Cincinnati Scholastic Chess

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

Cincinnati Open

The 57th Cincinnati Open will be played on April 14-16, 2023 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Blue Ash. This is a 5-round Swiss in eight sections; the top two sections will be FIDE rated. $16,000 in prizes based on 240 paid entries, else proportional.

Use the navigation links below to find information:

General Information (includes venue information)

Details Specific to FIDE Sections

  • (By “FIDE sections” we mean the FIDE Elite and FIDE Expert sections, which will be rated by FIDE as well as by USCF.)

Details Specific to Under Sections

  • (By “under sections” we mean the sections identified as “Uxxxx” where “xxxx” is the rating ceiling.)

Entry Information

General Information

The information under this heading pertains all sections.

USCF Membership: A player must be a current member of the US Chess Federation (USCF) on the tournament dates to play in the Cincinnati Open. A USCF membership may be purchased or renewed in conjunction with entering the tournament, either online or by mail, or separately on the USCF website.

Ratings: Official USCF Regular ratings as of April 1, 2023 will be used to determine section eligibility and pairings. Unofficial ratings, if available, will be used for players who are officially unrated and may be used for other players also when deemed appropriate by the Chief Tournament Director. Players may choose to play up but may not play up more than two sections. We consider the natural section for all unrated players to be the U1000 section; because players may play up one or two sections, unrated players may therefore play in the U1401, U1201 or U1000 section.

Policies and Rule Clarifications: Click on the following links to see our electronic device policy, which covers mobile phones, electronic scoresheets and similar devices, and other rule clarifications and policies that will be in effect for the Cincinnati Open.

Byes: Players may take one or two optional half-point byes for any round(s); in the under sections any optional bye is additional to the required zero-point bye. (By “under sections” we mean the sections identified as “Uxxxx” where “xxxx” is the rating ceiling. See Details Specific to Under Sections below for an explanation of the zero-point bye.) Players may request, change or cancel a bye for a future round until 5:30 pm on Saturday, April 15, at which time they are committed to their selected bye rounds. Players may select byes on their entry form, or, after entering in advance, by email to info@chesscincinnati.com. Once onsite, players must submit to the tournament director a completed Bye Request Form provided by the organizers to request, change or cancel a bye.

Posting Pairings Online: We intend to use the SwissSys Events website to publish tournament files. This will enable players to view current wall charts, standings and pairings online, alleviating congestion around the section boards where these documents are physically posted. Click here to see instructions for accessing the SwissSys Events webpage. (This resource will not be available until shortly before the tournament begins.)

Venue: Embassy Suites, 4554 Lake Forest Drive, Blue Ash, OH 45242. Room rate $111 for king bed, $121 for two queen beds. All suites include a sofa bed. Room rate includes breakfast for up to two guests in a room. Click here for a map link and directions to the hotel. To reserve a room online, click on our dedicated booking link, or call 513-733-8900 or 800-362-2779 (reference 2023 Cincinnati Open Chess Tournament). Reserve by Friday, April 7, 2023 to ensure rate and room.

Other: No smoking, no computers. Email questions to info@chesscincinnati.com, or text/call Alan at 513-600-9915.
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Details Specific to FIDE Sections

The information under this heading pertains only to the FIDE sections. If you intend to play in an under section that will not be FIDE rated, scroll down to Details Specific to Under Sections.

FIDE Identification Number: If you intend to play in either FIDE section, you must have a FIDE Identification Number (FIN). If you do not already have a FIN, please obtain one before entering the tournament. Players who do not have a FIN and qualify for FIDE membership under the US Federation may obtain a FIN by clicking here. To complete the FIN application at this link, provide your full name, whether you are a past or current USCF member, your USCF ID number, whether you currently reside in the USA, and your sex, date of birth, and email address.
Players who do not have a FIN and do not qualify for FIDE membership under the US Federation must obtain their FIN through their proper national federation.

