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Back to the Game Rules main page

Ladders
Information about playing the ladder tournaments on ItsYourturn.com


  • read: Basic ladder rules
  • read: What are the differences between the various ladder types?
  • read: How do I interpret the RANKINGS page?
  • read: How many games will I be playing for each ladder?
  • read: How are the rankings calculated?
  • read: What happens when you win or lose a ladder game? How about a draw?
  • read: Is there a limit on how many ladders you can play at once?
  • read: Why am I unable to challenge more than 2 players in a single ladder?
  • read: Why was my opponent allowed to challenge outside the allowed range of 20 players on either side?
  • read: How do I challenge someone on the ladder?
  • read: Why are these ladder games showing up on my game status page even though I didn't challenge anyone?
  • read: Is there any way to tell how long a player will be on vacation from ladders?
  • read: I challenged someone by mistake. Is there any way to cancel this game and challenge someone else?
  • read: Why is my opponent moving in other games even though he is on vacation in my ladder games?
  • read: Why did I lose the #1 position even though I haven't lost any games?
  • read: Who can I challenge when everyone above me is involved in a game?
  • read: Why was a non-member allowed to join a members-only ladder?
  • read: If I join a ladder, how many games will I have to play at once?
  • read: Why hasn't my ladder game timed out even though the 'move by' date has already passed?
  • read: How do I quit or resign or remove myself from a ladder?
  • read: Why did I time out even though my opponent was on vacation?
  • read: Can you restore a ladder game that I lost through no fault of my own?
  • read: What is the maximum amount of vacation you can take at once?
  • read: How do I take a vacation from ladder games?
  • read: I recently put myself on vacation, and now it won't let me return from vacation. Why is this?
  • read: I recently won a ladder game. Why haven't the rankings changed?
  • read: I recently won a ladder game. Why did I move down in the rankings?
  • read: I already put myself on vacation, it looks like my time is still counting down. Will I time out of my game?
  • read: There's someone on the ladders that looks like they are playing 2 or more accounts in the same ladder. Is this allowed, and what can be done about this?



Basic ladder rules This is the short version of the rules for ladders. The main features of the ItsYourTurn.com ladders are as follows:


  • Rankings
    Each person will be ranked in a ladder-- number 1 is the best player. Only one person will be ranked at a particular number-- there are no ties. Each ladder type and game type will have its own, independent ranking. Rankings are updated every 15 minutes, so you'll have to wait a few minutes after winning your game to see the results displayed on the rankings page.

  • Moving up the ladder
    The object of the ladder is to move up the ladder, perhaps ultimately to the number 1 position. To move up the ladder, you must win games. If you beat someone higher-ranked than you, then you take their spot, and everyone else moves down a spot. If you beat someone lower-ranked than you, then you move up one spot. When a game is drawn, nothing happens-- you do not move in either direction. However, if you do not win games, you will eventually be pushed further and further down the ladder as others move over you. Note that it doesn't matter who makes the challenge, the rankings changes are only dependent on the outcome of the game.
    Example: If you're ranked number 100, and you beat number 90, then you become the new number 90, and everyone else moves down one spot. If you're ranked number 100, and you beat number 110, then you would move to the number 99 position.

  • Number of games
    For each ladder, you may be playing up to 4 games at once. You are allowed to challenge two different players, and in addition two other players are allowed to challenge YOU. If someone challenges you, and you are not on vacation, then the game will AUTOMATICALLY be created for you. You have no choice but to accept challenges from other players. In general, you must accept up to 2 challenges from other players. Similarly, when you challenge someone else, that game is created instantly if they have not already accepted two challenges.

  • Who you can challenge
    Generally, you can challenge anyone ranked with 20 places of your current position, as long as they aren't on vacation, and they still have challenge-accept games left to play. If you're in the top 20 or bottom 20, then you will be able to challenge the top 40 or bottom 40 players respectively.

    After you finish a game with a specific player, you are not allowed to challenge them again for 2 weeks. This prevents players from continuously playing the same people.

  • Joining existing ladders
    To join an existing ladder, click the 'join a ladder' link on the main ladder page. New ladder players are added every 15 minutes, so check back in a few minutes, and you will have been added to the bottom of the ladder. Then click on someone's name to challenge them, and you'll be on your way to number 1!

