This season is different from any other season because we are only playing, coaching and interacting online (hopefully that will change before the end of the season!). But the good news is that we have many new players in the club who are keen to play competitive games. The ladder is a great way of promoting this.

Due to the specific nature of online play, I have updated some of the ladder rules.

The ladder system

At the beginning of the season all club members will be placed on the ladder based on their points, highest to lowest. The latest Ladder ranking list can be found here: If you have just joined the club or your name is not there, please contact Henk below.

Starting list criteria: #1 starts on 100 points; #2 and #3 = 99; #4 and 5 = 98; #6 and #7 = 97; #8 and #9 = 96; #10 – # 12 = 95; #13 – # 15 = 94 etc.

A win gives you +5 points, a draw means +1 point and losing means -3 points.

From round 2 onwards players are ranked in the following order: 1) highest points; 2) most games played; 3) highest rating; 4) alphabetically.

Who can play? The ladder is open to all Cork Chess Club members, both adult and junior players. New members can be easily integrated during the season.

Not a member yet? If you wish to become a member, please contact the secretary Sean J. Murphy or any member of the committee. The ladder administrator will then determine your starting points based on your rating and experience, so that you can start playing someone from your own level straight away, at any stage of the chess season.

To play online games, you have to sign up to a platform; we strongly recommend Lichess: because most Cork Club players have an account there, so it will be easier to arrange games.

Starting to play. You can start playing in the ladder at any stage during the season, because we make a new draw every week. There is no need to commit to a minimum number of games.

When to play? You can choose to play either on the Friday evening after the draw has been made (usually around 20:15), or in the weekend if that suits you better, in which case you have to organise a time with your opponent. For junior players there is a parent contact available.

The ladder administrator will make both the Friday evening and weekend draw by matching up players as close to their position on the ladder as possible.

Number of games: One game per week. Should there be an odd number of players we try to match up the odd one out with someone else, so that everybody gets a game.

Number of rounds. One round every week during the season (except for holiday periods).

When to enter for a particular round. Entries will be open on Friday only, until 8 PM, which is the time when the Friday evening and weekend draws will be made.

How to enter for a particular round. In one of 3 ways, by indicating the player’s name and playing preference: “Friday” or “Weekend”: 1) on either the Cork Chess Club or Cork Chess Coaching WhatsApp’s; 2) text Henk on 0874147328; 3) during the club Zoom meeting. You can use option 1) or 2) above for the result of the game.

The draw. The ladder administrator will make the “Friday” and “Weekend” draws around 8 PM every Friday. The higher player on the list will usually have White, unless there is a colour inbalance. Where possible you play someone no more than twice during a season (depending on availability) – the second time with reversed colours.

Online playing tempo. 45 mins + 15 second per move on Lichess classic (make sure that the game is rated). The player who has White challenges their opponent by clicking the “Challenges” button and entering the correct type of play (classic) and tempo. Make sure you both know the correct username.

Rating. Online games do not count towards your ICU-rating, so that includes ladder games. Results do count towards your Lichess rating of course.

Disputes will be dealt with by the ladder administrator in a fair manner; his/her decision will be final.

It is also a good idea to use the chat after the game is finished, to analyse with your opponent – but please remember to be always respectful in the chat.

If you have any further questions about the ladder, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me. I am happy to help.

Henk, chess coach and ladder administrator.
Ph: 087 4147328.