Team 45 45 League
Team 45 45 League

Serious Chess and Team Spirit on the ICC

Steering Committee members:
      Permanent Members:  DaveTheRook (chair), bmw2002. chesskix, Kingofknights, rgadoury, BosqueVerde (Emeritus)
      General Members: charles-allen, fledermaus, Invicta-knight, VictorRed

Standing Subcommittee (Rules):
      rgadoury (chair), chesskix, Invicta-Knight, VictorRed

Standing Subcommittee (Technology):
     bmw2002 (chair), chesskix, DaveTheRook, fledermaus, rgadoury

The role and purpose of the Steering Committee is to manage the affairs of the league, to set its direction and expansion, see to its advertisement and management, write the Constitution, Statutes and Handbooks, and review the rulings of the previous Oversight Committee. This is the ultimate governing body of Team 45 45 League with all rights and responsibilities. (Article III of the League Constitution)

League Members may stay informed of potential rules changes by watching this page. Prior to voting results being displayed here, members may make their comments known by notifying any Steering Committee member, who may choose to forward your comments to the Steering Committee. The Committee members will not disclose any details of the Committee discussions. 

Item 1.  T66 Tournament Parameters -  Approved

Item 2.  Review of CUDS procedures - No changes

Item 3.  Clarification of TD rulings in games not scheduled

Item 1. T66 tournament parameters

T66 September 1 to November 17, 2015

Time Control: 45 45
Sections: 6 (U1200, U1400, U1600, U1800, U2000, U2200)
Rounds: 6 - (possibly 7) followed by Playoffs

August 4, 2015 Ratings “fixed” and Profiles Open
August 11, Team entries open
August 25, Team entries close
September 1, Round 1 starts
November 17, 2015, End of Playoff 4

Count of team RR reductions (if any) precedes board removal tiebreak.
Tiebreak board removal rules start with board 4 this tournament

Playoff rounds may be delayed, section by section, for late finishing games and outstanding appeals.

No Adjournment week during playoffs.

Note.—Per Administrative Rule 13, all Tuesday (and Sunday) deadlines are 17:00 ICC time.

Playing dates:  See schedule


Item 2. Review of CUDS procedures.

Problem. A member has asked that that the Steering Committee reassess the CUDS cheat detection process to allow for a method of appealing CUDS red cards, outside of CUDS itself. Several suggestions for implementing such a process were included in the request.  Those suggestions were included in their entirety in the presentation to the full committee.

Resolution. The committee, after discussion of the merits of the suggestions and comparison with the current CUDS Ethos, voted  that no changes should be made to the current CUDS procedures.

The Vote. The vote options presented to the full Steering Committee after a period of discussion were : (A) Make no changes, or (B) Consider some changes, deeper discussions to follow. There were 8 votes for A, 0 votes for B, one abstention.

Background. The committee considered the suggestions and compared them with the current CUDS Ethos. Several members asked for available statistics on the effectiveness of CUDS, how many admitted cheating, how many denied cheating, etc., and suggested they be published. They are being published here. The CUDS Ethos and the Statistics are given next.

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 cheated in 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.


The Statistics

5068 ICC accounts in our database

4293 have played at least one league game, dating back to T04.

CUDS began with T39

90 CUDS Red Cards have been issued

5 of the 90 players were readmitted, re-offended, and were given Double Red Cards and permanent ban

2 admitted cheating but did not return to play

5 admitted cheating, were re-admitted, and are currently playing

2 of the CUDS Red Card players subsequently had their ratings adjusted by ICC (first offenses)

Several players under CUDS investigation received C or finger note by ICC before CUDS had completed its own evaluations

Vote for no change ended 28 August 2015

 Item 3.  Clarification of TD ruings in games not scheduled

Problem: A captain complained that rules related to scheduling games are not being followed uniformly by the TDs, resulting in inconsistent rulings. The complaint also noted that OC rulings tend to support the TD rulings in close calls.

Solution: Rules Subcommittee wrote FAQ 38 in response to this complaint. The main thrust of the applications of the rules is that the hard deadlines, 2200 Thursday and Friday and 1700 Tuesdays must be strictly enforced, but that many of the other rules, such as those related to 24 hour deadlines,”greater effort”, etc, have been written as strong suggestions for the most efficient way to get a game scheduled and should not be ways for players to “game the system” once a technical violation is perceived.

FAQ 38 was approved with minor editorial changes. Following is the presentation to the full Steering Committee.

 FAQ 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 a 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.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 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 a 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.

The following note was placed in the Player, Captain, and TD handbooks

Note.—FAQ 38 should be required reading for all players, captains, and TDs before anyone starts to schedule a game. FAQ 38 was written to give clarity and understanding to how the rules for scheduling were written, how TDs are going to interpret those rules when they must rule on a “game not scheduled”, and how all players and captains should see their roles in this process.


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