  • Waiting lists
    For ladders not yet in progress, you can join a 'waiting list'. Once enough players have signed up, the new ladder is started automatically. However, your signup is only good for 7 days, after which you will receive a message that your waiting list application has been deleted. You can immediately re-join that waiting list if you wish. We do this so that any ladders that start will have a fresh list of players on it. You can only sign up for a maximum of 5 waiting lists at any one time. After a new ladder starts, you are welcome to put your name on another waiting list. You can also remove your name from a waiting list at any time.

  • Starting new ladders
    When a new ladder starts, the players will be ranked in the order that they joined the waiting lists. If you are ranked near the bottom, please do not complain or despair. Simply challenge someone above you, and start your climb to the top. Note that if a poor player is ranked at the top, they will soon get beaten by the stronger players below them and fall down the ladder.

  • Timed out games cannot be restored
    If you time out in a ladder game, IT CANNOT BE RESTORED, even with your opponent's permission, even if it's due to system problems on our end. The reason is because the rankings are dependent on the ORDER in which games finish, and once the rankings have changed, they cannot be changed back. Keep in mind that you are not penalized for losing a ladder game (you basically remain at the same ranking), so if you do time out, simply challenge someone else and try again.


Have fun playing the ItsYourTurn.com ladders!

Return to the Main Ladder page


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What are the differences between the various ladder types? Below are explanations of the different ladder types on ItsYourTurn.com.


  • General information
    For all ladder types except Turbo, no moves are ever due on the weekends (same as our tournaments). Timeouts only occur during the weekdays. The number of hours is how many hours is given for EACH move. The clock starts counting down as soon as your opponent has entered a move.

  • Open ladders: Open ladders are open to everyone, both paid members and non-members.

  • Member ladders: Member ladders are available ONLY to paid members.

  • Turbo ladders: Turbo ladders have no weekend allowances. Turbo games can time out at any time, even on the weekends. These ladders are only available to paid members.

  • Elite ladders (not yet available): Elite ladders are only open to ladder players who have won a specific number of games (for example, an Elite100 ladder is only open to players who have won at least 100 ladder games). These ladders will only be available to paid members.

  • Examples:

    An Open 48-hour ladder is a ladder with a 48-hour per move time limit that is open to all players.
    A Member 72-hour ladder is a ladder with a 72-hour per move time limit that is open only to paid members.
    A Turbo 28-hour ladder is a ladder where the players must move on the weekends. This ladder has a 28-hour per move time limit, and is open only to paid members.


Have fun playing the ItsYourTurn.com ladders!

Return to the Main Ladder page


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How do I interpret the RANKINGS page? The top section of the Main ladder page shows the ladders that you are currently playing. The table has the following headings:


  • Rank
    This is the current rank of the player in this ladder.

  • Name
    This is the name of the player at this rank. A red squiggle in front of their name indicates that they are a
    member of ItsYourTurn.com. Click on the player link to see the player's profile as it relates to this specific ladder. (The player will have a different profile for each ladder that they are playing in).

  • CG
    CG stands for challenge games. This means the number of games that they have challenged other players in this ladder.
    Remember: you can challenge a maximum of two players in a ladder at the same time. If you've already challenged two players, you have to wait until one of your games finishes before you can challenge another player.

  • AG
    AG stands for accepted games. This means the number of challenge that they have accepted from OTHER players.
    Remember: a player is only obligated to accept 2 games from other players. After that, they cannot accept any more challenges in that ladder. So if a player has already accepted 2 games, then you won't be able to challenge that player until one of their game finishes.

  • challenge?
    This column shows whether or not you are allowed to challenge that player. If you are allowed to challenge that player, then there will be a link labeled 'yes'. Click that link to challenge that player. If not, the column will say 'no', and you will not be able to challenge that player.

  • Vac
    Vac stands for vacation status, and it shows whether or not that person is on vacation. A 1 means 'yes' the player is on vacation, and a 0 means 'no' the player is not on vacation. If a player is on vacation, then they cannot accept any new challenges.


