NSC Online Tournaments

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Lichess and NSC Online Tournaments


NSC online tournaments use Lichess as a feature-rich, cheat-safe online chess playing platform. Kid-friendly accounts are available for students, tried and tested cheat detection ensures integrity and available interfacing allow our system to provide highly automated tournaments while offering many features for players and spectators. Players enter NSC tournaments use their Lichess account and an access token so NSC can automatically create games during the tournaments.

More information on Lichess access tokens...

Types of Lichess accounts:

To play in an NSC tournament, you will need a Lichess account

There are two types of Lichess accounts, either can be used to play in an NSC Online tournament:

  1. A normal (autonomous) account where you Sign up on Lichess as an individual, providing your name and an email address for your account.

    If you would like to use a normal Lichess account and do not yet have one, you can sign up to Lichess here.
  2. A Managed account where an account is created for you (typically for students but anyone can request one). You are given a generated name, you are not required to provide an email address and general chatting is disabled for this type of account.

    NSC creates managed accounts for students who participate in NSC online coaching programs. If you have one of these, (an NSC Managed account) you can use it to play in an NSC online tournament. You don't need to worry about creating the token as we will do it for you.

To play in an NSC online tournament, we need to know 2 things about the player:

  1. The username of the Lichess account to be used in the tournament
  2. An access token with the correct permission settings for the provided username
If you are not using an NSC Managed account, you will have to create an access token and provide us with these details when you register. Here is an instructional video on how to create a token

Sign up to play:

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Step 1: Choose an event!

  • Inter-School tournaments are conducted during school hours. These tournament are part of the NSC zonal qualifiers, typically conducted before the NSC suite of State Finals conducted in term 4.
  • Open tournaments are conducted outside school hours. Some of these events are dedicated for junior players and some are open to general public.
  • Step 2: Sign up!

    To sign up for an NSC online tournament, follow the registration process below:

    For school coordinators: (Inter-School events)
    • Email us to reserve places and avoid disappointment. If an event becomes full, we guarantee reserved places will remain available
    • When you have the list of players for the event, send the list (first names, surname, yearl level, boy/girl) to us. We will organise NSC Managed accounts for all your students, and organise their access tokens as well
    • Once everything is set up, we send you the list of Lichess username/password for the players, as well as instructions for the day. Just pass on the username/password to each player and follow the instructions sent to you.
    • After the event, the school will be sent an invoice for students who participated.
    For parents of students: (Inter-School and Open events)
    • Online registration will be available for your chosen event, both school zonal tournaments as well as open events outside school hours. Follow the instructions in the online registration page for your chosen event.
    • If the player you are registering is happy to use an NSC Managed account in Lichess, then we will organise the account as well as the access token for the tournament and provide you with the details after you complete your online registration.
    • If the player you are registering prefers to use his/her own Lichess account, then you can provide the information in the registration process.
    For individual adults: (Open events)
    • Online registration for Open events will be available
    • If you wish to use an NSC Managed account in Lichess, then we will organise the account as well as the access token for the tournament and provide you with the details after you complete your online registration.
    • If you prefer to use your own Lichess account, then you can provide the information in the registration process.

    On the day of the tournament:

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    Step 1: Sign into your Lichess account

    To be included in the first round pairing, sign into your Lichess account at least 15 minutes before the advertised start time of round 1. Here is the link to Lichess sign in

    Step 2: Open the tournament home page

    • Each NSC Online tournament has it's own tournament home page. The link to the correct home page can be found on the website for the event, or provided as part of the registration process.
    • Open the tournament home page in your browser. This is where you will find everything you need for the tournament day.
    • Pairings for each round are published on the tournament home page. You can play your game by clicking on the lichess game link next to the pair where you are a player. As long as you are signed in to Lichess on the same device, you will be able to play the game.
    • If you click on a game link where you are not one of the players, you can watch the game as it happens (live games) or go through the moves of a finished game.
    • The page auto-refreshes every 2 minutes for any new announcements, result updates, or new round pairing. You can also manually refresh it anytime.
    • Any announcements for the tournament will appear on this page
    • If a player has any issues during the tournament and needs to contact the organiser, they can contact us using the "Contact Us" link in the header section (under the logo)
    More information on NSC Tournament home page...

    NSC Online Tournament Rules

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    We have configured the online tournament experience to be as simple for you as possible. However there are factors beyond our control which requires some rules and policies to be put in place. Please familiarise yourself with these rules as some of them are not part of your regular over-the-board chess tournament experience.

    Official games only

    Official games are the ones where Lichess game links are provided on the NSC Tournament Home Page for your event. Please only play games by clicking on the Lichess game links from the NSC Tournament Home Page. We monitor and record results of official games only.

    If you play a game that is not an official game (for examples, if you or your opponent create a game in Lichess with a manual challenge), it will not be counted for your tournament even if it means your official game is forfeited because it didn't get played


    Lichess has advanced cheat-detection algorithms monitoring all games, including NSC tournament games. These algorithms are tried and tested over years and millions and millions of games played on Lichess. If the algorithms detect what it considers to be clear evidence of cheating, your game will be forfeited and your account may be banned.

    If this happens, please note that there is nothing Northern Star Chess can do to reverse a ban. Banned players will be withdrawn from the current tournament and won't be able to play further games. Ban appeals will not be handled by NSC and must be taken to Lichess directly by the player

    Delayed-start forfeit

    We create the games for you automatically, with all the required settings including clock time. However, a Lichess game is not started until White makes a move and then Black makes a move - that is when the clock starts ticking. This ensures that a game will only start when both players are at their device and ready to start playing.

    Players with the move will have 5 minutes to make their first move, after that the tournament organiser may decide to forfeit the game with a loss for the player with the move.

    For examples, if neither players have made a move, then White is the player with the move. A delayed-start forfeit will mean that White loses on forfeit. However, if white has made a move then black is the player with the move - and the black player will lose on forfeit if a delayed-start forfeit is executed by the organiser.

    How to avoid risking a delayed-start forfeit:

    • keep an eye on round progress on the tournament page.
    • Stay around and wait for the next round games to start.
    • Ensure your computer or device is not muted and make sure the sound notification of the tournament home page is on. If you don't notice the next round games on the tournament home page, you should hear the notification that a new round is up.

    No-Show withdrawal

    Following a Delayed-start forfeit, the player who did not show up for their game will be withdrawn from the tournament if we cannot see any evidence that they are around to play their next game. It is unfair to include them in a following round if they are no longer playing, and cause their opponent to miss out on playing a game.

    If you missed a game but you are around to play the next round, you must contact us right away. We will keep you in the tournament as long as you will be playing your following games

    Time addition penalty

    Players on Lichess have the ability to add time to their opponent's clock during a game. Please note that for NSC tournaments THIS IS NOT ALLOWED. We can detect when someone has added time to their opponent's clock and may declare a loss to the offender. We make allowance for accidental clicks with a warning if you are new to online chess. However once a decision to declare a loss is made, the decision is final. So it is best to avoid clicking the "+" sign next to your opponent's clock