Team 45 45 League

Team 45 45 League

Serious Chess and Team Spirit on the ICC
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How does the league work?
  2. How can I become eligible?
  3. How do I get on a team?
  4. When do I play?  Against whom will I be playing?
  5. What are my obligations?
  6. I have limited time available to play. Should I join?
  7. How do teams work?
  8. What is a floor?
  9. What is a fixed rating? How is it calculated?
  10. What are Reliability Ratings?
  11. What are the different responsibilities for White and Black players?
  12. Such a fuss is made of the PGN Game Scores. What are done with these?
  13. Are replacement players allowed?
  14. My opponent has not responded to my attempts to schedule our game.
  15. "Be sure to offer at least three distinct times.”  What is this?
  16. I'm waiting on my opponent.  How long is the Grace Period? 
  17. How do I schedule my game with my opponent? Using server tells and messages?
  18. Who has access to my email address and to my postings in the Game Forum?
  19. I have a problem.  With whom do I speak?
  20. How do I report the results of my game? – PGN on Game Forum
  21. Why so many rules?
  22. What is "3.B"? What is "3.D"?
  23. I received a notification that I earned a yellow card.  Don’t I get a warning?
  24. The Team4545 bot told me to start my game, but there is a problem.
  25. Something has come up.  Can I reschedule my game?
  26. I need my password.
  27. I get an error at the website.
  28. My opponent disconnected during the game. What's the rule?
  29. The ICC Server crashed during my game.  Help!
  30. What are the TIEBREAKS?
  31. What time is it?
  32. How are teams assigned to divisions?
  33. How do I schedule my games if I'm on two teams?
  34. What is the IPP?  Guidelines for Players
  35. IPP  Guidelines for Captains
  36. The clocks are running but my opponent hasn't moved in awhile.
  37. My opponent said he won't be able to make it at the scheduled game time.  Do I have to show up?
  38. Game not scheduled – How TDs rule
  39. I received a CUDS red card for suspected cheating. Can I appeal it?

1. How does Team 45 45 League work?

Four to six players band together as a team, and compete in sections based on the average rating of their top four players.  (Sections: U2200, U2000, U1800, U1600, U1400, U1200).  It is advisable to have at least 5 players on the team, to avoid problems if one player will be unavailable for a round. The team plays one round per week, for 6 weeks, then an additional 2 – 4 weeks for playoffs.

Each round runs from Tuesday 1700 server time until the following Tuesday, same time.  Prior to the start of each round, each captain decides which four players will compete for the team that week. Players are then paired with players from an opposing team.  The two players discuss the day and time to play their game, via a password-secured message board (“Game Forum”).

At the arranged time, the game is played with a time control of 45 minutes + 45 second increments, rated, with assigned colors. Thus, the games may well last 3-4 hours if both players take plenty of time to think.

After the round, the team with the most wins (Game Points) wins the round, and earns a Match Point. After six rounds of regulation play, the team with the most Match Points in each division advances to the playoffs (1-4 more rounds) to determine the sectional champions.  Sectional champions on ICC are eligible for prizes donated by ICC, of one-month membership extensions.

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2. Am I eligible to play in the League?

If you have played a minimum of 20 standard rated games on ICC, you are eligible to request admission to the League. Nearly everyone requesting to join is admitted. However, just as you may choose to join or not, the League reserves the right to choose whether to admit you.  See the League Disclaimer. No players who have had a (C) label, or a finger note apology for past computer use may participate in the League. Such players are permanently banned--we take cheating seriously! Any league member found with a C or apology are immediately banned, and their games set to forfeit losses.  If this is does not describe you, welcome!

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3. How do I get on a team?

The League generally does not put you on a team.  Players find their own teams and choose a captain, and the captain enrolls the team at the Captain Menu. 

Find a team that matches your expectations.  Teams can have 4, 5, or 6 members.  There are six rounds (before playoffs), and each round, four players will play.  The captain will decide which four, and send the "board assignments" to the league before the start of the round (each Tues 17:00).  If you join a team with more than four players, be sure to ask the captain how many rounds he expects you to play.  

Some ideas for finding a team:

  1. Form your own team from friends and acquaintances on ICC, or from players listed on the Interested Players Page.  Read the Captain Handbook to find out how.
  2. Be asked by a team captainif you wish to join their team.
  3. List your handle on the IPP(Interested Player Page), to advertise that you are looking for a team.  Use the IPP only if you are pretty much willing to be drafted by any team.  If you plan on shopping around for the best offer, don't use the IPP. 

    To list yourself on the IPP,  complete the Register and Profile process.

    The IPP depends on players and captains using it appropriately.  See the IPP etiquette for Players and for Captains.

  4. After team entries open, check the Teams Page.  Maybe you'll see a team with an empty spot (a team with only four players).  Send the captain an ICC message, asking if he wants another player.
  5. A little advertising might help.  Post tells to the League channel 345, or other channels in which you are active.  "I'm looking for a T4545 League team.  Anyone need player of <your league rating>?"
  6. If, at the close of team entries there are interested players who have not yet found a team, they may be placed on a team composed of other such players. We call these “ Duct Tape” teams until they give themselves another name, but they are often very competitive.  However, because of space limitations, there is no guarantee that you will be given a duct tape team, so it is best to take your own initiative to form a team before the team entry deadline.
  7. After team entries close, you can still be added to a team!  The close of team entries means that no more teams can enter, but individuals can still join and find a team.  So, keep looking!  :-)

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4. When do I play? Against whom will I be playing?

If you are selected by your captain to play in a particular round, you will be playing on one of the boards (1-4) against your equivalent board on the other team.

The pairings are posted on the website Tuesday 1700 (server time).  You will also be sent an automated email announcement telling you who you play against.  (Tell your spam filter to allow mails from, and check the Game Forum after the posting time, just in case.) 

You will use the Game Forum message board to negotiate a play time with your opponent, and you will play your game at a mutually agreed upon time by the following Tuesday 1700 (server time). Details are explained in the Players’ Handbook.

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5. What are my obligations?

