Logos, Banner by KaitlinB and Tom45.
Team 45 45 League
Serious Chess and Team Spirit on the ICC
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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!
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:
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 Team4545League.org, 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.
(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.
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.
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!
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.
* 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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
They are posted to the Team4545League website for posterity. Almost every game ever played in Team 45 45 is available at http://Team4545League.org/archives/index.html or click Past Results under Archives. PGN scores and many other documents chronicling our esteemed history can be found there.
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.
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.
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:
More hints on successful scheduling:
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.
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.
There is a lot of help around! Do not wait until it's too late to fix a problem.
See Reporting the Game Results in the Players' Handbook.
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.
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."
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
"...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.
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:
When is the forfeit rule used?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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....
In order for the IPP to be a useful tool for players and teams to find each other....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you have other questions? Ask them of Questions@Team4545League.org and they might appear here.
Last Revised: October 2009