Resources for Chess Parents and Players
From Evanston Scholastic Chess
Our own Evanston Scholastic Chess web site has a resources section for parents and lists our upcoming tournaments and tournament results.
The youth resources area of the Illinois Chess Association. Covers topics like: learning chess, starting and running a chess program, tournaments, etc.
Information for Parents about Evanston Scholastic Chess Tournaments
How do you know whether your child is ready to go to a chess tournament?
- He or she likes chess and wants to try a tournament (most important of all!)
- He or she knows the game well enough to checkmate an opponent.
- He or she is able to deal reasonably well with losing games.
If you don't feel like your child is ready yet, that's fine...there are three or four tournaments during the school year, so wait until the next one comes around.
FAQ....What's a chess tournament like?
- You register ahead of time through your team’s registrar—one parent who gathers the roster for your school. Get the fee to the registrar before (or at) the tournament.
- Show up and sign in half an hour before the first round.
How players are seeded, rated and paired at Evanston Scholastic Chess tournaments
Goals When Seeding Chess Players
Unlike most USCF-rated scholastic tournaments, our sections are both age-based (by grade) and ability-based. The goal is to create an environment where children have the opportunity to grow their ability at chess, and grow it at their own pace.
The expectation is that when a child reaches the top of one section, s/he will move on to the next higher section: from Pawn to Knight to Bishop to Rook to Queen to King. This is similar to how adult “class” chess tournaments work.
The goal is not to provide an individual child with an opportunity to win most of his/her games at every single tournament. Even very good chess players lose or draw many of their games. Becoming a better player and learning more about the game should be the primary goals.
It’s very typical at our Evanston Scholastic tournaments for a child to win a section, then move up to the next section and do rather poorly for a while. That’s normal, and it’s part of their growth as players. Worthwhile goals for children who are at this stage of learning might be: have games that last many moves, beat or draw a higher-rated player, gain rating points.
USCF-Rated Tournaments: A Primer for Parents
By Kristin Brown
What is USCF?
It’s the US Chess Federation and most of the bigger tournaments in which our children compete are rated by USCF. You may have heard your chess player talking about “ratings”. You get a rating when you join USCF and play in a USCF-rated tournament.
How does it work?
One of the nice things about chess is that you can play as much or as little as you like. There are tournaments every weekend from mid-September through mid-April (and more from April – September, too, but not necessarily every weekend). You always compete as an individual, but in most of the larger tournaments, they also keep track of team scores, adding up the points for the top 3 or 4 players on your team and in your division (depending on the tournament). Divisions are usually K-1, 2-3, 4-5 and 6-8– although these also vary depending on the tournament.
Chess notation is a system for recording chess games on paper while they are being played. It is also referred to as scorekeeping or keeping score.