Cincinnati Scholastic Chess

Inviting you to enjoy the king of games in the Queen City

CSC Online

Click here to enter the March 6 CSC Online event, or continue reading for event details. Click here to see who is already entered.

In view of the continuing issues related to Covid-19, CSC has decided not to resume over-the-board play in the near future. We eagerly await the return of in-person chess, but our top priority remains the health and safety of our players and their families. Accordingly, for our winter tournaments, we will continue with the online format that we used in October through December.

We will have 5-round Swiss tournaments online on the following dates:

  • January 9, 2021
  • February 6, 2021
  • March 6, 2021

Anchor Links

Use the links below to navigate immediately to a particular topic on this page:
CSC Online Series Tournaments
Options for Medal Delivery
Results From Previous CSC Online Tournaments
General Information About CSC Online Tournaments

CSC Online Series Tournaments – January through March

Event Details

Each event will be conducted on Rapid ratings will be used for tournament eligibility and pairings. (Playing in this event will have no effect on any player’s USCF rating.) If you do not already have an account at, create one before entering the event. (Scroll down to General Information for related details.) Tournaments begin promptly at 9:00 am – the computer will not pair you for the first-round game if you have not joined your tournament on on time! Depending on the tournament’s time control, play normally concludes between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Each event will have 5 rounds. Based on our autumn experience, we are projecting five tournaments in each event, with a target of about 20 players in each tournament, depending in part on the distribution of players by rating. If the number of entries is significantly  more or fewer than 100, we will adjust the number of tournaments as appropriate. Our objective is that all tournaments have approximately the same number of players and the smallest feasible rating range. For that reason tournaments can be determined only after registration closes (at noon on the Friday before the event).

Players may always choose to play up, meaning to play in any tournament with a higher rating ceiling than the “natural” (or lowest possible) tournament for which they qualify by rating. Also, CSC reserves the right to require any player to play up based on his or her rating history.

The tournaments will have different time controls, as detailed below. The time control indicates the number of minutes that each player has for the game; the “+2” indicates a 2-second increment, meaning that each player receives 2 additional seconds added onto his or her remaining time with each move. If an event has fewer than five tournaments, one or more of these time controls will not be used; if an event has more than five tournaments, we will either add G/10+2 or use one or more of the following time controls more than once.

  • G/20+2 (open no rating ceiling)
  • G/18+2
  • G/16+2
  • G/14+2
  • G/12+2 (lowest rating ceiling)


All prizes will be awarded subject to Fair Play checking by Cincinnati Scholastic Chess and (Scroll down to General Information for related details.)

Personalized medals will be awarded to everyone scoring 3.0 points or more in any tournament.

Class trophies will be awarded based on total points scored during the entire Series (October through March), with each player’s best four scores out of six tournaments counting toward a class trophy. Class trophy levels and total points needed for each level are as follows: Gold 15.0, Silver 12.5, Bronze 10.0, Honorable Mention 7.5.

The Giffin Trophy, signifying the overall championship of the 2020-21 CSC Series, will be awarded to the player who scores the most points in the Open section only, counting the best five scores out of six tournaments. Whoever wins the Giffin Trophy will not also win a class trophy; the Giffin trophy is awarded in lieu of a class trophy.

In the event that two or more players tie with the highest number of qualifying points, the winner of the Giffin Trophy will be decided by the head-to-head results between or among the tied players, considering all the Series games in which they played each other (not only those games included in the five scores counted for total points), or, if the head-to-head results are not decisive, by a playoff between or among the tied players. The time control for the initial playoff round will be G/20+2. The date and time of the playoff will be as mutually agreeable to the players and CSC. Time controls for any subsequent rounds and other details will be determined as necessary when the playoff is arranged.

Entering the Event and Joining a Tournament

Click here to enter (review steps below first if necessary). Click here to see who is already entered.

A player must complete the following steps in order to play in a tournament:

  1. Create an account on if the player does not already have one.
  2. Through this website ( submit an entry form and pay the entry fee. The deadline for submitting an entry form is always NOON on FRIDAY, the day before the event.
  3. On join the event club created specifically for the event. (See additional explanation below.)
  4. On join the particular tournament in which the player wants to play depending on his or her Rapid rating.  (See additional explanation below.)

