List of rules for NSC Online Tournaments

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. Meanwhile, you have probably lost your official game on time since you spent that time playing the wrong game.

Clock start policy

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. At this point, the clock for the game is activated.

NSC gives the players with the move 2 minutes to make their first move from when pairing is published for that round. After 2 minutes of publishing the pairing on the tournament home page, we will manually start the clocks of any games which have not yet started. A player who doesn't make their move on their turn will lose on time once their clock counts down to zero

How to avoid losing on time:

  • Keep an eye on round progress on the tournament page. The "Pairings" tab has an indication at the top showing how many games are still going
  • 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

If we notice a player has consistently lost on time without making a move, we may withdraw this player 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


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