Rules & Reporting


Last updated: Aug 1, 2020

Game Rules

Pieces move the same way as in regular chess and castling is also the same. The game may be played with or without en-passant captures.


  1. The players across from each other form a team: Red+Yellow and Blue+Green.
  2. The game starts with Red and turns continue in clockwise order: Red, Blue, Yellow, Green.
  3. A teammate's pieces cannot be captured.
  4. A player's pieces are never absolutely pinned to a teammate's king, i.e. a player may move a piece out of the way, leaving his teammate in discovered check by an enemy piece.
  5. Pawns promote to queens on the 11th row from each player's perspective.
  6. Checkmate only takes effect when a player's turn is reached, allowing a player's teammate to intervene.
  7. The first team to checkmate one of the opposing team's players wins the game.
  8. The game is a draw in case of stalemate, insufficient material, three-fold repetition or the 50-move rule.
  9. When resigning or timing out on the first move, a player loses rating and the game is aborted.
  10. After disconnecting, a player has 60 seconds to reconnect or he will automatically forfeit the game on time.
  11. The standard time control is 1 minute with a 15-second delay each move.

Free-For-All (FFA)

  1. The goal is to finish with the highest amount of points of all players. Points can be earned in the following ways:
    • Checkmating an opponent (+20)
    • Stalemating yourself (+20)
    • Capturing active pieces: king (+20), queen (+9), rook (+5), bishop (+5), knight (+3), pawn (+1), promoted queen (+1)
    • Checking two players simultaneously: without a queen (+5) / with a queen (+1)
    • Checking three players simultaneously: without a queen (+20) / with a queen (+5)
  2. Pieces become inert when a player is eliminated and they no longer award any points when captured.
  3. Pawns promote to 1-point queens on the 8th row from each player's perspective.
  4. When a player resigns or times out, their army will become “dead” but their king remains "live" and will continue to move until checkmated or stalemated. Points for stalemated resigned kings are shared among all remaining players. The last remaining player will be given +20 for each king of all resigned or timed out players that is still on the board.
  5. The game ends when three players have been eliminated. The player with the most points wins the game. (Note that this is not necessarily the last remaining player.)
  6. In some cases a player may claim a win or the server will auto-claim a win, if that player cannot be surpassed in points anymore (see Claim Win and Auto-claim).
  7. In case of insufficient material, three-fold repetition or the 50-move rule, the remaining players receive +10 points each.
  8. When resigning or timing out before having made at least four moves AND if no player has points yet AND the resigning or timed out player is not in check, that player loses rating and the game is aborted. In case of custom starting positions or time controls of one minute or less without increment, a game is aborted if a player resigns or times out on the first move.
  9. After disconnecting, a player has 60 seconds to reconnect or he will automatically forfeit the game on time.
  10. The standard time control is 1 minute with a 15-second delay each move.

Rules of Conduct

  1. A player shall NOT use multiple accounts to play a four-player chess game (self-partnering). Having multiple accounts is against the Terms and Conditions of
  2. A player shall NOT publicly accuse another player on the forum when suspecting a violation of the rules. A report can be sent using the Report option from the player's info pop-up window (see Reporting Violations below).
  3. A player shall NOT use any abusive or vulgar language, personal attacks, threats or display any other unkind behaviour, nor shall a player spam or advertise, start religious or political debates or discuss illegal activities.
  4. In the FFA variant, a player shall NOT attempt to influence another player's decisions via chat (rule-violating chat). This includes:
    • Begging for points to obtain a higher position in the final game ranking.
    • Offering points to other players to give them a higher position in the final game ranking.
    • Suggesting moves to other players or discussing moves when it may still affect the gameplay. (Note: during a game it is allowed to discuss moves after the fact, when it no longer has any influence on the gameplay.)
    • Revealing intentions to other players that may influence the gameplay.
    • Asking or proposing to collude with another player.
  5. A player shall NOT intentionally and frequently abandon, abort or throw games to obtain a lower rating (sandbagging) or to make a teammate lose rating (in the Teams variant), nor shall a player intentionally abandon games in lost positions (poor sportsmanship).
  6. In the Teams variant, a player shall NOT partner with a sandbagged teammate to gain more rating points.
  7. In the FFA variant, players shall NOT go out of their way to get into games together and consistently play in a way that benefits one or both of them (prearranged teaming / collusion), nor shall players use the chat to collude.

