Lichess4545 Terms of Service

Lichess4545 Terms of Service

Last updated: 20 April 2021

Introduction

The Lichess4545 leagues are officially organised and run by the online chess site Lichess.org (“Lichess”). Signing up to the leagues requires no payment.

This page lists the Lichess4545 Terms of Service, which comprise an additional and optional extension to the original Lichess Terms of Service that is only relevant for anyone who chooses to sign up for one of the Lichess4545 leagues. The Terms of Service are only valid if agreed and accepted in conjunction with the Lichess4545 privacy policy.

The Lichess4545 community encompasses a wide range of online chess leagues, summarised in a separate overview. This page refers to all these leagues collectively as either "Lichess4545 leagues" or simply "leagues". 

In addition, it refers to two types of leagues organised within the community: "website leagues" and "community leagues":

  1. The term "website leagues" is used when referring to leagues that accept registrations submitted through the Lichess4545 website. Currently, there are three such leagues: the 4545 TeamLoneWolf and Chess960 leagues.
  2. The term "community leagues" is used when referring to leagues that do not accept online registrations. These leagues are instead only open to members of the Lichess4545 Slack workspace. If someone who is not a member of the workspace wants to play in a community league, they must first register for a website league, have their registration approved by a league moderator, receive an invitation to join the Lichess4545 Slack workspace, and then join the workspace.

By signing up and playing in one of the Lichess4545 leagues, you agree to comply with all of the following:

  1. The rules and conditions of the Lichess4545 leagues, as set out on this page;
  2. The rules of each individual Lichess4545 league that you choose to sign up for;
  3. The terms of the Lichess4545 privacy policy;
  4. The sharing of your email address with Slack Technologies, Inc. for the purpose of inviting approved registrants to join the Lichess4545 Slack workspace; and
  5. The documentation of players’ league game histories and performance ratings on the Lichess4545 website.

Eligibility rules

Anyone who wishes to play in the Lichess4545 leagues must:

  • Be over 16 years of age;
  • Not have violated Lichess's terms of service on any of their current or past account(s);
  • Not have lost a game due to a “cheat detected” mark on any of their current or past account(s); and
  • Not have previously been banned from participating in the leagues.

Lichess reserves the right to check the eligibility of Lichess4545 registrants. See the Lichess4545 privacy policy for further relevant details. Ultimately, eligibility for the leagues is determined at the discretion of league moderators, who reserve the right to deem registrants or active league members ineligible for any reason without having to provide prior warning or evidence for their decisions.

Non-provisional rating requirement

Those who wish to play in the 4545 or LoneWolf leagues must also have a Lichess account with an established (non-provisional) classical rating before they can play in either league.

Most of the Lichess4545 leagues require participants to have a non-provisional rating in the relevant category, with some notable exceptions such as the Chess960 league. Registrants are therefore advised to consult the rules of the specific league they are interested in joining to identify whether they need to have a non-provisional rating to be eligible. (These rules are all linked in the Lichess4545 overview.)

The non-provisional rating requirement for the 4545 and LoneWolf leagues deserves special mention here because although both leagues accept online registrations, registrations from accounts with provisional classical ratings will not be processed by league moderators until a non-provisional rating has been obtained. In other words, anyone interested in signing up for either league should obtain a non-provisional classical rating before they submit their registration. 

Provisionally rated players who have previously participated in either league will need to re-establish their classical rating to restore their eligibility. This requirement does not apply to those who register for the Open section of the LoneWolf league, but there are no other exceptions to this rule.

The single account rule

Players must use a single Lichess account when registering for and playing in all Lichess4545 leagues. Registering and playing in the leagues under multiple accounts is prohibited, as is closing one account and then registering under a new account.

There are a limited number of exceptions to this rule:

  1. Registrants for the Blindfold League are permitted to use an alternative account as long as it has been declared on their registration form, it is only used for playing blindfold chess, and it is the only such account they use in the blindfold league; and
  2. Registrants for Blitz Battle and Theme Brawl are also permitted to use an alternative account as long as the account is a member of the Lichess4545 team on Lichess.

Cheating rules

In all Lichess4545 leagues, cheating is defined as one or more of the following:

  • 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 (including a team captain)
  • 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
  • losing a game terminated due to a “cheat detected” mark

Advice for streamers

Anyone who wants to stream their league games on Twitch or YouTube is welcome to do so. However, streamers must ensure that they do not receive outside assistance from their viewers during a game. For example, if someone chooses to stream their game while reading the chat, and at some point during the game a viewer decides to post a suggested move in the chat, then the streamer will be deemed to have received outside assistance in their game regardless of whether they read the viewer’s message or not. Therefore, anyone who chooses to stream a league game should take precautions to ensure that they do not inadvertently break the leagues’ rules.