Return to the Main Ladder page


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How many games will I be playing for each ladder? You will be playing up to 4 games for each ladder. There are two types of games that you will be playing.

Challenge games are games where you challenge another player on the ladder to a game. You can challenge a maximum of 2 players at a time. When a challenge game has ended, then you can challenge another player on the ladder to play.

Accepted challenge games are games where other players challenge you to a game. A maximum of two players can challenge you to a game at any one time. When an accepted game ends, then someone else is allowed to challenge you.

Please note that if you have an accepted slot open, you MUST accept the challenge. Not only that, when someone challenges you, the game is AUTOMATICALLY created between the two of you (and the game will automatically appear on your game status page). So, even if you're not challenging other players, you still need to check your ladders almost every day to see if anyone has challenged you to a game.

At any one time, you will be playing up to 4 games: 2 challenge games and 2 accepted challenge games. You are not obligated to challenge anyone yourself, but you are obligated to accept games if someone else challenges you (up to a maximum of 2 accepted challenge games).
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How are the rankings calculated? Rankings are the result of ladder games played. Game in other areas of the site (non-tournament games or tournament games) do not figure into the rankings.

Rankings are the result of ladder games played. When you win, you move up in the ladder. When you lose, you don't move. HOW MUCH you move up and down are explained in the section on 'what happens when you win or lose a game' explained in the
Ladder FAQ.

Although you do not officially move down in the rankings when you lose a game, if you never win a game, eventually you will get pushed down to the bottom of the ladder as players jump over you. You will have to win a certain amount of games just to stay in the same spot in the ladder, and win more games than those around you to move up in the ladder.
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What happens when you win or lose a ladder game? How about a draw? When you win a game, your ranking will move up. How far you move up depends on the ranking of your challenger.

If your opponent is ranked higher than you at the time the game ends, then you will move into their ranking, and that player and everyone below that player will move down one spot.

If your opponent is ranked lower than you at the time the game ends, then you move up one position, which means that you and the person above you will swap positions.

If you lose a ladder game, nothing happens. You remain at the same spot as you were. However, since there will always be players moving ahead of you who will keep pushing you down, you will have to win a certain number of ladder games just to stay in the same position. If you lose every ladder game you play (or if you go on vacation for an extended period of time), then you will certainly get pushed down in the rankings. To move UP in rankings, you will have to win more games than the players around you.

If you draw a game, nothing happens. Neither player's ranking changes. However, the draw is added to both player's ladder game statistics as a draw.

Keep in mind that ranking changes are dependent on the rankings at the end of the game, not where the rankings were at the beginning of the game. The same games ending in different orders may result in significantly different rankings. If you're about to end several games at once, you may want to keep this in mind in order to end the games in as optimal a way as possible.
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Is there a limit on how many ladders you can play at once? The only limits that dictate how many ladder games you can play at once are the limits on the number of games that you're allowed to play. For members, ladder games are counted against your tournament game allowance.

For each ladder you play, the system assumes that you're playing 4 games, even though you may not actually be playing that much. The reason for this is that you must always leave room in on your game status page for accepting ladder challenges.

So, if you are a member limited to 150 tournament games, you can play in 37 ladders if you're not playing in any tournment games. Non-members are limited to 1 ladder at any time (if you resign from a ladder, you can join a different ladder).

If you're already playing tournament games, then you'll need to add 4 games for each ladder you're playing to figure out your total tournament games.
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Why am I unable to challenge more than 2 players in a single ladder? If you have already challenged two players in this ladder to play, then you will not be able to challenge any more players. The number of challenges that you've made are always given in the CG heading of your game list. CG games are the games where you issued the challenge, and you're limited to 2 challenges at the same time. In addition, you have to ACCEPT two games, which are listed as AG in your game list.

Please read the 'basic ladder rules' for more details on this.
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Why was my opponent allowed to challenge outside the allowed range of 20 players on either side? When you first challenge a person, it has to be within the allowable 20 player range on either side of you (except for the top 40 or the bottom 40 players-- see the 'basic ladder rules' for more details).

