54th Cincinnati Open, April 6-8, 2018
5-Round Swiss — An Ohio Grand Prix Event — Open Section FIDE Rated
Plans are in progress for the 2019 Cincinnati Open. Information will be posted here as soon as arrangements are finalized.
About the Cincinnati Open
In 2012 Cincinnati Scholastic Chess revived the Cincinnati Open. After many years as an annual event, the tournament went defunct in 2003, and between then and 2012 it was played only once (in 2009). The 2012 revival began inauspiciously as a fire alarm famously disrupted proceedings just as round 1 was set to begin on Friday evening, causing a 45-minute delay. (No fire was discovered.) Another challenge was finding a suitable home for the event, as we tried three different venues in our first four years. But since 2016 the Open has been established at the Hilton Garden Inn in Blue Ash, OH. This is a great fit for the tournament because we can occupy all the available space and thus avoid the noise and congestion that could be expected from sharing the space with some other event — and still have room to grow. Moreover, players’ comments on the HGI-BA have been uniformly positive and enthusiastic. Our intention at this time is to return to the HGI-BA in 2019.
It has always been a priority for CSC to offer an optimal tournament experience for the players who participate in the Cincinnati Open. This goes beyond starting the rounds on time. As a direct result of player feedback, we achieved the credentials necessary to have the top section FIDE rated beginning in 2017. With respect to the under sections, we also responded to requests for a somewhat shorter time control, G/120; d5. This resulted, also in 2017, in an innovative format that is, as far as we know, still unique to the Cincinnati Open. Six rounds are scheduled: one on Friday, three on Saturday, and two on Sunday. Players select any one round of the six for a zero-point bye so that all players play a five-round schedule. This schedule provides the flexibility for players to choose a bye round that best suits their circumstances and still play five games all at the same time control. As a result players can:
- Skip the Friday night round and play a two-day schedule on Saturday and Sunday,
- Sleep in Saturday morning,
- Take Saturday evening off,
- Take a long break between morning and evening rounds on Saturday,
- Skip the Sunday morning round, or
- Leave for home earlier on Sunday without giving up a game.
By electing a zero-point bye for round 5 and a half-point bye for round 6, players can even play a two-day schedule on Friday and Saturday and still play four games, potentially scoring 4.5/5.
Based on the feedback we have received, we believe that the players appreciate the changes that we have made to the Open. In addition to the support we have received from Ohioans, we have drawn players from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and even California. We in turn appreciate the players, and one of the ways we express that is to offer loyalty discounts off the entry fee for returning players. We want them to come back (and many do), even as we want to attract new players who, we hope, will also become returning players.