Constitution of the Irish Chess Union

As adopted at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Irish Chess Union held on the 4th day of September 2005 (a substantial rewrite of the earlier constitution passed in 1990 and subsequently amended on several occasions). Updated on 5 January, 2016 based on changes from 2014 AGM and 2015 EGM.
Changed on 17 February 2017, to reflect changes from 2016 AGM.

  1. NAME
  2. GENERAL POWERS OF THE UNION
  3. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES AND POWERS OF THE UNION
  4. CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE FOR CHILDREN IN CHESS
  5. MEMBERSHIP
  6. PROVINCIAL CHESS UNIONS
  7. GENERAL MEETINGS
  8. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS
  9. MEMBERSHIP OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
  10. THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
  11. THE PRESIDENT AND HONORARY VICE PRESIDENTS
  12. ACCOUNTS
  13. DISCIPLINE
  14. NOTICES
  15. INDEMNITY
  16. AMENDMENT OF INTERNATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
  17. ALTERATION OF CONSTITUTION

Article 1. NAME

The name of the Union shall continue to be "The Irish Chess Union" or in the Irish language "Cumann Fichille na hÉireann".

Article 2. GENERAL POWERS OF THE UNION

The Union is the governing body of chess in Ireland, and is affiliated to the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and the European Chess Union. In this capacity it has the sole responsibility to nominate individual players and teams to represent Ireland in international chess tournaments or events organised under the auspices of these bodies.

Article 3. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES AND POWERS OF THE UNION

3.1 The Union shall have the following specific objectives:

  1. To continue to affiliate to FIDE
  2. To encourage, develop and promote the sport of Chess in Ireland.
  3. To fulfil Ireland's International Chess obligations.
  4. To maintain the Irish rating register.
  5. To ensure that the Irish Chess Championship is held annually.
  6. To administer the playing of competitive Chess in Ireland.
  7. To endeavour to raise the standard of Chess playing in Ireland.
  8. To obtain government and private sponsorship of Chess.

3.2 The Union shall also have the following powers:

  1. To affiliate to any other body that the committee of the Union shall from time to time deem appropriate with a view to furthering the aims and objectives of the Union.
  2. To raise funds and accumulate income and to receive subscriptions, donations and bequests.
  3. To invest any monies of the Union in any forms of investment authorised by law as proper investments for charity funds.
  4. To adopt such measures of making known the activities of the Union as may seem expedient.
  5. To enter into joint ventures for the promotion, administration or playing of Chess either in Ireland or internationally.
  6. To lay before the membership rules for the orderly running of the Union. These rules shall form Appendix A of this constitution and shall be adopted and/or amended by a General Meeting by simple majority and shall be binding on all members.

Article 4. CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE FOR CHILDREN IN CHESS

The Union undertakes in all its activities to have special regard for the protection of children in chess. It undertakes to ensure that a Code of Good Practice for Children in Chess is implemented in clubs, and provincial unions and that procedures for dealing with any complaints are put in place.

Article 5. MEMBERSHIP

5.1 Membership of the union shall be open to all persons who agree to be bound by the provisions of this constitution and who comply with its bye laws.

5.2 The fees and subscriptions to be paid for membership shall be determined by the Executive annually in advance of the Annual General Meeting and shall be reported to that meeting in the Treasurer's Report.

Article 6. PROVINCIAL CHESS UNIONS

The Union recognises the special role played by provincial chess unions in helping it to promote the sport. These bodies are affiilated to the Union and have a right of representation on its Executive and to send two delegates each to General Meetings of the Union. The Union may recognise other bodies or organisations connected with chess in Ireland as affiliates.

Article 7. GENERAL MEETINGS

7.1 The AGM shall be held between 1st July and 30th September in each calendar year

7.2 Not less than four clear weeks notice shall be given to members of the Union of the date and venue of the meeting, of the agenda for the meeting, of any motions for consideration at the meeting, and of any valid nominations for membership of the Executive Committee.

