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The Scholastic Tournament Program offers free competitive chess tournaments in New York City. Tournaments are hosted primarily in public schools and many are open to all New York City students. Tournament participation ranges from approximately 400-700 students. Chess in the Schools organizes and manages the tournament and through our Grand Prix initiative, also offers competitive grants to schools that participate in the School Program to be used for competing in regional and national scholastic tournaments.
CIS Tournament Schedule
Unless otherwise specified, standard CIS tournaments run on the following schedule:
Standard tournament schedule:
- Check-in: 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
- Round 1: 10:00 AM
- Round 2: 11:15 AM
- Round 3: 1:00 PM
- Round 4: 2:15 PM
- Award Ceremony: 3:30 PM
Open Section Schedule:
- Check-in: 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
- Round 1: 10:00 AM
- Round 2: 11:45 AM
- Round 3: 1:45 PM
- Award Ceremony: 3:30 PM
Running from September 15, 2018– March 16, 2019.
The Chess in the Schools Grand Prix System was put in place more than a decade ago to address the rising number of CIS teams interested in participating in regional and national chess events. Teams earn funding to go to events such as the City Championship and National Championships based on attendance and performance at CIS tournaments.
|JH/Place||Team||# of Points||# of Events|
|EL/Place||Team||# of Points||# of Events|
Visit the event page for the tournament you’d like to register for. Please note that some tournaments are for “USCF rated” players only, and some are for UNRATED players only. Other events are for CIS only and some events have a limit to the number that can register for each section.
All tournament registrations must be submitted by 5:00 PM the Tuesday before the event. Late registrations will not be accepted. Also, it is possible that some events with limited space will close registration prior to the announced closing date.
All CIS tournaments are FREE!
Non-CIS schools are limited to 20 total registrations per event, with no more than 5 of which are unrated players.
If your child can play a “legal” game of chess, they are ready. This means that they fully understand how all the pieces move and they know how to check and checkmate.
CIS tournament sections are split up by grade and skill level. The following is a guide for out tournament sections:
K-12 Open: This section is for rated players only (USCF ID Required)! Also, all players in this section must be rated at least 1500 USCF. All grades eligible.
K-12 Reserve: This section is for rated players only (USCF ID Required)! Also, all players in this section must be rated at least 1000 USCF and no more than 1499 USCF. All grades eligible.
JH-HS Novice: This section is for rated players only (USCF ID Required)! This section is for players rated under 1100 USCF and it targeted for JH/HS players, however, all grades eligible.
JH-HS NRB: This section is for UNRATED players only. Only open to students in grades 6-12.
EL Novice: This section is for rated players only (USCF ID Required)! Also, all players in this section must be rated at least 600 USCF and no more than 999 USCF. Only open to students in grades K-5.
EL Rookie: This section is for rated players only (USCF ID Required)! Also, all players in this section must be rated 600 USCF. Only open to students in grades K-5.
EL NRB: This section is for UNRATED players only. Only open to students in grades K-5.
*Some events have special sections and the sections are clearly labeled. Email us if you have additional questions.
* If you are registering for a rated section a USCF membership is required and the USCF ID must be entered. Conversely, if you are registering for an unrated section, no USCF ID should be entered.
Visit uschess.org/msa and enter your name.
You can purchase or renew a USCF membership at the USCF website: https://new.uschess.org/join-uschess/
Most CIS events are run at G/30 or G/25;D5 for all sections beside the Open/Championship section which is G/45 or G/40;D5. We also have some events with different time controls. Always check the event page for specific tournament questions.
All CIS tournament registrations must be completed on the CIS website on the tournament registration page (Link). We utilize ClassEnroll for all individual and team registrations. You must first register for an account with ClassEnroll (either as a parent or coach). After you have registered you can begin registering for our events. If you want to only register one child for an event, simply submit the registration after entering their information. If you would like to add additional players, click the “+” sign to add one player at a time, making sure to complete all required fields. All successful registrants will receive an email confirmation once the registration has been completed. If you have registered, but have not received a confirmation email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A final tournament announcement email will be sent prior to the event with specific tournament announcements for each event.