(1) Show up to play at the time agreed upon!   (2) Because you may be playing someone half way around the world from where you are, you must have some flexibility in your schedule to play at odd hours.  You should be available for some hours during the week, usually in the evening where you live.  You should also have considerable flexibility on the weekends, because that is often the only time two players with several hours’ difference in their time zones can get together. (3) Know what is going on: Know the rules and procedures. Know whether you are in on your team's lineup to play. Know how server time relates to your time. (4) Communicate with your team. Help each other out with procedures.

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6. I have limited time available to play. Should I join?

No. Wait until you have time available.  For example, if your work or family responsibilities, or over-the-board activities don't leave much time to schedule a long game each week, this is not the best activity for you at this time.  We welcome your involvement when you have more time available.

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7. How do teams work?

Team Make-up: Teams can have 4, 5, or 6 members.  There are six rounds (before playoffs), and each round, four players will play.  The captain will decide which four, and send the "board assignments" to the league before the start of the round (each Tues 22:00).  If you join a team with more than four players, be sure to ask the captain how many rounds he expects you to play.

Team Scoring: . Your team is counting on every game point. Each round, it only takes 2.5 Game Points to win the Match Point, so don't waste any game points on forfeits. With only 6 rounds, and 6 match points at stake, very often two or more teams tie for Match Points and therefore Game Points become important tie breakers. So, every game could, in retrospect, end up the deciding game when it comes time to determine which team advances to the playoffs.

Team Expectations:  Your team has high expectations, and expects you to give your teammates the respect they deserve. Do this with communication, making every effort to schedule your games, showing up on time to play the game, and showing courtesy and good sportsmanship to your opponents and to league volunteers

Team Communication: If you have questions (about anything but the game itself, of course), your teammates are your first resource.  When your captain enrolls the team, you are sent an email with the team roster and your teammates' email addresses.   There is also a function in the League's Player Menu, that you can use to have the league forward emails to your team.

Team Help:  Teammates do NOT help playing the actual game.  No advice is allowed regarding moves, time management, draw offers, etc.  But good teammates DO help each other with the many League procedures.  Help each other with the contact procedures, using the game forum, etc.

Team Captain:  Your captain is the spokesperson for your team, so you want good communication with your captain. If you know that you will be unavailable to schedule and/or play your game in the upcoming round, notify your captain before the round, so that he can assign someone else to play that round. Once the pairings are posted, there are no substitutions.

Team Training: Some teams hold critiques of all their games, in order to improve. They might have a strong player review their games, offering ideas for improvement. Some teams research their opponents to see their tendencies, especially with the color they will have against you. Some have web sites, to put interesting stuff in. This is not called the TEAM 45 45 League for nothing!

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8.  What is a ratings floor?   /  How do you put a team together?

Fixed Rating = The player rating that is used for team average purposes.  See FAQ 9

Section = Ratings group that a team plays in. Sections have limits, based on the Team Average.

Team Average = The average of the fixed ratings of the top four players on a team. Used to determine which Section a team will play in.

Floor = The lowest rating that will be used in determining team average. The floor is 300 points below the cap for the section.  For example, Mountain Section limit is Under 2200 for the average of the top four players.  The floor is 1900 (2200 - 300).  So, if any of the top four players on a Mountain team has a fixed rating of less than 1900, the floor of 1900 is used to calculate the Team Average.

Example #1
No floor needed
Example #2
Floor used, team fits the indicated section.
Example #3
Floor used, team does NOT fit the section.
Must either play in a higher section or enter lower ratings for upper boards.



Floor: 1900

2300, 2250, 2000, 1950

2300 + 2250 + 2000 + 1950  /  4  =  2125
(Fits this section)

2300, 2250, 2000, 1100
(1900 floor used)

2300 + 2250 + 2000 + 1900   /  4 = 2112.5
(Fits this section)

2500, 2400, 2300, 1300
(1900 floor used)

2500 + 2400 + 2300 + 1900   /  4 = 2275
(Does NOT fit ) *



Floor: 1700

2100, 2090, 1950, 1800

2100 + 2090 + 1950 + 1800   / 4 = 1985
(Fits this section)

2100, 2090, 1950, 1100
(1700 floor used)

2100 + 2090 + 1950 + 1700   / 4 = 1960
(Fits this section)

2400, 2300, 2100 1100
(1700 floor used)

2400 + 2300 + 2100 + 1700   / 4 = 2125
(Does NOT fit) **



Floor: 1500

1900, 1800, 1800, 1500

1900 + 1800 + 1800 + 1500   / 4 = 1750
(Fits this section)

1900, 1800, 1800, 1100
(1500 floor used)

1900 + 1800 + 1800 + 1500   / 4 = 1750
(Fits this section)

2100, 2000, 1900, 1000
(1500 floor used)

2100 + 2000 + 1900 + 1500   / 4 = 1875
(Does NOT fit ) **



Floor: 1300

1800,1600, 1500, 1400

1800 + 1600 + 1500 + 1400    / 4 = 1575
(Fits this section)

1900, 1600, 1500, 1100
(1300 floor used)

1900 + 1600 + 1500 + 1300   / 4 = 1575
(Fits this section)

1900, 1800, 1700, 900
(1300 floor used)

1900 + 1800 + 1700 + 1300   / 4 = 1675
(Does NOT fit ) **




Floor: 1100

1500, 1400, 1300, 1200

1800 + 1600 + 1500 + 1400    / 4 = 1350
(Fits this section)

1600, 1500, 1300, 800
(1100 floor used)

1600 + 1500 + 1300 + 1100   / 4 = 1375
(Fits this section)

1700,1700, 1200, 800
(1100 floor used)

1700 + 1700 + 1200 + 1100   / 4 = 1425
(Does NOT fit ) **




Floor: 900

1300, 1200, 1100, 1000

1300 + 1200 + 1100 + 1000    / 4 = 1150
(Fits this section)

1300, 1200, 1100, 700
(900 floor used)

1400 + 1300 + 1200 + 1000   / 4 = 1125
(Fits this section)

1500, 1500, 1300, 400
(900 floor used)

1500 + 1500 + 1300 + 900    / 4 = 1300
(Does NOT fit ) **

* This sample Mountain team must find lower fixed ratings for the upper 3 boards to fit the section.<

** These sample teams must find lower fixed ratings on the upper boards in order to play in the indicated section.  Or, they may play in a higher section.

