Ladders Basics

Ladders are a great way to find competitive matchups on the site. They can be thought of as a "King of the Hill" ongoing tournament. Once you join a ladder you start at the very bottom and try to work your way to the top by challenging players above you. There are 3 sitewide ladders for each of the main board sizes: 19x19, 13x13, and 9x9. All ladders are without handicap stones (even games) and have the same correspondence time control settings: Fischer with 3 day start time, 1 day increment and a max of 3 days.

To reach the Ladders select the link at the top of the screen highlighted in green here.


Once on the site Ladders page we show a condensed view of the 3 ladders.


You can join any of the site ladders by "View"ing the detail page for the ladder as listed above

Who can you challenge in a ladder?

Once you have joined the page will show you at the bottom of the ladder, players above you will appear with a challenge button to the left. The basic criteria of whether or not you can challenge a player is given by:

You can challenge the highest position of the following:

  • 10 positions above your own
  • 40% of the players above your position (e.g. if you are 70th, you could challenge 42nd - 28 positions above)
  • 5 + your theoretical position ordered by rating (i.e. if you are the 7th best player in the ladder you could challenge 12th)
  • You can only challenge people when they have below the "max incoming challenges" for their position. This value is as follows:
    • 1st to 5th: 5 challenges
    • 6th to 10th: 4 challenges
    • 11th and below: 3 challenges
  • You cannot challenge someone again within 7 days of finishing your last game against them
  • You may only have one active challenge per opponent

What happens when you challenge someone in a ladder?

Ladder challenges are automatically accepted by the person you are challenging. Likewise, anytime another user challenges you the challenge will be automatically accepted. You will receive a notification when this happens.

Withdrawing from a Ladder

Withdrawing from a ladder will not automatically resign you from any games you are playing in the ladder. If a person you were playing withdraws from the ladder then the game becomes a normal game and will not count towards ladder position.

Timing out in a Ladder

If you time out in a ladder game you will automatically be removed from the ladder but any games you are playing but have not timed out in will continue. If you wish to rejoin the ladder you must do so from the bottom.

However, a reprieve is offered. If, after rejoining the ladder, you win a challenge you were playing previously then you will jump up to the new place.