FICS Teamleague


Teamleague Forum

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posted at 2014-04-21 12:08 by tseltzer


In the announcement on the home page, it states:

New players are encouraged to read the Player's Handbook, which can be found under the Documents tab. Most importanty, remember to set your password via FICS, using the command "tell teamleague set password", and start all teamleague games with "tell teamleague play".

To encourage new players to do that, could you instead just make it a link to:


posted at 2014-04-21 19:50 by jaberwock

Not a bad suggestion. Thanks!

posted at 2014-04-21 19:53 by JoshuaR

Perhaps relevant for various team captains out there, on this introductory note:

(Below is my old TL Essentials post on MFO, sadly all the internal MFO links will no longer work (and disappear on just a straight copy paste. you also lose the bold/italic/etc.), adapt this post for your team as necessary, if you would like)

1. Join Teamleague!

"Tell teamleague join" - Login at FICS and issue this command. This will allow you to be inserted on a team.
"Tell teamleague set password " - That is the password you will use to log in the teamleague website. You can alter your password whenever you want using the same command.
"Tell teamleague set email " - too. That will make all messages from teamleague to be sent to your mailbox. Alternatively, you can set your fics variable "Set mailmess 1" so that all fics messages are sent from FICS to you email box.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SETTING YOUR EMAIL, AS THIS WILL ALLOW ALL REPLIES IN YOUR SCHEDULING FORUM TO BE FORWARDED TO EMAIL SO THAT YOU CAN SCHEDULE YOUR GAMES QUICKLY. I'LL DISCUSS SCHEDULING SHORTLY. Having FICS mail your messages is also very useful, for if I or anyone else cannot get ahold of you, we can simply send you a FICS message "message user message goes here" and you will see it in your email.

2. Join MFO and TL channels, and add all of the MFO players to your notify list!

"+ch 101" joins the TL channel. This is also where you might inquire about TL related matters, say if your fixed rating hasn't yet been assigned, or you want to ask a TD about something.

"+ch 123" joins MFO's unofficial channel. This is where we can all hang out when we want a game of bughouse, or to talk about a game, or just so we don't open fifty chat windows at once. Note that we have a lot of players, and it's much easier to chat with everyone at once than in separate windows.

"+notify JoshuaR" adds me to your notify list, which is basically FICS' version of a friends list. Add all of your teammates to this list so that you know when they are online to get a game with or just discuss anything!

3. Monitor MFO (this place here) for scheduling and board assignments.

This is you primary communication hub with fellow teammates. You will want to explain when you are available for games, busy, happy, sad, excited, your girlfriend dumped you, whatever. We also encourage you to share games, analysis, advice, girlfriend advice, etc. There will be a tournament Scheduling and Results thread pinned to the top of this forum. Be sure that you let your Captain know whenever you will be busy or unable to play in a week's round!

Beyond that, again, feel free to share other chess thoughts, news, peruse the other forums at MFO (join CyberNations, haha). We have a nifty correspondence chess setup here as well as nifty diagram wizards, video insertion tools, pgn converters, and a posted game section (thanks Buti_Oxa!).

Here's an example game (I randomly chose game 50, whatever that turns out to be)

Here's an example diagram

Click to analyze

4. When it is your week to play, monitor Teamleague

Visit (see link at top right, the pawns). There will be a Game Forum that you will sign into (remember your password, when you first joined Teamleague). You will communicate with your opponent here.

Each Tuesday night, pairings will go up, and your new game forum will open. You will offer three or more times when you are available in that week, attempting to keep in mind your opponent's time zone. Your opponent will do the same. And together, you will agree on a match time. You must post your offers in FICS server time zone (Pacific Standard Time). (Note, your deadline for contacting your opponent is Thursday night!)

Dear Opponent,
I will offer the following times:
Wednesday April 7, 2100-2200 FICS
Thursday April 8, 0900-1200 FICS
Saturday April 10, 0900-1400 FICS

In that very forum, you can then set the time for your match, and Buti_Oxa's clever Upcoming Threads post will grab them, letting all your teammates know when you play so that we can all cheer you on! Please peruse the Scheduling section of the Player Handbook, it is very important that you are familiar with this procedure.

The Teamleague site also has the Player's Handbook, which I suggest you peruse.

You can also chat with other TLers on the Teamleague forum, view the various teams you are competing against and when other matches are scheduled, you can see the standings, the previous results, records of the games, etc.

5. Fun suggestion, add the Teamleague plugin for Babaschess

If you use Babaschess to play chess on FICS, I recommend you download the Teamleague plugin written by crem. It reports for you when games are occurring, upcoming games, pairings, standings, etc. It's a great addition to Babaschess.

6. And please, feel free to use this forum to post your games, analysis, and comments.

We love to hear how you did afterwards. And you probably like to know, too. Good news, a FICS player has written the ultimate FICS bot for long games like Teamleague: Watchbot. This little robot will observe your long games and copy all comments made by other players whispering throughout. Even me, a lowly 1500 player, gets to hear top tier players like Funkmaus comment on my games. This might even be your first stop in post-game analysis, so definitely, visit the Watchbot page to check out your games.

And again, feel free to post about your games or others. Here's an example of one of my own games: And in that thread, you get an idea for the power of MFO's systems. I incorporate Watchbot analysis, video, and chess diagrams. (You don't have to do all of that, but it's available.) I didn't include in that post clickable pgn games, which you can see in paceytallblack's post here: And I didn't include a copy of the game on MFO's servers, which you can see in this post by Samurai_Goroh:

7. For your own reference, tools to beat your opponent

Now, because you know who you are playing in advance, you have the ability to do some research before your game. You can investigate their favorite openings, their style, where they go right, where they are strong, or where they are weak. Two great ways to do this research are:

a. Watchbot, again. This is very useful in that you can focus in on only slow, long, rated games. And you can even see comments along the way, perhaps from your opponent in self-analysis! An invaluable resource. These games are almost always composed entirely of League games, so you will get a great idea about the opponent's repertoire.
b. FICSGames. This database contains every single game you or any other player has played on FICS. Obviously, the statistics abound. You can check out standard charts, charts for commonly used openings, success rate with different openings, and a history of all the games a player has played, blitz, standard, whatever.
c. Practice and seek advice from fellow MFOers! I needed help with the modern defense, so I asked the experts:

8. Teamleague Bot Essentials, Playing your game!

When it comes time to actually play your game, you DO NOT challenge your opponent to a normal FICS game. Instead, you start your match using the Teamleague Bot, enabling your game to be recorded and updated on the Teamleague web site. Here are the bare-bones essential commands you will use:

"tell teamleague play" when you want to play your scheduled game. I suppose that if you have multiple pending games, you would want to be more specific and "tell teamleague play gameID", but "tell teamleague play" suffices for most games.

And that's it, that's the only essential Teamleague Bot command you need to know. A few other useful commands...

"tell teamleague check handle" when you want to check a player's fixed rating, say for forming teams
"tell teamleague finger handle" when you want to check a player's performance rating in TL
"tell teamleague vars" when you want to see your own rating and reliability, and some other variables that I don't really understand like "height"...

An amazing command that helps you never miss a teammate's game
"tell teamleague +autoob playerName" and whenever that player starts or resumes a TL game, you will begin observing that game.

9. Okay, that's all I can think of for the moment. Good luck, have fun, and become a part of Team MFO history!

posted at 2014-04-21 20:52 by jaberwock

We may plagiarize (research) this. Thanks.