Exchange Tournament Rules

Newport Exchange Tournament Rules

Venue:                   Newport Chess Club
Start Time:             7.45

Tournament Rules

  • A 6 round exchange tournament (full rules of exchange detailed below). If we finish early, the evening will end with a group exchange match between all participants.
  • Teams will be balanced by pairing the highest graded player entering on the night with the lowest grade and then the next highest with the next lowest. The most recent standard grading list will be used for this purpose. The higher graded player in 1 team must always then be paired against the higher graded player in the other and can't opt to play the weaker opponent.
  • There will be no entry fee/prizes.
  • The first named team will have white on the higher graded board. 

Rules of Exchange


Exchange is a chess variant played on two chessboards by four players in teams of two. Each team member faces one opponent of the other team. Partners sit next to each other and one player has black, while the other has white. Each player plays the opponent as in standard chess, with the exception of the rules specified below.

Captured pieces

A player capturing a piece immediately passes that piece to the capturing player's partner. The partner keeps these pieces in reserve and may, instead of playing a regular move, place one of these pieces on the board. Pieces in reserve may be placed on any vacant square, including squares where the piece delivers check but never when they deliver checkmate. Forced mate in one is acceptable. When placing a piece on the board, you can't take an opponent's piece or do any other move that turn. Each player must keep the reserve or stock pieces on the table in front of the board, always visible to all players of the game.


Pawns may not be dropped on the first 7th or last rank. Dropped pawns may promote but all promoted pawns convert back to pawns when captured. In play over the board, a promoted pawn can be put on its side to indicate promotion. A pawn placed on the second rank may move two squares on its first move.

End of the game

The match ends when either of the games on the two boards ends. A game is won when one player gets checkmated, resigns or their flag falls. Draws cannot be agreed between players but games can be drawn via repetition. If one of the games is drawn, the other game will continue until a winner arrives. Players on that board may use up their reserve pieces but won't receive any additional pieces.


Players may request pieces from each other but one player may not recommend moves on his partners board.

Time Control

Each player will have 5 minutes on their clock plus a 10 second increment per move.
In some situations a player may start stalling to wait for a critical piece. If the opponent declares that their opponent is stalling, if it's his partners turn to move, the stalling player may wait for his partner to move before making his move (and so potentially receiving the piece he is waiting for). Once his partner has moved, he must then move, even if it results in a loss.
If it's his partners opponents turn to move, the stalling player may wait for the opposition on the partner board to make their move which they must do within 20seconds of the stalling claim being made. The stalling player may then wait for their partner to make their move. The stalling player must then make their move. If the player continues to stall, the other team may claim the game.
Unfortunately there is no fair way to police this one so let's all remember this is supposed to be a friendly night and everyone should respect the spirit of the night which should be enjoyable, rapid games.