With a hard-fought victory this afternoon over John Schaeffer, Don Reyes finally took over the top spot on our fledgling club ladder. John had been atop the pack since its inception a couple weeks ago.
For those unaware of the ladder protocol, members are allowed to challenge up to three places above their current placement. The challenged player gets to choose color. If the challenger wins, he moves directly above the loser's spot. If the challenger should lose or draw, there is no change in position.
All challenge games are subject to the touch move rule and must be timed (Game/15).
Of course, most games at our Monday & Wednesday club sessions remain truly casual. Games only count towards the ladder if a formal challenge is issued and accepted.
Newcomers join the ladder at the bottom... but paralleling newcomer Rick A's experience today, one need not remain on the bottom rung for very long. Rick has already moved near the middle of the pack on his very first day. Welcome, Rick!
Of course many members lead busy lives outside of chess. But the ladder must go on. Therefore, as of 5pm every Monday, any ladder participants who were not present that day, or either of the two previous sessions will find themselves dropped a single ladder spot. No big deal for most to make up this demotion upon return, but essential to keep the ladder fluid.
Hopefully ladder play will add just one more wrinkle to the variety offered at our club's casual play sessions. Primarily, these sessions are structured to provide participants broad exposure to different styles and skill levels.
One thing is certain: no two games will be identical.