*When registering for future events, you only need to find the registration link on the CIS website, log-in to ClassEnroll, and select the players you would like to enter. You must re-select a section for each event as sometimes sections are different. Also, if you are moving a player you initially registered in an unrated section with no USCF ID to a rated section, please edit the entire student profile and add a USCF ID.
*A USCF ID is required to be entered for all rated sections. Please do not add a USCF ID if you are registering for an unrated section.
Most events do not have on-site registration, as CIS events are typically at capacity prior to the event. However, most CIS events will open on-site registration for round two if space is available. On-site registration is never available for round one. To request on-site registration for round two, please visit the computer TD room 15 minutes after the start of the first round.
CIS will do its best to assign each school a “team room.” In most cases your room will be shared with other teams. Also, since we provide these rooms free-of-charge, we have special “team room” rules, as follows:
TEAM ROOMS: Schools using team rooms and participating in our tournaments are expected to treat the space with respect and ensure that the room looks exactly as it did when you arrived as when you leave. The rearranging of furniture, bringing chairs into the hallway, eating or drinking in the rooms is strictly prohibited. Also, all borrowed team sets should be returned to the cafeteria by 2:45PM.
Schools that fail to follow these rules or cause damage to a room may forfeit being assigned team rooms for future events.
Boards, sets, and scoresheets are provided. We ask that participants bring clocks if they have one and a writing instrument for notation.
All students that pre-register for a tournament must check-in by 9:30 AM the morning of the event on the tablets provided by CIS. Please be sure that the person checking you in has highlighted your name on the tablet.
CIS follows the USCF Rulebook (6th Edition, unless otherwise noted). Following are the rules we specify before each event:
You have the right to appeal a decision of a floor TD. If you wish to see the Chief TD, tell the floor TD right away. DO NOT wait until after the game is over to make this complaint.
1. Touch-move at all times; if adjusting, announce “I adjust” BEFORE making an adjustment.
2. When finished with game, shake hands, report result, reset the chessboard, and leave the playing area.
3. Games that do not start with a clock will have one added at the end of each game (when 10 minutes remain each player will be granted 5 minutes).
4. Illegal moves will result in a one minute penalty to the player making the illegal move. This rule is a variation of the USCF rule. If you have less than 1 minute and make an illegal move, you lose.
5. The playing area must remain quiet while games are in progress. No talking is allowed during play.
No. Only players and tournament staff are allowed in the playing hall.
Raise their hand. If a student has a question or concern while playing, they should raise their hand and speak with a tournament director.
Standings will be posted on a wall near the playing area after the 2nd and 3rd rounds. We ask that participants check the standings for accuracy and report any incorrect results to the computer TD right away. For some events, we will also post the standings live on the website after each round. Students should also ask floor TDs to show them that their result has been posted correctly.
Individual and team awards are provided at all CIS tournaments. At standard CIS tournaments, the top five individuals and top two teams from each section will receive a trophy. At some special events, more prizes are given to individuals. Medals are given to players that finish in the top 10% of a section but do not win a trophy. For most events, 3 points will earn a medal, for larger sections 3.5 is required.
*Students who score 3 or more points in an unrated section must purchase a USCF membership and play in a rated section for all future CIS tournaments.
AWARD CEREMONY: Schools are expected to participate in the award ceremony. CIS will do its best to have two ceremonies for tournaments when possible. In either case, schools are expected to stay for the entire ceremony and show respect to all students and schools (this applies to all students and parents). This means, ensuring that your students and children are paying attention. During the awards ceremony, talking and the use of cell phones or other electronic devices is prohibited. Schools should also do their best to find seats and not block the areas that students need to pass to receive their awards.
Visit the event page for the specific tournament in order to find standings and photos.
If you are at the award ceremony, please wait until the end of the ceremony and speak with the awards presenter. We then ask that you email email@example.com with the information/result to be corrected within 24 hours of the event so that all corrections are made prior to submitting the rating report. If the results are only noticed after the event, please email us.
If you have a question not addressed here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We strive to respond to all inquiries within 24 business hours.