New Tournament Players

1. What do I need to know as a newcomer to chess tournaments?

2. Do I need to bring my own chess set/board or chess clock?

Kolty has enough boards and sets but a smaller number of clocks. If you have a clock, please bring it.

3. How much does it cost to play in a tournament?

Most tournaments are between $30 and $50. Membership in the United States Chess Federation (USCF, ~$40/year) is required – please visit the www.uschess.org website.

4. How long am I allowed per game?

Tournament time controls vary. Usual games are like “G/90 d5” which means each player has 90 minutes plus 5 seconds delay per move. The “90” might be “75” for 75 minutes or “120” for 120 minutes for example. Use of delay is required when playing with digital clocks. Analog clocks do not use delay. For this reason, digital clocks are strongly encouraged for tournaments. For some outside tournaments or Kolty Blitz tournaments there is an increment where each player gains time after each move. For example, a blitz game may be "5/3 or G/5 + 3" which both mean each player starts with 5 minutes but gains 3 seconds after their move. In the delay you don't gain time but with increment one can add time for use later in the game. Top level classical chess (like you see online) is largely G/90 + 30 so 90 minutes plus 30 seconds a move.

5. What should I do if I cannot attend a game on a specific day?

Email koltychessclub@gmail.com by Noon Tuesday before the next game on Wednesday. Failure to do so may result in a forfeit loss. If later than Noon Tuesday, please send an email anyway.

6. Tournament chess is “touch move” so if you touch a piece, you must move it if legal.

Decide on your move before touching any piece.

7. How do I offer a draw to my opponent?

You make your move and as you are pressing the clock state “I offer a draw.” Your opponent may verbally accept or decline or if they just make a move, they have declined the draw offer.

8. Is there proper chess etiquette during tournaments?

Talking with your opponent is not allowed during the game. Making annoying movements or noises is not allowed. Excessive draw offers are prohibited as it is considered disruptive to your opponent.

9. Are there other rules for tournament play?

Yes, there are more rules this list covers the basics to get you started. More information is on the internet, including An Introduction to USCF-Rated Tournaments and the Official Rulebook (2020 PDF).

5/10/24 Rev. 5