Cincinnati Scholastic Chess

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

Cincinnati Open

The 2020 Cincinnati Open was cancelled due to concerns about covid-19. Circumstances permitting, the 2021 Open will be played at the Embassy Suites in Blue Ash, Ohio on April 9-11, 2021.

This page will be updated with information for the 2021 Cincinnati Open when it is certain that it will be held. In the meantime information about the 2020 Cincinnati Open has been retained below for the benefit of anyone interested in checking out how the tournament is structured.

This is a 5-round Swiss in four sections. No smoking, no computers. Use the navigation links below to find detailed information.

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The FIDE section is the strongest section and will be FIDE rated. In 2019 this section had 26 players, of whom 15 were rated as National Masters or higher. There are three under sections: U2100, U1700 and U1300. Note that the schedules and time controls are different for the FIDE section, on the one hand, and for the under sections, on the other hand. Please be sure that you are looking at the correct information for the section you are interested in. For details, click here for the FIDE Section Description and here for the Under Section Description.
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The total tournament prize pool is $8,000, based on 150 paid entries; otherwise prizes will be paid in proportion but not less than 50% of the amounts listed below. Prizes will be split among tied players except that a player who qualifies for more than one prize will be paid the larger prize for which he or she qualifies.

Section Place Prizes Under Prizes
FIDE:    $950 – 650 – 475 – 350 Top under 2200:  $300 – 250
U2100:  $650 – 475 – 350 – 250 Top under 1900:  $250 – 200
U1700:  $475 – 350 – 250 – 175 Top under 1500:  $200 – 150
U1300:  $350 – 250 – 175 – 175 Top under 1100:  $175 – 125

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Entry Fees and Discounts

The entry fees for all sections are $109 in advance, $120 onsite, and $50 to re-enter. Each re-entry counts as ½ paid entry for prizes; see the respective section description pages for restrictions pertinent to re-entries. For GMs, IMs, WGMs, WIMs there is no entry fee; $109 less any applicable discount will be deducted from any prize won.

Veterans of the Cincinnati Open may take one (but not both) of the following loyalty discounts:

  • A List Discount: Those who played in the 2019 Cincinnati Open may take a $10 discount.
  • B List Discount: Those who did not play in the Cincinnati Open in 2019 but played in any year from 2012 through 2018 may take a $5 discount.

Click here to see the A & B Lists.

Ways to Enter

Players may enter in advance by mail, paying the entry fee by check payable to “Cincinnati Scholastic Chess”. Players may also enter online, paying by means of a PayPal account or credit card.

Players may enter onsite and pay with cash, credit card, or check payable to “Cincinnati Scholastic Chess”. Onsite entries will be taken during the following periods:

  • Friday, 5:30–6:30 pm to enter any section and any schedule.
  • Saturday, 8:00–10:00 am:
      • To enter the FIDE Section 2-day schedule.
      • To enter the FIDE Section 3-Day schedule with a half-point bye for the Friday, 7 pm round.
      • To re-enter the FIDE Section (i.e., change from the 3-day to the 2-day schedule after playing the Friday, 7 pm round; see the FIDE section description page for restrictions pertinent to re-entries).
      • To enter the U2100, U1700 or U1300 Section with a zero point bye for the Friday, 7 pm round. Players must enter before 9:00 am to be paired in the Saturday 9:30 am round. Players entering after 9:00 am will be given a half-point bye for the Saturday 9:30 am round.
      • To re-enter the U2100, U1700 or U1300 Section with a zero point bye for the Friday, 7 pm round. Players wishing to re-enter an under section must do so before 9:00 am (see the under section description page for restrictions pertinent to re-entries).

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    More Information

    Email questions to, or text/call Alan Hodge 513-600-9915.
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