Cross Tables and Ladders

Updated 2016: Cross table descriptions added.
2018: added bespoke scoring, multi-game cells, ‘player x player’ format of cross-table.

Most clubs hold one or more internal tournaments per season. Why not have your cross tables and/or ladder tables generated for you in your club page? This is easy to do, especially where game results are already being entered into this site during the season. All club key-holders are able to define the table(s) your club requires and enter the game results on-line from their admin page (examples shown below). The tables will then appear in the competition section of your club page and players will then see these tables automatically updated as soon as each set of new game results are entered.

Cross Tables

For multi-round Swiss or round-robin types of competitions. You can define a cross-table at any time, though initialising this before the start of the event allows players to follow progress throughout. As results for each round are added, the table is re-sorted to show players ordered by points gained or by performance (absolute or relative to grade).

Games will be included if the cross table name is contained within the game event name. Enter any bye result with the player as white (though no colour will be allocated) and opponent ‘BYE’ as black and choose the score that gives the player a half or full point. A minimum number of qualifying games can be specified when creating the cross table. Player names/data with insufficient games to qualify will appear in italic/greyed and will not be highlighted (green background) if they become leaders in the selected ordering.

Tie break winner(s) can be marked at the end of the event according to criteria.
The game points to be summed up in the table can be also be tailored to suit your purpose, perhaps to minimise the likelihood of ties. You can choose from Standard (1-½-0), Bilbao (3-1-0) or entirely bespoke by supplying your own values for win/draw/loss as Black/White.

All internal club game results matching the identifier string are used in the table and shown in your club page (example taken from Clacton 2015/16) :-

The displayed table can be ordered by points (default), performance, or by performance-minus-grade (by clicking on the appropriate column heading).

You can display the alternative ‘player x player’ format of a cross-table by clicking the link above the table (ditto to flip back to the ‘player x rounds’ version) if you prefer that format. (less suitable where there are many more players than intended rounds?)
Cells may have more than one game result, for example where Black and White are played against the same opponent in the same ’round’ (so you don’t have to regard each ‘half round’ as a separate round), be shown comma-separated in cells and will all count (so if you don’t want to name any rounds as such, the ‘player x rounds’ format will just show all results under a single unnamed ’round’).

You can create a link for use in emails or web page links with a URL of the form http://necl.org.uk/summarybyclub.php?year=2015&club=CLACTON#crosstable
or, if columns are to be players and not rounds, the form will be along the lines of
http://necl.org.uk/summarybyclub.php?club=DUNMOW&year=2018&cols=players#xtable
(edit the URL to suit your club/season, other examples here here here)

Ladder Tables

These are useful to show participation in club games/challenges taking place over a defined period within a season (possibly over the whole season), not necessarily structured into rounds and with few constraints. The 2012/2013 season saw incentives to influence non-match games in clubs away from being ‘mostly casual’.

  • Funding changes meant most players became direct ECF members and entitled to have any number of club games graded at no extra cost.
  • A ‘ladder’ system was suggested at the 2012 Clacton AGM by Martin Alvin, to be based on all qualifying internal games throughout the season. A trophy was later organised to provide something extra to play for.

The ladder was adapted from one of Martin’s previous clubs, who in turn adapted it from elsewhere so we do not know who should take original credit for this. Everyone starts on the same initial (e.g. 50) points and then acquire/loose points based on a scoring system which (as with ELO/ECF grades) adjusts the points for wins and losses based on the current points difference between players. You need to play a minimum number of games (e.g. 8, standard/rapid/any) to qualify for a placing but there is no limit on how few or how many games each person plays. This makes it very easy to run with typical ad hoc club attendances and no pairing requirements to organise!

Initially done on a spreadsheet, tracking the scoring of players as game results were reported was susceptible to errors and the ripple effect on later games. Although Andrew and John kept separate copies and compared notes from time to time, adding in a previously omitted game still involved significant rework/re-sorting. Also, results were not very visible unless the spreadsheet was uploaded. As game results were already being entered on-line I suggested/programmed the web-server to do the arithmetic instead and was able to make this a generic facility so all NECL clubs can each run similar ladders if they wish. Providing a trace facility also gave visibility to each stage of the calculation for the benefit of any players wishing to check details. The suggested rules are published here. You can view the Clacton club page for last season and this season to see examples. Player names are ‘greyed’ until playing the minimum games for a place and any green row(s) in the table indicate the highest scoring qualifying player(s). Parameters can be changed at any time, though it is best to set and keep agreed values from the start of each ladder.



