Rules and Regulations

General Tournament Rules

  1. Both the Major and Open divisions are 9 rounds with a time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move and the round times are listed in the schedule.

  2. Both the Major and Open divisions will be ACF and FIDE rated.

  3. The Major division will be consituted as a FIDE Title Tournament.

  4. The organisers reserve the right to transfer players across divisions should this become necessary. If this needs to occur, the player will be consulted and a full refund of entry fees will be made if the player does not wish to transfer, or a partial refund in the case of transferral from the Major to the Open.

  5. The Vega program will be used for pairings.

  6. The organisers reserve the right to refuse entry to a player.

  7. There is no smoking in the playing hall or inside the premises under the control of the tournament organisers.

  8. There is no analysis in the playing hall.

  9. All players receiving conditions (including free entry) are requested to attend the opening ceremony.

  10. All players are to attend the prize-giving ceremony. Players eligible for a prize who do not attend the presentation may incur a 20% handling fee.

  11. The default time will be 30 minutes after each round is started.

Policy on Short Draws

For both the Major and Open divisions, draws by agreement in under 30 moves will not be accepted by the Chief Arbiter in any round of the tournament. This rule is to encourage a competitive, fighting tournament, and we trust all players will adhere to this in a sportsmanlike manner. (Please note: This does not include stalemates or claims of draws by repetition. All claims of draws by repetition must be confirmed by an Arbiter.)

Tie Break

When required for the tournament, the tie-break systems in descending order of priority are:

  1. Median Buchholz - Sum of opponent scores minus the highest and lowest scores.

  2. Buchholz - Sum of opponent scores.

  3. Sonneborn-Berger - The sum of the scores of the opponents a player has defeated and half the scores of the opponents they have drawn with.

  4. ARO - Average ratings of opponents.

Player Pairings

It is aimed to publish the draws for Round One of both the Major and Open divisions in the evening prior to the commencement of Round One. Registered players who have not paid by the entries close time will not be included in the draw. Players are expected to arrive and be seated at their boards prior to the commencement of Round One. The organisers guarantee that if you and your opponent are at the table at the Round One start time, you will play each other. In instances where your opponent does not arrive, the organisers will repair you with another player or allocate a bye. The organisers cannot cater for every contingency but will attempt to be as flexible as possible whilst still aiming to begin each round at the scheduled start time.

Late Entries

Registration to the Melbourne International Open made less than 72 hours prior to the entries close time will incur an additional $40 fee. The organisers reserve the right to accept entries beyond the entries close time at an additional fee. Late entry players will be manually entered into the draw and will be paired and begin playing after the start of the round.

Policy on Byes

If a player is unable to play a round (for any reason), they may request a bye from the Chief Arbiter.


Such a request must be made prior to the commencement of the previous round to the round concerned (i.e. A request for a bye in Round Four, must be made before the start of Round Three).


If such a request is approved a player will receive half a point (0.5) for that round with the following exceptions:

  • In the final two rounds, a player shall receive no points (0) for that round.

  • A player may only receive a maximum of two (2) half point byes.

  • A player may only receive a total of one (1) point in byes. If a player has previously received a full point bye (or a point by default), they shall no (0) points for that round.


The Chief Arbiter reserves the right to refuse any request for a bye.

Mobile Phone Policy

We will be enforcing a strict No Mobile Phone usage during the event policy.


All mobile phones and other communication devices are to be switched off in the tournament hall. This includes smart watches, tablets, computers, audio devices, and any other electronic devices that can receive external transmissions. Players are not allowed to have any such device on their person during the game. A secure place to check-in and store your electronic devices will be available to the players.


A breach of this rule will result in the automatic loss of the game in the case of a player (if a game is in progress), or the exclusion from the tournament hall until the start of the next round (in the case of a player who has finished their game), or for the rest of the day (in the case of a spectator).

Spectator Policy

It is not yet confirmed the conditions under which spectators will be allowed into or remain in (in the case of players who have completed their games) the playing hall. The organisers and Chief Arbiter reserve the right to update this policy at a later time. Once the policy has been confirmed and/or updated, it will be published here and announced prior to the commencement of the tournament.

