C.I.C.L.  F.A.Q.s
What is the CICL?
The Chicago Industrial Chess League (CICL) organizes team-chess matches between Chicago-area (downtown and suburban) commercial, governmental, educational and other organizations as well as area chess clubs which are identified as members of the Illinois Chess Association.

Founded in 1957, the League now consists of 23 6-person teams spread over 3 geographical Divisions which effectively covers the metropolitan area. The season begins in September and runs through April, with special end-of-season activities in May and June.

There are no paid positions, the League Officers are strictly voluntary. Membership dues go directly to awards and operational expenses.

Is it just for fun or are prizes awarded?
The CICL is more fun than humans normally experience, but we do award team trophies (or gift certificates) to the teams finishing in the top third of each division and also the top three teams in the season-end playoffs. Furthermore,  individual players are recognized for outstanding play during the year.

How do teams communicate if spread out and not in same area?
An email list of contacts is published at beginning of season.  The team standings, player's ratings, and analyzed games are published on our web site and via issues of the Chicago Chess Player, our newsletter. Browse  Online Bulletins

How are matches created?
Each Division Chairman creates a match schedule at the beginning of the season which pairs teams within that division. Half the matches will occur at each team's company ("home"), the other half, of course, are at the opponent's company ("away"). Since each division is a geographical section of Chicagoland, traveling requirements are minimal. Teams qualifing for the League Playoffs may need to travel to reach the playoff-rounds' opponents.  Some divisions are small enough for teams to play each other twice (or more often), but usually each team will play each team of the division during any one season. The date and details of any match are agreed by the Captains involved, so they can be scheduled as convenient for the teams' immediate needs.

For any given match, the players are listed in rating order (captain has option to switch order if players within 100 rating points of each other) and plays an opponent at the same board from the other team.  So Board 1 would pit each teams's best player, Board 2 would pit each teams's second-best player, etc.  Line-ups are announced at the match and declared first by the home team. Color of pieces is assigned by giving Black to the odd-numbered boards for the home team.

How are teams rated?
Teams compete only within their division during the season. Standings are based strictly on win-loss-draw records per division.

Individual players are rated based on win-loss-draw combined with strength of opponent.  The calculation is similar to the USCF or FIDE formula. Performance ratings for teams (based on record and strength of opposition) are also calculated and used for playoff seeding.

What are the qualifications to join?
Any Chicago-area organization is eligible. The team must have at least 6 members, but should have 8 or more players available as alternates to assure a complete team for any given match. All members of a single team must be associated with the same organization, have retired from it, or be members of the same ICA club.  In some circumstances, the League Executive Board may also allow a player that once worked for the business but currently doesn't. Teams that are interested in playing but unable to recruit sufficient players from a single organization may form a merged team of players from two organizations while attempting to complete recruiting.

There is no average-rating requirement except for a club or merged teams which cannot average over USCF 1900. Furthermore, no assumption about an individual player's strength is made-- any chessplayer is welcome!
Each team has beginning chessplayers; many have master-rated top boards!

Each team pays $75 per season which pays for the trophies, bulletin mailing cost, and other minimal operating expenses.

As half of the team's matches are "home", you should have a place to host the games.  Most teams use the company cafeteria or a conference room. Arrangements can probably be made to accomodate extraordinary security needs.

How can I make contact or join?
To join, get commitments from six fellow-workers and submit their names by the last week in August.  Your team will be reviewed by the League Officers and , if approved, become part of the coming season!

All communication can be made via email to President@chicagochessleague.org

or Publicity@chicagochessleague.org