Cincinnati Scholastic Chess

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

Cincinnati Open

The 2021 Cincinnati Open Quads

Click here to enter online or scroll down for tournament information.

  • OTB Tournament — May 22 & 23, 2021

  • Outdoor Venue — Bechtold Park in Deer Park, Ohio

  • Quads Format — Limited Space — Enter Early!

Cincinnati Scholastic Chess (CSC) presents the 2021 edition of the Cincinnati Open in a modified format, subject to current covid requirements and suitable weather. If we cancel the tournament, we will notify entered players and refund their entry fees in whole.

Dates: May 22 and 23, 2021. Players may play on either date or both dates.

Venue: Bechtold Park, 4312 Sycamore Road, Deer Park, Ohio. One quad for each 8-foot picnic table. Shelters are roofed but not enclosed. Restrooms are adjacent to playing areas. Players should be aware that this is a public venue and people not associated with the chess tournament will be using park facilities adjacent to and near the playing area. CSC has no control over or responsibility for the activities of these people or any attendant noise or distraction.

Sections, quads and pairings: This tournament comprises nine sections defined by time control and day (see Tournament schedule below for details). Within each section as many quads as possible will be formed with the players entered. Quads will be defined and paired in accordance with USCF Rule 30G. For each section separately, all entered players will be listed in order by rating, highest to lowest. Working from the top of the list down, each group of four players will be designated as a quad. Within each quad, the four players will be assigned pairing numbers 1 through 4 in order by rating from highest to lowest.

Pairings for each quad will be as follows: round 1: 1—4, 2—3; round 2: 3—1, 4—2; round 3: 1 vs 2, 3 vs 4. For round 3 only, colors will be assigned randomly in each pairing (by a coin toss or hidden pawn choice), except that in the event of a forfeit or withdrawal, colors should be assigned so as to maximize color equalization.

If a group of 5, 6 or 7 players is left over after defining all other quads for a section, that group will be paired as a three-round Swiss. If fewer than 4 players enter any section, that section will be eliminated, and affected players will have a choice of playing in a different section or having their entry fee refunded.

Membership and ratings: All players must be current USCF members to play in this tournament. Players can purchase or renew USCF memberships in conjunction with entering the tournament. To see membership options, details and dues or to purchase or renew memberships directly online, click here: Membership dues are non-refundable even if the tournament is cancelled or the player withdraws.

All games will be USCF-rated. Official USCF ratings as of May 1, 2021 will apply as listed below in order of priority:

  • USCF Regular (does not apply to G/20 unless the player has no USCF Quick rating)
  • USCF Quick
  • USCF Online-Regular
  • USCF Online-Quick

A player with none of these USCF ratings may substitute a comparable online rating by providing his or her username, URL of the platform on which the rating was earned, type of rating (e.g., Rapid, Quick), and current rating. Online ratings will be used only for the purpose of seeding players into appropriate quads; for USCF rating purposes, these players will be unrated. Any online rating provided will be subject to verification and customary checks for sandbagging. CSC reserves the right to assign any player to a higher-rated quad within the same section based on the player’s rating history.

Any player who does not have any of the USCF ratings listed above and does not provide a comparable online rating will be entered as an unrated player. Unrated players must first play in a section with a time control of G/20 d5 or G/30 d5 in order to be eligible to play in any other section.

For anyone playing in more than one section, his or her quad assignments after the first section will be based on the new post-rating generated by SwissSys for the preceding section.

Prizes: There will be one prize in each quad, for the highest score, equal to three times the regular entry fee for the section. In any group of 5, 6 or 7 players, a second prize will be added equal to two times the applicable regular entry fee. Prizes will be split between tied players.

Tournament schedule: Players may play in as many as FOUR sections during the tournament. The following pairs of sections can be played on the same day: Saturday — sections 1 & 2, sections 4 & 5 (if rated U1000 or unrated); Sunday — sections 6 & 7. Quad assignments for each section will be given out a few minutes before the round 1 start time. There is no need for players to be present before then (excepting players who wish to enter onsite, as explained under Entry below).

Saturday, May 22 (Players may play in any one section, in both sections 1 and 2, or in both sections 4 and 5.)

  • Section 1: G/30 d5, prize $75, rounds at 10:30, 11:40 and 12:50, Regular and Quick rated
  • Section 2: G/45 d5, prize $105, rounds at 2:30, 4:10 and 5:50, Regular and Quick rated
  • Section 3: G/90 d5, prize $195, rounds at 10:30, 1:40 and 4:50, Regular rated
  • Section 4: G/20 d5, U1000, prize $45, rounds at 10:30, 11:20 and 12:10, Quick rated (This section is limited to players rated under 1000 or unrated.)
  • Section 5: G/60 d5, prize $135, rounds at 1:30, 3:40 and 5:50, Regular and Quick rated

Sunday, May 23 (Players may play in any one section or in both sections 6 and 7.)

