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Sensory Board Donation

Chess Scotland is starting a fundraising exercise to buy some new sensory boards for use in tournaments. All sections, from Minor to Open, will get the use of these boards. Discussion on the topic can be found here.


The SJCAET Educational Trust supports young Scottish players, and is a tax-efficient medium for donations to aid the development of Junior Chess. For more details please visit

History Archives

Chess Scotland Historian Alan McGowan updates the History Archive.

Check out the latest additions

CS Grading System

The Scottish Grading System attempts to give an accurate measure of a player’s chess strength, based on games in tournaments, leagues and clubs throughout Scotland, and on games in competitions outside Scotland. The Grading System has been tested and refined over many years and the gradings it gives Scottish chessplayers are generally respected as according with their own opinions of player ‘strength’.

The Chess Scotland Grading System is based on the ELO International grading system devised by Professor Arpad Elo, which is also used by FIDE, the World Chess federation, and most national chess associations around the world. Because a chess game can have only three clearly defined results - win, lose or draw - any player’s performance can be evaluated with great accuracy.

The Elo grading system is based on probability theory - a stronger (higher-graded) chessplayer should consistently beat a weaker (lower-graded) opponent. The greater the difference in strength, the higher the probability of this happening. The more games that are played, the better the information about a player’s strength.

When Laszlo Polgar decided to prove that prodigies are made rather than born, by giving his children intensive coaching in one chosen speciality, one reason he decided on chess (rather than music or mathematics) was that the Elo system could measure their record-breaking progress so efficiently.

Grades in the Scottish system vary from junior beginners with a minimum level of 100 up to top Grandmaster level of near 2600.

A list is published in early August each year using results from July 1 of the previous year up to July 1 of the current year. Games played in tournaments and leagues in Scotland are automatically submitted to Chess Scotland for grading by the tournament and league organisers. Games played in clubs are submitted by club secretaries directly to Chess Scotland for grading (individuals cannot submit club results ie just their own data, data must come from the organising club). Clubs have to be members of Chess Scotland before their domestic club games are graded. Games played outside Scotland can also be included for CS members.

CS Grading System links

Frequently asked questions and information on CS Grading System.
A detailed explanation of calculation procedures is included in the grading calculation steps.
Information for area graders (the people who compile grading data) is available here.
Information for players reporting results from outside Scotland is included here.