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Terms of Service

Welcome to Lichess!

This page explains our terms of use. When you use Lichess, you’re agreeing to all the rules on this page. Some of them need to be expressed in specific legal language but we’ve done our best to offer you clear and simple explanations of what everything means.

By using this website (the “Site”) and services (together with the Site, the “Services”) offered by Lichess.org (together with our subsidiaries, affiliates, representatives, and directors – collectively “Lichess”, “we”, or “us”) you’re agreeing to these legally binding rules (the “Terms”). You’re also agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy, and agreeing to follow any other rules on the Site, like our Fair Play rules (included below).

We may change these terms from time to time. If we do, we’ll let you know about any significant or material changes, by notifying you on the Site. New versions of the terms will never apply retroactively – we’ll tell you the exact date they go into effect. If you continue using Lichess after a change, that means you accept the new terms.

Introduction

We like to consider ourselves a digital version of a chess club. Users of the site are encouraged to use our services and content to develop their understanding of chess and to further the pursuit of chess as a whole. We actively want to foster our community’s development, enjoyment, and study of chess. We also want to hear what you think would add to your development and enjoyment, so feel free to contact us with suggestions at any time.

Lichess is a registered French charity. Lichess is open source, non-profit, mainly operated by volunteers, and funded by donations. A full breakdown of costs and expenses are publicised monthly, and can be viewed here.

Creating an Account

To sign up for a Lichess account, you need to be 16 or over. If you’re under 16, you can only use Lichess with child mode permanently enabled (LINK) or with parental-guardian supervision and consent. You’re responsible for your account and all the activity on it.

You can browse Lichess and use some of our Services without registering an account. But to use all of Lichess’ functions, you’ll need to register. This is done by choosing a username, setting a password, and securing it with a valid email address. If you don’t submit accurate information, you might not be able to access your account.

When you do that, the information you give us has to be accurate and complete. Don’t impersonate anyone else or choose names that are offensive or that violate anyone’s rights. If you don’t follow these rules, we withhold the right to close your account without warning.

When these terms discuss “Users” or a “User”, we’ll be referring to both registered and unregistered users, unless it relates to features, information or data an unregistered User does not or cannot have access to.

User Rights

Both registered and unregistered users have rights to protect their property, privacy, and identity unless they have consented or agree to making their identity public. Most information on this topic can be found in our Privacy Policy.

Lichess believes that users should have their public information, identity, and data protected as strongly as possible. We use European Union data protection law as our baseline, and in many respects go further than what the law requires. We’ve also chosen to extend these rights to all users, not just those under a European Union jurisdiction.

By agreeing to these Terms, registered Users can have access to all of Lichess’ features and are free to use them for their own personal, educational, charitable, or developmental purposes. Lichess itself is also free/libre open-source software licensed under the GNU AGPL. A User can read more about this in the license file. This doesn’t prevent Lichess from having the ultimate decision in what kind of use of the Services is appropriate.

Users are also free to transfer most of the content they’ve created for their own purposes. This can be done through your account settings to export the notation of games you’ve played on Lichess, and to get a copy of your created studies.

Some Users may want to play as a team for entertainment or educational purposes. If this is the case, the account must be clearly labelled so other Users have reasonable warning. This is also the case for playing User-developed engine accounts, which must clearly be marked “Bot”.

Users are responsible for the content they post. Some examples of content would include information, data, text, photographs, chocolate cake recipes, messages, and other materials. We won’t be responsible for the content you post.

Our Privacy Policy states which data Lichess will take from a User’s device and why it does. This data will only ever be in line with our legal obligations, being necessary and proportionate. A User can query what data Lichess has on them by making a Subject Access Request to the Lichess administrators.

In all circumstances, we may retain certain information as required by law or necessary for our legitimate operating purposes. All of the provisions within this agreement survive the termination of an account.

Fair Play and Community Guidelines

Users, both registered and unregistered agree to behave with good conduct whilst using Lichess’ Services. This will always be determined at Lichess’ discretion. Users who don’t behave with good conduct may have their account banned or closed without warning, and their content removed from the site. In all circumstances we withhold the right to ban or close an account for any reason without warning, and without having to provide evidence that Fair Play and Community Guidelines have been breached.

See the following for some examples of what you shouldn’t do.

1. Cheating. We define this as using any external assistance to strengthen your knowledge and, or, calculation ability to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent. Some examples would include computer engine assistance, opening books (except for correspondence games), endgame tablebases, and asking another player for help, although these aren’t the only things we would consider cheating.

2. Artificially inflating or deflating your rating. This is where a User purposefully loses, or has arranged with an opponent to win. As a result, the User’s rating will artificially increase or decrease.

3. Impersonation. Don’t pretend to be someone who you’re not. You’re welcome to use a pseudonym.

4. Breaking into accounts or Lichess servers, even if it’s as simple as just guessing a password. This activity is illegal, so the relevant authorities would also be notified. You are welcome to support Lichess by reporting security issues to us.