Breaking any of the aforementioned rules may result in a temporary or permanent chat- or play-ban or even a club-ban, depending on the case.

Reporting Violations

How to report?

The preferred way to report a player is by using the Report option from the player's info pop-up window. This can be done during a game, after a game has finished or later from the Archive by clicking the player's name and subsequently clicking the Report icon, "(!)" (see image below).

When reporting a player from within a game, the following dialog window will be shown:

Check the box(es) of the player(s) involved in the rule violation and select the appropriate report reason. (Note: do NOT send separate reports for each player.) Optionally, use the message field to give further details related to the case. When choosing "Other" as reason, please make sure to specify a reason in the message field.

It is also possible to report a player from outside a game, in which case the dialog window will look as follows:

Please, only do this if the report is not related to a specific game. Otherwise, report a player from within the game (either live or from the Archive) or at least mention the game number(s), such that admins can review the game(s).

(Alternatively, reports can be sent the old way, using the Report Abuse option from the Help menu. In that case, please, do not forget to mention the game number(s) in your report.)

When (not) to report?

Most reports that come in actually turn out to be unjustified and are rejected after review. Unjustified reports not only give admins more work, but it also means that it takes more time before justified reports are handled and acted upon. Therefore, please make sure your report is justified before you send it. If you are found sending too many unjustified reports, you may even get a report timeout, meaning you cannot send reports for some time.

So, which cases are report-worthy and which are not?

  • Offensive chat / Spamming
    • Report
      • Players who frequently or continuously use abusive / vulgar language. (*)
      • Players who harass or threaten other players.
      • Players who flood the chat with spam.
    • Do NOT report
      • Players who, in the heat of the moment, use an offensive word or insult, e.g. "idiot" (when a player makes a bad move).
  • Rule-violating chat (FFA)
    • Report
      • Players who beg for points, e.g. "I just need 5 points", "let me take your bishop", "give me 2nd place", etc.
      • Players who offer points, e.g. "you can have my rook", "I'll give you 2nd place", etc.
      • Players who suggest (good) moves, e.g. "check Red", "the knight is hanging", "mate in 2", etc.
      • Players who reveal their intentions, e.g. "I won't take your queen", "I will only attack Blue", etc.
      • Players who (plan to) collude, e.g. "let's attack Green", "support my rook", etc.
    • Do NOT report
      • Players who, during the game, discuss previous moves or positions that no longer have any influence on the gameplay, e.g. "missed mate on Yellow", "the queen was hanging", "Ne10 was better", "you shouldn't have let Red promote", etc.
      • Players who suggest clearly bad moves to others.
      • Players who offer points for 2nd place in a position where claiming a win would give the other player 2nd place anyway.
      • Players who sacrifice material for no apparent reason.
      • Players who tell others to resign or claim a win.
  • Abandoning games / Sandbagging
    • Report
      • Players who have a bad habit of disconnecting in lost positions. (*)
      • Players who intentionally and frequently abandon, abort or throw games to lower their rating. (*)
      • Players who intentionally and frequently resign prematurely and throw games to spoil other players' games or make them lose rating (Teams). (*)
    • Do NOT report
      • Players who lose connection or time out in a single game. There could be many valid reasons why players abandon a game. Some players may simply have a bad connection.
      • Players who resign in (what they believe is) a losing position (Teams). It shows good manners to ask a teammate first before resigning, but if a player chooses to resign in a losing position, that is not report-worthy. Sometimes a player may also mistakenly assess a position to be losing.
  • Self-partnering
    • Report
      • Players who you suspect to be playing with two accounts in a game to gain an unfair advantage. (*)
    • Do NOT report
      • Players who gang up on another player. This does not mean it is one and the same person using multiple accounts. When suspecting collusion, report players for prearranged teaming instead.
  • Prearranged teaming (FFA)
    • Report
      • Players who make an effort to get into games together and consistently play in a way that benefits one or both of them. Note: this means it has to be apparent from the players' game history that they frequently play together to collude. (*)
      • Players who use the chat to collude and coordinate moves and attacks against other players.
    • Do NOT report
      • Players who take advantage of other players' attacks and threats or temporarily cooperate in a non-arranged way for mutual benefit. This is an inherent part of the game and is allowed. It is often simply the natural result of a player's position having weaknesses or being inadequately defended.

