Pyramids are continuous competitions where players challenge each other, the results of these matches will determine what level of the pyramid they are on. There is usually a single pyramid leader (less frequently 2-3 players on top level), then - the lower the level, the more players. Therefore the pyramid shape and competition name.



  1. Pyramid participation
    1. Pyramid List
    2. Before you join
    3. Joining the pyramid
    4. Leaving the pyramid
  2. Competition rules
    1. Challenges
    2. Game outcome
    3. Inactivity
    4. No vacation
  3. Additional remarks
  4. Pyramid Forum


1. Pyramid participation


1.1. Pyramid List

To see the list of all available pyramids, together with some statistics (such as the number of participants), visit the Pyramids List window (from menu - Community/Pyramids). On SchemingMind pyramids have been set up for nearly all variants of chess that are played on the site.

Click any pyramid of interest to see more detailed information about it, with an option to join (or leave).


1.2. Before you join

It is not allowed to play leisure (30+3) games on pyramids. So, if you play any pyramids, your challenge preferences should allow for at least standard (30+1) games and you should suit them accordingly. At the same time, if you find it difficult to play Blitz or Fast games, and do not want to risk being challenged this way, disable those clocks in your challenge preferences (you can be challenged using any clock you accept).

For most of the time, every pyramid you join will give you two games. Do not join many pyramids unless you are able to handle the load.


1.3. Joining the pyramid

To join a pyramid, enter its screen, mark I would like to join this pyramid checkbox placed below the levels list, and click the Join this pyramid button. You will be immediately added to the pyramid players, starting on level 1 (lowest). Then you can challenge a player from level 1 or 2.

standard members are able to join one pyramid only while full members are unrestricted to the number of pyramids they may to join.


1.4. Leaving the pyramid

To leave the pyramid, enter its screen (either from pyramid list, or from some game which belonged to this pyramid - clicking the game name), mark I would like to leave this pyramid checkbox and click Submit.

Leaving is possible only when you are not playing any game within the pyramid.

You can be also automatically removed from the pyramid - if you are on level 1, and inactive for 30 days. Of course, if this happens, you can always rejoin.


2. Competition rules

All pyramid participants are organised into the levels. By winning the games, one goes up the pyramid, by losing, one goes down. The aim of the competition is to go as high as possible - and maintain this position.


2.1. Challenges

All pyramid games are started as challenges, issued among the pyramid players. Within one pyramid you can play at most 2 games simultaneously.

You may challenge any other player who is on the same level of the pyramid as you, or on the level above, and is not already challenged by somebody else. Players' challenge preferences are honored by the pyramid, so you will not be able to start games against players who's challenge criteria you do not meet. You can only play one game at a time as challenging player, and one as the challenged player. The challenging player always plays with the white pieces.

To issue the pyramid challenge, just enter the pyramid level screen and click the Challenge link placed in line with the opponent whom you want to challenge.

If you want to challenge somebody, but there is no option to challenge, although they are not currently defending in a game, it is likely that your challenge preferences are incompatible with defender. Extend your allowed clocks and try again.

If you decline a pyramid challenge, you will be demoted by one level (but your challenger will not go up).


2.2. Game outcome

Whenever a pyramid game ends, a change in the pyramid occurs. Your movement in the pyramid will depend on your opponents relative position at the end of the game:

For a win: If your opponent is on the same level of the pyramid, or one place above you, you will move up one level. If your opponent is more than one level above you, you will move up two levels. If your opponent is below you, your position will stay the same.

For a draw: If your opponent is more than one level above you, you will move up one level. If your opponent is more than one level below you, you will move down one level. If your opponent's level is within one of yours, your position will stay the same. You cannot drop below level one following a draw.

For a defeat: If your opponent is on the same level of the pyramid, or one place below you, you will move down one level. If your opponent is more than one level below you, you will move down two levels. If your opponent is above you, your position will stay the same. You cannot drop below level one following a defeat.

Abandoned games (i.e. games that have been claimed on time where less than five full moves have been made) will count as a win for the purposes of the pyramid.


2.3. Inactivity

Players who do not make a move in some pyramid game for more than one month will be demoted by one level - whether they play some pyramid game at the moment, or not.

Players on level one who are inactive for this period will be removed from the pyramid.

If it ever happens that you are removed from the pyramid while you are still playing some pyramid game, you can rejoin the pyramid - the game will then count (if you rejoin before it is finished).


2.4. No vacation

Note that Holiday does not protect you against the inactivity rule! If you do not make any move for 30 days, you will be demoted, even if you are/were on vacation. So if you take a longer vacation, make your pyramid moves before leaving and next moves just after you return.

Nevertheless, the clock in pyramid games is stopped while you are on holiday - as usual.


3. Additional remarks

While being on the pyramid, especially if you manage to go up a level or a few, you are quite likely to be challenged very often. Once you manage to defend your position, you are likely to be attacked again. This is the feature of the competition, there is no rest here.

Sometimes a level disappears (say, there are players on level 5,4,2 and 1, but there is nobody on level 3). This is a temporary effect, which disappears once somebody from the lower level wins the game, or somebody from the higher one loses. A particular case of this effect is the remote leader - say, a single leader on level 5, and other players on level 3 or below. Such a situation is also temporary, as unless somebody wins a game on level 3, the leader will be demoted one level after 30 days due to the inactivity.


4. Pyramid Forum

There is special forum for discussions about pyramids. See Pyramids Forum

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