LoneWolf Rules and Regulations

How to play in LoneWolf

  • If you're interested in joining, register online. Note that we only accept registrations from around two weeks before a LoneWolf season begins to the start of Round 8. Registrations are closed from Round 8 onwards, and are only re-opened shortly before the start of the following season.
  • If league moderators approve your registration, you'll receive an email inviting you to join the Lichess4545 Slack workspace...so then you need to join it!
  • When you join the workspace, first link your Slack account by sending a Direct Message (DM) to @chesster with the single word "link". If you're not sure how to do this, seek help in the #welcome, #lonewolf-general or #general channels.
  • All LoneWolf players should join the #lonewolf-general, #lonewolf-scheduling and #lonewolf-games channels.
  • During the season, pairings are released every Monday at 21:00 UTC.
  • You can set your availability for each round on https://www.lichess4545.com/lonewolf/season/21/availability/edit/ [note: link only valid for Season 21]
  • For every round where you have set yourself as available, shortly after pairings have been published, you will receive a direct message on Slack from @chesster that will include your opponent. 
  • You have 24 hours to message your opponent in this thread - either offering them times you can play or responding to their offered times.
  • Please list all times in UTC - this just makes it easy for everyone.
  • Once a time has been agreed, either you or your opponent should post it in #lonewolf-scheduling. If you're not sure how to do this, just follow the formats used by other players in the channel. Please confirm that your opponent is OK with playing at a certain time before posting it.
  • When it's time to play, either you or your opponent has to send the other player a challenge on Lichess for a standard rated 30+30 game, making sure that each player is assigned the correct colour. (If not, chesster should message you about it!)  
  • Then you just need to play your game. Chesster will automatically know when your game starts and ends, and the result will be posted immediately in #lonewolf-games (which is why we advise players to join this channel). The result will also show up immediately on the website's round pairings page.
  • All games must be completed by 21:00 UTC on the following Monday, in time for the next round's pairings to be released. Please bear this in mind when scheduling your games.     
  • Make sure you're aware of the league's rules (below). It's also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Lichess4545 Terms of Service.



LoneWolf Rules

Note: These rules are built on the Lichess4545 Terms of Service. Please note that they are neither set in stone nor meant to be punitive. Their overriding principle is to allow the league to function smoothly. To that effect, league moderators reserve the right to add and/or modify the rules when necessary.

If you have any questions about the rules, you should first ask them in Slack! If you don’t get an answer, or if your question is urgent, you can contact the moderators by typing "@chesster summon mods" in the #general channel. Please do not contact individual mods directly.

I. Player Eligibility

  • Players with a cheating history are ineligible to play in the league. Our player eligibility policy is described in the Terms of Service.
  • Players must be over 16 years of age;
  • Anyone who wants to play in LoneWolf should obtain an establised (non-provisional) classical Lichess rating before they register for the league. Registrations from players with provisional classical ratings will not be reviewed unless and until those players have obtained a non-provisional rating.
  • Players who have played in our league in previous seasons are allowed to join the open section even when their lichess classical rating is provisional at the time of their registration.
  • To be eligible for the U1800 section players must not have exceeded a lichess classical rating of 1800 in the three months prior to their registration.

II. League

  1. The Lone Wolf League format will be as follows:
    1. 11 round Swiss
    2. For each game that a player wins they receive 1 point, for each draw they receive 0.5 points and for each loss they receive 0 points
    3. Players are entitled to unlimited byes (worth 0.5 points) provided they ask for them 4 hours before pairings are released for any round.
    4. Players may join the league and withdraw up to 4 hours before pairings are released for any round.
      1. At the discretion of the moderators, players joining the league will be given points appropriate to their rating to ensure that they are paired with players of a similar rating. These points will be removed from their point totals for the final standings.
  2. ​​Half-point bye policy:
    1. ​Players may request half-point byes up to four hours before a new round's pairings are released.
    2. There is no limit on the number of half-point byes a player may request.
    3. If you late join you will only receive a maximum of 2 half-point byes for the games you have missed. Further adjustment of your score will be performed using points allocated as described in A. d..
    4. If your position in the standings will be improved by the allocation of a half-point bye the moderators may decide to award a zero-point bye in order to maintain your approximate position in the standings.
    5. If you win a game by forfeit against a higher rated player, you may request a half-point or zero-point bye instead. These byes are provided at the discretion of the moderators.
  3. The League is organized by a team of moderators.
    • You can reach the moderators by posting "@chesster summon mods" in the slack channel #lonewolf-general. A moderator will usually ask for a short description of the problem before deciding whether to address in in private or public channels.
    • Moderators will make binding decisions regarding:
      • Disputes between players
      • Rule clarifications
      • Player forfeiture
      • Any other issue of importance to the League as a whole
    • When applicable, moderators will refer to the rules and regulations of the USCF and FIDE as a guide to resolve disputes. However, the decisions are completely up to the moderators.
  4. The time control for all games will be 30 minutes with a 30 second increment (30+30)
  5. All games must be rated games on Lichess.org.
    1. This has never been negotiable. It is still not negotiable.  Games must be rated.
    2. It is both you and your opponents responsibility to check that the game is played correctly.

