Additional Notes to Streamers

Guidance for Streamers 

The Lichess4545 Terms of Service define several actions that constitute cheating in the leagues.

One of these is receiving any form of assistance from any source while playing a game.

This includes streamers who receive assistance from chat during their games.

Due to the risk of streamers violating the leagues' rules by receiving assistance during streams - inadvertently or otherwise - the leagues' moderators have set out some guidelines below that should be followed by anyone planning to stream their league games:

  1. Streamers bear full responsibility for what happens on their stream.
  2. If the viewers of a stream are deemed to have provided outside assistance in a stream's chat, and the player who is streaming the game has read that chat at any point during the game, then league moderators will determine that the player has received outside assistance.
  3. If there is any perceived conflict between a streamer's desire to interact with their viewers and the leagues' fair play rules, it is the streamer's responsibility to resolve this conflict in a way that is fully compliant with the leagues' rules. If they feel that this won't be possible, they shouldn't stream their league games. If they choose to stream their league games without acknowledging or addressing this conflict, they bear full responsibility for the consequences.

What do we mean by "outside assistance"?

It is important to understand that many things constitute "outside assistance", not just suggesting moves. In fact, discussing anything that could influence a game in any manner would be considered outside assistance. Here are some more examples of outside assistance that can happen during a stream (but note that this is not an exhaustive list):

  • references to clock times, eg time remaining for either player
  • references to one's evaluation (or any other aspect) of a position
  • references to other games or variations (eg opening lines), related or unrelated to the current game
  • references to general ideas in a position, even if referring to ideas that are no longer possible (but were relevant earlier)
  • references to general ideas in positions unrelated to the current game
  • references to playing style(s) or advice about playing style(s)

Here are some examples of outside assistance that have happened recently during streams of league games:

  • Someone posted “Bd3” when the streamer was possibly about to play Be2.
  • Someone posted “nooooooooo” after the streamer mentioned that they planned to take a pawn with their next move.
  • Someone posted “Why didn’t you play Nf3 there?”
  • A streamer went to and looked up the opening stats of a viewer while their (the streamer's) game was in progress.
  • Someone posted “how can you pick the worst line ever”, referring to the opening of the game that was being streamed
  • Someone posted “you have 4 minutes time”, referring to the streamer's clock situation
  • Someone posted a reference to the clock time which indicated to the streamer that they should stop rushing their moves.
  • Someone posted “there are more threats you missed now”
  • Someone posted “that knight is such an annoying piece”
  • Someone posted “that queen side development looks suspicious”
  • Someone posted “but your pieces look very sad indeed”, confirming the streamer's previously aired assessment
  • Someone posted “I can’t read your thoughts, but you hardly seemed to consider g4-g5"
  • Someone posted “d5 and b7 are weak then”
  • Someone posted "Good move"
  • A streamer's alt appearing as one of the accounts spectating the game on Lichess 

What streamers have previously told us (and our replies)

  • Nakamura / Rosen / Botez / [insert streamer] get move suggestions on their streams without having any issues!

Yes, but these popular streamers do not play their games under the rules of the Lichess4545 leagues.

  • They only wrote that my queen was hanging! Of course, I saw that myself! How can something that obvious be classed as "outside assistance"?

Obviously, there will be some comments that won't be that useful for higher-rated players. However, the league moderators aren't going to start analysing each and every move suggestion or viewer comment in detail, weigh it against the supposed playing strength of the streamer, and then assess if each particular comment helped that particular streamer in that particular situation or not. That's why we have a single clear rule: receiving any form of outside assistance during a game is not allowed.

  • How can I control what my viewers are posting in chat? How can I be held responsible for what other people post?

Streamers choose whether they want to stream their league games and interact with their viewers. Those who make that choice are responsible for ensuring that they don't break the leagues' rules during their games. If a streamer chooses to trust their audience, that's their call. The Lichess4545 mods recommend that anyone who streams their league games should disable Twitch chat, but at the same time they recognise that ultimately this is something that streamers have to decide for themselves.

  • My viewers won't enjoy the stream if I'm not interacting with them! For me, interacting with viewers is the main point of streaming.

Well, the main point of our leagues is to provide a means for fairly playing long time-control games. If this conflicts with the way someone wants to run their stream, then the conflict must be resolved by the streamer in a way that fully complies with our rules. If a streamer believes that doing so will have an unacceptable impact on their streaming experience (or their viewers' experiences), then they should stop streaming league games. If a streamer chooses to keep Twitch chat enabled during their streams of league games, we recommend that they:

  • Implement automod text filters for all square and piece names
  • Place a large banner on their stream warning viewers not to discuss the current game in chat. 

Note that regardless of whether streamers take these precautions or not, they are still responsible for what their viewers post in chat.

  • I'm doing my best. I told my viewers to stop posting move suggestions immediately after I saw they were doing that. And then I even removed those that did it from the stream.

Thanks - we appreciate that the vast majority of players in the league don't try or even want to get outside assistance. We only ask that streamers do their best to comply with the rules. If, after reviewing a stream, we conclude that a streamer did not intentionally receive outside assistance, then they won't be banned. Still, if outside assistance was received, even if it was an accident, then the streamer will probably have to forfeit the game.