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9.  What is a Fixed Rating? How is my Fixed Rating determined?

Your Fixed Rating is your rating that is used to make your team average, which in turn determines which section your team will compete in.

Your actual rating on your chess server will go up and down every time you play a rated game, but for all purposes related to tournament management, your actual rating changes will be ignored.   Your rating is locked in, or  “fixed,” for the purposes of the tournament.

Fixed Ratings will now be calculated from past league performance when available. These are called "League Ratings," and more accurately reflect 45 45 games than do ICC ratings (which usually include very fast standard games, played in more casual circumstances).  T40 League Ratings reflect League performance beginning with T36.  A few League Ratings may be adjusted based on other data

If you are interested in the math used for calculating League Ratings, see formula.

Fixed Ratings of players new to the League will be determined by the Entry Clerk.

To find your fixed rating for the next tournament, look for a link on the home page of the League website, some time after the start of playoffs of the previous tournament.  If you don't see your rating there, contact the Entry Clerk.

Why does a Fixed Rating matter? Your team’s average (based on the top four players only) determines which section your team will play in. Ratings fluctuate. So your “fixed” rating is used. Since fixed ratings are established prior to the end the previous tournament, teams can begin planning their teams for the next tournament at that time, although team entries may not begin until later. For the projected dates on which teams may begin entering, see “Upcoming Tournament Dates” on the home page.

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10.  What are Reliability Ratings? or, Can I play on more than one team?

The enjoyment of the League depends on us all being able to rely on each other to play our games.  The Fixed Ratings Page on the website shows the number of teams the player can participate on, based on the player’s Reliability Rating (RR).

Each player's RR ranges from : -2, -1, 0, +1, +2.

New leaguers start with a RR of 0.

Your RR GOES UP a point when you complete a tournament “without incident” (without a forfeited game). 

Your RR GOES DOWN a point for each forfeited game.

If your RR drops to -2, you are suspended from the league for the remainder of the present tournament and  the next two  (or four tournaments if it happens again). Upon your return from suspension,  you start at  -1 RR.

RR of   -2 = Player is suspended from League participation.
RR of   -1 = May participate on 1 team, but not as a captain.
RR of    0 = May participate on 1 team.
RR of  +1 = May participate on up to 2 teams.
RR of + 2 = May participate on up to 3 teams.
Each person may participate, as a player and/or captain, on only one team per ratings section.

No matter how many teams you are eligible for, please don’t commit yourself to more teams than you can easily play on. Each team you join will represent a game (of up to three or four hours long!) each week. For each game, you’ll need to find a time to play that is mutually agreeable to both you and to your opponent, who may be in any time zone on the globe. So, please be realistic about your commitments.  (Statutes, Section 3)

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11.  Who should make offers first, white or black player?

Both players, regardless of color, have equal and binding responsibility to make their initial offers prior to the offer deadline (22:00 Thursday).  Likewise, both players have equal responsibility to report the game result by posting the PGN at the Game Forum if the bot did not do it for them.

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12. What is done with the PGN Game Scores?

They are posted to the Team4545League website for posterity. Almost every game ever played in Team 45 45 is available at or click Past Results under Archives. PGN scores and many other documents chronicling our esteemed history can be found there.

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13. Are replacement players allowed?

YES, your team’s roster for the next round can be changed at any time before that round.   See the Captain Handbook and the Statutes for more detail.

However, if by “replacement” you mean replacing a player in the pairings after that round’s parings have been posted, NO.  Once a round begins (at the board assignment deadline), the pairings for that round can never change.  For this reason, it is imperative that players inform their captain before the round if they will not be available.  Even if some unexpected emergency prevents a player from playing his assigned game, no other player can replace him.

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14. My opponent has not responded to my attempts to schedule our game.  What now?

  1. Check the Game Forum. Be sure you posted good offers by logging into the Game Forum and read the sequence of messages.
  2. Thursday 22:00 ICC  if the following conditions are true:
    • You’ve posted your offers; and
    • your opponent has not accepted a game time offer
    • nor offered any game times.

    Then, you no longer need to show flexibility with him:

    He must accept one of the times you offered; and he has only another 24 hours to do so.

  3. After Friday 22:00 ICC,  you win by forfeit. The TD will double check the circumstances, and post the appropriate ruling, which will be a forfeit for the player who has not made offers.

Keep in mind that if you are the one who has not made offers with your opponent to schedule the game, and if you lose the game by forfeit, there will be with a reduction in your Reliability Rating.

Take a look at this sample Game Forum strand to see how this might look.

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15. “Be sure to offer at least three distinct times.” What is this?

In the spirit of the game, we need to offer our opponents plenty of options for play times.   If there is a breakdown in negotiations, and you want the dTD to adjudicate the issue, the dTD will want to see that you have offered plenty of clear choices to your opponent.  Statute 10.C.i: 

"The player who initiates this dialog shall specify three or more distinct times to play on at least two different days within the one-week playing period of the round. A range of times, or several distinct times within a three-hour period, counts as one offer. "

So, make offers for the first (non-adjournment) week according to this checklist:

  • on at least two different days;
  • at least three offers;
  • offers more than three hours apart are distinct;
  • offers less than three hours apart are considered only one offer.
  • These criteria must be met before asking for an adjournment (play during the next week).
  • If you cannot make offers according to these rules, you should not be in the lineup this week.

More hints on successful scheduling:

  • Not distinct:  I can play almost any time on Saturday, or maybe on Monday night.
    Better:  I can play 7 pm Friday, 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday, or 7 pm Monday.
  • Lots of availability, but not distinct, and too much of a puzzle to find the offered times :

    I'm working late Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so the earliest I can log on is 10 pm.  I can, however, start as late as 1 am.  I'm not working Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, so can be fairly flexible on those days.  I can start pretty late on Sunday, but no later than 10 on Saturday.   The latest I can start is 20:00 server time, that's 01:00 BST.  I can start as early as 11:00, maybe even earlier if necessary, especially on Saturday.

