The purpose of FICS is to provide a free, friendly, family orientated means
for chess enthusiasts to play chess and discuss topics of interest. When
abusive actions occur, FICS administrators have the authority to take steps
to stop these actions from occurring. Abusive actions are those which
interfere with the normal functioning of the server, the enjoyment of its
users, or which attempt to circumvent acceptable methods of resolving
situations. Breaking such rules opens oneself to possible sanctions.
Examples of abuse include, but are not limited to:
1. Harassment of users including harassment related to race, religion,
gender, sexual orientation, etc and discussion which promotes such
2. Harassing, threatening or abusing a staff member (administrator, SR, CA,
TM or someone who has been asked to act on their behalf) in the course of
3. Obscene communications - all public communications should be appropriate
if viewed by our youngest members (some as young as 8 years old).
5. Inappropriate discussion / buying / selling / promoting / organisation of
illegal activities or products. Illegal is defined under the terms of US
law: specifically the law applying in the state of Minnesota.
6. Making public accusations against other players (including in finger
or formula notes) including but not limited to accusations of abuse or
accusations of cheating.
7. Connecting to the server as a guest to get around censors or noplays
directed to your playing account by another player.
8. Using blindfold, team or other accounts including unregistered handles to
evade server sanctions that may have been imposed on you.
9. Using an account in a way other than it is intended for (e.g. playing
games with a blindfold account but having sight of the board via
guest observation, physical board, notes or by other means).
10. Imitating server messages or attempting to pass yourself off as a staff
11. Distributing, buying, selling, handling, or attempting to gain the
personal information of another person (including real name, email
address, password etc) without permission, or any server related file or
screen information which is not available to all registered users by
legal server means, or any server document or correspondence not intended
for general viewing. Attempting to obtain such information by deceit.
12. Giving (whether requested or not) or using assistance (whether other
players, books, articles, notes, databases or unauthorized computers (see
below)) while playing rated games with or without the opponents
permission, even if the opponent is a computer. This also extends to
unrated games unless the opponent has given their permission before the
game (though unauthorized computers may still not be used (see below)).
Unregistered users are exempt, but out of courtesy should inform their
opponent of the situation if it is not clear.
Assistance includes (provided by any means) move/plan suggestion,
position/move/plan evaluation and list of legal and illegal moves as well
as list of pieces protected or unprotected. In short, it includes any
information that can be used to make a move or set of moves during a game.
If you are using an interface that provides any information listed above,
you must disable it while playing on the server. The interface may provide
assistance in making a move (such easy to click/drag pieces, and/or a
pre-drag/pre-move option) but may not provide assistance in deciding a move
(such as displaying legal moves, making "smartmoves".)
It is legal (excluding with a blindfold account) to use a real or DGT (if
you can get the support) board to keep a copy of the position on (to view
instead of the screen). It is not legal, however, to move the pieces to
analyse moves that have not been played. Touch move rules are a grey area
(relying on one's honesty) as it is possible to 'hover' pieces on most
interfaces without committing to a move.
13. It is against server policy, when playing against computer accounts, to
play the same line repeatedly (e.g. to inflate your rating).
14. Using computer assistance as a registered user to play any games without
an authorized computer account. A registered account for computer use
must not be created by a user (the admins that authorize computer
accounts do this). If you believe that someone is obtaining computer
assistance or a an unauthorized computer is being used, please message
computerabuse with full details.
15. Throwing games or knowingly allow another user to throw games to you, or
agreeing results in advance, or aborting on purpose by disconnection to
avoid rating changes.
16. Disconnecting from a game and refusing to resume in order to avoid
losing, or for the purpose to analyse the game. Adjudicate, not abuse,
handles disconnection abuse. Read "help adjudicate" for more information.
17. Flooding other users with tells, match requests or other forms of
communication including messages known as spamming. This includes
spamming official server accounts with email or messages.
18. Denial of service attacks, hacking, hijacking, attempting to guess other
users' passwords, exploitation of / promotion of how to exploit bugs in
or via the server (or server related) software, hardware, operating
system, network, Internet, Internet Service Provider etc.
Misuse of the ftp or web site or any other services provided.
19. Tampering with timeseal or interface code to facilitate cheating, or
development of such cheating facilities including distributing the
20. Letting other people use your account, informing others of your password
or leaving your account in a state which others may use it (such as
saving passwords on insecure mediums or being logged in when away from
the keyboard on a communal machine).
21. Including personal tells in notes without permission.
22. Creating unauthorized duplicate accounts or helping others create them.
23. Inciting, encouraging or helping other users to commit acts of abuse
Note in all the above 'computer' is refering to a chess engine / computer
chess program, not the machine used to access the server.
If you witness any of these actions or any other action that you believe
meets the definition of abuse given above, then you should take one of the
1. Add your opponent to your censor or noplay lists (see help censor and
help noplay). This is almost always the best solution to problems between
2. Contact any online server administrator.
3. Send a message to 'abuse' or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining
the situation (except where indicated above for reports of abuse to
adjudicate or computerabuse).
**Retaliating against an abuser by taking abusive actions yourself is never
acceptable and will only make you an abuser as well.**
If you engage in abusive behaviour, then one or more of the following will
likely occur depending on the severity of your infraction:
1. A warning from a server administrator.
2. A server sanction will be imposed. For example this may restrict your
ability to communicate on the server (either in channels or shouts). You
may be restricted to playing unrated games. Your notes may be hidden for
3. Being banished from the server.
4. A complaint from FICS to your internet service provider. This means your
school or work place could be contacted if that is where you are connecting
from. This could also mean a parent or legal gardian be notified if you
are underaged, as well as the person owning the internet service you are
using if it is not you.
5. A complaint filed with local authorities in extreme cases such as hacking
if it is determined a criminal act was committed.
In addition, you should be aware that sanctions are recorded and will
normally increase incrementally as a result should you reoffend.
If you believe that you have been wrongly punished for abuse or have been
given a harsher punishment than you deserved, then you may email an appeal
to the server abuse committee at email@example.com
adjournments adjudicate admins censor disconnection noplay ratings
Last Modified: 25 August 2009 abuse