Home of the Meson Chess Problem Database and the BDS Ladder

Ladder Home

This chess problem solving ladder started on Facebook in 2021 and so far two legs of six rounds each have taken place up to the beginning of 2023. From the third leg, however, the ladder will be run from this website and will be renamed as the ‘BDS Ladder’. This seems to make sense, as, although a few of the current solvers are Facebook users, the vast majority are not.

All problems will have just one solution and will have been computer tested, so unless the controller has made a mistake (not unknown!) there will be no problem with more than one solution, or even worse, no solution. For the moment at least, all problems will be directmates, where White (playing up the board) has to mate in the number of moves specified. The maximum score for each problem will be 5 points, thus making 30 the maximum score for each round.

There will be prizes for the three best solvers in each leg. Solvers’ scores will accumulate permanently from round to round and from leg to leg. There will also be a prize for each ‘ladder ascent’, which will be awarded when a solver’s accumulated score reaches a total wholly divisible by 250. All prizes, will be ‘virtual’.

A period of 4 weeks will normally be allowed for solutions to be submitted to the controller at ‘ladder AT bstephen.me.uk’. Solvers are encouraged to accompany their solutions with their comments on the problems. The best comments will be published with the solutions. The controller will also use the comments for any necessary tie-breaking. Scores will be published on a round by round basis.

New solvers may join at any time. Please see the archive for the problems and solutions of previous legs. Also please read the guidance notes which give details of what constitutes a complete solution.

Developed and maintained by Brian Stephenson.
Implemented with HTML5, MySQL, Perl (with, inter alia, CGI::Simple, HTML::Template & XML::LibXML) & CSS/Javascript (jQuery, Bootstrap & DataTables).