    To eliminate any am--pm confusion the league much prefers the use of the 24 hour clock, and table format, to present each time or independent set of times:

  • Tues 2200 to Wed 0100
    Wed 2200 to Thurs 0100
    Saturday 1000-2000
    Sunday 1100-1800

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16.  I'm waiting on my opponent.  How long do I have to wait?

There is a 30-Minute Grace Period to show up for a scheduled game.  You must wait for your opponent until 30 minutes after the agreed game time.  If he does not show up by then, you win. The grace period is intended to assist when rare unavoidable complications of life prevent us from showing up on time.  It is not intended to be abused.  For example, if you schedule a game at 8:00, plan on showing up at 8:00, not at 8:30.

  1. Do I have to claim the forfeit?  No, it does not depend on a player making a claim. Automation will collect login data for each player and post it in the game forum for verification by a TD. However, before you count on the win, please double-check that there is no possible misunderstanding in the agreement that you and your opponent made.  Log into the Game Forum message board and read the sequence of messages.  Any chance of a misunderstanding?
  2. I don’t see the login data in my game forum. What should I do?  Wait a few minutes.  If it still is not automatically posted, copy and paste the login data for each player in the game forum to demonstrate who was present during the grace period and who wasn’t.  If you don’t know how to do this, ask your captain, your TD, or ask in the league channel on the server.
  3. Both players are present. But I am playing other games during the grace period.  Is this allowed?  NO! The grace period was not meant to allow a delay in the game for frivolous reasons like this.  You made an agreement with your opponent.  Please be courteous and start your League game.
  4. What if I leave before the end of the grace period?  If you leave, and your opponent does not show up, you still win.  HOWEVER, if he shows up before the end of the grace period, he will win.
  5. Are the penalties for not showing up at all, and for leaving before the end of the grace period the same?  No.  Leaving early is considered “partial blame”, and not showing up at all is considered “full blame.”  See statutes 10.F and 15.A.
  6. Can the game be started once the grace period ends? Yes. Under either of two conditions (1) If there has been an agreement to reschedule posted in the game forum by both players prior to the end of the Grace Period. (2) With mutual agreement, if both players are present at the same time before the end of the grace period. If a game score should appear that shows the game started after the grace period, it will be assumed that both players were willing to wait to play.
  7. I just showed up.  The grace period is over, but I’m only 1 minute late.  Can’t we still play?  NO, at least not for League purposes!  You arrived 31 minutes late, not 1 minute.  The cut off is exactly 30 minutes. At 30 past the agreed upon game time, the grace period ended, and you were forfeited.  There are no exceptions to this.
  8. Can’t we just reschedule?   No, negotiations to reschedule cannot begin after the end of the grace period. See FAQ # 25.

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17. How do I schedule my game with my opponent?   Use the Game Forum.

No, do not use server tells and messages.  It is mandatory to use the Game Forum provided at this website to document everything related to your game.

Despite our desire to just have fun playing chess, with an event this large, issues do come up between players.  When the players and captains request the dTD to adjudicate those issues, it’s vital to have documentation of what was said.  The “he said, - she said” complications in explaining the misunderstandings that occurred with the online tells are often very confusing, in fact usually impossible to decipher, and so just can’t be proved.

This problem is avoided by using the Game Forum.  Your captain and the TD can give quicker, more accurate, and more fair assistance by seeing the whole conversation documented in the Game Forum.

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18. Who has access to my email address and to my postings in the Game Forum?

  • Email – When your captain enters your team into the tourney, each member of the team is sent an automated email confirming the team’s entry; this email distributes your email address to your team members.  Other than your own team, only a small handful of people (web masters and top League leadership) have access to the email address you submitted when you registered with the League.  This enhanced privacy is one of the benefits of our change from email scheduling to Game Forum scheduling.
  • Game Forum - Be sure to keep your Game Forum communications timely, appropriate, and polite.  Several people have access to read your Game Forum message board, and to post messages to it.  Obviously, you and your opponent post messages and see the whole conversation strand for that game.  Also, both captains and assistant captains have an interest in monitoring the happenings there, and hopefully view it daily.  The TD and assistant TD for your division check your Game Forum message board frequently (probably daily), and other members of the League leadership may access it.

    In addition to the ability to view the whole conversation strand at will, six people (you, your opponent, and both captains and assistant captains) receive automatically generated email announcements whenever anyone posts a message to your Game Forum message board.

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19.  I have a problem.  With whom do I speak?

There is a lot of help around!  Do not wait until it's too late to fix a problem.

  1. YOUR CAPTAIN - Start with your team CAPTAIN.  He is probably familiar with league procedures, and it’s his job to be the conduit of information between your team and the League.
  2. YOUR GAME FORUM - If your question pertains to a specific game, post your question in your Game Forum for your TD to answer there.  Any advice given in channel 345 by people who don't know all the facts of your Game Forum might or might not be accurate.
  3. CHANNEL 345 - You can also ask for general help in CHANNEL 345 on ICC.   Chances are good that someone who knows the answer is around.  Caution: There might be someone around who only THINKS he knows the answer.  Ask them where to find the information on the website, just to make sure.
  4. LEAGUE ADMINS - You can also email .  For further League contacts, see the Contacts page.
  5. If there is a problem in a game that is occurring right now, consider whether the situation merits adjourning the game while you seek help.

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20.  How do I report the results of my game? – PGN on Game Forum

See Reporting the Game Results in the Players' Handbook.

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21.  Why so many rules? 

It takes a lot of coordinated effort to run our large events.  The League leadership has run dozens of tournaments, and through that wealth of experience has learned (and still continues learning) what it takes to have a smooth-running, enjoyable event.   Each rule prevents problems that could otherwise dampen our fun.  You or I may not always be able to foresee those problems, but thanks to our leadership’s experience, they can foresee the problems and try to prevent them, by establishing appropriate rules.   See statutes.

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22.  What are these "3.B" and "3.D" that I've heard about?

