The rules have been revised by the BGA council for 2006. They will apply to the 2006 and all subsequent championships (until amended), and supersede all previous versions.
The statement regarding the rules changes is as follows:
GENERAL ======= (1) The poll was a consultation, not a vote, but on all matters except one, we have in fact chosen what the majority voted for. We will identify the exception and give the reason where it comes up. In addition to the multiple choice questions we asked for other comments, and we received some extremely useful ones. We have adopted many of those suggestions. (2) All the revisions take immediate effect. In particular, qualification for 2006 events follows these rules and not the old ones. (3) Details, such as tie-breaks and allocation of WAGC points, have also been amended in line with the new system, and also minor wording changes have been made to some clauses. TITLE MATCH =========== (4) We retain the Title Match in its current format. (5) The match will be between the top two players in the Challengers' League. The previous year's champion no longer plays in the match by right. NOTE: The reason for the decision is that the championship rules should be appropriate for any plausible distribution of players at the top strengths, not only the current distribution. (6) Noting the popularity of the internet relays and the live professional commentaries, it is now Council policy to subsidise such relay and commentary for every game of the match. Budget is USD50 per game. CHALLENGERS' LEAGUE =================== (8) We retain the 8-player round-robin format and the same time limits. The top two placed payers will play the title match. (9) The Champion in year (X-1) qualifies automatically for the Challengers' League in Year X. The UK representative at the WAGC also qualifies automatically if (but only if) the dates of the WAGC make it impossible to attend both the WAGC and the Candidates'. All other players must qualify via the Candidates' Tournament. CANDIDATES' TOURNAMENT ====================== (10) There will be a 3-day Candidates' Tournament, with two games per day with 90 minutes basic time. This is where we departed from the majority. There were 10 votes for this format as against 12 votes for that of 6 games in two days with shorter time limits. The reason for our decision is that some comments in the "other comments" section pointed out that there are many tournaments with 60-minute time limits but far fewer with longer ones. Several people do desire more opportunities to play on longer time limits and we considered that the British Championship is a suitable occasion to provide that opportunity. (11) The qualifying achievement for the Candidates' Tournament in year X is to have an EGF rating of 1900 or higher immediately after the end of at least one tournament in year X-1 in which the candidate played in all rounds. (12) Players wishing to enter the Candidates' must know whether they qualify. The Championships Organiser is not obliged to issue invitations. CALENDAR ======== (13) We will try each year to run the Candidates' on the early May Bank Holiday weekend. (14) The Challengers' Tournament will take place in a long weekend from Friday to Monday, chosen such that the period from the Tuesday before that weekend to the Wednesday after that weekend do not coincide with the dates of the WAGC including its scheduled travelling dates. If the Late May Bank Holiday weekend satisfies this criterion, that weekend will be chosen. Otherwise a different weekend will be agreed by the Championships Organiser and Council and announced on the BGA web site as soon as possible after the dates of the WAGC are announced. As before, Challengers' players should be available to play tie- break games on the Monday afternoon if needed.