III. Scheduling

  1. Once the pairings for a round have been released, each player should attempt to contact their opponent as soon as possible.
  2. Respond to your opponent in the Direct Message that chesster started when he informed you of your pairing.
    1. If you did not receive this message from chesster, please summon the mods.
  3. Each player must offer a reasonable range of times on different days to their opponent. If a time cannot be agreed upon, a result will be determined by the moderators based on the effort put forth by each player to find a suitable time.
  4. If a player will not have the availability to make a reasonable effort to schedule their games, they should notify mods ahead of the pairing for that round.
  5. If an agreed time cannot be reached after both players have made their initial offer, both players should continue to offer times until an agreed time is found.
  6. All players must confirm their scheduled game time. We ask you post your scheduled game time in #lonewolf-scheduling, with @ for both player names.

IV. No Response Policy

  1. If one player cannot make contact with their opponent after 24 hours, they must inform the mods immediately.
    1. The mods will attempt to provide a new pairing for the affected player.
    2. if a new pairing cannot be made, the player will receive a full point for the round.
  2. In order to get a new pairing the player must contact the Moderators with a screenshot of a conversation on Slack with no answer, as well as attempted contact on Lichess.
  3. Upon receiving a claim of no-response, the Moderators will withdraw the non-responsive player from the league.
  4. The non-responsive player can make an appeal to be re-entered into the tournament.

V. No-Show Policy

  1. If either player is not online at the appointed time, they will have a grace period of 20 minutes to appear, otherwise they will forfeit the game.
  2. If either player is online, but does not challenge or accept the challenge of their opponent within 20 minutes of the challenge, they will forfeit the game.
  3. If one of the opponents is online at the oppointed time but the other one is not online, then chesster (the bot) will send a link to the player that is online allowing them to claim a forfeit. Click the link and follow the instructions.
  4. If chesster does not send a a link, please contact the mods using @chesster: summon mods
    • In order to claim a forfeit, the claiming player must provided the Moderators with a time-stamped screenshot showing one of the following:
      1. Their opponent is offline
      2. They have issued a challenge, but their opponent has not accepted
      3. They have issued a challenge, but their opponent has declined.
  5. Upon receiving a no-show claim, the Moderators may withdraw the forfeited player from the league.
  6. The forfeited player can make an appeal to be re-entered into the tournament.
  7. Each player receives a single "Life Happens" credit at the beginning of a season. They may use this to avoid a yellow card if they notify the moderators and their opponent in advance.  A forfeit win is still awarded to their opponent, but no yellow card.

VI. Cheating Policy

  • Our cheating policy is described in the Terms of Service. The Terms of Service also contain a dedicated section for streamers, and players that plan to stream their league games are advised to read that section as well as the additional notes for streamers.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, the Terms of Service define all of the following actions as cheating: the use of computer assistance, artificially increasing or decreasing one’s rating, the use of an opening book (in any medium), playing out variations on a Lichess analysis (or other online) board during a game, playing out variations on a physical board during a game, discussing any matter relating to an ongoing game, including draw opportunities, with anyone else, receiving assistance from any other source during a game, including from stream chat (if streaming), observing the spectator chat of one’s own game for any reason, and losing a game terminated due to a “cheat detected” mark.
  • Players suspected of breaking any of the cheating rules should be reported to league moderators on Slack or Lichess. In addition, players suspected of violating the Lichess Terms of Service should be reported to Lichess using https://lichess.org/report.
    • For example, if a player suspects that another player has consulted an engine during a league game, they should report that player to Lichess, but they may also report their suspicions to a league moderator.
    • Any player determined to have broken one or more of the cheating rules will be withdrawn from all leagues and removed from the league Slack workspace. Their results in ongoing season(s) will also be revised to forfeit losses.
    • Any player whose account is banned by Lichess for any Lichess ToS violations will immediately be banned from the leagues, removed from the league Slack workspace, and have their results in any current season(s) revised to forfeit losses. Any such player may only become eligible again for the leagues if their ban is removed by Lichess.

