BCCA Tournaments, Matches and Ratings

Following the recent AGM and Executive Committee Meeting, changes are being implemented for BCCA Tournaments and Matches.

These are summarised in the article set out below.


BCCA Tournaments, Matches and Ratings

The AGM of the BCCA was held on 1st October, followed by a meeting of the Executive Committee.   A report on both meetings will be published on the website shortly.

The meetings considered the operation of BCCA Tournaments, matches and ratings.    This note provides a summary of the discussions and decisions taken.

BCCA Tournaments: Evolution

The organisation of correspondence tournaments is at the heart of the activities of the BCCA.   As playing trends develop, the BCCA evolves to meet changing demands of players.   As a result, a number of decisions were taken:

William Mason

The William Mason Championship, Candidates and Reserves constitute a major event on the British CC chess calendar.   This year saw an 18% increase in overall participation.   This is an excellent development but it also highlighted some organisational and structural challenges.

Consequently, the EC has decided to review the operation of the tournament with a view to:

  • Enlarging entries further.


  • Increasing the strength of participation, particularly in the Championship while continuing to offer opportunities for weaker players.


  • Streamlining the administration of the events to make entering and participating as smooth as feasible.

Further details of the reforms will be publicised to members shortly.


The medal tournaments continue to be successful.   In order to encourage more entrants and simplify entering, the EC decided on a minor change, namely to allow entries at the same time as membership renewals, meaning that the entry and payment of entry fees can occur simultaneously with membership renewal.

Continuous Tournament

It is intended that a new continuous tournament be established.    The EC is working on developing proposals and will be seeking to introduce the new event shortly.

Further details will be provided in due course.


The handicap tournament is the longest running continuous CC event that we are aware of, having been playing since 1906.

It continues to be successful, but to facilitate its effective operation, the playing system has been changed to the Silli structure.  It is hoped that this will help to boost entries.

Gambit, Counter Gambit and Endgame Tournaments

We have seen a steady decline in participation in the Gambit, Counter Gambit and Endgame tournaments.   There was insufficient interest for them to be held last season and they have now been discontinued unless and until there is sufficient demand for them to be reinstated.


In addition to tournaments, the BCCA fields teams in match events.   We participate in the Champions League and the British Webserver Team Tournament, both sets of teams being managed by Stan Grayland, and we intend to join the Scottish Webserver League this season.

We also organise ad hoc friendly matches, although our focus will be on the league competitions which can more easily be organised with opposition of a comparable standard.


We seek to have BCCA games rated by the ICCF wherever feasible.   Due to difficulties with a change to ICCF rules applicable to tournaments with players from different Federations, we experienced difficulties having our tournaments rated.

Consequently, through the endeavours of Stan Grayland, we created a system of BCCA ratings, publicised on our website.  In the meantime, we have been working with Federations to allow ICCF ratings to apply more extensively and, with thanks to Phill Beckett, have made substantial progress.

As a result, it has been decided to discontinue establishing BCCA ratings as most tournaments and matches will now be ICCF rated.    Subject to confirmation with the ICCF, we expect the position for the coming season and subsequently to be:


William Mason Championship, Candidates and Reserves


Postal Championship


Medal Tournaments




Continuous Tournament




Champions League


Scottish Webserver




British Webserver Team Tournament Rated


Other Matches TBC for each match