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Other Tournament Information

Tournament Life

Tournament Life provides details of coming events in your area. USCF membership is required. If not a member, add dues to mailed entry fee or pay them with entry at site. Dues, including 1 year Chess Life, are: regular $49, age 19 and under $25, age 65 & over $36; scholastic membership (receives Chess Life bi-monthly), age 14 and under, $19.

Events are listed in four separate sections. Except for "Non-ratable events," all require USCF membership.

  • National Events. Co-sponsored by the USCF, these events offer official U.S. titles and most are open to bidding by USCF affiliates.
  • Grand Prix. Major events, usually open to all, listed in date order. See "USCF GRAND PRIX" for more information.
  • State listings. Mostly local tournaments, listed by state and then by date. Includes a reference to Grand Prix events.
  • Non-ratable events (simuls, bughouse, doubles, lectures, etc.).

Special Events

  • American Classics. Events that are open to all and have attracted more than 400 players for three consecutive years..
  • Heritage Events. Tournaments held for at least 25 years.
  • Action Tournaments. Events offering game in 30 time control. This lets players pack in more chess excitement in less time.
  • Rated Beginners Opens. Usually one day events with low entry fees, open to Under 1200 or Unrated or a lower rating requirement.

How to Enter in Advance

Entering by mail is easier for both you and the tournament organizer and often costs less. Along with entry fee, send full name, address, USCF ID number, expiration date, and section desired (if any). Also give your last official USCF rating from your magazine label (first 4 numbers on top row). If you are unrated, or have a rating from many years ago, be sure to indicate this. Old ratings are still valid - you never lose your rating. Your official USCF ratings are on the top line of your mailing label: Regular, Quick, and Correspondence. You may use the handy coupon below to enter most events.

What To Take To A Tournament

Along with a pen or pencil, be sure to bring your USCF ID card (or current Chess Life). The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will provide a chessboard, set, and clock.

After Mailing Your Entry

Mailed entries are usually not acknowledged unless you enclose a self-addressed postcard. They are refundable if you withdraw before round 1 is paired, unless otherwise stated. For National Events, refund requests must be submitted in writing no later than 30 days after the end of the tournament. Requests after this date may not be processed.

If You Must Withdraw

If you enter by mail and cannot attend, or must drop out of a tournament in progress, it is important you give notice before pairings are started. Mail entrants should send withdrawal notices at least a week before to be sure they arrive in time - if too late for this, phone. To withdraw by phone on tournament day, call the site and ask for "the chess tournament."

Hotel-Motel Rates

Rates listed are often special chess rates - you must request "chess rates" or you will be charged more. The chess rates may be unavailable if not reserved several weeks in advance, or if the block of chess rooms is used up. Hotel desks are often poorly informed about chess rates - if you find one uncooperative, ask for the Sales Office or contact the tournament organizer.

Other Helpful Information

For prizes of $600 or over, bring your U.S. Social Security card. If you have no Social Security number, the organizer must deduct 30% from your prize for the IRS (this includes foreigners).

For foreign players with multiple ratings (USCF, FIDE, CFC, FQE, other foreign), the highest of the ratings (plus possible adjustment points) is used, unless otherwise announced. Foreign players must inform the Tournament Director of all their foreign or FIDE ratings. FIDE or foreign ratings may be rejected or have adjustment points added. If details are not announced, players wishing to use such ratings should contact organizer in advance. Director may assign estimated rating to any player, and may expel an improperly rated player from event in progress.

Tournament Director Certification is an endorsement of professional competence only. Such certification does not in itself render any Tournament Director an agent of USCF, nor is any Affiliate an agent of USCF.