These are the League Statutes that say we will be nice to our fellow Leaguers (3.B), and to the League volunteers (3.D).   These are among the most important rules that we agree to when we sign up to play in the League.  Examples of violations include: rude or profane comments, letting the clock run out after a blunder, and accusations of cheating (cheating concerns are to be reported to ICC's Speedtrap).

Violating 3.B or 3.D earns Yellow and/or Red Cards. (explanation of cards: FAQ 23)

Statute 3.B   "Each participant shall behave in a friendly and courteous fashion in all communications associated with Team 45 45 League. They shall be diplomatic, truthful and understanding at all times. Each participant will act in a manner that does not disrupt the peaceful enjoyment of this League by the other participants."

Statute 3.D   "All participants shall treat our volunteers with respect. There shall be no vile or derogatory language used when communicating with our volunteers. Rude behavior towards a volunteer is not acceptable. No form of harassment towards a volunteer will be tolerated. Punitive actions for this behavior will be mandatory. Yellow, Red or Double Red Cards will be issued to the offenders of Section 3 D based on the severity and or persistence of this behavior."

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23.  I received a notification that I earned a yellow card for a 3.B or 3.D infraction.  Don’t I get a warning?

You just did! – That’s what your yellow card is!  The yellow card is the official warning that you have disrupted the enjoyment of the league for other players (e.g. impolite behavior, repeated profanity, letting your clock run down after a blunder, public accusations of cheating, etc).

The yellow card is erased from your league record after six (6) months without another disruptive incident. However, a second yellow card in six months earns a red card and suspension from league play. 

For more on yellow and red cards, see:  Statutes, section 17.

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24.  The Team4545 bot told me to start my game, but there is a problem.

The communications from Team4545 are useful reminders, in case a player has forgotten about his game. That is all they are. If the bot is correct about the game time, and your opponent is available, please start the game now.  However, if you are sure that the bot is wrong, or if your opponent is not available, go to your Game Forum and state the problem.  The human TD can override any problem, in accordance with the rules.  For example:

  • The bot thinks that your game is scheduled for now, but someone posted an incorrect time. - If the discussion in the forum backs up your belief about the agreed game time, just post the correct time, using the Post Agreed Game Time button.
  • My opponent is not here. How can I follow the bot’s instruction to start the game? - Don’t worry. If the posted game time accurately reflects the game time agreed to in the Game . Forum discussion, and you are here, but your opponent is not, you are not in trouble. Relax. If your opponent does not show up before the end of the 30-minute grace period, you win by forfeit; you don’t even have to claim it; it’s automatic. Remain on ICC until you see the automated post in your Game Forum.  See FAQ #16.
  • My opponent does not respond to my match request. - Again, don’t worry. Issue the command, do whatever you can to get his attention, but if he is not doing his part to ensure that the game starts, he will forfeit. Save any text that you can, to post into the Game Forum: the match command, your tells to him, any responses from the server or your opponent, how long your opponent has been idle, if he is playing other games, etc. See statute 10.F.i.
  • There is an agreed game time, but the agreement was made less than 24 hours ago. - If your opponent accepted your game time offer with less than 24 hours notice, and you had not confirmed it, the game time is not binding on you (unless you made the offer less than 24 hours ago as well). Don’t worry. If an autoforfeit posts a notice declaring that someone no-showed, ask the TD to review the situation, and continue discussing a game time.
  • The bot has the correct agreed game time, but now we agree to wait or to reschedule. - This is fine, but you must both post an agreement in the Game Forum, before the end of the Grace period. Once the 30-minute grace period is over, no rescheduling of the game is allowed, even if both players agree to do so. See also, FAQ #16 and #23.

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25.  Something has come up.  Can I reschedule my game?

Before the end of the grace period, YES, you can request that your opponent reschedule the game time.  However, after a player has already forfeited by not showing up before the end of the grace period, NO, the game can not be rescheduled.

Once a game time has been offered and accepted, both players should be able to count on playing at that time, unless they agree otherwise.  So, if you need to ask to reschedule your game, post your request in the game forum.  Hopefully, your opponent will be able to accommodate your request.  But if he does not, before the end of the grace period, agree to reschedule, then the game time will not be changed.  Do not put your own sportsmanship in question by telling him he would reschedule if he were a good sport.  He has a life, too.

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26. I need my password. 

Go to the Player Menu. Fill in your ICC Handle, and click the button under "I lost my Password" ("SendPW").  Within seconds, you will be sent a message on on ICC containing your Team 45 45 League password.  If you have messmail set to 1, it will also be sent to your  e-mail address.  If you don’t receive your password, check that you do not have the League account (team4545 on ICC) censored.   For more hints about passwords, see FAQ  # 27.

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27.  I get an error at the website.  What should I do?

Nearly all errors are either caused by an error in inputting your password, OR for whatever reason go away if you just try again in a few minutes.

Double check your password.  Use the “I lost my password” feature on the Player Menu

Try copy-and-pasting your password, to avoid typos.  There might be non-letter characters.

If you type it, instead of using copy-and-paste, be sure to include all characters (some may be characters other than numbers and letters).

If double-checking your password doesn’t solve the problem, close your browser, reopen it, and try again in a little while.  You might try asking a teammate for ideas.

After trying all these things, please ask rgadoury or tsia68 for help.

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28.  My opponent disconnected during the game.  What is the rule?

"...should a player disconnect for more than 15 minutes (or multiple times totaling 30 minutes), the offended player may request a set game win, may offer to reschedule at times convenient to him, or may choose to continue with the game as originally scheduled."  (Statute 11.E.iii)

So, you must wait for your opponent for 15 minutes.  If you leave sooner, your opponent could claim the above rule if he returns on time and you do not.   After waiting 15 minutes for your opponent to return, go to the game forum, and state your wishes.  See Statute 11.E for more.  For rules regarding disconnections while waiting to begin a game that has not yet begun, see FAQ 16.

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29.  ICC Server Crashed during my game? What do I do?