In the cases marked with (*), please check multiple games first in the Archive to confirm your suspicion before you send a report. In these cases admins will NOT take action against players based on just a single game.

How to use the Archive?

The Archive can be found in the menu on the right, next to the Leaderboard (see image below). In the Archive you can look up all previously played games of all players.

The Archive can be a very useful aid to check if a player is breaking rules on a regular basis or if it was just a one-time violation. You can refine your search by applying filters, using the Advanced search option, which can be accessed by clicking the icon on the right (see images below).

You can specify a second player to list the games that two players played together. A quick look at their shared game history may reveal whether they frequently play together and collude or not. If your suspicion is confirmed, you can send your report, including any game numbers of other games to support your case.

To quickly go through multiple archived games, you can use the Previous/Next arrows in the bottom right corner (see image below). This way you can easily find out if, for example, a player frequently uses abusive language, spams or abandons, aborts or prematurely resigns games.

The number of aborted games is also shown when hovering the mouse over the number of games in a player's info pop-up window.

Any help is appreciated!

Keep in mind that 4-Player Chess is moderated by volunteers who dedicate some of their spare time to keeping the games free from cheaters and unwanted behaviour. Any help is always welcome, but we ask that you please only send reports of which you are certain they are justified and do not report every single minor offence. That way we can focus on the serious violations and keep 4-Player Chess enjoyable for everyone!


The goal of the administrators of four-player chess is to provide an enjoyable experience for all players.  We have young players, older players, and players from all over the world who speak all sorts of languages. Thus while we wish to allow everyone their freedom of speech in chat, this is a private organization and not a public forum. The following rules of decorum should thus be always followed during chat in four player chess, particularly when playing, and particularly in rated games:


Offensive Chat

Keeping in mind that we have players that speak all sort of languages, and who are young and old; please keep your language clear and decent. Foul language should be avoided, including idioms that might be perceived as foul language. Using *** or spaces between letters to avoid spelling out a word/phrase is a good indication that you should not be using that word/phrase in chat.

It is forbidden to castigate another player based on their status as a new player (or old player, for that matter), the country they come from, the language they speak, etc.

Highly Offensive Chat

It is forbidden to use four player chess chat for sexual activity: including both sexual solicitation and sexual harassment.

It is forbidden to use or hint at racial or religious slurs in chat.

It is forbidden to ‘dox’ other players: ie reveal or discuss their private/personal information: such as where they live, who their spouse is, what their political affiliation is, etc.


Teaming Chat

It is forbidden to request or accept a request to team in four player FFA or solo chess. This applies for a given move or for the whole game. It also includes suicide talk, such as, “I’m so mad at red I’m just going to go whole hog against him for the rest of the game.” (It isn’t forbidden to be mad at red, or to go against him. It is only forbidden from announcing that in chat, and thus giving the other players the advantage of knowing your moves will be against red.)

It is forbidden to suggest a move in FFA; even if it is not a matter of teaming. This includes pointing things out, such as ‘Hey, Red’s queen is just hanging there’. Why don’t you resign?’ Or ‘claim victory’ are allowed but not encouraged.

It is allowed to say ‘It’s your turn!” Or “Hurry up and move!”. Moves may be fully discussed after they are no longer relevant, particularly after the game.


Spamming Chat

To ‘spam’ chat means to post multiple meaningless chat messages. It is very annoying and distracting to other players. If someone is doing it, mute them. Please only report them if they are following you from game to game and doing it repetitively.



Reporting Chat

The first step when a player is being annoying should be to mute them.

The first step when a player is chatting illegally should be to the /stop-chat command immediately. Do not let illegal chat continue.

Do not threaten to report another player. If you believe that they have chatted illegally you should report them, but you should not use the threat of a report. If you merely wish to warn them about illegal chat, in an effort to inform and get them to stop, then you should merely say, “That kind of chat is illegal, please stop.” Instead of saying  ‘that kind of chat’ it might helpful to be more specific: “suggesting teaming is illegal”, “suggesting moves is illegal”.

It is forbidden to use your relationship with an administrator to threaten another player or to discourage them from reporting you.

Please don’t use the reason ‘other’ when reporting chat. Chat violations fall under ‘illegal’ or ‘offensive’.

Turnabout may be fair play, but it doesn't work here. If someone else is swearing at you, or otherwise being offensive, don't be offensive back. And especially don't then report it! Cause I will chat ban both of you!


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