Pyramid Rules


  1. In order to play in the Correspondence pyramid participants must:
    •  remain current members of the US Chess Federation
    • have a chess.com membership
    • 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
  1. Players who allow their USCF Membership to lapse will receive a warning from the tournament director and given ten days to renew their membership before being forfeited in their games and dropped from the Pyramid.
  2. Players who do not reenlist and pay the $5 yearly tournament fee will not be allowed to start new games until the fee is paid.
  3. Registration and the pyramid will be updated by the TD. That means they will not be immediately reflected on the website, but will be added in a timely manner.


  1. The Pyramid is designed as a two-game-at-a-time event. All participants should be prepared to play two games at the same time.
  2. There is no registration deadline or cap. New players will join the tournament parodically and other players may leave. New players join the Pyramid at the lowest level unless required to fill a vacancy in the Pyramid Ladder by the TD on the off chance that one is available. The TD may likewise “advance” players to fill opportunities but will never demote a player for convenience.
  3. All participants agree that the chess.com rules regarding Daily Chess will be used for the Pyramid tournament. As such, all players are required to read the supporting documentation here: https://support.chess.com/category/158-daily-chess

Challenging Opponents

  1. All Pyramid matches must be assigned through the tournament director. Do not send challenges straightforward to the potential opponent as the TD must first check that the challenge follows the standards of the pyramid before it is given. Hence, players should ignore any challenges that are not sent from a Pyramid Tournament Director. All notifications will come from dcmccpyramid@gmail.com
  2. 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: if player 208 on Level 20 can challenge anybody places 191-207 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.
  3. Players may only challenge somebody who is not already defending his/her position on the Pyramid. Look at the Pyramid page on DailyChessMusings.com to determine which Players are currently available to be challenged.
  4. To issue a challenge, you need fill out the Correspondence Pyramid Challenge Request Form posted on the Pyramid homepage.
  5. The Pyramid changes frequently, so the challenge request form has fields for alternative requests. This is necessary as your top choices may have already accepted another challenge by the time the tournament director gets your request.
  6. Players are expected to accept any challenge that has been approved by the tournament director. Players who decline the challenge or fail to start their game within ten days of receiving the challenge will switch positions with the challenger as though they had accepted the challenge and lost. However, for certain valid reasons a player may decline a challenge without penalty.
  7. Colors will be assigned by the tournament director who will attempt to have players alternating colors. In the event that both players were black in their previous game, the player defending his position will be assigned white.
  8. Participants in the Pyramid may only play two games at a time with one as a challenger and one as a defender. No player is allowed play two games as a challenger or two games as a defender. Therefore, the player at the very top of the Pyramid and the bottom ranked player are limited to one game at a time.
  9. Double jumping or falling in the Pyramid standings can occur as it is possible that your opponent might be moved in the Pyramid during your game because of a result from their other game. In the event that this happens, your game will proceed like your opponent was in their new position when your game began. In the event that you win as a challenger you may wind up higher than where you suspected you would be the point at which your game started. In the event that you lose as a defender you may wind up lower than where you suspected you would be the point at which your game started.
  10. If the Challenger wins the game, the participants of that game switch positions on the Pyramid. If a game ends as a draw or the Defender wins, Pyramid ranking remains unchanged.
  11. Players may not play two back-to-back Pyramid games against the same opponent.

Absences & Time

  1. Because the Pyramid tournament will always be running, players are required to notify the tournament director of any absences so that you will not be removed from the Pyramid Ladder due to lack of response to a challenge while you are taking time off. If a player wishes to be temporarily marked unavailable for challenge, please notify the tournament director by filling out the Correspondence Pyramid Absence Notification Form. The maximum period of being marked unavailable is limited to two weeks per year. No further extensions will be granted. If the player is still unavailable after the nominated period, then he/she will have the normal ten-day window to accept a challenge to avoid automatically forfeiting.
  2. The slowest permissible rate of play is making 1 move every seven days. Any unused time will not be accumulated. Anyone who does not make a move within seven days of their turn starting will be automatically forfeited in the game. There will be no vacation time during games.
  3. This is a “No-Vacation” tournament. All games WILL time out if you take longer than required to move. The Auto-Vacation protection for premium members will NOT activate for these games. All games MUST be played in the expected time controls- no exceptions!

Chess.com Daily Chess Rules https://support.chess.com/category/158-daily-chess

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