The 2018 Winter Chess Classic shall be a 10-player tournament paired as a Round Robin.
- Prompt Arrival: Players are expected to arrive promptly for their games. Players not at their board at the beginning of each round may receive a fine of $500 to be deducted from their prize for each occurrence. Players more than 30 (thirty) minutes late for a round shall forfeit that round. Players who withdraw or forfeit a game may not receive any prize money.
- No Draws: A 30-move draw rule will be in effect throughout the Event, including any playoff games. Player may not mutually agree to a draw in less than 30 moves.
- No Cell Phones: No cell phones or other electronic devices shall be allowed in the tournament area. Any violation of this policy will result in a fine of $500 to be deducted from Player's prize for each occurrence. In addition to the fine, a violation involving a cell phone or other electronic device that emits any noise during a game shall result in forfeiture of that game. If a violation occurs in subsequent games, the same penalties shall apply.
- Time Control: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds (increment) per move starting from move one.
- Notation: Due to the 30-second increment, Players are required to maintain an accurate and legible score sheet at all times during all games, and are required to keep their notation up-to-date.
- Chief Arbiter Discretion: In the event of an unexpected occurrence, the Chief Arbiter reserves the right to make all decisions in conjunction with or on behalf of the CHESS CLUB.
- Playoff Procedures: The following tie-breaks will be used for the purposes of the crosstable and any special prizes or trophies: 1. Direct Encounter (if applicable), 2. Most Blacks, 3. Koya System, 4. Sonneborn-Berger, 5. Won Games. If two or more Players are tied for first, a playoff will be held to determine final standings among all tied players. An Armageddon Game is defined as follows: White shall start with 5 minutes with a two-second increment and black shall start with 4 minutes with a two-second increment. Black shall be declared the winner if the game ends in a draw.
- Two Players: The tie will be broken with a two-game rapid match (G/10 +2 delay). If the contest is still undecided, the match will be decided by an Armageddon Game.
- Three or Four Players: If there are three or four Players tied for first, the Players shall contest a rapid round robin (G/10 +2 delay). If no clear winner is produced, the remaining tied players shall contest a blitz (G/3 +2 delay) a) round robin (if three or four players remain tied) or b) 2-game match (if two players remain tied). If the contest is still undecided, the match will be decided by a series of Armageddon Games.
- More Than Four Players: If more than four players are tied for first place, a combination of math tie-breaks and playoffs will be used to determine the winner. The format if more than four players are tied for first will be determined by the Arbiter and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.