If ‘tag’ is blank (default) all internal club game results matching the ladder parameters are used to produce the table shown in your club page. Use this if you want to be more specific about selected games (where tag text then has to appear in the ladder name) and hence exclude any other internal events you don’t want counted into a ladder.

example taken from Clacton 2012/13 :-

You can crate a link for email or web pages using a URL of the form http://necl.org.uk/summarybyclub.php?year=2014&club=CLACTON#ladder
(edit to your club/season)

If unsure about which calculation method to choose, “increment by day” is suggested.
“increment by game” – adjusts player scores after each game, so results need to be entered in strict playing order for games within the same day – or different end of day scores may result!
“increment by day” – adjusts player scores once for all gains/losses of that day.
Each days results can therefore be entered at any time and in any order.
e.g. scroll down an alongside comparison between the Clacton trace result for 2012/13 season which used the “increment by game” method, and the would-be trace result if “increment by day” had been used. Note the small end-of-day differences that grow to produce a different overall end-result/winner.

Displaying Board Positions and Games

(updated Dec 2012, FEN Reader replaced by ChessOnline; Dec 2013, use of copgn;
Nov 2018, added further choice to use Chess Tempo Viewer)

Various ‘Plugins’ ( ‘ChessOnline‘, ‘Embed Chessboard‘ and ‘Chess Tempo Viewer‘) are installed to provide chess-graphics for your posts. These can show single game positions, or a whole game animated on one board.

Display a single game position

1) One way to show a specific game position, either as part of an annotation for a game or to present a chess puzzle, is to simply insert your FEN text between square brackets as described here. The example below, uses the text string,
r2qk2r/ppp1bppp/3p4/4n2n/2B1P1b1/2NPBN2/PPP3PP/R2Q1RK1 !w !- !- !0 !1
The string has to be exactly right to be picked up by the ChessOnline plugin and show the board in your post. If you only see a text string instead of a diagram when you preview your post, double check that you have entered a valid string (and no spaces between bracket and string!).

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N.B. ChessOnline seems to need the above ‘!’ characters to work. Another quirk,  depending on users window magnification, might cause the right-side row numbers to display ‘under’ the table instead of alongside. It has been 7 years since the last available update, so you may prefer to use an alternative viewer for new diagrams (and edit tags for existing diagrams?).

2) The Chess Tempo Viewer can also demonstrate a board position (or complete game) using ctpgn tags as described here and shown below for the same position.

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Display an animated game

To place an animated graphic of a full game into your post you have a choice of tools.
1)  You can insert the pgn text string for the game between pgn tags as described here and shown in the example below which uses the ‘Embed Chessboard’ plugin.
Your readers can single-step through the moves, or click the ‘+’ button for auto-play.

2) The ChessOnline tool has been extended to also deal with pgn.
It was described as experimental, but seemed workable, and is shown in the example below. (though presently lacking a few features such as initialising the display to a specific move and no autoplay). Similar to above but use copgn instead of pgn in your tags.(shown here for the same game).

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White to move
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 Nf6 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3 d5 9. cxd5 exd5 10. exd5 Nb4 11. Be2 Bc5 12. O-O O-O 13. Bf3 Bf5 14. Bg5 Re8 15. Qd2 b5 16. Rad1 Nd3 17. Nab1 h6 18. Bh4 b4 19. Na4 Bd6 20. Bg3 Rc8 21. b3 g5 22. Bxd6 Qxd6 23. g3 Nd7 24. Bg2 Qf6 25. a3 a5 26. axb4 axb4 27. Qa2 Bg6 28. d6 g4 29. Qd2 Kg7 30. f3 Qxd6 31. fxg4 Qd4+ 32. Kh1 Nf6 33. Rf4 Ne4 34. Qxd3 Nf2+ 35. Rxf2 Bxd3 36. Rfd2 Qe3 37. Rxd3 Rc1 38. Nb2 Qf2 39. Nd2 Rxd1+ 40. Nxd1 Re1+ 0-1

 

3) Here is the Chess Tempo Viewer version of same game.

A further example shows how this viewer can be used to give a start position/study with follow-on moves and comments.