Please follow the links below to find the information you are looking for.

What to expect at a tournament

What to bring

Tournament Fees

Beginning and ending time



What to expect at a tournament?

Tournaments are broken down into the following stages, please click on the blue links to know more about each stage.


Players show up and register for the tournament.  When registering, players are asked which section they would like to play in.
Players may register for one of four sections, depending on their grade in school.   All players are welcome to play in a more advanced section if they desire a more challenging tournament, just be sure to let us know at registration that you are "playing up".

Registration begins at 8:00 and closes at 8:30.  Please be sure to arrive as early as possible to help ensure a well run tournament.





Primary Pre-Kindergarten through grade 3  
Elementary Pre-Kindergarten through grade 6  
Junior High Pre-Kindergarten through grade 9  
Rated Open Open (all grades Pre-Kindergarten through Adult) This section is USCF rated
Rated PK-3 Pre-Kindergarten through grade 3 This section is USCF rated
Rated PK-6 Pre-Kindergarten through grade 6 This section is USCF rated
Rated PK-12 Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 This section is USCF rated
Rated PK-Adult Pre-Kindergarten through Adult This section is USCF rated

Not all tournaments have all sections. Check the tournament schedule page for section info.

Also there are Grade Level tournaments that have a section for each grade K-8 and an Open (K-12) section. As always playing above your grade is allowed.


After registration is completed, the head director will review the rules of the chess tournament.  Please be sure to listen.  After completing the rules, the first round will be posted and announced.


When the first round pairings are complete, the tournament staff will post them on the walls and announce the start of the first round.  The pairing sheet lists (in alphabetical order by player's last name):

  • Player's name
  • Board number
  • Color
  • Opponent's name

Players should locate their name on the list and then go to the appropriate board and set up their pieces.  If you have any trouble, please ask any of the tournament staff for assistance in locating your board number. If there are an odd number of players for a given round the pairing program will assign one player a full point bye. That means that player is not paired and is awarded 1 point (a win). If you get a full point bye for a round you must check-in with the scoring table because there may be a last minute change and you might be paired. If you fail to check-in and there is someone you could have been paired with, you will receive a forfeit loss.


The start of each round will be announced shortly after the pairings list is posted on the wall.  The tournament staff will make every effort to let you know when the round is about to begin; however, it is still your responsibility to know when the round begins.

Each player is given ten minutes to show up at their board - after ten minutes a ten minute clock is placed on the board.  When that time expires (after a total of twenty minutes), the game is declared forfeited and the missing player is withdrawn from the tournament.  Players must see the tournament director to be re-enter.

Reporting Results

After completing the game, both players must report the result to the directors' table.  It is important that both players report the result together!

Membership Cards

If you registered for the tournament using a membership card, your card will be available for you to pick later in the tournament. Pick up your card befoer you leave the tournament.  If you did not bring your card or you are new to the School Chess Association, your card will need to be printed.  New cards are normally available during the third round of the tournament.

In all cases, you are responsible for retrieving your card.  If you cannot find it, ask for assistance.


After the last game of the last round is reported, awards are given to players.  Typically, five trophies are awarded in the Primary and Elementary sections (First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth).   Place trophies are awarded based on the tournament score, with tie-breaks used to resolve equal scores.

The Novice award is given to the player with the best score in their section who did not earn a trophy.  Only players who have never won a trophy at an SCA event are eligible for the novice award.

The Golden Knight award is given to players who tie for the a place trophy and who do not otherwise earn a trophy.

The number of trophies may be adjusted upward or downward based on the number of entrants.

End of Tournament

While it is difficult to predict the exact ending time of our tournaments, we do our best to run them in a timely fashion.   We try to complete all tournaments by the following times:


Elementary 3:00
Junior High 3:30

What to bring

  • Chess set!
  • Registration money
  • Food money (or lunch)

Optional Items

  • Chess Clock
  • Notation pad
  • Pen or pencil

Tournament Fees

Registration: $24.00
Membership card: $2.00
Additional sibling $23.00

Each player registering without a registration card will be assessed a $2.00 fee and given a new registration card.  Registration cards do not expire (they are valid through 12th grade).


The Twin Cities Junior High tournament is $24.00.

The Statewide Elementary and Primary Championship early registration fee is $40.00. The Statewide Elementary and Primary Championship late registration fee is $50.00.

$1.00 off  registration for each sibling. An extra $2.00 will be charged if membership card is not brought by players who register at the door. Pre-registered players do not have to bring their membership cards.

Tournament of Champions invitational - Two special sections for top players in state.
K-3 & 4-6 invited, players all receive chess awards. On the same date also open sections for all other players in k-3, 4-6, and 7-12.


Registration for our tournaments runs from 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Most tournaments end by 3:00 or 3:30 p.m.   Please see registration and end of tournament for more information.