Round 1 is at 9AM on Saturday March
7th. See the
"Event Schedule" for the times of
Register Online for
the Main Event, select the REGISTRATION TAB on the left or click the
link below. The Entry Fee is $50 if you register and pay
by midnight on Saturday, Feb 29th. Starting on Sunday March
the entry fee increases to $65. On Friday March 6th, the only
way to enter is On-Site at the tournament for an entry fee of $75. We strongly encourage you to
register on-line using the buttons below; however, if you
prefer to register by U.S. Mail, CLICK
HERE. If you register on-line you don't need
to send in a mail-in registration form.
Scholastic Players must be attending a public,
private, or home school in VA ... or be a Virginia Resident
attending another school out of state.
must be attending college FULL TIME in VA, or be VA residents attending
college out-of-state. Also, FIDE-titled IM, FM, or GM
players cannot be more than 25 years old as of September
1, 2019. "Full Time" means attending "full time"
based on the rules for full-time student status at your college
or university. A high schooler taking college courses
CANNOT play in the College section.
See also our Frequently
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,
here. If you are unsure about your membership status, go to
the USCF's Member Support
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 nine (9) "Sections" based on their grade in school
and their Chess Rating,
College: For players who have
graduated from High School and are attending College full-time.
All College games are played on Saturday. There are no
College games on Sunday.
Scholastic Players in Pre-School through 12th Grade have 8
Sections to select from as listed below.
may play in the Championship or Under sections.
K-12 Championship or K-12 Under 1400.
9th-12th Grade player in the Championship Section qualifies to represent Virginia in the
2020 Denker Tournament of High School Champions.
girl in the Championship Section
qualifies to represent Virginia in the 2019 National Girls
Tournament of Champions.
K-8 Championship or K-8 Under 1200.
6th-8th Grade player in the Championship Section
qualifies to represent Virginia in the 2020 Barber
Tournament of Jr. High Champions.
K-5 Championship or K-5 Under 1000.
K-5 player in the Championship Section
qualifies to represent Virginia in the new 2020 Rockefeller Tournament of
K-3 Championship or K-3 Under 600.
FIVE Rounds of Chess
in the K-3, K-5, K-8 and K-12 Sections--3 Rounds on Saturday, 2
Rounds on Sunday. The College Section plays
only 4 rounds, all on Saturday.
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
Scholastic Sections: Rounds
1 and 2: Game-60 with a 10-second time delay.
Rounds 3-5, Game-90 with a 10-second time delay.
College: ALL ROUNDS are Game-60 with a 5-second time
delay. All College Games are on Saturday, there are no
College games on Sunday.
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
scoring players. For Blitz and for College Teams, we use the Top 3 performing players.
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,
E-Notate, 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 2020 Tournament of Champions events listed
below (e.g. Denker, Barber and Rockefeller). 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.
NEW FOR 2020:
The Top Finishing K-5th Grade player, male or female, in
the K-5 Championship Section is eligible to receive financial assistance to represent
Virginia at the NEW Rockefeller
Tournament of State Elementary Champions held in
late July and early August 2020
during the US Open in St. Louis, MO.
The Top Finishing 6th-8th Grade player, male or female, in
the K-8 Championship Section is eligible to receive financial assistance to represent
Virginia at the Barber
Tournament of State Middle School Champions held in
late July and early August 2020
during the US Open in St. Louis, MO.
The Top Finishing FEMALE player
from the K-12 Championship Section
is eligible to receive assistance to represent Virginia at the
National Girls Tournament of Champions (NGTOC) held during the US Open
in late July and early August 2020. This year, the NGTOC is
being held in St. Louis, MO. The NGTOC does not have a
minimum age specification, so a talented 6th grade girl who competes
in the K-12 Section can be the state's NGTOC representative.
Any female player wanting a chance to represent Virginia in the
NGTOC must play in the K-12 Section of the Virginia Scholastic
The Top Finishing 9th-12th Grade player, male or female, in
the K-12 Championship Section is eligible to receive assistance to represent Virginia at the
Tournament of State High School Champions held in late
July and early August 2020
during the US Open in St. Louis, MO.
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
(6th ed) and apply only to this tournament.
Your Game: 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.
And, do not get into an argument or discussion about the game with
your opponent ... it disturbs the players around you. When
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 your batteries
are fresh. 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 USCF-approved computer software,
with the pairings themselves approved by the Chief TD before
they are posted to the public.
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