However, if during the game you or your opponent moves up out of range, the game will still continue. If your opponent has moved more than 20 spaces above you, and you win the game, then you will be able to jump above your opponent after you win the game.

Rankings movement is based on the rankings when the game ENDS. Challenges are based on rankings when the game BEGINS.
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How do I challenge someone on the ladder? Here are the steps you take to challenge other players on your ladder:
  • Click on 'ladder area' to pull up the main ladder page
  • Select a ladder that you're playing (if you aren't playing on any ladders, click on the 'join' link to join an existing ladder)
  • On the next page you will see a list of names. To challenge someone, click on the 'yes' link under the 'challenge?' column. All the people you can challenge will have a 'yes' link next to their name
Good luck playing the ladders on ItsYourTurn.com!
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Why are these ladder games showing up on my game status page even though I didn't challenge anyone? If you are involved in a ladder and someone challenges you, you must accept that game. For each ladder you're playing, you must accept up to 2 challenges made by other players. There is no way to decline these type of challenges-- you are forced to accept them.

In addition, you have the option to challenge up to 2 other players, who also must accept those games.

If you find that you do not have enough time to play all your ladder games, we do have slower time limits available. Please look at our 72-hour and 100-hour tournaments, where you only have to make a move once every few days.
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Is there any way to tell how long a player will be on vacation from ladders? There's no way to tell how long a player will be on vacation, since that isn't something they're required to tell us. At some point they will return from vacation, and they will make a move.

The maximum vacation time is 30 days. After 30 days, the player will be removed from the ladder. Remember that a player can make moves in other games while on vacation, but cannot make moves in any LADDER games while on vacation.

Ultimately, a player will continue to move down in the rankings while on vacation, because other players will move ahead of them. In the ladders, it's best not to take vacations for too long.
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I challenged someone by mistake. Is there any way to cancel this game and challenge someone else? Unforunately, once a ladder game starts, the only way it will end is if one person wins, or if both players agree to a draw. We can't cancel ladder games once they have started.
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Why is my opponent moving in other games even though he is on vacation in my ladder games? When an opponent is on vacation, even though they are not allowed to move in ladder games, they are allowed to move in any other type of game (tournament or regular games).

Remember that the maximum amount of time they can be on vacation is 30 days per year. So if they take too much vacation time now, they will not be able to take vacation later in the year.
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Why did I lose the #1 position even though I haven't lost any games? Please keep in mind that someone can move over you without beating you. The way to move up one position is to beat someone beneath you. The reason we implemented this rule is to prevent the #1 player from deliberately playing slowly in an attempt to hold onto the #1 spot for as long as possible, or going on vacation for long periods of time. This way, if the top players do not keep defending their territory by demonstrating that they can beat the top players consistently, they will eventually fall in rank.
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Who can I challenge when everyone above me is involved in a game? You'll have to wait until a challenge becomes available.

Please keep in mind that players are not allowed to re-challenge someone until after 2 weeks after the last game ends. So eventually the number of players eligible to challenge a particular player will dwindle, and you will be able to issue your challenge for that player.

In normal circumstances, if you check back on the rankings page in a few hours, you will see opponents who are available for challenges.
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Why was a non-member allowed to join a members-only ladder? If you see a non-member listed in a member ladder, it is because they were recently a member on the site. We give players a grace period of 7 days to renew their membership. If they haven't renewed their membership by then, then they are completely removed from the member ladder. (They are still welcome to play in any of our many Open ladders).
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If I join a ladder, how many games will I have to play at once? In ladders, you can challenge up to 2 players. In addition, you must also accept 2 challenges from other players. You do not have any choice in accepting games. 4 is the maximum number of games in a ladder.

If you want to play fewer than 4 games, you are not obligated to challenge other players. However, you are obligated to accept the challenges of other players (up to 2 games).

For more details on ladders, please read the 'basic ladder rules' page.
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Why hasn't my ladder game timed out even though the 'move by' date has already passed? Please check to see if your opponent is on vacation. While your opponent is on vacation, they will not time out. You will see the letters 'VAC' instead of how many hours they have to move.

Even though an opponent is on vacation in ladders, they are still allowed to move in other games. However, being on vacation usually is not a good strategy in ladders, since they will fall in rank as other games around them are completed.