  1. DO NOT CLOSE YOUR GAME WINDOW.  It shows the status of your game (the moves made so far, and the remaining times on each clock).   This will be handy in case the server did not store your game as adjourned.   Consider taking a screen shot of your game window, and emailing it to your captain in case you need it later.
  2. Try connecting to ICC's backup server, the Queen Server.
    • In the Blitzin Sign In dialog, click "More" then you'll see a drop down next to "Hostname/IP Address".  Change this from "" to "".  Then click "Sign In" . 
    • In Dasher, it is very similar. After trying to connect, if you get ""Connection to failed" click on the OK.  Under "Server", change "Main" to "Backup (Queen)".
  3. Go to the Game Forum, and tell your opponent to also save his game window and to try to meet you on the Queen server.
  4. -  If the server is still down for a time period longer than you or your opponent can wait (and you can't get to the Queen server), go to the Game Forum immediately to begin talking about a time to resume the game.
  5. If the server becomes available, go to the Game Forum and ask your partner to meet you on ICC to resume the game.
  6. Check your stored games to see if your game was saved by the server.  If it was, merely type the "resume" command to continue the game.
  7. If your game was not saved by the server, use the game window that you saved to recreate the game to the point it was interrupted.  Start a new 1 45 rated game, play through the moves, and then use "moretime" to set the clocks to the appropriate amounts.   Agree ahead of time how much should be added. 
  8. As always, communicate promptly in the Game Forum, and ask for help if needed before something becomes too complicated to solve.
  9. What if you and your opponent can't agree on a time to resume the game, or can't agree on the position or clocks?  The pertinent rules for server crashes are located in the Statutes 11.F and 11.G

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30.   How does this new tiebreak, fewest number of forfeits, work?

Whenever two or more teams are tied for a position round, or playoff seeding, or a playoff 2-2 match, and the tie must be broken, the next tiebreak (after match and game points have been compared) is each team’s record of Reliability Rating Point Reductions in the tourney thus far. The team with the fewest number of forfeits is awarded the higher position. If the teams are still tied, then the Board removal process is used. Section 13.B.ii.a. shows:

  1. Game Points
  2. Head to head Match Points
  3. Head-to-Head Game Points
  4. Fewest number of Reliability Rating Reductions (forfeits) ¶ SC33-34
  5. Head-to-Head Match Points modified by removing the results of all Board 4 (Board 1 in odd numbered tourneys) games

When is the forfeit rule used?

  • After the fifth round in a 5- or 6-team division if needed to determine the standings for the position round.
  • After the sixth round in all divisions to determine playoff eligibility.
  • After any quarter- or semifinal- playoff match that ends in a 2-2 tie.
  • After any Championship Tiebreak match that is still tied, to determine the Section champion.

Suppose there is a forfeit in a playoff match that ends in a 2-2 tie. How is this rule applied? The cumulative total of forfeits from round 1 to the present (including this match) is compared. In other words, ALL forfeits up to the time a tiebreak is needed are counted.

What forfeits are counted?  All games ruled forfeits for no show, no contact, greater blame and Captain error (captain taking blame for a player’s forfeit).

What forfeits are NOT counted?  Additional forfeits for game results that have been overturned to due to ‘C’ or finger note of computer usage appearing on a player’s handle are NOT counted toward the team total. Player blame counts. ‘C’ forfeits don’t count.

Why are forfeits now counted this way?  To encourage greater responsibility by the players and the captains to avoid forfeits by only committing to weeks they can play and only fielding lineups of players who can play a given week. This league does not like forfeits; every forfeit is a potential disruption of the tournament and the winning chances of other teams.

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31. TIME - ICC Server Time, Time Zones, 12 am vs 12 pm, 12-hour clock vs 24-hour clock

What time is it on ICC?  - Type the command /date and compare ICC Server time with your time.

12-hour clock vs. 24-hour clock - Many people, especially in the U.S., use the 12-hour clock only, and are not familiar with the 24-hour clock unless they have a military background.  However, much of the world outside of the U.S. uses the 24-hour clock as the norm.   So, you should be careful to avoid misunderstandings.  One might say "8:00" meaning "8:00 pm" while another would use "2000" to refer to the same time.

00:00 =  12:00 a.m. (MIDNIGHT) 12:00 = 12:00 p.m. (NOON)
1:00 =  1:00 a.m. 13:00 =  1:00 p.m.
2:00 =  2:00 a.m. 14:00 =  2:00 p.m.
3:00 =  3:00 a.m. 15:00 =  3:00 p.m.
4:00 =  4:00 a.m. 16:00 =  4:00 p.m.
5:00 =  5:00 a.m. 17:00 =  5:00 p.m.
6:00 =  6:00 a.m. 18:00 =  6:00 p.m.
7:00 =  7:00 a.m. 19:00 =  7:00 p.m.
8:00 =  8:00 a.m. 20:00 =  8:00 p.m.
9:00 =  9:00 a.m. 21:00 =  9:00 p.m.
10:00 = 10:00 a.m. 22:00 = 10:00 p.m.
11:00 = 11:00 a.m. 23:00 = 11:00 p.m
12:00  = 12:00 p.m. (NOON) 00:00 = 12:00 a.m. (MIDNIGHT)

Some interesting external resources:

Wikipedia: Comparisons of 12-hour and 24-hour clocks

Time Zones around the World

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32.  How are teams assigned to divisions?

The method used to assign teams to divisions makes the overall strength (average) of each division approximately equal and avoids any favoritism in the placement of teams or groups of teams in the divisions.

  1. Seeding: Teams are seeded by their average ratings at the moment team entries officially end.
  2. Divisions:  Divide the number of teams by 4 to determine how many “quad” (4-team) divisions there will be. If there are extra teams (1 to 3 possible), the extra teams are taken from the teams in the median group of ratings and are assigned to one or two of the original quad divisions, which then become “hex” (5- or 6-team) divisions.
  3. Populating the Divisions:  The divisions are filled by putting the highest and lowest seeded teams in the first division and the second highest and second lowest seeded teams in the second division. Once each division is half full (two teams), continue the process, but assign the next highest and lowest remaining teams to the last division, and work upwards until the final pair of teams, the middle two seeds, is assigned to the first division. In other words, if you assigned a 1 or a 2 (and a 3 or more, to match the number of divisions) to each team in seeded order, you would assign them by the pattern 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1. All 1’s represent the first division, all 2’s the second division, all 3’s (1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1) the third division, and so on.

