Tournament types

There are two Categories of tournaments: Engine-Allowed and Engine-Forbidden

Engine-Allowed Tournaments

Here, players are permitted to use computer assitance to decide their moves.

Engine-Forbidden Tournaments

Here, players may not consult a chess engine and computer databeses on any device or cloud. Printed or PDF books are allowed.

The rating systems and Championships for Engine-Allowed and Engine-Forbidden games are completely separate.

While selecting a tournament to play in, after deciding the category (Engine-Allowed or Engine-Forbidden) the next thing to decide is the rate of play which could be Normal, Rapid or Blitz.

Normal rate of play

Here the time limit is 50 days per 10 moves (abbreviated 50/10). Your total time should not exceed 50 days upto move 10, 100 days upto move 20 and so on. There is also a Silence rule. You must respond to an opponent's move within 40 days. Days on which you were on leave are not counted in the Silence Period. This also applies to your first move as White from the Tournament Start Date. If you fail to do so, the server will score the game as a loss.


The time limit for Rapid Games is 20 days for the whole game plus 2 days per move. Note that two days are added to your available time whenever you make a move ( Fischer clock). Example: On your 12th move your total time has to be less than 42 days, because you have 20 days plus 11 times 2 days which amounts to a total of 20 + (11 x 2) = 42 days. There is no Silence rule in Rapid games.


The time limit for Blitz Games is 10 days for the whole game plus 1 day per move. Note that one day is added to your available time whenever you make a move (Fischer clock). Example: On your 12th move your total time has to be less than 21 days, because you have 10 days plus 11 times 1 day which amounts to a total of 10 + (11 x 1) = 21 days. There is no Silence rule in Blitz games.

Number of Players

The number of players in a tournament will be either 4 or 7. In 4-player tournaments there are two games against each opponent (1 each with Black and White). In 7-player tournaments there is one game against each opponent. In both cases there will be 6 games. After you enrol, the admimnistrator will allot a 4-player or 7-player tournament depending on how many players are waiting.

Thematic Tournaments

The first few moves of the game are fixed beforehand. Players are to continue the game from this point. At the start of the game it could be either Black or White to move. Thematic tournaments are always 4-player double game. They are at Normal rate of play (50/10), however the move count starts from the first move played after the fixed moves.


AIWCF Championships, both for Engine-Allowed and Engine-Forbidden are Normal rate of play. The number of players is not fixed, but is usually 15 or 16. Championships are usually held about once a year. The gap could be a bit longer in case earlier championships are not yet completed.

Announcement of Championships are made by email and in the AIWCF WhatsApp group. Players are selected on the basis of rating.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does AIWCF ensure that players do not cheat and use engines in Engine-Forbidden games?

Detecting engine use is an involved topic. You can read about it in many internet sources like In AIWCF we look into the game after a player complains about an opponent. Players violating the guidelines will be barred from Engine-Forbidden games for 2 years. The Engine-Forbidden games where engine use is detected and all pending Engine-Forbidden games will be scored as a loss. The player will be allowed to continue Engine-Allowed games.

What can I do if I suspect that my opponent is using engines in my engine-forbidden game?

Send an email to the administrator

Why doesn"t ICCF have an Engine-Forbidden category?

ICCF beleives that it is impossible to detect engine use with 100% certainty. Hence they do not want to start engine-forbidden games, although many players have been asking for it.

Can I play in both Engine-Allowed and Engine-Forbidden games?

AIWCF allows you to play in both categories. However you should be very careful to remember which games are engine forbidden and ensure that you do not use engines in them. If you are replying from the AIWCF webserver then at the top of the Make move it will be clearly indicated: (Engines not allowed!) Unfortunately, this is not the case if you are using a third party App like Your Move Mobile App and you must take care.

In the long run, it is expected that players will play in only one of the categories, Engine-Allowed or Engine-Forbidden. However at the present time, many players are participating in both categories.