Freestyle Chess League Qualification Tour 2021

§ 1 Registration

(1) All participants are required to register not later than two days before the tournament starts. Registration ends on Thursday, 11th November 2021, 23:00 server time.

(2) All participants have to provide correct information by e-mail to the TD (JoJo): user name, full name, postal address and a phone number (contact: arno[at]infinitychess.com).

(3) While participants may use a nickname on the chess server, their real names must be visible to others under "personal information" (menu>account>edit user).

(4) Yet, all information related to a participant's postal address and email address will be kept strictly confidentially and not passed to a third party without a participant's written permission.

(5) It is prohibited for a participant 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.

§ 2 Schedule

Round 1: Saturday, November 13, 18:30 ST (server time)
Round 2: Sunday, November 14, 14:00 ST (server time)
Round 3: Sunday, November 14, 18:30 ST (server time)
Round 4: Saturday, December 11, 14:00 ST (server time)
Round 5: Saturday, December 11, 18:30 ST (server time)
Round 6: Sunday, December 12, 14:00 ST (server time)
Round 7: Sunday, December 12, 18:30 ST (server time)
Round 8: Saturday, January 15, 14:00 ST (server time)
Round 9: Saturday, January 15, 18:30 ST (server time)
Round 10: Sunday, January 16, 14:00 ST (server time)
Round 11: Sunday, January 16, 18:30 ST (server time)

§ 3 Money Prizes and Qualification

(1)  Guaranteed Prizes

1st Prize 1000 $
2nd Prize 500
3rd Prize 250 $
4th Prize 150 $
5th Prize 100 $

These prizes will be paid out within 3 days after end of the tournament without any deductions. (The prize funds may hopefully increase due to donations.)

(2) The final standings (according to the tie-break rules under §7.3) determine the class division of the Freestyle Chess League 2022, while the organizer reserves the right to additionally issue "wild cards" if this serves the purposes of the league.

§ 4 Start Fee & Fair Play Bonus

(1) All participants have to pay a start fee of 100 $ including 50 $ forfeit money. This is part of the registration process.

(2) Participants staying in the tour until the end and playing all games in a fair way, which includes not to forfeit any game, will receive a fair play bonus of 50 $ (= repayment of the forfeit money).

§ 5 Remote Play

If a participant wants to play by remote using the hardware of another participant of the tournament, he has to ask for a written permission by InfinityChess not later than three days before tournament start. In that case the game between the two befriended participants, 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 participants.

§ 6 Round Start

(1) The Tournament Director and his assistants will inform all participants of the client software version to be used before start of the tournament in case there should be an update to the current version, though this is rather unlikely in 2021.

(2) It is the obligation of all participants 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 participant who does not comply with this requirement, and may include a time penalty or a game forfeiture as the TD determines.

(3) Participants are required to be in the tournament room and ready for start not later than 20 minutes before the scheduled time and 30 minutes before start of the 1st round. The remaining time might be needed in order to set up the pairings (applies for the 1st round), 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.

(4) Participants are required to set the playing mode to "computer" or "centaur" 10 minutes before start of a round. Participants playing as "computer" have to load an engine of their choice and if playing vs. another engine they have to activate the box „send evaluations“. The engine name has to be authentic, fake names are not allowed.

(5) 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 participant except from special order by the TD.

(6) In games vs. "centaur" the box „send evaluations“ does not apply for opponents with playing mode "computer".

(7) It's allowed to change the playing mode during the tournament up to the participant's choice, though not during a match is running.

(8) 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.

(9) If a participant is belated more than 30 minutes, he (or she) forfeits the game which has to be approved by the TD. If both participants are belated more than 30 minutes, both shall receive zero scores. Being belated implies a time penalty by the TD of at least 15 minutes. A participant who is belated more than 3 times during a tournament can be disqualified by the TD.

§ 7 Tournament Regulations

(1) Time controls are 60 minutes for all moves plus 30 seconds increment per move.

(2) Pairings are generated by the InfinityChess Swiss System software 15 minutes before start of the 1st round. Later on they will be generated immediately after a round is finished.

(3) The following criteria are used for tie-breaking in this order:

a) number of „stalemate wins“ or „material wins“ against a bare king (look upHERE for details and examples)
b) number of games played in „centaur mode“
c) number of games with Black
d) Buchholz (BH) points
e) Sonneborn-Berger (SBP) points
f) number of wins
g) number of wins with Black
h) highest rated and defeated opponent.

In the very unlikely case of a tie still continuing, money prizes will be devided between the tied participants.

(4) All participants are requested to play in centaur mode. However, it is permitted to compete in up to 4 matches in computer mode, in which case they have to follow and respect the special rules for participating as computer (cf. § 5, § 6.4-7, § 7.3b,4).

(5) The InfinityChess online client software uses the “auto draw” feature in engine games, which means that certain types of obviously or technically drawn positions are automatically decided as “drawn” by the server. This does not apply in games with centaurs. 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.

(6) Participants are prohibited to offer a draw before the 30th move. Only three kinds of draws as defined by the FIDE rules (lack of material to checkmate, stalemates, threefold repetitions) may occur prior to move 30. Starting with the 30th move, either participant may offer a draw to their opponent at their discretion, but if the draw offer is refused the same offering participant may not offer to draw again within the next ten moves.
The purpose of this rule is two-fold: a) to inspire all participants to battle out their games, and b) to preclude repetitive and annoying draw offers. Any reported and verified violation of this rule shall result in the violating participant receiving one warning and thereafter immediately forfeiting the game if the violation is repeated in the same game. An exception to this rule (6) may be possible only by TD decision on special reason, like e.g. very rare technical issues at resuming an interrupted game


§ 8 Internet Connections, Disconnections and Server Crashes

(1) In the event a participant suffers a disconnection from the chess server and the server does not reconnect automatically and the participant does not reconnect, he shall be informed via email and be given 10 minutes from the time of notification to return to and continue his game.
If he does not return within 10 minutes after notification a time penalty of 15 minutes applies, which might last in a lost game except from a "dead drawn" or "winning" position according the decision of the TD. In both those cases the game will be ruled a draw by the TD.
If the participant did not return after 15 minutes (though having been informed by the TD) he shall forfeit the game.

Alternately, if a participant suffers 3 disconnections during a game, even if he returns from the first two disconnects in less than 10 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 10 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) Participants are forbidden to disconnect voluntarily while their game is in progress. If a participant 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 application 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 participants are forbidden to claim automatic wins on disconnects (in case the server offers such a function). If a participant 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 participant. This can for example happen if there is a time-out during a loss of connection.

(5) A participant 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.)
Participants at imminent risk of disqualification shall be notified by the TD of their jeopardy, who shall keep track of all disconnecting participants.

(6) In the event of a server crash during play, all participants 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 participants 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 participants to restart completely new games.


§ 9 Participant Accessibility, Communication with the TD

(1) Participants 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 participant fails to respond to the TD after three attempts to contact him in the space of 15 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 § 8).

(2) Participants 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.

§ 10 Participant Behaviour

(1) Participants are expected to complete every one of their games during the tournament. Participants 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 participant 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) Participants withdrawing from a tournament might be substituted by a stand-by participant or engine according to the organizers choice.

(3) Participants 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. Participants 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 participant continue to bring discredit to the tournament or its participants, it shall result in the participant
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.

JoJo (TD), 2nd November 2021.