Example A: 8 teams; two divisions needed. #1 and #8 seeds go in the first division, #2 and #7 seeds in the second division, #3 and #6 seeds in the second division, #4 and #5 seeds in the first division. Each division has four teams.

Example B: 35 teams; 8 divisions needed. (Two of the divisions will become hex divisions to accommodate three extra teams.) #1 and #35 seeds go in the first division, #2 and #34 in the second division, and so on. The extra teams, median seeds #17, #18, #19, would be assigned to the first two divisions. Six of the divisions have four teams, one has five teams, and one has six teams.

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33.  How do I schedule if I'm on two teams?

Caution: The risk of offering the same time to two opponents

Some players on multiple teams offer the same game times to 2 (or even 3!) opponents. This is risky!  If both players accept the same time, it is your responsibility to honor both agreements.   An offer made, until it is removed, can be accepted, and is considered binding on both players. You do not have the right to expect either of the players to renegotiate.

The league does not recognize conditions placed on offers (such as "I am playing on two teams - please await confirmation of time before posting”).  People may say something about confirming, but it carries no weight in any judgment the TD may have to make.

Preventing the problem:

  1. Don't offer the same times to multiple opponents. For example, if the time zones of your opponents are different, offer early times to one and later times to the other.
  2. One player’s strategy: “I no longer offer the same times to two people. If I have 3 or 4 times that work for me -- I offer some to one opponent and some to the other. If neither one 'bites', then I retract them and offer the other way around.”
  3. If offering different times to different opponents is difficult for you, play on only one team per tourney, or coordinate with your captains, so that you aren't in the lineup for both teams in the same week. Tell one you can't play if the other one needs you.
  4. If you do offer the same times to multiple opponents, and they both chose the same time, ask both if they can reschedule. But if they decline, please remember that they have lives to schedule too.  Do not call their sportsmanship in question - that only makes yourself look bad.
  5. If all else fails, be prepared to play a simul if they accept the same time. See "help simul" and "help simulize". The league allows the playing of simultaneous games (not recommended, of course, but is allowed) to solve just this problem of double booking.

Do you play on more than one team?  Playing on more than one team brings extra challenges. Meeting those challenges will protect the enjoyment of the league experienced by your opponents, your teams, and yourself - and protect your privilege of playing in multiple teams in the next tourney.

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34.  What is the IPP?  Guidelines for Players:

The Interested Players Page (IPP) is a listing of players who are looking for a team.  Teams looking for players check the page for players to invite to join them.  If you are looking for a team, you can get your handle listed on it by updating your Profile at the Player Menu. 

In order for the IPP to be a useful tool for players and teams to find each other....

  • DO list yourself on the IPP if you:
    • just want to play, and don't care much about which team picks you up.
    • will likely agree to play for the first team that "drafts" you by putting you on their roster.
    • are sure that you want to play in the tourney.
  • Do NOT list yourself on the IPP if you:
    • already have a team.
    • are part of a large group of teams, and are waiting for them to assign you to a team.
    • are going to be choosy about which team to play for.  Use methods other than the IPP.
    • aren't sure that you're going to play in the tourney.
    • If a captain sends you a message asking you to be on his team, please respond as soon as possible, so that he can plan accordingly.
    • If you tell a captain that you will play on his team, update your profile immediately, so that other captains don't waste their time and effort trying to recruit you.
    • If a captain "drafts" you (you receive a league email saying you're on a team), but you don't really want to be on that team, politely notify the captain immediately, asking to be removed.


35.  IPP  Guidelines for Captains:

 In order for the IPP to be a useful tool for players and teams to find each other....

  • DO use the IPP:
    • consider selecting new members and giving them a chance, with your help.
    • talk to players before putting them on your team whenever possible.
    • even though most players on the IPP just want to play and don't care what team they play for, realize that players make mistakes when submitting their profile.
    • follow up any "drafting" with communication to confirm the player's desire to play on your team.
    • assume that players want to play as many rounds as possible, unless they state otherwise.
  • Do NOT
    • carry team members (even boards 5 or 6) without playing them, unless that is what they want.
    • snap up a 6th board unless you think your team will actually NEED that much backup, or if the player might not get a team otherwise.
    • ignore player requests to be removed from the team.
    • Tell players how many rounds they are likely to play on your team, and tell them asap.
    • If a player does not agree to your plans (rounds played, for example) offer to take him off your roster immediately, so that he can find a more suitable team before round 1 begins (players cannot change teams within the same section after play begins).
    • The moment a player agrees to be on your team, ask him to update his profile, removing himself from any IPP listing that no longer applies.  Check the IPP, and MAKE SURE he does.
    • Leaders of large groups of teams should pay particular attention to leading their members to fix any errant IPP listings.
36. The clocks are running, but my opponent hasn't moved in awhile, then the clocks reset.

albi(*): If a player is lagging, and winds up disconnecting due to lagging out, the server may not detect the disconnection for some time. To the opponent, everything will appear normal, with the player's clock running. On resumption, only the time actually used will have elapsed.

albi(*): That is usually what is happening when the opponent is gone and the clock keeps ticking.

albi(*): Player has lagged out and the server hasn't detected it.
albi(*): When you suspect something is wrong, there are two steps you should take as a player.
albi(*): 1) ping yourself, 2) ping your opponent.
albi(*): Sometimes, it isn't your opponent with the problem. ;)
albi(*): Oddly enough, lag looks roughly the same to both players, the one lagging and the one who is not lagging.
albi(*): If you are lagging, you might want to send your opponent a tell that you are going to reconnect in an effort to lower your lag.


37. My opponent said he won't be able to make it at the scheduled game time.  Do I have to show up?

If your opponent says that he cannot show up for a scheduled game by clearly stating that he concedes, resigns or forfeits then you will not have to show up.  If there is any doubt about whether an opponent intended to concede, resign or forfeit then you should show up unless a ruling by the Td has clarified the position.


