Policy on Cell Phones & Electronic Devices
Created January 31, 2016 - Revalidated for 2017 on November 11, 2016

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On January 1, 2016, the Virginia Chess Federation published a policy on the use of Cell Phones and other Electronic Devices in VCF-sanctioned chess tournaments.  The text below is an extract of portions of that policy.  The full policy can be found online at:


1.  Devices covered under this policy include:

a)  Any device capable of communication between a player and an external party.

b)  Any device capable of calculating chess moves or variations.

c)  USCF-approved electronic notation devices.

2.  Communication or Calculation Capable Devices:  These are any devices capable of transmitting or receiving information or signals, or capable of calculating moves or evaluating board positions, that can be used by a player or spectator to convey an advantage to a player whose game is in progress.  Examples include, but are not limited to, cell phones, pagers, walkie-talkies, blue-tooth headphones, iPhones, iPads, computers, certain cell phone Apps, Android watches or iWatches.  The "test" of whether a device qualifies as a "communication or calculation device" simply is whether it is capable of transmitting or receiving information between a player an external party, or is capable of evaluating positions.  For a player with a game in progress, all such devices under the player’s control must remain turned off for the entire duration of the game.  Further, while the game is in ongoing, these devices:

a)  Must be stowed away in a backpack, purse, or chessbag, or otherwise placed in the location designated by the Chief TD.  If a device is left outside of the Playing Area, a player may not access that device while his/her game is in progress.  Devices must remain stowed away until the game is finished.  The TD has the authority to ban all such devices from the Playing Area.

b)  May not be carried on a player’s physical person, including in a pocket, in a coat, in a hat, other clothing, or any other container or bag carried by the player.

c)   May not be used until their games end.  Once a player’s game ends, that player is considered a “spectator” for the remainder of the round and shall comply with the procedures described in paragraph 5 below. 

3.  US Chess-approved Electronic Notation Devices (ENDs):  An “END” is the electronic equivalent of a paper scoresheet.  The VCF allows players to use only US Chess-approved ENDs in VCF events.  At this writing, the only ENDs approved by US Chess are the Monroi, e-Notate and PlyCount.  Other devices that perform similar functions are not allowed.  Players who use ENDs are reminded of Rule 15A, Official Rules of Chess, 6th Edition, which states:  "The player must first make the move, and then record it on the scoresheet.  The scoresheet shall be visible to the tournament director and the opponent throughout the game."