Round 3
    12:15 PM Round 4
    13:00 PM Round 5
    Sunday, February 4
    10:00 AM Round 6
    10:45 AM Round 7
    11:30 AM Round 8
    12:15 PM Round 9
    13:00 PM Playoff (if necessary)
  9. Lineups

    9.a. Each team consists of four players plus one optional alternate.
    9.b. When the alternate plays, they play on the lowest board.
    9.c. Teams will play in descending rating order, except that 50-point transpositions are allowed.
    9.d. Teams must use the fixed board order that they submit upon registration, unless an updated board order is submitted at least 24 hours before round 1.
    9.e. Teams must use the same four players for a given day, but may change their lineup between days by submitting an alternate lineup at least 6 hours before round 6.
    9.e.1. The same four players must play all the rounds on a given day.
    9.e.2. For example, boards 1, 2, 3, 4 may play rounds 1-5 on Saturday, and then the captain can submit an alternate lineup for Sunday, using boards 1, 2, 3, and the alternate player.
  10. Lichess/Connection

    10.a. All players must have a lichess account (free).
    10.b. The built-in lichess server rules will apply.
    10.c. What happens on the lichess board is official, including flag falls, disconnection, mouseslips, (in)sufficient mating material, threefold repetition, accidental resignation, etc.
    10.d. The arbiters will start all clocks shortly after the start of the round.
    10.e. Players will have the entire base time (10 minutes) to join their game before being forfeited.
    10.f. Players are responsible for maintaining a stable internet connection. While playing, a short disconnection will keep the clock running. A longer disconnection may result in a forfeit.
    10.g. In the case of a server crash, the Chief Arbiter has the authority to adjudicate or cancel any games or matches (even if games have started) and/or alter the number of rounds in the event.
    10.h. Players and accounts who have previously violated the lichess terms of service are not permitted to play.
  11. Prizes

    11.a. The first place team winner will be the 4th KCF University Cup Champions, and will receive the KCF University Cup and an online team training session with Garry Kasparov.
    11.b. Plaques will be awarded to the top three teams in the final overall standings.
    11.c. The top team in the 2000-2199 category will also receive an online team training session with Garry Kasparov.
    11.d. Plaques will be awarded to the top team in the 2000-2199, 1800-1999, 1600-1799, and U1600 rating categories.
    11.e. Plaques will be awarded to the top team per FIDE Continent (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe). Continental prizes can be earned in addition to the prizes above.
    11.f. A plaque will be awarded to the top "Mixed Doubles" team – 2 males and 2 females must represent the team on each day. The mixed doubles prize can be earned in addition to the prizes above.
  12. Fair Play

    12.a. Players shall not use outside assistance of any kind.
    12.b. Players shall not listen to music, wear headphones, or have other electronic devices near them while playing.
    12.c. Players may only have their lichess game, the pairings/standings page, and the tournament Zoom meeting open. While playing, no other browser tabs or programs may be open.
    12.d. During or after the event, players or teams found or strongly believed to be using outside assistance may be deemed ineligible for a prize and/or expelled from the event.
    12.e. The Chief Arbiter may remove a player or team from the event, make a player and their team ineligible for a prize, or adjust the standings even if lichess does not find the account guilty of a fair play violation.
  13. Zoom

    13.a. While playing in the event, all players must be in the event’s Zoom meeting with video and screenshare enabled, showing the entire desktop view.
    13.b. Players should join the Zoom meeting 20 minutes before the first round on each day to ensure connectivity and receive announcements.
    13.c. Even during games, players must agree to Zoom requests by tournament arbiters, including turning on audio, giving a scan of the playing area, adjusting the camera angle, etc.
    13.d. If possible, players are strongly encouraged to also join Zoom from a secondary device to provide a side or rear-view angle of the entire playing area (see image below) in addition to the front-facing webcam from the playing computer.