  • Section 6: G/30 d5, prize $75, rounds at 10:30, 11:40 and 12:50, Regular and Quick rated
  • Section 7: G/45 d5, prize $105, rounds at 2:30, 4:10 and 5:50, Regular and Quick rated
  • Section 8: G/90 d5, prize $195, rounds at 10:30, 1:40 and 4:50, Regular rated
  • Section 9: G/60 d5, prize $135, rounds at 10:30, 12:40 and 2:50, Regular and Quick rated

Entry: Advance entry is required to be assured of a place in any section. Players may enter multiple sections with a single entry form. Click here to enter online or use this entry form to enter by mail. Advance entries will be accepted until 6:00 pm on Friday, May 21 as long as space is available. Entry fees vary according to time control and are listed below. The early entry fees apply through Sunday, May 16; the late entry fees apply on and after Monday, May 17. Due to limited capacity, we urge players to enter as early as possible. Entry fees are non-refundable unless CSC receives notice of withdrawal, by email to or phone/text to 513-600-9915, by 6:00 pm, Friday, May 21, except in the case of covid-related emergency withdrawal (see Covid considerations below).

  • G/20 d5 (Section 4)                 Regular: $15          Late: $20
  • G/30 d5 (Sections 1 & 6)         Regular: $25          Late: $30
  • G/45 d5 (Sections 2 & 7)         Regular: $35          Late: $45
  • G/60 d5 (Sections 5 & 9)        Regular: $45          Late: $55
  • G/90 d5 (Sections 3 & 8)        Regular: $65          Late: $75

Onsite entries will be accepted only to the extent that they cause the total number of players entered for a section to be an even number. Players seeded into any section onsite will pay the late entry fee for that section. Players wishing to enter any section onsite MUST check in with the TD no later than 30 minutes before the start of round 1 for that section. We might not be able to seed into a section every player seeking to enter onsite.

Commitment to play all rounds: All players who have not withdrawn prior to the entry deadline (6:00 pm, Friday, May 21) will be assigned to a quad and will be expected to play all three rounds regardless of their results. A player will be forfeited if he or she does not arrive at his or her assigned board to play a scheduled game before the expiration of the default time, which is the lesser of the time control or 60 minutes.

Covid considerations:  CSC has designed the Cincinnati Open Quads to be compliant with current covid-related requirements. The following excerpts from Director’s Order for Social Distancing, Face Coverings and Non-Congregating, issued April 5, 2021, indicate the requirements most pertinent to the Cincinnati Open Quads tournament. (You can find the complete Order here.)

2. Facial Coverings (Masks). … individuals … shall wear facial coverings at all times when: …
Outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their family/household; …

3. Congregating. Individuals must avoid gathering in groups and attempt at all times to maintain social distancing. … Each individual should perform a daily health assessment and stay home if you have a fever, cough, or other signs of possible corona virus.

4. Social Distancing Requirements. … Social Distancing Requirements include maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands. …

The specific measures listed below will help minimize the risk of contagion:

  • The venue is outdoors, where contagion is less likely.
  • Playing tables will be arranged for optimal balance between capacity and social distancing.
  • The quad format minimizes the intermingling of players and potentially reduces the number of sets in use.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be available onsite for players to clean their hands and equipment.
  • Any player who enters the tournament and then experiences covid-related symptoms during the days of or preceding the tournament SHOULD NOT ATTEND the tournament. In such a case we will refund the entry fee in full, provided that we receive notice of the withdrawal, by phone or text to 513-600-9915, at least 15 minutes prior to the pertinent round 1 start time.

Players share responsibility for ensuring that the tournament is conducted as safely as possible. In the interest of everyone’s health and comfort, it is prudent that players refrain from some behaviors that are customary with otb chess, including shaking hands and gathering around games as spectators. Moreover, because it is not feasible for all participants to maintain social distancing of six feet consistently, all players are expected to wear a compliant face covering at all times when they are in the playing area.

Other: No computers. No smoking in or near the playing area. Players should bring boards, sets and clocks. CSC will provide clipboards to facilitate notation. There will be no food concession at the tournament. We recommend that players bring whatever food they want as the schedule does not include any meal break. Water and other drinks will be available for purchase.