VII. Game Play Policy

  • Both players are responsible to ensure that league games are set up correctly. Our game play policy is described in the Terms of Service. Players should familiarise themselves with these rules before they play. The following points highlight some of the rules that may be particularly relevant for LoneWolf players.    
  • Both players are responsible to ensure they are playing with the correct colours and in the correct time control for their league.
    • If one player notices an error in their game’s settings before White has played their tenth (10th) move, the game must be restarted with the correct settings.
    • If an error in a game’s settings is only noticed after White has played their tenth (10th) move, the game will be considered official and both players must play on. This rule is based on USCF Rule 11F: “If an incorrect starting position or the game was started with colors reversed within the first 10 moves, the game is annulled and started over. If discovered after Black's 10th move, the game continues.”
  • Players should play the colour they are assigned in the relevant league’s pairings, and should not agree to switch colours with their opponent for any reason. It does not matter if both players agree to change colours - switching colours simply isn’t allowed.
  • If league moderators determine that a game was drawn without either player making reasonable effort, the game will be treated as invalid and given a 0F-0F result. This rule is based on USCF Rule 14B6: “It is unethical and unsporting to agree to a draw before a serious contest has begun. The same is true of all arrangements to prearrange game results. In case of clear violations of the moral principles of the game, penalties should be imposed at the director’s discretion.”
  • In all leagues, players are not permitted to use the “Claim Victory” or “Claim Draw” features of Lichess if/when an opponent disconnects.
    • If a player uses this feature to erroneously claim victory in a league game, the game should be continued from the terminated position with the same amount of time remaining for each side as in the game.
    • If a player claims victory in this manner and does not return to continue the game, they will forfeit the game.
    • Conversely, any player disconnecting from a game with the intention of wasting their opponent’s time will receive a warning from league moderators. Action may be taken for repeated offences up to and including expulsion from the league. Players who experience such behaviour from opponents in league games should notify league moderators and also report incidents of stalling to Lichess using https://lichess.org/report.
  • It is not mandatory to allow takebacks in league games.
    • In other words, if a player makes an unintended move in a league game, they may request a takeback if they so wish, but their opponent has the right to refuse the request for any reason without incurring any penalty.
    • Players who wish to reduce the risk of blundering by “mouseslip” in their league games are therefore advised to turn on Lichess’s move confirmation feature before the start of their games.

VIII. Penalties

  1. As mentioned in the "Penalties" section of the Lichess4545 Terms of Service, the LoneWolf League enforces a system of warnings, yellow and red cards for players who either fail to contact their opponents within a certain time following the release of pairings, or who fail to show up to their games.
  2. These penalties can be easily avoided by familiarising oneself with the league's rules and clearly communicating any issues ahead of time with opponent(s) and league moderators.
  3. A yellow card may be awarded for:
    1. Missing a scheduled game, which will also typically result in a forfeit loss. However, if a player provides evidence to league moderators that they gave advance notice to their opponent, in most cases the game will still be forfeited but the yellow card will not be awarded.
    2. Not contacting an opponent on Slack within 24 hours of a round's pairings being released. If the game is eventually played despite the late initial contact, a warning may be given to the player instead, especially if it's a first offence.
    3. Insufficient effort to schedule a game, as determined by the league’s scheduling rules.
  4. Yellow cards and warnings may be given for other offences at league moderators’ discretion.
  5. A second yellow card offence will automatically result in a red card.
  6. A player with a red card will be withdrawn from the the current season, effective the subsequent round. Should they choose to register for any following season, if their registration is approved, they will carry over a yellow card into their next season.
  7. Yellow and red cards are indicated next to players’ names in the league standings on the Lichess4545 website.
  8. Players who consistently receive cards over several seasons may be banned from playing the next season (or even permanently).

IX. Account closure rule

  • As stated in the Lichess4545 Terms of Service, if a player closes their Lichess account while playing in any of the Lichess4545 leagues - including LoneWolf - and the account is not re-opened before the the next round’s pairings in that league are generated or before league moderators close the season, the player will be treated as though they have broken one of the cheating rules: they will be withdrawn from all leagues and their games in current season(s) will be revised to forfeit losses. If they later choose to re-open their account, they can register again for the leagues and may be readmitted to the league Slack workspace. However, all previously forfeited games will remain forfeited. In light of this rule, players are advised to consider the implications of their actions before they choose to close their Lichess account during a season.