Last updated February 27, 2008.
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Grading Section

This page of the website is devoted to the Canterbury Chess Club grading system, with a description of each grade. There are nine grades in total, with a coloured badge and certificate for each one, starting with White for grade one, all the way up to Black for grade nine. Note that the grades have been fully reviewed and updated.

Each grade is separate from the others, but all build on the knowledge required for previous grades. The first three grades are for beginners, to allow them to get a grasp on the fundamentals (with emphasis on fun!) of the game. The middle three grades are the intermediate grades, designed to prepare players for tournament play, with an introduction to some classical openings. The last three grades are for the advanced juniors, and will teach them how to prepare for tournament chess.

Each grade costs $5, which includes the cost of the badge and certificate. The badges and certificates are in the colour of the grade, and the certificates also have the date passed and the criteria on the back. If a player doesn't pass a grade the first time, they can try again another day, at no additional cost (the fee is for the badge and certificate, not the test). The tests for the first three grades take up to about 30 minutes. After that, the tests are significantly longer, usually requiring a bit over one hour. For that reason, tests for grade four and higher are by appointment.

Tests can be taken with Craig at the chess club on Wednedsay nights, or by appointment at other times. Alternatively, a player who has reached level three or above can test another player, up to a level two grades below their own. For example, a player who has passed Grade Four may test players up to Grade Two. This is useful for schools, as it means a teacher (or strong player) can grade players for the lower grades. If this is the case, the badges can be ordered by schools or coaches, or a player who passes a grade and wants the associated badge should bring their completed sheet and money to the Chess Club on a Wednesday night.

Marking sheets and material are available from the Canterbury Chess Club's clubrooms at 9/27 Tyne Street, or you can e-mail Craig for more information. Note that Grade nine is unfinished.

Here are the colours for each of the grades:

Finally, Craig and Jacinta put a lot of work into the development of the grading system. When the material is online, other coaches/clubs are welcome to borrow as they please, with the following provisos:

  1. It mustn't be used for profit.
  2. Tell us first, so that we know how many people are using it.
  3. Tell us what you think of it - feedback is important!