Coronado Chess Club

Choose your move carefully in chess as in life. -unknown
The Ladder
 

The club utilizes a Ladder mechanism to rank the kids in the club.

The primary goal of the ladder is to get kids with equal playing strength paired up.

a player wins on board 25, the following week they will play black on board 24. The loser will play white on board 26. Notice that this is much different than a typical sporting tournament which pits the weakest opponents against the strongest. The lower the board number, the tougher the opponent.

Remember our goal is to get the kids to grow in their skill set - as opposed to provide a "Hail Mary" pass to beat the the number 1 seat for one week of ladder play.

Currently we group the kids based on ladder ranking into 4 separate groups:

 

  1. Upper Room (Ranking 1-20)
  2. Upper Middle (Ranking 21-36)
  3. Lower Middle (Ranking 37-50)
  4. Library (Ranking 51+)

 

Week 1: The first day of club we use the the final standings of last years ladder to populate the current ladder. We then eliminate the previous 6th graders and many of the 5th graders. At this point all the positions shift up to fill in the vacant areas on the ladder.

During the first month of the club play the coaches observe how the kids are answering questions and playing. The coaches will make adjustments in the ladder to speed things up.

 

Week 2: By the second week, we enter all the new members to the lower portion of ladder. We try to add the older kids up higher in the library ladder. Experience has taught us that the older kids get frustrated playing 1st and 2nd graders.

Chess is not like football or soccer, our club competes with other schools where it's not uncommon to have a second grader play and win against a 5th grader.

As someone who learned to play chess at age 9, and has played casually my entire life, I learned many key concepts sitting in the library watching the Chessmaster tutorial with my son. The library provides extremely important concepts, which are critical to the players growth. The concepts in the upper rooms build on these foundations and we even repeat many of the concepts to further enforce the lessons.