Player Pathway

At Chess Power, we have a Player Pathway™ for becoming a great junior chess player!

For an explanation of ratings and how these work, read our Ratings Explained article and check out our cool rating wristbands!


Rating Level : 0 - 400 points

At this level it is all about developing a passion for chess and a desire to take a step up to the next level of the pyramid. As a player it is critical you receive structured coaching at this level so good habits are established.

We recommend you compete actively in Interschool events.

At all levels players need to find a balance between structured coaching/study and competitive play. Early on the focus is on play, shifting more to coaching and study as you move up the pyramid. Critically important is to have a social network, peer-group or rivals with whom you can compete and improve together such as a Chess Club at school.



Rating Level : 400 - 800 points

At this level, we recommend you actively compete in the Sarapu Cup tournaments. The Sarapu Cup tournament is held on the 2nd Sunday of every month. Running from 1pm – 5pm in age-groups. There are lots of trophy prizes, lucky prizes and general coaching to get kids used to tournament play and encourage those with an interest.


Rating Level : 800 - 1200 points

Intermediate-level players typically have 1-2 years active experience playing in Junior Chess tournaments. They are used to playing competitive chess and have a few nice tricks up their sleeve. These players typically do well in the Knights division or even the Rooks division of the Sarapu Cup.


Chess Power Elite

Rating Level : 1200 – 1850 points

At this level players are learning to record games and slow down. Games lasting one-hour are common and coaching becomes player-specific. Students should be starting to buy chess books and doing some self-guided practice and study. Most Elite players will be highly competitive in the Rooks or Kings division of the Sarapu Cup.

To qualify for Chess Power Elite a player must have a rating an established rating over 1200 points.


Chess Power Junior Master™

Rating Level : 1850+

Players who reach this level are awarded the title of Junior Master. You can also be awarded the Junior Master™ title by winning a National event such as the Champions Trophy or the Chess Power Interschool National Finals. We recommend a Junior Master joins an Adult Chess Club, starts playing Open Weekend Tournaments and commits to dedicated self-study. Most will have a private coach and mentor with whom they work on a regular basis. NZCF Rated Tournaments such as the NZ Junior Championships and the Kings Division of the Sarapu Cup and the Chess Power Champions Trophy are priorities.

View our Upcoming Tournaments page to see what tournaments are coming up.

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