Appeals and the Appeals Committee

In the case of an appeal against an arbiters decision, the player may request a review by the Chief Arbiter. If the player would like to appeal against the decision or review of the Chief Arbiter, they may lodge a written appeal to the Chief Organiser. The Chief Organiser will then form an appeals committee consisting of three (3) players from either or both divisions of the tournament. These players will be chosen for their impartiality and knowledge of the rules of chess.


The player lodging the appeal shall lodge a $50 bond, which will be refunded in the case of a successful appeal or if the appeal committee decides to refund the bond in the case of an unsuccessful appeal.


All written appeals lodged with the Chief Organiser must be done prior to the completion of the round in which the appeal is for.

Players' Rights and Responsibilities

All players have the right to expect:

  1. The organisers, arbiters, and other officials are reliable and have a knowledge of the Laws of Chess, as per FIDE standards.

  2. That all prizes will be awarded as advertised.

  3. That any special rules pertinent to this tournament will be announced and/or posted.

  4. The starting times of the rounds will be posted, and that the rounds will start reasonable on time.

  5. The Chief Organiser (or assistants) will be available at all times in the event of questions or problems.

  6. The round pairings and results will be posted in a timely manner.

  7. That upon request, the Chief Organiser will initiate the appeals process.

All players are expected to:

  1. Conduct themselves in an orderly fashion.

  2. Compete in the spirit of good sportsmanship.

  3. Be present at the start of every round (if possible).

  4. Refrain from analysis or audible talking in the playing hall while other games are in progress.

  5. Notify the Chief Arbiter in advance if they are unable to play a round or rounds.

  6. Promptly report results in a manner required by the Chief Organiser.

  7. Read all the pertinent information posted by the tournament organisers.

  8. Obey the FIDE Laws of Chess.

Changes in Rating Following Registration and Payment

Should an eligible player register and pay for entry into the Major division and then become ineligible due to a decline in their rating, their eligibility will be reviewed by the Chief Organiser and Chief Arbiter. The review will be of the significance of decline in rating and may include considerations such as live rating and performance in the Doeberl Cup (should the player be participating). The player should contact the Chief Organiser immediately following the publication of the FIDE rating list for April 2024.


Should a player registered for the Open division achieve a rating that qualifies them for the Major division, the player should immediately contact the Chief Organiser and request that they be transferred if they wish to play in the Major division.


A player wishing to register for the Major division, but does not meet the rating requirement, may register provisionally. Should a player who registers provisionally for the Major division still not possess a rating greater than or equal to 2000 on the FIDE April 2024 rating list, that player will be assessed for eligibility as above. That player will be contacted to either have their place confirmed or moved into the Open division - a partial or full refund of entry will be issued as required.

Refunds and Player Withdrawal

Players withdrawing more than seven (7) days prior to the commencement of this tournament are entitled to a full refund (less processing fees). If a player withdraws within  seven (7) days but more than two (2) days prior to the commencement of this tournament a 50% refund will be issued (less processing fees). Any player who withdraws less than two (2) days prior to or after the commencement of this tournament will forfeit their entry fees.



Players are expected to complete all rounds of their respective divisions. Players who cannot do so should inform the Chief Organiser before their next round. A player withdrawing under these circumstances will be required to pay an entry bond the next time they enter the Melbourne International Open (to the value of the standard entry fee). This bond will be refunded upon the completion of that tournament. Players who withdraw without notifying the Chief Organiser in advance may have further conditions imposed upon their future entry. 

Players with Chronic Medical Conditions and other Disabilities

The rules and regulations above may be ammended for any player with a chronic medical condition or disability. All players with a chronic medical condition or disability should contact the Chief Organiser prior to registration so that accomodations may be made.


Everyone involved in the organisation and running of the Melbourne International Open welcome all players from all backgrounds and encourage your participation. We are all more than happy to make any necessary accomodations required to ensure that all players are treated equally and fairly.