Lichess4545 League Rules and Regulations

 Note: These rules are built on the Lichess4545 Terms of Service. 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, ask 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

  • Our player eligibility policy is described in the "Eligibility rules" section of the Lichess4545 Terms of Service. For ease of reference, the section is reprinted below:

​​​​​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.


II. Teams

  1. Team sizes will be chosen depending on the number of registrations.
  2. Teams will be assigned by moderators to minimize rating disparity.
  3. Teams will have a private Slack channel created automatically for their team.
  4. Captains:
    1. Each team must choose a Team Captain.
    2. The Team Captain will be responsible for ensuring that their teammates schedule their games and show up to play.
    3. If a player cannot play on any given week, the Team Captain will be responsible for updating the player's availability so an alternate can be found.
  5. Each team must choose a team name. The team name cannot violate the Lichess ToS, cannot be hostile or offensive, and cannot be unreasonably long.
  6. Friend requests to be on the same team must be made on the provided form for the given season.
    1. Not all requests can be accomodated.
    2. Updates to friend requests can be made prior to team formation by editing your registration.


III. League

  1. The Lichess4545 League format will be as follows:
    1. An open tournament with eight rounds.
    2. For each game that a player wins, their team accrues 1 game point. For each draw, 0.5 points. For each loss, 0 points.
    3. Any team with more points than their opponent wins that round, and receives 2 match points. Any team with the same number of points as their opponent draws, and receives 1 point. Any team with fewer points loses, and receives 0 points.
    4. All rounds will be paired using the Swiss System.
    5. Initial seeding of teams will be determined by team average rating.
    6. If necessary, the following tiebreakers will be used to determine the winner:
      1. Match points
      2. Game points
      3. Head-to-head score
      4. Number of games won
      5. Sonneborn-Berger score
  2. You can reach the moderators by using the @chesster summon mods command in the #general channel on slack. Do not message the moderators directly.
    1. Moderators will make binding decisions regarding:
      1. Disputes between players or teams
      2. Rule clarifications
      3. Player/team forfeiture
      4. Any other issue of importance to the League as a whole
    2. In the event of a dispute involving one of the Moderators, that Moderator will not have the power to decide the issue and will be left out of deliberations.
    3. In the event of a dispute involving a team of which a Moderator is a part of, that Moderator will not participate in the discussion or ruling of the issue.
    4. In the event of a dispute involving two of the Moderators, the two sides of the dispute will agree upon a neutral third-party to decide the issue.
    5. When applicable, moderators will refer to the rules and regulations of the USCF and FIDE to resolve disputes. As a group, moderators act as the Tournament Director in all decisions.


