Limited strength teams and/or pairs

edited May 2018 in EBU TDs

This has come to me as a possibility based on a local chess league rule and on comments from a new member of our club (an experienced player from another part of the UK).

With the NGS ratings lets call them rankings 1 through to 16 (2 to A Spades).

How about a pairs night with a total NGS combined rating of 20 or less? That way, an Ace of Spades could play, but only with a ranking of 4 or less, etc.

As for teams, our local chess league has limits for their ratings so that for example division one is limited to a combined ranking 500, division 2, 350 etc. (I cant recall the specific limits, but this is the general idea). As such there is no relegation/promotion, but also means that players can play in all divisions at the same time, but have to play in teams with weaker players in the lower divisions.

So, the idea here would be to have divisions based on player NGS ratings, rather than promotion/demotion. It might just promote people to start partaking, as they will know that they will be playing against teams made up of similarly ranked players.

It could look something like (assuming teams of 4):

Division 1 - unlimited
Division 2 - no player higher than a K (rank 12) with a total combined rank no higher than 44
Division 3 - no player higher than a 10 (rank 9) with a total combined rank no higher than 32
etc according to demand

In this way, players can play against similar standard players. Once your team get better, they are promoted to the relevant division automatically, based on their NGS ratings/combined NGS.

Should a division become too large (we can only hope) then split it, either into division 2a and 2b (with annual promotion/demotion) etc, or randomised with the winners of each group playing in a final at the end of the season.

Does anyone think that this sounds appealing or have any experience of something similar?


  • Sort of like handicap croquet pairs play, where you add the two handicaps together of each pair and then halve the difference - the weaker pair get that many extra turns (and yes you can have 1/2 handicaps and 1/4 difference).

    Good idea - but many people are so jealous (or embarrassed) about their NGS ranking that they hide it. That isn't a problem in Division 1, of course, but could seriously affect the lower divisions with dark horses potentially competing.

    And what happens if a player moves from an eligible caegory to an ineligible one half-way through the season? Do you keep him (or her) in the lower, bearing in mind that it will be the be the improving players that need to be moved?

  • I would think that the division they are in would be determined at the start of the season.

    I would imagine that those that hide their NGS would not be interesting in playing in a league. Though if they were, they would have to play in division 1

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