7.3 Without prejudice to other forms of communication with members of the Union, publication on the website of the ICU shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of giving notice to members.

7.4 No business shall be transacted at any General Meeting unless a quorum is present; the quorum shall consist of 9 persons entitled to vote at General Meetings of the Union.

7.5 The Chairman of the Executive Committee or in his absence the Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee shall preside at General Meetings. If the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are not present within 15 minutes after the time appointed for the holding of the meeting or are unwilling to act the members (including the members of the Executive Committee) who are present shall elect one of their number to act as Chairman of the meeting.

7.6 Only fully paid members of the Union are qualified to receive notice of, to attend, speak or vote at General Meetings of the Union. However members of the Union who are under the age of sixteen years on the previous 1st of January, shall be entitled to attend but not to vote at General Meetings. Whether in the case of an AGM or an EGM, payment of membership fees before the notice of the meeting is issued, shall determine eligibility to vote. However if an EGM is called within four months of an AGM, those who were eligible to vote at the AGM, will be considered eligible to vote at the EGM.

7.7 Any motion must be seconded at the General Meeting before it may be discussed. A Motion or Resolution may be moved or seconded by the Executive Committee in its own name. Nothing in this rule shall operate so as to prevent guests of the Executive Committee from attending any general meeting of the Union and from addressing the meeting if so invited by the Chairman of the meeting. Motions shall not be accepted at any General Meeting of the Union of which three clear weeks prior notice shall not have been given unless:

  1. They relate solely to the conduct of the meeting; or
  2. They relate to a matter which could not reasonably have been the subject of a written Motion with the appropriate notice; or
  3. In the opinion of the Chairman of the General Meeting they are of a minor nature.

7.8 All questions arising at general meetings of the Union shall be decided by a majority of votes of the members present and voting. In the case of votes for the election of members of the Executive Committee, voting shall be by written ballot. Votes on all other questions shall be cast by a show of hands, unless the presiding Chairman shall decide otherwise. In the event of a tied vote, (either in an election or on a motion), the presiding Chairman shall have an additional casting vote.

7.9 The annual general meeting shall be held to receive the reports of the Hon. Secretary, the Hon. Treasurer, and of other members of the Executive Committee having specified executive functions, to approve the audited accounts of the Union, to elect the Executive Committee for the ensuing year, to appoint an auditor, and for the transaction of any other business.

7.10 Accidental failure to advise any fully paid up individual member of the Union of any meeting shall not invalidate the holding of that meeting.

Article 8. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS

8.1 An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Union shall be convened by the Hon. Secretary at the request of the Chairman or on the written requisition of not less than 50 fully paid individual members of the Union. The requisition must state the objects of the meeting and must be signed by the requisitionists and may consist of several documents in like form each signed by one or more requisitionists.

8.2 An extraordinary General Meeting must be convened by the Hon. Secretary of the Union within 60 days of the receipt by him or her of the request or requisition mentioned above. At least three clear weeks notice of the date, time and venue of the meeting and of motions for consideration at that meeting shall be given.

8.3 The other rules of this Constitution applicable to general meetings shall also be applicable to Extraordinary General Meetings.

Article 9. MEMBERSHIP OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

9.1 No person shall be eligible to stand for election to membership of the Executive Committee unless that person:

  1. Is a fully paid up individual member of the Union; and
  2. Subject to rule 9.3 below, has been proposed in writing by a fully paid up member (such proposal to reach the Hon. Secretary prior to the notice of the Annual General Meeting being sent out) for a specific position; and
  3. Is seconded at the Annual General Meeting by a fully paid up member of the Union; and
  4. Subject to rule 7.3 gives at least 7 clear days notice in writing to the Hon. Secretary of the Union prior to the Annual General Meeting of his/her willingness to stand for election otherwise that person shall be deemed not to be qualified to stand.

9.2 The Executive Committee shall consist of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Rating Officer, Membership Officer, Development Officer, Junior Officer, Tournament Director, Public Relations Officer, FIDE Delegate, Women's Officer and of one member nominated by each of the Provincial Unions.

