Lichess banned atrophied

Rules are supposed to serve people not the other way around. Rules are supposed to serve the community as well as mods and developers. Rules can not be ideal. Laws of every country are always changing. If following the rule will only have bad consiquencies for everyone, then why follow it?

I don't have all the facts (and pretty much none of you do either). This user's status as a streamer, crazyhouse idol, contributions to the game, etc. are irrelevant to the issue. Also, whether or not someone else "got away with something" is irrelevant to this issue (though, obviously, a separate discussion might be warranted for those incidents). What is relevant is that very few people know the 100% truth no matter how you "feel" about whether he "would" do something. People do things others feel they "wouldn't" every minute of every day.

I'm fairly confident that the lichess mods are actual humans trying to do their best in a difficult situation. Yes, actual humans make mistakes, even when they are trying not to. I hope if one has been made here that it gets ironed out quickly. Since I don't know everything I need to about the situation, that's the best I can do.

Let me just start off by saying that I in no way, shape or form condone or encourage one's abuse/misuse of a public website and it's respective rules and regulations -- whether said behavior was either *alleged* -- or confirmed without any shadow of reasonable doubt whatsoever.

That said, after having heard from Nikolas' own perspective on the very matter itself -- along with I myself and *many* others here on this site and elsewhere *firmly* believing him to have consistently been more-or-less a fair and honest player during the course of his time spent both playing & coaching online (with his main, previously-reputable & prestigious "Atrophied"-account) -- it really saddens me more than I initially thought it would -- to see a decent fellow like this end up in the current predicament he's in. As more and more time has passed for many of us who have mainly been on the outside peering inward, we've all pretty much have been able to sort of dwell on some of the apparent dynamics of the situation in question during the course of these two-to-three days or so since the first bit of news regarding Mr. Theiss' indefinite ban was made public -- all the while still not really, truly knowing *any* of the specifics that were involved in precipitating an eventual investigation and subsequent ban being carried out.

In direct response to some individuals -- such as user "lilyhollow", for example -- who personally feel as though other members here within this specific forum-thread have somehow made the implication that... just because of one's relative stature/weight, influence, reputation and contributions made (however large or small the contributions are ultimately valued to be), they are by virtue of their merits entitled... or eligible/deserving of being either partially excused and/or absolved of any guilt or wrongdoing committed, or all-together absolved of an alleged offense or series of offenses committed for that matter, I do understand where you and maybe some others here are coming from with those particular sentiments expressed, yet I tend to disagree as it pertains to some of those who have chimed-in on this specific situation here.

Indeed: similar to Justin Tan and all he himself has done (and continues faithfully, selflessly doing!) for the true betterment of the game of crazyhouse -- namely in being a very good ambassador for the game itself, helping to welcome many new, uninitiated individuals all across the world on over to the variant he so dearly loves, cherishes and respects -- Nikolas has undoubtedly, unquestionably been very much instrumental, influential and darn-near invaluable -- for those of us within the online crazyhouse (and chess also, to a lesser extent of course, it should be noted) community and abroad who happen to take both the variant of zh and one's own self-improvement with it... very seriously, or seriously-enough anyways. And, this extends on down to the vast majority of us relative "average joes" and everyone else in between including those who are just discovering the variant for the first time themselves... who maybe aim to get better at their own measured pace, or if nothing else just feel the inspiration/motivation to become involved and participate in this wonderful variant and it's respective community -- thanks in large-part to the efforts of kind souls like Justin & Nikolas.

I'd go as far as saying that a great deal of what Mr. Theiss has done on the whole for the zh community -- and on the greater whole with respect to the entire zh community online, globally -- has been almost nothing short of classy, genuine and professional -- all the while doing all this while possessing some degree of competitive-integrity and respect for the game itself... along with a good deal of selflessness also. This, paired-together with much of the facts... or overall side of his story regarding some or most of the events that had transpired leading up to his ultimate banishment from the site, *imho* really at the very least deserved *some* measure of consideration... before a thorough investigation into a matter ended up being carried out -- and without those in power feeling the sudden compulsion to be quite so zealous/vigilant towards seeking a rather-swift and needlessly-brutal punishment levied towards him -- depending on the actual gravity and seriousness of the situation in question -- nor necessarily feeling inclined to want to grant the young man an immediate, full or partial-reinstatement of his account here either. At least attempt to try and strike some sort of balance, meanwhile also extending to one a little bit of common courtesy and the benefit of a doubt -- instead of giving-in to other motives, factors and so on.

But... all of that being said, the mod/admin team evidently still stands by there initial decision/judgement on the matter. How truly unfortunate this has all been, for such an individual -- among a handful of other, recently-banned yet likely-innocent, decent players (and people too, by-and-large) also...