Vacations last a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 30 days. To go on vacation yourself, click on 'vacation' on the main ladder page.
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How do I quit or resign or remove myself from a ladder? To resign (quit) a ladder, go to the main ladder page, and click on 'resign a ladder'.

On the follow page, you will get to choose which ladder to resign. When you resign a ladder, all games will be resigned for you, and will count as losses in your game statistics. Also, if you change your mind after resigning a ladder and decide to re-join, you will have to start at the bottom of that ladder and work your way back up.
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Why did I time out even though my opponent was on vacation? When your opponent is on vacation, and the game is waiting for you to move, you still have to make your move. Your opponent's vacation only protects THEM from timing out, not you. To make sure you don't time out, make sure you make moves in all the games that are waiting for you to move.
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Can you restore a ladder game that I lost through no fault of my own? Unfortunately, if you time out in a ladder game, it cannot be restored, even with your opponent's permission, even if it's due to system problems on our end.

The reason is because the rankings are dependent on the ORDER in which games finish, and once the rankings have changed, they cannot be changed back. Keep in mind that you are not penalized for losing a ladder game (you basically remain at the same ranking), so even if you time out, simply challenge someone else and try again.
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What is the maximum amount of vacation you can take at once? The maximum vacation time is 30 days per year (a year is the past 365 days, not by calendar). After you exceed 30 days of vacation in a year, you will be automatically returned from vacation, and you will not be able to take any more vacation until the number of vacation days in the last 365 days is under 30 days. Remember that a player can make moves in other games while on vacation, but cannot make moves in any LADDER games while on vacation.

Ultimately, a player will continue to move down in the rankings while on vacation, because other players will move ahead of them. In the ladders, it's best not to take vacations for too long.
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How do I take a vacation from ladder games? To put yourself on vacation from ladders games, please go to your Main Ladders Page, and click on the 'vacation' link. Then follow the directions on your screen.

Please keep in mind that the vacation feature will only affect your ladder games. While on vacation, your ladders games will not time out. However, when you return from vacation, you will have to make moves in all your ladders games within 24 hours of returning, regardless of the original time limits of the games.

For non-tournament games, you can ask your opponent for a time extension, and for tournament games, you can ask your opponent to restore the game at any point within 7 days of timing out of a game. We do this because the tournaments already take so long to play.

Keep in mind that 30 days total is the most vacation you can take in any 365 day period.

For players who need to put themselves on vacation often, we recommend playing non-tournament games with long time limits and ladders.
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I recently put myself on vacation, and now it won't let me return from vacation. Why is this? If you have put yourself on vacation, you will have to wait 2 days to return. The minimum vacation length is 2 days. There's a reminder on the vacation verification page (the 'are you sure?' page) in case you forget.
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I recently won a ladder game. Why haven't the rankings changed? The rankings are updated every 15 minutes. When you finish a game, you will have to wait up to 15 minutes for the rankings changes to update themselves. If you don't see an update after about an hour, please contact us about your game.
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I recently won a ladder game. Why did I move down in the rankings? It is possible to win a game and move down in the ratings.

When you win a game against someone rated lower than you, then you move up 1 space in the rankings. However, if other players have moved above you in the rankings at the same time, then you will actually get pushed down, with the final effect that you may end up lower than your original ranking.
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I already put myself on vacation, it looks like my time is still counting down. Will I time out of my game? Your games will not be timed out while you are on vacation, and you will not be able to make any moves in your ladder games while on vacation.

When you return from vacation, you will have 24 hours to make your moves on all your ladders games, regardless of the initial time limit on those games.
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There's someone on the ladders that looks like they are playing 2 or more accounts in the same ladder. Is this allowed, and what can be done about this? If you see a situation where you suspect 2 accounts are being played by the same person in the same exact ladder, please send one of their games to us using the online contact form, and we will take a look at it. If we see evidence that this is happening, we will resign them from the ladders where they are cheating, and they will have to start over from the bottom.

Please note that they have to be playing in the same exact ladder. Playing 'chess' in a 28 and 48 hour ladder does not count as the same ladder, and is not cheating.
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