Streamers are strongly advised to heed the following additional guidance to ensure they understand their responsibilities before they decide to stream their games:

https://www.lichess4545.com/team4545/document/notes-to-streamers/


What happens if someone breaks these rules?

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.

Account closure rule

If a player closes their Lichess account while playing in a season of one or more league(s), 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.

Game play rules

Game settings

  • Both players are responsible to ensure they are playing with the correct colours and in the correct time control for their league.
  • All league games must be rated games played on Lichess, unless otherwise specified in a league’s rules.
  • 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.

Draws without reasonable effort

  • 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.”

Not using the “Claim Victory” and “Claim Draw” features

  • 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.

Takebacks are not mandatory

  • 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.

Respect rule 

  • Players are encouraged to take their league games as seriously as possible in order to respect their opponents (and their team, if applicable). Players are free to use their time as they wish during a game, but league moderators will warn players if they determine that games are not being taken seriously, and players can be banned if their behaviour doesn't change.

Penalties

Yellow and red cards

  • Most of the Lichess4545 leagues enforce a system of yellow and red cards for players who either fail to contact their opponents within a certain time following the release of pairings or fail to show up to their games.
  • These penalties can be easily avoided by familiarising oneself with the rules of relevant league(s) and clearly communicating any issues ahead of time with opponent(s) and league moderators, as well as team captain(s) and teammates where applicable.
  • For leagues where a system of yellow and red cards is in force, a yellow card may be awarded for:
    • 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.
    • Not contacting an opponent on Slack within 24 hours of round pairings being released. This is only relevant for the 4545 and LoneWolf leagues. Also, 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.
    • Insufficient effort to schedule a game, as determined by the league’s scheduling rules.
  • Yellow cards and warnings may be given for other offences at league moderators’ discretion.
  • A second yellow card offence will automatically result in a red card.
  • A player with a red card in a specific league will be withdrawn from the current season of that league. Should they choose to register for another season of that league, they may carry over a yellow card into the new season, depending on the league’s rules.
  • Players will typically be notified by league moderators when they receive a yellow card. 
    • For website leagues, yellow and red cards are indicated next to players’ names in the league standings. 
    • For community leagues, yellow and red cards will typically be indicated next to players’ names either in the league standings or in a list of current season registrants.
  • Players who consistently receive cards over several seasons may be banned from playing the next season (or even permanently).

Reasonable behaviour

  • All registrants and league members are expected to behave reasonably and responsibly in all league-related communications and interactions.
  • In all circumstances, league moderators reserve the right to define what constitutes unreasonable behaviour, although clear examples would include:
    • Any conduct or language that the moderators consider to be offensive or harassing.
    • Posting unsolicited messages like junk mail, chain letters, or general spam.
  • Offensive, harassing or unsolicited messages will be removed from the league Slack workspace.
  • These are just some suggestions of what moderators would consider to be against the spirit of the Lichess4545 community, and do not describe all activity that could or would be sanctioned. League moderators always have the final say in these matters, and penalties will be applied at their discretion.
  • In all but the most serious cases, players who are determined to have behaved unreasonably will be given one warning by league moderators, before being banned from the leagues and removed from the league Slack workspace for any subsequent offences.

Important legal points

Limitation of liability

As volunteers who run the Lichess4545 leagues, the leagues’ administrators and moderators work hard to provide the best experience for players and ensure the smooth running of the leagues. The leagues are, however, offered “as-is” and “as available”, and there is no guarantee that they will always function without disruption, delays, or imperfections, or otherwise be free of errors. To the extent permitted by law, Lichess also disclaims all warranties, whether expressed or implied, including the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, and non-infringement - as unlikely as these are to arise. Lichess also does not control what anyone might say or do when someone interacts with them on Slack or Lichess during league-related activities, and therefore Lichess is not responsible for any actions or conduct during these interactions, or any content shared. 

The leagues’ administrators and moderators cannot predict when any issues might arise with the leagues or the services they rely on. As such, Lichess’s liability shall be limited to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, and under no circumstances will Lichess be liable to you for direct or indirect damages - be they actual, consequential, special, exemplary, compensatory or otherwise punitive - arising as a result of these Terms or the operation of the leagues. 

Jurisdiction and conflict of terms

If there is any conflict between rules expressed here and with rules adopted by individual Lichess4545 leagues, the Lichess4545 Terms take precedence.

If there is any conflict between the Terms expressed here and with Lichess’s Terms of Service, Lichess’s Terms take precedence. Similarly, any further waivers, protections, or legal rights afforded to Lichess, if missing from these Terms, shall also be afforded to the Lichess4545 leagues.

The leagues share the same jurisdiction as Lichess, and the same physical address as Lichess.