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Terms of Service

INTRODUCTION // Acceptance of terms

This Terms of Service is written informally, deliberately. By using lichess.org (the site), you agree to all of the terms below.

PREAMBLE // Description of service

The site is like a digital social chess club. Visitors are encouraged to play chess with other visitors, communicate with other players, practice and train chess against the Stockfish engine and be an active member of the community.

Although you can play chess without registering an account, you will need to register an account if you want to use all the functionality lichess offers.

This means, users with any directly offensive, derogatory or defamatory usernames will be banned without notice.

The site is designed to be available to all. However, if you are under the age of 13, you will need permission from your parent or guardian to join, and they are liable for your conduct. The site is not liable for private communications sent, or public ones on the forum.

The site is open source and run by volunteers. As such, occasional downtime may occur, which can affect these services.

BODY // User conduct

By entering the site, you agree that you may see content that the creators are not liable for, such as on the forum. It is incredibly unlikely, but you may come across objectionable content. We expect you to not post anything illegal, or anything against the letter or spirit of the terms.

Although the site believes very strongly in free speech, there are a number of things which will, eventually, result in a ban.

1. Cheating. This comes in various forms. Cheating is anything that gives you an unfair advantage over a human player, and includes opening books, computer engines, and having a friend help you. You may use these for training, or against Stockfish.

As an exception, it is accepted to play as a team, where the team has a distinct account, explicitly stating its nature:

  • In bullet tournaments, where effective consultation is impossible
  • In custom tournaments created by the team account
  • In private challenges and lobby games, with the opponent explicit consent


2. Another form of cheating is sandbagging. There is no purpose to sandbagging on this site (purposefully playing worse than you are so that you can play in lower ranked tournaments), but it is banned nonetheless.
3. Another form of cheating is artificially boosting your rating. To do this, you may have used alternate accounts that you own, and intentionally lost against them. This is boosting, and is against our terms.

In all 3 of these rules, the Moderators will act to their discretion, but you will most likely be marked as an engine, and if it persists, be IP banned.

4. Harassing other players is against the terms. Be nice. Don't write a message you wouldn't want your mother to see. This is chess, it's a game.

The Moderators will generally have a quiet word with you if you do this, but if you continue, you may be muted or banned.

5. Stealing, or breaking into other players accounts is strictly forbidden, and those who do it will be IP banned, and have their information given to the authorities in their jurisdiction - it is illegal.

The Administrative team can change these terms at their discretion.

OTHER // Premium services

Lichess is a free website. By creating an account you will have unlimited (within acceptable use) access to the full suite of features lichess has to offer. There are no "paid for premium services" and we intend to keep it that way.