1. Format: Clutch Chess is a knock-out tournament played at rapid time controls. Game points are weighted at critical phases of each match and are worth additional prize money, as discussed in further detail in Sections 3 and 5 below.

  2. Venue: Clutch Chess is an online event. Players will compete from their homes under the supervision of a Chief Arbiter. The Chief Arbiter shall be Chris Bird, IA.

  3. Pairings & Scoring:
    1. Players will be paired for individual semifinal matches consisting of twelve (12) rapid games.
    2. Players will be seeded based on their current FIDE Rapid Rating. 
    3. Pairings for the semifinal matches shall be seed 1 vs seed 4 and seed 2 vs seed 3.
    4. Colors for game 1 in each match shall be determined by coin toss. Players will then continually alternate colors for games 2 - 6 in each match. Players will start with the opposite color on day two (2). 
    5. Draw offers are not allowed to be made before move sixty (60) in any match. 
    6. The winners of each respective semifinal match shall face each other in a final match consisting of twelve (12) rapid games. Players who fail to win their semifinal match are eliminated from the competition.
    7. Games will not be rated.
    8. Players must complete every game of the match, even if the match is decided before the final game.

  4. Time Control: The time control shall be ten (10) minutes per game, with a five (5)-second increment from move one (G/10+5).

  5. Prizes: The total prize fund shall be $100,000. Each match shall have a prize fund commensurate with the stage of the event. Furthermore, games 5, 6, 11 and 12 in each of the Matches (the “Clutch Games”) shall also have bonus prize money available (“Clutch Prize”).
    1. A player must win their Clutch Game to earn the Clutch Prize.
    2. If Clutch Games 5 or 6 end in a draw, the Clutch Prize for that game shall be divided evenly and added to the Clutch Prize for games 11 and 12.
    3. If the result of Clutch Game 11 is a draw, any accumulated Clutch Prize for that game shall be added to the Clutch Prize for Clutch Game 12.
    4. If the result of either semifinal Clutch Game 12 is a draw, any accumulated Clutch Prize money from that game shall be divided evenly and added to the Clutch Prize for Finals Games 11 and 12.
    5. If the Finals Clutch Game 12 result is a draw, any accumulated Clutch Prize money for that game shall not be paid out in prizes.

  6. Playoff & Tiebreak
    1. In the event of a tie for first place in any match, the following tiebreaks shall be used:
      1. The player with the most points from Clutch Games shall advance.
      2. If both players have the same amount of points from Clutch Games, then a two (2)-game blitz match with a time control of game in five (5) minutes plus two (2) seconds increment (G/5+2) shall be played by the players. Colors shall be determined by a coin toss.
      3. If the two (2) game blitz match ends in a tie, then the players shall compete in an Armageddon Game. White shall have five (5) minutes and Black shall have four (4) minutes. Black shall be declared the winner if the result is a draw. Colors shall be determined by a coin toss.

  7. Arbitration
    1. The tournament shall be played according to the rules set by
    2. The tournament shall be supervised by the Chief Arbiter (the “CA”).
      1. The CA shall be responsible for ensuring fair play and implementing any anti-cheating measures.
      2. If a player wishes to appeal a decision of the CA, they must do so immediately after the game by notifying the CA.
      3. The Chief Organizer (the “CO”) shall appoint a three (3)-person appeals committee consisting of at least two (2) arbiters (the “Appeals Committee”). The Appeals Committee shall be decided prior to the start of the event and players shall be made aware of its members. The CO shall be Tony Rich, IA, IO.
      4. Decisions of the Appeals Committee are final.
    3. Each two (2)-player match shall have its own Zoom conference room, allowing the CA to communicate directly with the players without disturbing other players.
    4. If a player disconnects from, that player shall lose all time for which they are disconnected.
    5. If a player disconnects from the Zoom screen sharing, they must immediately reconnect.
    6. In the event of an unexpected occurrence, the CA reserves the right to make all decisions in conjunction with or on behalf of the CO.

  8. Anti-Cheating Measures
    1. Players are required to allow the CA to inspect the playing area and computer on which the player will compete at any time throughout the competition upon request.
    2. Players are not allowed to leave the computer while their game is in progress.
    3. Players are required to share their computer screen with the CA via Zoom conference for the entirety of play.
    4. Players shall not run any software other than a web browser with one tab open to, Zoom and Skype unless expressly allowed by the CA and CO.
    5. Players shall not use any other electronic devices while playing, including headphones, mobile phones, etc.
    6. Games may be submitted for anti-cheating analysis.