Rules for Engine Masters Tournaments

§ 1   Registration, Accounts, Remote Play

(1)    All participants are required to register before the tournament, providing their full name, postal address and a valid email address. While players may use a nickname on the chess server, their real names will be visible to others under "personal information" (menu "picture"). Yet, all information related to a player's postal address and email address will be kept strictly confidentially and not passed to a third party without a player's written permission.

The Tournament Registration Form pops up, when a player sends a "want in“ to an Engine Masters Tournament.

(2)    Registration via "want in" registration form is open to all users who meet the requirements as published in a special document in the Rules section of our website.

(3)    It is prohibited for a player to register more than one account in a tournament or to use a second account belonging to someone else. Violating this rule shall result in disqualification from the tournament and being banned from future events.

(4)    If a player wants to use a remote system for transmitting the moves, he has to use the same system in the daily tours and give detailed advance information by E-mail to info[at]infinitychess.com on the operating system (e.g. Windows, Linux etc.) and the number of cores used by remote play. The engine name displayed during the tournament has to be the one used by remote play.

(5)    If a player wants to play by remote using the hardware of another participant of the tournament, he has to ask for a written permission by Infinity Chess not later than three days before tournament start. In that case the game between the two befriended players, if they get paired, will automatically be counted as a „draw“, regardless of the outcome of their game vs. each other. This precautional measure has to be taken in order to avoid any speculations about illegal collusion between the two players.


§ 2   Round Start

(1)    The Tournament Director and his assistants will inform all players of the client software version to be used before start of the tournament. It is the obligation of all players to obtain, install, and have in operation the specified version prior to the start of the first round of play. Disadvantages or technical problems which originate from not having the correct client shall be decided against the player who does not comply with this requirement, and may include a time penalty or a game forfeiture as the TD determines.

(2)    Participants are required to be in the tournament room and ready for start not later than 20 minutes before the scheduled time. The remaining time might be needed in order to update the client software, to restart the server, to reboot one's pc, to check new information or to answer questions by the TD or an Admin.

(3)    Participants are required to set the play mode to "computer" before the start of a round, load an engine of their choice and activate the box „Send Evaluations“. All other settings of parameters, like for example number of threads, hash size, table bases, permanent brain, same as book options, have to be completed correctly before a round starts. After start of a game the parameters and book options cannot be changed by either player except from special order by the TD.

(4)    All clock times mentioned in tournament announcements and by the TD refer to the server time. The menu "compare time" converts the server time to local time.

(5)    If a player is belated more than 10 minutes, he or she forfeits the game which has to be approved by the TD. If both players are belated more than 10 minutes, both shall receive zero scores. Being belated more than 3 minutes implies a time penalty by the TD. A player who is belated more than 3 times during a tournament can be disqualified by the TD.

§ 3   Tournament regulations

(1)    Time controls are 12 minutes for all the moves plus 1 second increment per move, if no other time controls are published in the tournament announcement.

(2)    Pairings are generated by the InfinityChess Swiss System software according to generally accepted standards.

(3)    The number of rounds and the schedule is according to the tournament announcement.

(4)   The following factors are used to break the tie of top ranked players (1st and 2nd prize):

a) Buchholz (BH) points

b) Sonneborn-Berger (SBP) points

c) number of games with Black

d) number of wins

e) number of wins with Black

f) highest rated and defeated opponent.

(5)    The InfinityChess online client software use the “auto draw” feature, which means that certain types of obviously or technically drawn positions are automatically decided as “drawn” by the server. In the very rare case that any of such decisions might be claimed by a user as not correct (given proof by an endgame table base), the TD would be authorized to overrule the server decision.


§ 4   Internet connections, disconnections and server crashes

(1)   In the event a player suffers a disconnection from the chess server and the server does not reconnect automatically and the player does not reconnect, he shall be informed via email and be given 7 minutes from the time of notification to return to and continue his game.
If the player has not returned after 7 minutes (though having been informed by the TD) he shall forfeit the game.
Alternately, if a player suffers 3 disconnections during a game, even if he returns from the first two disconnects in less than 7 minutes, he shall automatically forfeit the game immediately at the instant of the 3rd disconnect, with a win granted to his opponent (with the only exception that the opponent has not sufficient material to win the game; e.g. only king left, then the TD would have to rule a draw). The TD is the only person who may issue rulings relating to the 7 minute period.