Additional explanation:

Joining the event club: Each event will have a specific event club associated with it. For example, the event club named “CSC Online January” is associated with the January event. This is a private, event-specific club exclusively for those who have entered the event, and players cannot play in the event unless they have joined the event club first. After receiving an entry form, CSC will send (usually within 24 hours) a human-generated confirmation email to the player/parent. This confirmation email will indicate whether the player is already a member of the relevant event club or needs to join it, and will include a link for joining the event club if necessary.

Joining a tournament: Players must join their tournament during the one hour before round 1 is scheduled to begin. To avoid last-minute problems, players are urged to join well before the starting time and in any case no later than five minutes before the starting time. Players who have not joined by the starting time will not be paired until the next round begins. Anyone who has not already joined the event club will not be able to join a tournament.

To join a CSC Online tournament (during the one hour before the scheduled starting time), log in to and then:

  • Hover over “Connect” -> click on “Clubs” -> click on the event club for the event. This will display a list of event-related tournaments. Click on the green plus sign next to a tournament to join it.


  • Hover over Play -> click on Live Chess -> click on Tournaments (in the upper right corner of the display). This will display a list of event-related tournaments. Click on the tournament you want to join, then click on the orange “Join” button. If there is no orange “Join” button, you are attempting to join a tournament for which you are not eligible.

Note: The particular tournaments for an event are not defined until the evening before the event, and obviously the lists of tournaments mentioned above cannot be posted until the tournaments are defined.

Note: does not permit a player to join a tournament if the player’s relevant rating is higher than the rating ceiling for that tournament.

Most players will be eligible to play in any one of several tournaments, so they should select a tournament carefully, considering their own rating and the rating ceiling of the tournament they are thinking about joining. Players may change tournaments by withdrawing from the tournament they have entered and then joining a different tournament for which they are eligible; however, players who decide to change tournaments are urged to do this before the event begins.

Tournament designations explained briefly: For the benefit of those who are  new to tournament chess, here is a brief explanation of how CSC Online tournaments are designated. A tournament is either an “Open” tournament or an “under” tournament, designated as “Uxxx”, where “xxx” is the rating ceiling. For example, U700 means that only players with a rating under 700 (i.e., 699 or less) may play in this tournament. A player may play either in the lowest tournament for which his or her rating qualifies, or in any tournament with a higher rating ceiling. (We use the term “playing up” to refer to when a player joins a higher tournament than the lowest one for which he or she is eligible.) The Open tournament has no rating ceiling. This is where the players with the highest ratings play. We recommend that anyone playing in his or her first CSC Online tournament play the lowest tournament for which he or she is eligible, but definitely not in the Open tournament.


It is not feasible to put all the information related to CSC Online on this webpage. Accordingly, we have prepared a downloadable CSC Online Essential Information document (13 pages), in which the answers to  many questions can be found. If your question is not answered in that document, please contact Alan Hodge at or at 513-600-9915 (call/text).

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Options for Medal Delivery

Fair Play checking is done during the week after an event is played. When Fair Play checking has been completed, we post a final list of medal winners on this website. Coach Brackenridge will then notify medal winners of the place(s) and time(s) when they can pick up their medals. A medal winner who is unable to pick up a medal during the specified times, or who simply prefers not to, can request that Coach Brackenridge mail his or her medal instead. To request that a medal be mailed to you, click here to submit a medal mail request and pay the applicable fee with a credit card or PayPal account. The fee for this service is $5.50, which covers the mailing costs: postage, a suitable mailing envelope, any necessary packing material, and the PayPal transaction fee that PayPal assesses to CSC. Please do not submit a medal mail request until the final list of medal winners is posted on our website! 

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Results From Previous CSC Online Tournaments

Final standings, round-by-round pairings, and games from all previous CSC Online tournaments are available on and can be accessed as follows:

  • Log into
  • Hover over “Connect” then click on “Clubs”.
  • For the results of the May 2020 CSC Online Series, click on the Cincinnati Scholastic Chess club, then click on “Live Tournaments”
  • For the results of all other tournaments, click on this link:, then click on “Live Tournaments” and scroll to find the tournament whose results you want to see.
  • Note: Only members of the clubs mentioned above can access the respective results.

