To Register, click the "Registration" Tab on the
Round Times and Dates
Rounds 1, 2 and 3: Saturday March
9:00am, 12:30pm, and 4:30pm
Rounds 4 and 5: Sunday
March 27th at 8:30am and 12:30pm
Scholastic Players must be attending a public,
private, or home school in VA ... or be a Virginia Resident
attending another school out of state.
See also our
Asked Questions page for several more
eligibility-related questions impacting players and teams.
Please direct any Eligibility Questions to
Hoffpauir as shown at the bottom of this page.
ALL PLAYERS must be active members of the US Chess Federation.
To join the USCF, or to renew your existing membership,
Cell Phone Policy and Policy
for other Electronic Devices (other than clocks and USCF-approved
Electronic Notation Devices).
CELL PHONES must be
turned-off while your game is in progress
and placed face-down on the table at your board.
A better remedy is to leave your phone with your parents, team or Coach. Once your game begins you MAY NOT have a phone on your person, in
your pocket, etc. It must remain at your table, face-down,
turned-off. A phone that
rings shall incur a 10-minute time penalty for the offending player.
A player who answers his/her cell phone, is "texting" during
play, or is found with a phone on their person is very very likely
to forfeit their current game and their continuation in the tournament is at severe risk.
can register for and play in one of eight (8) "Sections" based on their grade in school
and their Chess Rating.
FIVE Rounds of Chess
in all sections--3 Rounds on Saturday, 2
Rounds on Sunday.
Swiss System, with tie-breaks in the sequence
specified in the US Chess Federation's Rules of Chess. See also "Ties" below.
Each player can request one
Byes for Round 1 or 2
must be requested before registration closes at 9 PM on Friday
Byes for Rounds 3
must be requested
ONE HOUR before the start of Round 2 on
Saturday (e.g., by 12-noon)
1 and 2: Game-60 with a 5-second time increment.
Rounds 3-5, Game-90 with a 10-second time increment.
may use Accelerated Pairings in
Rounds 1 and 2 for sections with more than 64 players. If accelerated pairings are in
use, the Chief TD will announce this information before the
start of Round 1 in the affected section(s).
We will make every
effort not to pair teammates against each other.
However, there are instances when players, parents and coaches
should expect this to happen, such as when
more than half of the players
in a Section or a Score-group are from the same team.
This is not un-common in later rounds of the tournament, and can
happen as early as Round 2 under certain conditions.
This is an INDIVIDUAL
tournament, with Team Points determined using the results of
the players' wins, losses and draws on each Team.
A "Team" is defined as
two or more players who attend
the same school and who are playing in the same section of the
tournament. You DO NOT have to be on a "team" to play in
this tournament. But, if two or more players register for
the tournament they are "by default" considered as a team ...
regardless of whether their school has a Chess Club or formal
For the Main Tournament, Team Points are
calculated by adding the scores
of the 3 or 4 best-performing players from the same
school. In the Championship Sections it's the 4-highest
scoring players. In the Under Sections, it's the 3-highest
Schools may not have more than one team
competing in the same section. A School IS ALLOWED to have
a team in the Championship AND the Under Sections within the
same grade-group. All players who go to the
same school are on the same team.
Players who "Play Up" cannot have their points
counted with the points of school-mates playing in another
section of the tournament. However, if two or more players
from the same school play up, they are a "team" in that section
of the tournament.
Anyone with questions about their Team's
composition--especially players who are Home Schooled--should contact
Mike Hoffpauir as shown at the bottom
of this screen. Also, see the "Teams
-- Frequently Asked Questions"
page we've created.
Players in all
CHAMPIONSHIP Sections except K-3 are required to record their games using Chess
Notation. Practice now!!
Required in the K-12 and K-8 Under Secitons.
It is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED in the K-5 and K-3 Under Sections, but
it is not mandatory.
The only authorized electronic
score-keeping (notation) devices that can be used in the State
Championships are those approved by the US Chess Federation (Monroi,
PlyCount, and ChessNoteR). Cell-phone Apps that
take notation are not allowed. Any person with a question
about their (or their opponent's) electronic notation device
should ask a Tournament Director.
"ARMAGEDDON PLAYOFF": In the K-12, K-8
if there is a tie for 1st place among two or more players
with perfect 5.0 scores,
there will be an "Armageddon Playoff" to
determine who wins the 1st Place Trophy.
