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Chu Shogi Ladder Rules, last modified 18 May, 2000.
1) All Ladder games will be conducted in an electronic mail format, with the "regulation" Shogi-L board or in a format which both players agree to. Each player is required to make at least one move every seven days. Failure to do so will result in a warning to the non-responsive player, and, if the warning is not replied to, or a move still is not made within an additional three days, then the player forfeits the game (unless proof can be made that the player was not at fault, i.e., links being down, player's system being down, etc.) Email between the players mentioning temporary absences (vacations, etc.) should be copied to the coordinator to keep him informed. The winner must send the game to the Chu Shogi Ladder Coordinator for verification. At that time, the loser of the game will be notified of a win claim. The game is considered won if the loser also verifies the win, yet, if there is no response from the loser within five days after a win notification, then the game is considered won.
2) To begin a Ladder game, one player must challenge another who is higher on the list. One cannot challenge a player more than 5 positions ahead, this is to avoid everyone ganging up upon position #1. To make a challenge, a challenge notice must be sent to person you wish to challenge, with a copy of that message sent to the Ladder Coordinator. The other person can then accept or refuse your challenge, with appropriate notification sent to the Ladder Coordinator as well. If the player fails to respond to your challenge within five days, then it will be considered that the player has refused your challenge.
3) If the challenge is accepted, colors may either be decided by the players or by consulting the Ladder Coordinator. By Shogi tradition, colors are determined by some random procedure, rather than trying to always balance out the number of games each person plays as each color.
4) One cannot challenge the same player twice consecutively unless there are no other players to play against.
5) Multiple games are allowed. However, any player with a game in progress has the right to refuse, without penalty, any additional challenges.
6) Any player can either accept, or refuse a challenge. If you are in positions #1 through #5, you must accept any challenge made to you. If you refuse a challenge, and you are in any of the positions of #1, #2, #3, #4, or #5, then you drop to position #6. This is to prevent someone from taking position #1, and then refusing all challenge games, just so not to lose his/her position.
Being on the ladder implies that you will play. Accordingly, anyone who refuses 5 challenges in a row will be dropped to the lowest rank, unless they have informed the coordinator of a temporary absence. Note that this implies that if you challenge someone, it is up to you to inform the ladder coordinator that they've refused your challenge.
7) If a player challenges and wins, then that player moves to the position of the challenged player, and the challenged player drops one position. If a player challenges and loses, there is no change. All movement takes place at the conclusion of games. There is no dependence on when the challenge was made.
8) In the event of a tie, the players will play again with the opposite colors.
9) All new players shall start at the bottom of the Ladder.
10) Any disputes will be mediated by the Ladder Coordinator, with input from the list if the coordinator so desires. Any decisions by the coordinator are final, however.
11) These rules may be modified by a majority of votes by the ladder players or as the Ladder Coordinator sees fit.
12) Endgames in which no player can force a mate (e.g. K + +G vs. K + CP or K + +FL vs. bare K in the middle of the board) are to be considered a draw. (According to the chu shogi rules the possibility might exist to force the weaker player into a move repetition and then claim the game; I think this is not what the sennichite rule was intended for.)
Taken from the Chess Ladder rules, with thanks to Peter Bereolos. Edited by Chris Sterritt, co-owner Shogi-L list. Further edited by E.Werner, Chu Shogi Ladder Coordinator.