38. Game not scheduled – How TDs rule

Most unscheduled games that had not already been ruled a forfeit under the “no offer by 2200 Friday” rule nor agreed to as a draw by the players requires that a decision be made by the TD. The decision will either be a draw under “generally equal effort” or a forfeit under “greater blame in a game not scheduled.”

Expectations: The league, through its TDs, assumes that every player assigned to a board that week is looking forward to playing a serious game of chess, is available to schedule and to play his game on most days in the first week of the round, and intends to do everything possible to get the game scheduled. Only the most unusual of circumstances should require a TD ruling. The league cooperates in that effort by providing guidelines, called rules, to make scheduling efficient and assist TDs in making rulings.

Gaming the system: It is sad but true that a few players or captains have at times tried to take advantage of the rules to gain a positive (forfeit) result. A typical example is noting a technical violation of the rules by the opponent and, carrying that “partial blame” in his back pocket, continuing negotiations with less enthusiasm. Such tactics sometimes backfire entirely, with the forfeit ruling going the other way! Most rules are carefully phrased to avoid potential gaming, and some are not written at all for the same reason. 

Deadlines: The deadlines, 2200 Thursday, 2200 Friday, 1700 the first and second Tuesdays following posting of parings, and “less than 24 hour notice of accepted time’ have specific rules the players must abide by and the TDs must enforce, without exception. Other rules in the statutes, generally phrased as “should”, are to be thought of as suggestions or recommendations of the most efficient and effective ways to get the game scheduled as soon as possible, and are assessed under the “greater blame” umbrella.

 “Greater, or equal (or no), blame in a game not scheduled”: is a ruling the TD makes when a game was not scheduled. The TD takes every post into consideration, but the only posts that really matter are those containing new offers. “Less talk, more offers”. Here is a summary of what the TDs take into consideration when weighing a decision.

  • 24 hours from post time. We want everyone to post their first offers within a day of the pairing announcement. Always try to meet it. TDs may give that some slack up to the 2200 mark (29 hours), but don’t count on it.
  • 24 hour response to an offer. If you missed the first, but made the second, the TD is going to notice that as well. With common sense offers, taking cognizance of both time zones, scheduling of most games is completed right then.  “How about A.B. or C?” “B is good, let’s have a great game.”
  • If the time zones differ greatly, be willing to sacrifice an hour one way or the other; be willing to start earlier on a Saturday morning when the other player is willing to start later than comfortable on a Friday or Saturday night to meet it. When an opponent has said the absolute earliest time he can start on a work or school day is a certain time, don’t offer something a half hour earlier; the TD will not be impressed with that offer.
  • Back and forth within 24 hours. Most applicable before the end of the weekend. Obviously, if both players are far apart in all their offered times by Sunday night, and the adjournment week has been ruled out, there is little likelihood that they will find a time by Tuesday. Best in such cases is to offer a draw.
  • Weekend offers are not specifically mentioned in the statutes as a requirement, for two reasons: (1) The most obvious way for someone to start gaming the system; (2) Some people may work on the weekend but have some other free days that they can play at off hours, and thereby meet the best effort requirement. But players are far more likely to find manageable common time on a weekend.
  • Quality is better than quantity. Include a variety of hours in your offers. TDs are not impressed with seven days of offers all within a narrow window of time and all clearly difficult for the opponent to accept.
  • Best effort. The TD measures everything -  24 hour violations, consistently impractical times, variety of times, number of days offered, etc. The TD starts out thinking draw, but when one player stands out from the other, he will not hesitate to rule a forfeit.
  • All Greater Blame rulings allow for appeal, including draws. The OC is going to look at all the forum posts. They will rule for the player if needed, but if it’s close they prefer not to overrule the TD, especially since there are two TDs involved, including the more experienced Section TD.
  • The TDs never consider the status of the match, just the forum posts. Conclusion. Never assume the outcome. Make your best effort. It will not go unnoticed.

Rules Subcommittee commentary on this FAQ, which was written to give clarity and purpose to the league intent regarding scheduling of games.

Chair: Guys, It's very long winded, and maybe just the first and last sections (introduction and greater blame) need to be shown, but I've written this FAQ as a good place to put all these issues, with links to be placed in the handbooks. I covered a lot of topics related to how we think when writing the rules and how TDs interpret them. Let me know what you think. Feel free to chop or add.

Member: To be honest, I would not change a word. I like it and feel it will be helpful to Td's and players in general.

Member:  This looks good to me.  It will hopefully bring about some attitude changes concerning league scheduling.  Basically I want to reduce the number of adjudicated games because that is not what the league envisions.  When someone does have not real availability but is still in the line-up it is usually obvious .... those are the games that we should always forfeit to prevent continued lazy or crafty Board assignments.  Communication between the Captains and Players is crucial to maximize played games and fulfill the league mission statement goals and objectives.

 39.  I received a CUDS red card for suspected cheating. Can I appeal it?

Short answer, no. For a more detailed explanation, go here 

The CUDS Ethos

*The purpose of the Computer Usage Detection Subcommittee (CUDS) is to protect Team45 45 League membership from unfair competition by finding and removing from the league those who are suspected of having used assistance in many league games.

* The methods used by CUDS to determine the likelihood that a player has been using assistance must remain hidden, as knowledge of the methods used might help those who are tempted to cheat to do so more creatively. 

* State of the art computer use detection methods as well as FM-IM class human analysis are used to determine if a player has most likely been receiving computer assistance in some or all of their league games. The detection methods are constantly being reviewed and improved.

* A Board, composed of no fewer than six (6) members, meets to consider the evidence against each suspected cheater.  There must be evidence of assistance in multiple games. To vote for a CUDS red card, the evidence must be considered “beyond a reasonable doubt.” For a red card to be issued, the vote of the board must be unanimous.

*There is no appeal of a CUDS Red Card (see 2nd bullet). In place of any other appeal right, a unanimous vote by the Board is required before a CUDS Red Card can be issued. 

* Under our statutes (18.D) suspect games and players are reported to ICC’s Speedtrap.

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Last Revised:  October 2009

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