Harnessing the Power of the Pyramid in Chess

San Francisco, California, April 23, 2021– Does the secret to rapid chess improvement lie deep inside the shape of a Pyramid? California chess coach and correspondence chess master Chris Torres believes so and is inviting chess players everywhere to harness the “Power of the Pyramid in Chess!”

Starting on June 1, 2021, chess players of all ages and skill levels can participate in a first-of-its-kind US Chess rated correspondence pyramid tournament on Chess.com.

Why correspondence chess?

Correspondence Chess (called Daily Chess on Chess.com) is an important tool Chris Torres uses to catalyze chess improvement in his top students. Almost immediate positive effects can be seen in students new to correspondence chess because each player has significantly more time per move which results in more careful play and thus higher quality games. He explains that:

“Even experienced chess players can improve upon their thought process by taking notes of their calculations during correspondence games and then, after each game finishes, analyze their game as well as their thinking.”

Finally, correspondence chess is an ideal format to both practice new openings and to test endgame knowledge.

Why the Pyramid Structure?

Most chess club directors understand the advantages of using a stepladder style chess tournament as a means to accurately measure the abilities of their players in an ongoing event. Of course, a stepladder tournament has its limitations and one of them is players frequently being paired against the same players who are stuck around their level. Through the desire to create a unique tournament experience, Torres decided upon expanding the simple stepladder into a full-fledged pyramid event. He believes that the pyramid structure could greatly benefit a stepladder style tournament by adding more opponent variety as well as increasing motivation through leveling-up goals. His theory is that by morphing the stepladder into a pyramid structure, an organizer could get all the same benefits of a stepladder format with enhanced variety and player motivation.

To test this, Torres formalized his idea into a plan to offer a new kind of rated correspondence chess experience and presented his plan to the United States Chess Federation’s Correspondence Chess Working Group. After fulfilling the requirements necessary to launch this groundbreaking initiative, Daily Chess Musings, Torres’ affiliate, has been granted permission by the United States Chess Federation to perform the first affiliate organized rated correspondence chess tournament on Chess.com

So how will this format work?

The central hub for players to register, check standings and request matches will be DailyChessMusings.com, a website run by Torres. All pyramid games will be played on Chess.com under the Daily Chess Musings Rated Correspondence Pyramid as Daily Chess matches. When a game finishes, the players will record their results on DailyChessMusings.com. Chris Torres will then regularly submit all recorded results to be rated by the United States Chess Federation.

A pyramid style stepladder is something that is unfamiliar to most chess players and thus requires a brief explanation. In a nutshell, Players may only challenge somebody who is placed above them on the same level, or who is on one of the four levels immediately above them. For example, a player on Level 20 can challenge anybody placed above him or her on Level 20, or anybody on Levels 16 through 19 inclusive. Therefore, the #1 player may only be challenged by somebody on Level 5 or above.

Why should I join?

By playing in the Daily Chess Musings Rated Correspondence Pyramid, you can not only have fun, meet new people, and improve your chess abilities, but also help to increase the scope and popularity of correspondence chess across the nation!

In order to play in the Correspondence Pyramid participants must:

  • Remain current members of the US Chess Federation
  • Have or create a chess.com account
  • Join the Daily Chess Musings Rated Correspondence Pyramid on Chess.com
  • Pay a one-time entry fee of $25
  • Pay a $5 renewal fee every additional year they wish to participate

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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