5. Harassing conduct or offensive language. If you aren’t sure whether to say something, think about how an objective outsider might view it. Harassment is a criminal act and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

6. Sharing copyrighted material. On some parts of the site you can share your own content with the public. Posting anything other than what you’ve made yourself, or have a fiduciary right to share is illegal. Users are responsible for what they post and share.

7. Abuse our infrastructure. Don’t take any action that imposes an unreasonable load on our infrastructure or on our third-party providers. We reserve the right to determine what is reasonable.

8. Spamming. Posting unsolicited messages like junk mail, chain letters, or just general spam is just frustrating for our Users, so don’t do it.

These are just some suggestions of what we would consider against the spirit of playing fairly in our community. This list is non-exhaustive and doesn’t detail all activity we can or will take action against. The final word is always with the administrators, and penalties will be applied at the administrators’ discretion.

Closing and Terminating your Account

You can close your account at any time. Closing your account won’t automatically make some content you’ve already posted be permanently erased. You can close your account through your settings.

You can terminate your account at any time by contacting the Lichess administrators. This will permanently erase your account and all content and data. Although we may retain certain information as required by law or as necessary for our legitimate operating purposes. All of the provisions within this agreement survive the termination of an account.

Our rights

To operate, we need to be able to maintain control over what happens on our website. To summarise, we withhold the right to make decisions to protect the health and integrity of our systems. We’ll only use these powers when we absolutely must.

We can make changes to the Lichess Site and Services without letting you know in advance, or being liable for any loss, damage, or harm that arises as a result.

We have the ultimate say in who can use our Site and Services. We can cancel accounts, or decline to let Users use our Services.

We are not responsible for any loss, damage, or harm that may arise from any occasional downtime.

We reserve the right to contact the relevant authorities if a User is breaking the law, and share relevant data with the authorities, if harm or damage occurs either against our Users or against the operation of our infrastructure.

We reserve the right to withhold financial awards or prizes from Users we suspect of cheating or breaching other Fair Play and Community Guidelines, without needing to justify when, where, or how that User did so.

This list is non-exhaustive, and we reserve the right to add, edit, or remove entries from it at any time.

Privacy

Our privacy policy describes how we handle the information you provide to us when you use our services. You understand that through your use of the services you consent to the collection and use, as set out in the privacy policy, of this information. Lichess currently follows European Data Protection, and applies these rights to users of all nationalities, not just European users.

Copyright

Lichess is licensed under the GNU AGPL license.

Lichess respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects Users of the Services to do the same. Lichess reserves the right to remove content alleged to be infringing without prior notice at our sole discretion and without liability to you. We will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement, that comply with applicable law and are properly provided to us, as described in our copyright policy.

If you believe your content has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement please alert us by contacting us at contact@lichess.org.

You retain your rights to any content you submit, post or create through the services including chess games. By submitting, posting or displaying content on or through our services, you grant us a global, non-exclusive, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such content in any and all media or distribution channels. Such additional uses may be made without compensation paid to you with respect to the content you make available through the services. This does not remove your rights from other 3rd party sites, such as Twitch or YouTube.

Donating

Users are free to donate to Lichess as a French Charitable Association. Lichess will receive all funds donated except where there are third party transaction fees.

Donation is a gift to Lichess, and is not an investment, a loan, nor does it imply any additional transfer of services other than a small visual aesthetic. Donations made fraudulently, in bank error or double transferred may be returned back to the donor's account or bank card which made the donation if requested within 14 days.

Stuff we’re not responsible for

Services made available are on an as is and as available basis. We’re not responsible for whether this stuff actually works, though if it does that’s an added bonus to all of us.

Lichess makes no warranty or representation and disclaims all responsibility and liability for the completeness, availability, timeliness, accuracy and security of the content and services.

We disclaim all responsibility for any harm or loss of any data to your computer system, the deletion of or failure to store or transmit communications or content maintained by the services or whether the services will meet your requirements or be available on an uninterrupted, secure or error-free basis. Lichess cannot be held responsible for any loss, financial or otherwise, from third party sources, including misrepresentations, negligence or fraud.

No advice, information or written correspondence whether oral or written procured from Lichess entities or through Lichess services will create any warranty or representation not expressly made herein.

Jurisdiction and the process to follow if you’re really upset with us

You agree to accept the law and jurisdiction of England and Wales by using our services.

If you have any dispute with us, relating to these Terms or by using our Services, try to contact us so we can informally resolve the dispute. If we’re unable to do so, we agree to go through arbitration at a place of our choosing. You’ll need to give us written notice, otherwise we won’t be able to help you.

In the event any provision of these terms is held to be invalid or unenforceable, then that provision will be limited to the minimum enforcement possible, and the remaining terms held with full effect.

These terms are an agreement between you and Lichess.

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Lichess on the lichess.org domain, and the official lichess.org mobile applications, will never knowingly host adverts. Lichess is not responsible for third party adverts, widgets and apps hosted by the service providers on its social media.

Premium accounts

Lichess will never create premium accounts.