IV. Scheduling

  1. Once the pairings for a round have been released, each player should attempt to contact their opponent as soon as possible. @Chesster will message both players with the details of their pairing.
    1. This MUST be done on Chesster’s Slack message. Players may also attempt to contact unresponsive opponents on Lichess, but must move to Chesster’s DM as soon as possible.
    2. Games must be completed by 12:00 UTC on Monday (or whatever time the pairings for the next round are released, if not 12:00 UTC Monday). As a reference we suggest that game time be scheduled at least 150 minutes in advance of this time.
  2. Each player must make an initial offer to their opponent, consisting of a minimum of 3 distinct times across at least 2 separate days. Suggested times must be separated by at least 2 hours. If a time range is provided it will only count as two offers if the time range is at least 2 hours long.
    1. Note: This means to qualify for reasonable effort, each player should give 3 distinct times across at least 2 days. If you are the second to respond, the best response would be, “No, those do not work for me. I am free ___” and provide your three times. Distinct times must be at least 2 hours separated. For example, "Wednesday 18:00 until 19:00 and Thursday 19:00" does not constitute 3 distinct times. However, "Wednesday 18:00 until 20:00 and Thursday 19:00" does.
    2. "Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 19:00" is also a valid offer, as it contains of three distinct offers across three days.
  3. If a player is not available at least 3 different times on at least 2 separate days, or if they cannot play that week’s game for any reason, it is the responsibility of the team captain to update the player's availability so an alternate can be found.
    1. If an alternate cannot be found and no teammate plays up a board (see sections IX and X), and the original player was set unavailable before the start of the round, the game will be ruled a draw.
  4. 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. Both players should participate in the scheduling discussion regularly until a time is agreed upon or until moderators have been contacted. Players shall not abandon the scheduling discussion as long as there is no resolution to any potential conflicts.
  5. If, after making a reasonable effort, two players cannot find a suitable time to play, they may send in their attempts, at which time the moderators will deliberate for awarding a draw of a ½-½ score.
    1. The Moderators will determine if each player has made a reasonable effort.
      • See IV.B-D  for how to determine your reasonable effort.
    2. Players who wish to agree to a draw must send screenshots of their attempts to schedule using this link. At this point, moderators will refer to rule IV.E to approve the draw.
  6. If one player does not make a reasonable effort to find a time, they may forfeit their game at the Moderators’ discretion.
  7. If neither player provides a reasonable effort to find a time, both will forfeit with a 0-0 score.
  8. All players must confirm their scheduled game time. We ask you post your scheduled game time in #team-scheduling.. The format is “Sat 19, Fri 5”, etc. Once a time has been agreed to and confirmed, the game can be rescheduled only if both players agree to a new time.
  9. All games must be posted in UTC. Chesster responds back with your time in your timezone, so there shouldn’t be any confusion on what time we are discussing.


V. No-response policy

  1. If one player cannot make contact with their opponent after 24 hours, they should reach out and inform both captains (their own, and the opposing team’s) to let them know this. The first message should still include PLAYER’s initial offer (see IV.B).
  2. It is up to the captain of the opposing team to update the player's status in order to provide an alternate. See section IX for how to recruit alternates.
  3. If the offending player does not respond, and the team cannot provide an alternate, they shall forfeit that game.
  4. In order to claim a win by forfeit, the claiming player must contact the Moderators with photo evidence of conversation on Slack with no answer, as well as attempted contact on Lichess.
  5. If a player does not respond on Lichess or Slack within 24 hours of the release of pairings, the Moderators will issue a yellow card (see XI. Penalties) to the offending player.
  6. If the offending player can prove that they attempted to contact their opponent, the game will be scheduled ASAP.
  7. Please remember that above all, we value games! So while these rules exist, the more games played the better.


VI. 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 and make their first move within 20 minutes of the appointed time, they will forfeit the game.
  3. After the 20 minute grace period has expired, chesster will message the player who was online. In order to claim a forfeit, the claiming player must follow the instructions and attach a screenshot of their challenge. This claim will automatically be approved. @chesster will offer the other player the right to appeal.
  4. If chesster does not make contact, the claiming player must contact the mods using this link 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. If the player can prove that they were online, available, attempted to challenge or accept a challenge, or in any other way refute the no-show accusation, their OPPONENT shall lose by forfeit.
  6. Any player forfeiting a game will receive a yellow card (see XI. Penalties).


VII. Cheating policy

  1. Our cheating policy is described in the "Cheating rules" section of the Lichess4545 Terms of Service. For ease of reference, it is reproduced below. In addition, we advise anyone who wishes to stream their league games on Twitch or YouTube to also read our guidance for streamers

Excerpt from Terms of Service

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


VIII. 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.


IX. Alternate policy

  1. All non-league players will be added to an alternate list as per their rating and ordered by date of registration.
    1. This order rotates as alternates are used. This encourages new alternates throughout the season.
  2. In the event that an alternate is required, it is the responsibility of the captain of the team that requires an alternate to update the player's  availability so an alternate can be found.
    1. By updating a player's availability, Chesster will automatically message alternates in order to find a replacement (starting 48 hours before each round).
    2. In unusual circumstances, manual searches for alternates may be done at moderator discretion.
  3. Any player responding but declining the spot as an alternate will retain their spot in the list order of alternates.
  4. Any player not responding within 24 hours of an offer will be moved to the bottom of the list as an alternate and be marked as unresponsive.
  5. Alternate boards shall be adjusted as their rating changes.