This playoff also will determine which K-12, K-8 and K-5 players have 1st choice to
represent Virginia at the 2023 Tournament of Champions listed
above (e.g. Denker, Barber, Rockefeller, and Haring). An Armageddon
Playoff means the two players play one game. The player with
the higher Tie-Break Points after 5 Rounds has a choice of playing
White with 7 minutes on his/her clock, or playing
Black with 5
minutes and "Draw Odds." There is no time-delay,
and this playoff game is NOT rated. If the game result is a
draw, Black wins the Armageddon Playoff. If 3 players are tied
with perfect scores, then the player with the highest Tie Breaks
after 5 rounds of the tournament will play the winner of the
Armageddon Playoff between the two Players in 2nd and 3rd place
(based on Tie Breaks) after 5 rounds. Again, this Playoff only
determines who wins 1st Place among 2 or more players who are tied
at the end of the tournament with perfect 5.0 scores in the K-12 and
K-8 Championship Sections.
more information, contact
Mike Hoffpauir, National Tournament Director.
We advise parents/coaches of high-rated
K-12, K-8 and K-5 section players to take time to understand this paragraph and to discuss it
with their players.
Chess Sets and Boards are provided at
the tournament. BRING YOUR CLOCK (if you own one) and some
pens and pencils. Clocks, pencils and scorebooks will be
available on site at our Book Store.
A Few More Selected Tournament
These rules supplement the US Chess Federation (USCF) Rule Book
(7th ed) and apply only to this tournament.
Don't wait until AFTER your game ends to raise
a problem that occurs DURING your game!!
If you have a problem during
play, stop your clock (if one is being used) and raise your hand.
Do not get into an argument or discussion about the game with
your opponent ... it disturbs the players around you.
a Tournament Director arrives at your board, state your question or
wait for the TD's reply. You don't need to ask permission to
use the bathroom.
IF THE CLOCK AT THE BOARD IS NOT YOURS, BE
SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE THE CLOCK PAUSE ... ASK your opponent!!
Pencils: Players are responsible for bringing their
own pens or pencils. We will not provide them at the
Clocks: If you have a chess
clock, please bring it ... and be sure it is capable
of "Time Increment" and has fresh batteries!!
Know how to use a clock, because your opponent
is likely to have one.
If either player brings a
clock to the board, the clock must be used ... "I don't like
using a clock" or "I don't know how to use a clock" is not an
excuse. You do not need to have a clock to play in the
main tournament, but it's a good idea to get one
for yourself ...
using a clock keeps the game moving along. Also,
are responsible for knowing how to set their own clocks, don't
expect the Tournament Directors to help you.
Tournament Director creates pairings using US
Chess Federation-approved computer software,
with the pairings themselves approved by the Chief TD before
they are posted to the public.
Ratings used for Pairings, Section determination, and
for Prizes are the highest of a player's Over-the-Board and
Online Regular Ratings found in the
MARCH 2023 US Chess
Rating Supplement. Those ratings
should be available online for
rated players around February 17th or 18th, 2023.
Rounds 1 and 2 of the tournament it is highly unlikely that siblings or
teammates will be paired against one another. However,
the probability for this
scenario increases when there are many players from the same
school in a section or in a score group. It also increases in later rounds when siblings or
teammates are in contention for trophies. For
instance, imagine a scenario where after 3 rounds, there are 6
players with 3 points each, and 4 of those players go to the
same school. In this example,
at least two of the players from the same school must
play a teammate. Remember, this
tournament is, foremost, an INDIVIDUAL tournament.
players and parents should be aware that the Chief Tournament
Director may use "Accelerated Pairings" for the first 2
rounds of the tournament.
The Tournament Director breaks ties using the methods specified by the U.S. Chess
Federation (Rules of Chess). Players or Teams tied for 1st place are considered "State
Co-Champions." However, the Player/Team with the best tie-break
points will receive the 1st place trophy.
The sequence for Individual
tie-breaks is: Modified
Median, Solkoff, Cumulative, Cumulative of Opposition. Ties
among Teams are broken using these tie-breaks: Solkoff, Cumulative, Cumulative of Opposition.
your Game is Finished: Raise your hand and wait for a
TD to arrive. Do not reset your pieces until the TD instructs
you to reset them. The TD will ensure your game's results are
properly written on the Game Result Slip. DO NOT LEAVE before
you verify your game results with a TD.
Mike Hoffpauir by email, or phone 757-846-4805