9.3 At each Annual General Meeting of the Union, one person shall be elected to each of the officer positions mentioned in Article 9.2. If the number of candidates qualified to stand for a position exceeds one, a ballot shall be held using the system of proportional representation (single transferable vote). In the event of a tie, the presiding Chairman shall have a casting vote.

9.4 If no candidates have been validly nominated for a particular position, the Chairman shall accept nominations from the floor. If more than one candidate is validly nominated, a secret ballot shall be held among these candidates and the candidate attracting the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected.

9.5 None of the successful candidates shall take up their positions until after the end of the meeting.

9.6 In the event that there are no candidates for an Officer position at the Annual General Meeting, after nominations have been sought from the floor, the incoming Executive will have the power to nominate a member of the Union to carry out these duties. This power shall also apply in the event of casual vacancies arising over the course of a year.

9.7 If one officer holds more than one Executive Committee position, that officer shall have only one vote.

9.8 If an executive member misses 2 committee meetings during their term without apologies, they are deemed resigned.

Article 10. THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

10.1 The affairs of the Union shall be managed by the Executive Committee which may exercise all powers of the Union which are not by these rules required to be exercised by the Union in general meeting subject to any directions being not inconsistent with this constitution as may be given by the Union in general meetings; but no such direction given by the Union in general meetings shall invalidate any prior act of the Executive Committee which would have been valid if that direction had not been given.

10.2 The Executive Committee shall have the power to make amend or repeal from time to time all such bye-laws regulations and standing orders consistent with this Constitution as it shall think expedient for the management and well being of the Union. It alone shall exercise the powers of the Union to award national chess or other titles connected with Irish Chess titles and to recommend to FIDE the award of FIDE titles.

10.3 The members of the Executive Committee may meet together for the dispatch of business, adjourn or otherwise regulate their meetings as they think fit. Questions arising at any meeting shall be decided by majority vote of those present and voting. In the event of a tie the presiding Chairman shall have a second or casting vote. If the Committee so resolves, it shall not be necessary to give notice of a meeting of the Committee to any member of the Committee who being resident in Ireland is for the time being absent from Ireland.

10.4 No business shall be transacted at any meeting of the Executive Committee unless five members of the Committee are present, either in person or by other communication method, at the time when the meeting proceeds to business.

10.5 The Executive may appoint persons, who are not members of the executive, to carry out specific functions or responsibilities (e.g Team Selection, Tournament Director, Journal Editor, Arbitration, Membership of Disciplinary Committee), provided that any person appointed is a member of the Union and shall at all times be answerable to the Executive. No person given a function in this way shall be deemed to be a holder of an office and the Committee may deprive that person of his functions or responsibilities, if it considers they are not being carried out in a satisfactory way.

10.6 The Executive may also appoint sub committees to carry out specific tasks or responsibilities. Sub Committees will normally be chaired by a Member of the Executive.

10.7 There shall be a junior sub committee which shall have specific responsibility for promoting chess among those under 19 and for organising National Championships at various under age levels. This Committee will be chaired by the Junior Officer elected at the Annual General Meeting. Each of the Provincial unions will have the right to nominate a delegate active in Junior Chess to this Committee. It will have a wide level of independence in the organisation of its affairs and will have its own accounts. These accounts will be considered part of the ICU accounts and be subject to audit.

Article 11. THE PRESIDENT AND HONORARY VICE PRESIDENTS

11.1 The Executive Committee shall have power to appoint a non-executive President of the Union and one or more non-executive Honorary Vice-Presidents, who shall not necessarily be fully paid up members of the Union. The functions and responsibilities of the President and of each of the Honorary Vice-Presidents shall be agreed from time to time between the Committee and the President, or the Committee and each Honorary Vice-President as the case may be, but the President and the Honorary Vice-Presidents shall have the right to attend and be heard at all general meetings of the Union and shall have the right to address the Executive Committee. While it is intended that the President shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of his/her appointment the Committee shall have power at any time to declare the office vacant if a resolution to this effect is passed by a majority of two-thirds of the total voting membership of the Committee provided always that the requirements of natural justice shall be observed by the Committee.