(2)   Usually reconnection is automatic. If the interruption of your game lasts two or three minutes it means you might have lost connection with the Internet. If this is the case, please restore your Internet connection without closing the window of your ongoing game or the client's main window. If the problem is not your Internet connection, but a locked up engine or a "frozen" game window, you might probably have to reboot your InfinityChess client. If this is the case, do not close the window of your running game, as this would mean to "resign". (Cf. also InfinityChess FAQ)

(3)    Players are forbidden to disconnect voluntarily while their game is in progress. If a player feels he should disconnect for any valid reason, he must first ask the TD and wait for his decision.
For rebooting open your Windows Task Manager and stop "InfinityChess.exe". That closes all open InfinityChess windows. Then please start again the InfinityChess program and relogin. You will automatically be directed to your interrupted game which can be resumed without changing any settings to your play mode or to your engine running, if you play in computer mode (any such changes are disabled during a game). (Cf. also InfinityChess FAQ)

(4)    During tournaments players are forbidden to claim automatic wins on disconnects (in case the server offers such a function). If a player claims an automatic win on disconnect, the TD is authorized to overrule the result of the game according to his assessment.
If you feel your opponent might have lost the connection to the server, you
must be patient and wait for the Tournament Director. Usually the “Claim win on disconnect” button is disabled in tournaments, decisions are made exclusively by the TD.
The TD shall also decide how to resolve or resume a game in which the server has automatically flagged a player. This can for example happen if there is a time-out during a loss of connection.

(5)    A player with two or more disconnections per game in 75% or more of his games shall be disqualified from the tournament by the TD after round 4 or any round thereafter where the 75% threshold is met or exceeded. (Automatic server reconnects do not count in this calculation.) Players at imminent risk of disqualification shall be notified by the TD of their jeopardy, who shall keep track of all disconnecting players.

(6)    In the event of a server crash during play, all players shall persistently attempt to log on to the tournament site for a period of 30 minutes. If the server is still inaccessible after 30 minutes, the TD shall give instructions to players via an external chat room. The URL of this chat room shall be announced before the start of the tournament.

(7)    The TD is the only person with the authority to decide how to resume the tournament in the event of a server crash. All games that finished before the server crash will remain valid. If unfinished games can be automatically resumed by the server, then this will be the preferred solution. It's up to the TD to adjust the chess clocks, if necessary.
However, given the extremely rare case that unfinished games cannot be automatically resumed by the server then the TD shall direct players to restart completely new games.


§ 5   Player accessibility, communication with the TD

(1)    Players must be accessible by the TD at all times during games in progress and are required to respond to his questions and requests instantly. If a player fails to respond to the TD after three attempts to contact him in the space of 7 minutes and the game does not proceed, the TD shall record this event as a loss of connection, with all rules pertaining to disconnects applying (see §4).

(2)    Players shall discuss all contentious matters directly with the TD and not in general chat. Discussions regarding controversial situations and TD rulings shall be conducted in private chat, not in general chat, particularly while any tournament games are still in progress.


§ 6   Player behaviour

(1)    Players are expected to complete every one of their games during the tournament. Players shall not enter the tournament if they intend to drop out before the end of the tournament, skip rounds or put forth less than a full effort if they perform poorly and/or are out of the running for prizes: such behaviour dilutes the integrity of the tournament and often results in adverse consequences for other competitors. If exceptional circumstances compel a player to withdraw, he must inform the tournament director by e-mail at least one hour prior to the start of a new round and persuasively explain the unforeseen event that forces an early exit. Violation of this rule shall result in exclusion from future tournaments.

(2)    Players are expected to control their emotions and behave in a civil and respectful manner toward the TD, sponsors, hosts, fellow competitors and spectators of Freestyle tournaments. Players deemed by the TD to fail to meet this standard of conduct will receive one and only one warning during the entire tournament. Should a warned player continue to bring discredit to the tournament or its participants, it shall result in the player a) forfeiting any unfinished game in progress, b) being disqualified from the balance of the tournament, c) being asked to immediately leave the tournament site, and d) being banned from future tournaments for two years.

July 2014, May 2016 and March 2017.