Online logistics

A. Scope:


1. The rules and guidelines apply to all players competing in PUCL online.

General Guidelines:

1. It is a condition of entry that players must agree to their real names being disclosed so that players know whom they are playing for each fixture.

2. Players may play under only one user name during the season.

3. Players may listen to (only) music through headphones or earbuds while playing online games.

4. Players may stream while playing online games, however they may not view chat while the game is in progress. Any responsive interaction with chat or other indication that chat is visible during a live game will result in automatic forfeiture of the game.

B. Fair Play and Anti-Cheating:


1. While cheating in an online game is much more common than during OTB play, please rest assured there are ways for the organizers to make informed judgments as to when and whether it is happening. While cheating will not be tolerated, note that since the playoffs are in person, cheating will only take your team to the first round of the Playoffs, for which there are no prizes. It's just not worth it.

2. Players are asked to review the Lichess fair play rules as relevant, and make sure they comply with these for their games at all times. Further details can be found here:


3. Please note that the following are specifically not allowed during play:

• Playing in the same room as another player on the same team

• Help from any other person, player, or coach

• Impersonation/use of other people's accounts

• Use of chess engines, bots, plugins, analysis tools, tablebases, blunder checks or other best move tools

• Interference with other members’ games

• Reference to physical opening books and static (i.e. non-engine based) tablebases


The above list is not exhaustive and players should refer to Lichess’s terms and conditions and supporting material on their website for the full set of rules and guidelines.

4. Lichess’s anti-cheating software will be in place to detect instances of cheating in all games. Lichess’s anti-cheating measures are published on their web site as part of their FAQs, which can be found here: The reporting process and form can be found here: In the event that a player is banned or flagged by Lichess, the player should decide whether they wish to contest the ban or flagging, and if so they should make an appeal to Lichess in the first instance as soon as is practical after the allegation has been made or sanction applied. More on the appeals process in Section D.

5. Cheating Accusations: An accusation of cheating is a very serious matter, and Lichess software is quite reliable, however if no action is taken by Lichess and you still suspect your opponent was cheating, raise it with a member of the PUCL Appeals Committee (Section C) and we will investigate the claim.

C. Appeals Committee:

1. The Appeals Committee is a carefully chosen group of individuals with superior knowledge of the laws of chess, PUCL online fair play guidelines and who are entrusted to display the utmost objectivity during any and all disputes. These individuals are:

• Dylan Mize, PUCL Co-Founder

• Michael Green, PUCL Co-Founder

• Adam Raoff, Chess England Director, Fide Arbiter

• Lawrence Lee, Former President of UCL Chess Society

• Hok Yin Chiu, ECF Arbiter

• Johannes Luangtep Kvisla, Co-Founder Offerspill Sjakklubb

2. If we suspect a player of using computer or external assistance based on all of the data available, we (as organisers) reserve the right to remove the suspected player from the tournament. This decision will be made by a panel of independent judges (PUCL Appeals Committee), in order to maintain the fairness and integrity of the league.

D. Appeals Process:


1. In certain circumstances a player may make an appeal against a sanction to the PUCL Appeals Committee. If the appeal is successful then the player will not be sanctioned.

2. The appeals process is as follows:

• The player should appeal a Lichess ban (to Lichess) within one week of the sanction occurring

• The player should make an appeal to the PUCL Appeals Committee (Section C) within a week of an unsuccessful appeal to Lichess. 

• All cheating accusations should be made privately, and directly to a member of the Appeals Committee.

E. Appeal Resolutions and Sanctions:


1. The PUCL arbiters and the Appeals Committee will have the final say on all disputes. Dylan and Michael are ECF arbiters and trained in the FIDE laws of chess which will be upheld during PUCL, as well as Lichess terms of service during all online play.

2. If the appeal is decided in favor of the accused, the result of the game in question will stand according to the original result and no sanctions will be given. However, if there are further games which were defaulted as a result of a Lichess ban, those defaults will stand.

3. If the appeal is decided against the accused, or in case of no appeal, the game in question will be defaulted by the accused and the offending player will be sanctioned from participating in future fixtures during the season. A replacement to the team roster will not be allowed. 

F. Staying Connected:


1. Players should familiarise themselves with the rules about making the first move, disconnection and game abandonment. Players should make sure they are ready to start playing when their game is started. If players are disconnected for any reason before or during a game they should try to reconnect and log back in as quickly as possible. Failure to reconnect following a disconnect will result in the game being recorded as a loss by Lichess. If players are unable to reconnect due to issues with their internet connection, the provider's result will stand, with a win for their opponent. Where games are defaulted as a result of the server going down for both players, players should speak to the PUCL organizers right away, who will be able to find a solution.


2. Players should avoid disconnecting in a lost position and should make use of the resign button if they wish to concede the game.

G. Default Times

1. Players who appear more than 10 minutes after the start time for any round will be defaulted for that game. Players with the white pieces have 10 minutes to send a challenge after the start time before they default the game. Conversely, players with the black pieces have 10 minutes to accept the challenge before they default the game. If the challenge is sent late, the player with the black pieces must accept the challenge no later than 3 minutes after it is sent, or before 10 minutes after the start time (whichever comes later). This will help keep rounds running on time.

H. Zoom Regulations

1. In case the Playoffs are held online: All players participating in the playoffs are required to join the zoom call the organizers host no later than 5 minutes prior to the start of the first game on each day of the playoffs. Players must keep their webcams switched on and microphones muted during the course of the game unless otherwise requested by an arbiter.


2. When requested by an arbiter, and in any case during their own games, players must:​

  • Have their microphone switched on

  • Share their screen (including task manager) in the Zoom call

3. The Zoom names should be the player's first and last name.

4. Players may switch off their cameras (NOT leave the zoom meeting) in between rounds, while not playing.

5. All Zoom Sessions will be recorded for review in case of an appeal, and will be deleted at the end of the season.

6. Game challenges should not be sent until both players are present in the zoom call. If one player hasn't joined the call 10 minutes after the scheduled start of the round, they will forfeit that game. 

7. In the event the zoom call crashes during your game, please finish your game, and then attempt to reconnect using the information provided by the arbiter(s).