I don't know Nikolas personally at all, nor do I have my own sort of "bone to pick" with regards to how just... or unjust (if in fact true) the eventual handling of his situation turned out to be. In general, I'd just like to see some measure of consistency being carried out in response to matters like this, all across the board for *everyone*. That, along with there also maybe being from this point forward (hopefully sometime sooner rather than later for we, the citizens) some greater clarity shed on just what exactly is tolerable... or acceptable, and what it is truly not, within the site T.o.S. for *all* of it's privileged members... titled or not, famous or not, influential... or not -- all would be appreciated... and ultimately, maybe worth some real, serious consideration.

In light of a high-profile situation such as this particular one and it's overall impact on not just the individual in question who suffered the consequences of their *alleged* (or confirmed) actions/non-actions, but also the entire community itself -- going forward -- this would seem to be maybe the most prudent, sensible way to proceed onward from a matter like this here. And... that's pretty that there, basically... as far as g'ma here is concerned. ;-)

This whole tangent of sorts I've seemed to have gone on thus far here... has admittedly been quite lengthy and excessive; my sincerest apologies to all for that! In closing, I warmly, sincerely extend Nikolas my heartfelt thoughts, condolences and so on for what has surely been a more-than-unpleasant series of events for the young man... all the while taking place within such a relatively-short period of time. I really do sympathize with you regarding your individual plight in all of this, and how you yourself (and many others here who've come to your defense for the most part) feel as though this all could have been handled a bit more smoothly, courteously and so forth. You sir, have my absolute best wishes towards hopefully finding an adequate resolution to this whole fiasco, along with in general being able to in spite of this all... still keep moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other while continuing to have life itself and your true, best interests at heart... all in mind.


So I'm not ancient but I'm old enough to try to offer a little perspective. I'm not a good player and I never will be. I learned what I know of this game from watching Atro's and then Jann's streams. When I enjoy some small degree of success it is due in no small part to the generous contributions that players like them made to the community. So when a member like that is banned for opaque transgressions it is big deal to players like me and it is incumbent on the mods to explain the ruling clearly. I am confident that everyone is working hard and acting in good faith, but that doesn't mean that incorrect judgements cannot be reached.

For starters, I would like to separate the question of excluding someone from an individual tournament from a lifetime ban. In my opinion, anyone who is doing the thankless work of tournament organizing should have the discretion to exclude problematic players for subjective reasons. But banning someone from the site entirely should involve a much higher degree of infraction and burden of proof.

This is especially true with regards to sandbagging claims because of the particular problems that the Lichess tournament structure poses to traditional notions of what ratings measure. When playing on Lichess, there is an inherent tension between max performance rating and winning tournaments which requires risking that rating by berserking. That tension significantly decouples the measurement from the traditional notion of playing strength. If we are going to construct tournaments based on rating we need to acknowledge the theoretical problem from the outset with a tacit understanding by those participating that lichess ratings are a flawed approximation of player strength but good enough for our purposes.

This should have been a simple hurdle to clear. The stakes are low. We are all friends here...form Voltron and let's play some team ZH. But such a plan needed good will on behalf of the players to create enough slack to overlook the theoretical inconsistencies. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and when perfectly rationally motivated players tried to (legally) form teams to exploit the gap between player strength and lichess ratings other groups of players (legitimately) took umbrage with those imbalances and it was left to TO/mods to sort it out. That led down a slippery slope to trying to determine whether certain players ratings fluctuated because they berserked/tilted or whether they were deliberately sandbagging.

Any reasonable judgement of this difficult grey area would have been fine if it had been confined to the rightful domain of tournament disqualification. But losing several decent community members to this mess is unacceptable unless the violations were clear and indisputable. As of now, that is not the case.

Bottom line...forget the tournament...does anyone seriously think that the lichess community is better off without players like Atrophied? No? Then it must be acknowledged that people with the best of intentions can lose perspective and arrive at bad outcomes. But lichess is a remarkable site, built by thoughtful and dedicated people, and supported by a strong community. I have every confidence that reasonable judgements will prevail in the end.

If he's guilty of what I suspect is the actual issue here (and I suspect it's not sandbagging that's really the issue), then yes, I think the lichess community would be better off without him and any other player that did it.

@ Oblio19: Well stated.

I pretty much agree with just about everything you expressed within your recent forum-post submitted here just about a half-hour or so ago today. ;-)

@PhillipTheTank how about you say then what you think "is the actual issue", when it's not sandbagging? I can't pull too much out of this mystery statement.