11.2 The Executive Committee (and the Executive Committee alone) may recommend to an annual general meeting that a position of Honorary Officer or honorary membership of the Union for life be bestowed on any person, whether such a person is a fully paid up member of the Union or not.

Article 12. ACCOUNTS

  • Accounts of the Union shall be prepared in respect of each subscription year by the Hon. Treasurer and audited by an Auditor who shall be a qualified Accountant approved by the Union in general meeting. Copies of the accounts should be made available to members on the ICU web-site at least 4 weeks in advance of the AGM.
  • If audited accounts cannot be available for the AGM the Treasurer may submit his/her unaudited accounts for approval subject to audit. If an issue of substance is raised by the audit process then an EGM shall be called to consider the audited accounts.
  • Article 13. DISCIPLINE

    The Executive Committee may discipline by means of a fine or any other suitable penalty and/or suspend from membership of the Union any individual member or organisation who contravenes any of these rules or any of the bye-laws made by the Executive Committee or who in the opinion of the Executive Committee is guilty of unacceptable behaviour or has brought the Union into disrepute. In exercising these and other functions, The Executive shall ensure that the requirements of natural justice are observed before exercising its powers. The Executive Committee shall be bound by any rules contained in Appendix A.

    Article 14. NOTICES

    Notices required to be given under the Constitution may be given in any of the following ways:

    1. By handing it to the intended recipient.
    2. By posting it to the postal address recorded in the ICU membership list.
    3. By delivering it by hand to the postal address recorded in the ICU membership list.
    4. By sending it through e-mail to the e-mail address recorded in the ICU membership list.
    5. By publishing it on the Irish Chess Union web-site.

    Article 15. INDEMNITY

    Every member of the Executive Committee and of any Sub-Committee established under 10.6 shall be indemnified by the Union against all actions claims demands costs damages and expenses (other than traveling expenses) incurred by such member in carrying out the duties assigned to him/her unless these arose as a result of any omission or unauthorised act on the part of such member.

    Article 16. AMENDMENT OF INTERNATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

    Any amendment of the 1998 ICU bye-law on international eligibility criteria should be by vote of the membership at a general meeting of time Union.

    Article 17. ALTERATION OF CONSTITUTION

    This constitution shall only be amended at an Annual General Meeting of the Union, or at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Union specifically called for that purpose. The text of any amendments must be included with the notice convening the meeting and a two-thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote at any general meeting shall be necessary before any amendment is carried.

    Appendix A

    National Club Championships Rules

    Last updated by ICU Annual General Meeting September 2016.

    The INCC will be run by the Irish Chess Union's tournament director; or, if that is not possible, the chairperson of the ICU has the responsibility to ensure the event is held. The INCC will be run in accordance with The FIDE Laws of Chess and the ECU Regulations.

    The Championship rules are as follows.

    1. The INCC will normally be a Swiss format team event and will be run annually at a time chosen by the ICU Executive. In selecting the dates for the event, the Executive must ensure that there is sufficient time between the conclusion of the event and the start of the European Club Cup competition to register Ireland’s entries to the latter competition on foot of the results of the INCC.
    2. The venue will normally rotate between the provinces. It should be held in Leinster in alternate years and in each of Munster and Connaught one year in every four. The sequencing of the rotation between the provinces may be varied at the discretion of the ICU and a venue in Ulster may also be selected at the discretion of the ICU.
    3. Any Club in Ireland (all 32 counties) which has entered at least one team in an ICU rated provincial league and, prior to the start of the INCC competition, has played at least 3 matches in that league during the year in which the INCC competition is held is entitled to enter a team in the INCC.
      1. Each of the players selected to play for the club must have played at least 3 ICU rated games for their club in the provincial league in the last 365 days.
      2. Each of the players selected to play for the club must not have played any games for another club in the same division of the same league in the current season
      3. Where a club has not participated in a provincial league, the team captain of that club’s team must provide satisfactory evidence to the Tournament Director that the team members in question are members of a “bona fide” chess club in order to be eligible to play in the INCC. In this case, the following applies:

      4. Each of the selected players must have played at least 5 ICU rated games in Ireland in the current season.
      5. Clubs can draft in up to two players who are rated under 1600 ICU that would not normally qualify under rule 3.1. If a player is unrated on the ICU rating list, then their FIDE rating must not exceed 1600.
    4. A club may enter only one team in the competition.
    5. The ICU shall set a small entry fee per team to help offset the costs of running the event. This fee must be paid upon registration and is non-refundable.
    6. The number of rounds will be determined by the number of teams that enter in any particular year. Normally there will be a minimum of four rounds of matches.
    7. The Tournament Director, or another person appointed by the ICU Chairperson to act in that capacity, shall obtain details of the players competing in advance of the event and use the latest ICU published ratings available to determine the seeding of each team. The person appointed as Tournament Arbiter should carry out the full range of Arbiter duties required for the effective running of the tournament including:
      1. the provision of suitable reports to the ICU and in particular the ICU PRO; and
      2. submission of the event for ICU and FIDE rating.
    8. The Tournament Arbiter must use FIDE approved software for running the tournament.
    9. The deadline for receipt of entries will be determined by the Tournament Director when the dates for holding the event are decided upon. This deadline must be at least 14 days prior to the commencement of the Tournament.
    10. The time control will be 1 hour and 30 minutes per player for all moves plus 30 seconds per move applied from move 1.
    11. The two top placed teams will qualify for the European Club Cup.
    12. In the event of a team declining their place in the European Club Cup, the ICU's Tournament Director shall offer the place in the ECC to the next highest placed team and continue until the place is filled, provided that team has finished in the top half of the INCC final standings.
    13. The appointed team will be required to secure their place with a refundable deposit of the ECC entry fee (currently €300). This deposit will be refunded to the club upon their return from the ECC. Should the team decline to pay this deposit in a timely manner, the ICU tournament director may decide to allocate the slot to the next team as per point 12.
    14. Teams will consist of 6 players and a maximum of 2 substitutes.
    15. On the deadline for receipt of entries, the average rating of the top six players on each team must be at least 1450 based on the latest ICU published rating list. There is no restriction as to the strength of the substitutes.
    16. Each team captain must submit his or her team before the deadline set for receipt of entries by the Tournament Director and must declare a board order including the order of the substitutes. There is no restriction on how the board order is decided. When entering a team, the captain must also furnish both the ICU code and FIDE ID of each of his or her players.
    17. The declared board order cannot be changed; players will always play in board order and substitutes will always play on the lowest boards. This means that when any of the top six players are replaced by substitutes, none of the remaining top six players can move to a lower board.
    18. In the event of a declared player withdrawing prior to the commencement of the event a substitute player must be played in accordance with rule 17, an additional substitute may with express permission of the Tournament Director be named in accordance with rule 3, rule 19 and rule 20.
    19. All players must be members of the Irish Chess Union, irrespective of their nationality. All players must be registered and currently subscribed members ( or life member ) and must appear on the ICU published rating list valid for the event.
    20. All players must be members of the club they are representing. For the purposes of these rules, in order to be considered a member of the club, a player must fully comply with the requirements of rule 3 and the ICU tournament director must be satisfied that each team member has a real affiliation to the club they are representing.
    21. If any club fields an ineligible player, then any points won by the ineligible player(s) will be deducted and awarded to their opponents, and also any points gained on boards lower than that on which the infringement took place shall be likewise deducted and awarded to their opponents.
    22. Primary scoring will be done on match points. Teams shall not share the title of National Club Champion. In the event of match points not deciding the winner, the following shall be applied in sequential order:
      1. By the number of board points won, the highest number wins.
      2. Sonneborn-Berger for Team Tournaments - the sum of the products of the scores made by each opposing team and the score made against that team.
      3. By the sum of the board points of all teams’ opponents, the highest number wins.
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