Here are some things to be aware of when you are looking for results on

  • Multiple tournaments played on the same day are not listed in any apparent order.
  • When looking for the results of a particular player, it is helpful to know the specific tournament (defined by rating) in which that player played. The critical information is what his or her rating was when play began in that tournament. If you do not know this, you might need to search in multiple tournaments until you find the player whose results you are interested in seeing.
  • The final standings of a tournament are posted on before various Fair Play checks are done. For this reason a list of trophy winners posted on our website might differ from the the top finishers posted on

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General Information About CSC Online Tournaments

Creating a account

A basic account is sufficient to play in any CSC Online tournament. Basic accounts are free; higher-level accounts are available for a fee. It is easy and quick to set up a basic membership account. Simply go to and click on “Sign Up”, then submit the following information in the form that displays:

  • A username (This need not be, and usually is not, your real name. Think about how you want to identify yourself online — have some fun with it.)
  • An email address
  • A password to use when you log in
  • A general indication of your chess skill level assigns an initial rating to a player when he or she joins These arbitrary initial ratings correspond to the skill level selected when setting up the membership account as follows:

  • New to chess = 800
  • Beginner = 1000
  • Intermediate = 1200
  • Advanced = 1400
  • Expert = 1600

Joining a tournament

Players must be careful to find and join the correct tournament, as many tournaments happen concurrently on CSC Online tournaments will always have names beginning with “CSC Online”. Players should also make sure of which rating (Bullet, Blitz or Rapid) applies for the tournament time control and be sure that the tournament they are trying to join is correct for their rating. A player selecting the correct tournament to join will see an orange “Join” button. Sometimes a player is eligible for more than one tournament, and will see a “Join” button for each of them. If no “Join” button is displayed, the player is attempting to enter a tournament for which he or she is not eligible.

A player may change tournaments by withdrawing from a tournament and then joining a different tournament; however, a player may not withdraw from and then rejoin the same tournament unless he or she withdraws before round 1 begins. (The player might need to log out from after withdrawing from the first tournament and then log in again to join the second.)

After joining a tournament, a player must be “present” in the “Live Chess” area and ready to play at the start of the first round in which he or she is paired. Usually this will be round 1; however, players who have registered for a tournament may join it after it begins, but will not be paired until the next round begins and will score zero for the round(s) up to that point.

A player must make his or her first move within a time period indicated by in order to confirm that the game is in progress.

Fair play policy

All standards of compliance with the rules of chess, sportsmanship, and ethics that apply to over-the-board chess apply equally to online chess, and we expect all players at all times to compete honestly and fairly. Online rules for fair play specify that players may not use the assistance of a computer or other electronic device, another person, a book or any other resource while their game is in progress. analyzes games for unfair play. The Tournament Director also looks for signs of unfair play. Players flagged for fair play violations are not eligible for prizes and are subject to other disciplinary action by and Cincinnati Scholastic Chess.


Sandbagging means lowering one’s rating by intentionally resigning from or losing games without making a good faith effort to compete to the best of one’s ability. A player sandbags in order to be able to play in a tournament section with lower rating requirements — that is, against weaker competition — than the player’s genuine rating would indicate as appropriate.

While it might appear to a player that sandbagging affects only his or her own rating and has no ill effect on anyone else, this is not the case. Opponents against whom the player intentionally loses is deprived of the opportunity to play a genuinely contested game (as he or she had a right to expect) and gains “artificial” rating points that can result in inappropriate pairings. And when the sandbagger plays in a tournament section for which he or she does not genuinely qualify, he or she is paired against opponents who rightly should not be paired against him or her. These opponents often suffer losses of their games, rating points, and possibly prizes that they might otherwise have won.

Besides being explicitly against the rules of chess, sandbagging is unsportsmanlike, unethical and dishonest. Whether its impact on other players is intended or not, it is cheating, and it is therefore unacceptable. We will regularly check all the players in our tournaments for sandbagging, and where it is found, those players will be ineligible for prizes and subject to additional disciplinary actions.

Additional information about online chess tournaments

There are a number of other matters that players and parents should understand about playing chess on Click here to open the CSC Online Essential Information document that we have prepared. We urge all players and parents to become familiar with this document (12 pages plus a one-page appendix). Any questions not answered in this document, or any comments you wish to offer, may be submitted by email to or by phone/text to Alan Hodge, 513-600-9915.

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