X. Playing Up or Down a Board

  1. If a player cannot schedule a game for any reason, a team mate is allowed to play up a board in their team mates place.
  2. The moderators encourage captains to try to find an alternate if possible as this both increases alternate participation and ensures competitive games.
  3. The decision to play up a board is made by the team captain and the player playing up a board, with input from the team.
  4. Players are allowed to play up multiple boards.
  5. The player who is playing up a board will play both their individual board game and the game that they are playing up for, TWO total games.
  6. Please notify moderators, the opposing captain and the opponent when a decision is made to have a player play up a board.
  7. Players may play down ONE board when all the below requirements are met. The procedure is otherwise the same as playing up a board.
    • No alternate can be found
    • No player can play up a board instead
    • The opponent team grants permission


XI. Penalties

  1. As mentioned in the "Penalties" section of the Lichess4545 Terms of Service, the 4545 Team 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, as well as team captain(s) and teammates where applicable.
  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 next round of the current season. Should they choose to register for the following season, if their registration is approved, they will carry over a yellow card into the new 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).



Rules changelog (since May 2017)

  • I.A.2 Rule added. (01-Jun-2017)
  • XI.D "the next season" changed to "their next season". (04-Jun-2017)
  • I.B and VII.A.1 Added reference to sandbagging. (12-Jun-2017)
  • III.B updated to reflect current moderator status. (02-Jul-2017)
  • IV.B.1 clarified definition of "distinct times" for scheduling purposes. (08-Aug-2017)
  • I.A updated to non-provisional classical rating without 20 game requirement due to increased time control. (06-Dec-2017)
  • X.G Rule added for playing DOWN a board, effective Season 11 (21-Jan-2018)
  • VII Updated cheating policy, all reports should be made directly to Lichess (08-Apr-2018)
  • I.D Compliance with Slack ToS required (08-Apr-2018)
  • V Updated response requirements to <24 hours from <48 hours (08-Apr-2018)
  • VI Updated procedures for claiming win after no-show (02-May-2018)
  • VII.A Added note on stream chat interaction (14-Oct-2018)
  • IV.C 1 Updated to change ruling from forfeit to draw if original player set unavailable before round start (20-Oct-2018)
  • I.B Replaced "accounts" by "players" (03-Dec-2018)
  • II.A Teams up to eight players (06-May-2019)
  • Added links for claiming draw and claiming forfeit win (04-Jun-2019)
  • III.B updated to remove reference to specific moderators (14-Jun-2019)
  • XI.E Rule added for players who consistently receive cards (27-Jul-2019)
  • VI.B Rule updated to include "and make their first move" (17-Nov-2019)
  • VII.A. Clarified that playing moves on a board to assist calculation is not allowed (19-Nov-2019)
  • Corrected several small errors through the document.  Specified not to contact moderators directly in several sections, and specified in several sectionsthat one must use chesster’s group DM for scheduling. (2-May-2020)
  • Removed I.E and replaced it by finally putting in writing that multiple accounts are not permitted. (25-Aug-2020)
  • Added rule VII.F about closing accounts (06-Feb-2021)
  • II.A changed from "Teams will consist of six to eight eligible players." to "Team sizes will be chosen depending on the number of registrations."
  • Added link to the additional notes for streamers (06-Apr-2021)
  • Replaced content of sections I, VII and VIII with links to the Terms of Service, and removed previous section XI as these are now included in the Lichess4545 Terms of Service (16-Apr-2021)
  • Added back in section XI (penalties) (27-Apr-2021)
  • Copied eligibility and cheating rules from the Terms of Service (13-Aug-2021)
  • Added clarifications to scheduling rule IV (15-Jun-2023)