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How to play Stairs?

BrainKing Stairs is another system to display players compared by their playing skills and was created as an alternative to the BKR charts. You might know similar systems on other sites, which are usually called "ladders" - however, I think the word "stairs" is more accurate because it is more realistic to imagine several people standing on the same step of a big stairway than on the same rung of a ladder.

1) Stairs can be created for all types of games on BrainKing. Your membership level determines how many Stairs you can enter:
  • Brain Pawn - 1 Stairs
  • Brain Knight - 7 Stairs
  • Brain Rook or higher - unlimited

2) Your status is shown as Step - everyone starts at Step 1. If you win a game, you move up 1 Step. If you lose a game, you move down 1 Step. If you draw a game, you stay on the same Step.

3) You are allowed to play up to 2 games at the same time - 1 game where you challenge and 1 game when someone challenges you. When a challenge is created, the game starts immediately with the parameters defined for the corresponding Stairs (time control, vacation mode, etc.).

4) Warning! The timeouted Stairs games cannot be restored because the challenge system does not allow to make any changes after the Step positions are updated. It means that any request to restore a game will be rejected, no matter if the problem was on our or your side.

5) You can only challenge another player (who is not already challenged by someone else) on the same Step or within 3 lower as you. For example, if you stay on the Step 6, you send challenge players from Step 6, 5, 4 or 3.

6) You cannot play the same person if you are already playing a game with him/her in the same Stairs or if you finished a game with him/her in the same Stairs within recent 14 days. The reason of this rule is to avoid situations where a player periodically challenges the same weak opponent in order to increase his own Step position easily.

7) Since it is possible that some players will advance to a very high Step and leave many empty Steps behind, a "cleaning process" will be regularry performed to compress the Stairs by removing the empty Steps. This action will be probably run once a month.

8) There is an option to leave the Stairs if you don't want to play it anymore. However, if you do it, you will lose your current Step position and if you decide to re-enter in the future, you will start on the Step 1 again.

9) If you want to take a break from the Stairs but you don't want to leave completely (as described in the previous point), you can use a Retirement:
  • When you set a Retirement, your Step position will be hidden for other players and they cannot challenge you.
  • You must finish your started games even if you set a Retirement and the wins/loses still count and change your Step position (although it is hidden).
  • You cannot end the Retirement until at least 7 days pass. After you finish the Retirement, you cannot start a new one within 14 days.


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