Rating Requirements: Players who do not have a USCF Regular rating must have a FIDE rating, and their rating for purposes of this tournament will be their FIDE rating plus 100 points. Players who have neither a USCF Regular rating nor a FIDE rating are not eligible to play in either FIDE section. The rating requirements to enter a FIDE section are as follows:

  • FIDE Elite section: This section is open to anyone with a USCF Regular rating of 1801 or higher, or a FIDE rating of 1701 or higher. There is no rating ceiling.
  • FIDE Expert section: This section is open to anyone whose USCF Regular rating is between 1601 and 2200 inclusive, or whose FIDE rating is between 1501 and 2100 inclusive. Masters rated at their floor of 2200 (USCF) may play in this section.

Time Control and Schedule: The time control for all rounds is 40/90, SD/30; +30 except rounds 1 and 2 of the 2-day schedule, for which the time control is G/75; d5. Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2-day schedule will not be FIDE rated. In either section players may choose to play either a 3-day or a 2-day schedule.

  • 3-Day Schedule: Friday 7:00, Saturday 11:00 & 6:30, Sunday 9:30 & 3:00
  • 2-Day Schedule: Saturday 11:00, 2:15 & 6:30, Sunday 9:30 & 3:00

Prizes: The total tournament prize pool is $16,000, based on 240 paid entries; otherwise prizes will be paid in proportion but not less than 50% of the published amounts. Prizes will be split among tied players. Prizes in the FIDE sections are as follows:

FIDE Elite $1,300 $800 $625 $475
FIDE Expert $1,200 $700 $550 $430

Re-Entry Restrictions: Only players who play round 1 of the 3-day schedule (the Friday night round) are eligible to re-enter, and anyone wishing to do so must re-enter before 10:00 am Saturday, April 15. Such players must re-enter a FIDE section but may change from one to the other FIDE section if they like, provided that they satisfy the rating requirement for the section into which they wish to move. (Players may not withdraw from a FIDE section and re-enter an under section even if their rating qualifies them for an under section.) Players who re-enter will abandon their original entry; only the re-entry will be carried forward into later rounds regardless of the first-round score related to either entry.

Tournament Rules: Play in both FIDE sections will be in accordance with current FIDE rules except in some situations where FIDE permits the USCF rule to apply. Everyone intending to play in a FIDE section should be thoroughly familiar with these rules. Click here for a two-page Summary of the differences; for details review the Comparison of FIDE and USCF Rules. Except for the points identified in the Comparison, FIDE and USCF rules are effectively identical, and USCF rules will apply.

Equipment and Reporting Results: The organizers will provide all pieces, boards, clocks and scoresheets. Players are required to use the scoresheets provided by the organizers, and are required to submit to the tournament director (arbiter) at the conclusion of each game the originals of their completed scoresheets, signed by both players and correctly indicating the game result. The scoresheets thus submitted are the only way to report game results officially. At the time when pairings must be generated for the next round, any missing results will be treated as a double forfeit. Players may choose to record their results additionally on the pairing chart, but doing so is irrelevant to official reporting.
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Details Specific to Under Sections

The information under this heading pertains only to the sections that are not FIDE rated. If you intend to play in a FIDE section, please scroll up to Details Specific to FIDE Sections.

Sections and Rating Requirements: The six under sections are listed below. For each section a rating range is indicated. Only players whose rating falls within the designated range are eligible to play in the section. This takes into account our policy that a player may play up one or two sections.

  • U2001: ratings from 1401 to 2000 inclusive
  • U1801: ratings from 1201 to 1800 inclusive
  • U1601: ratings from 1000 to 1600 inclusive
  • U1401: ratings under 1401 and unrated
  • U1201: ratings under 1201 and unrated
  • U1000: ratings under 1000 and unrated

Because a player’s rating can change between the time of entry and the publication of ratings as of April 1, 2023, it might be necessary to move a player into a different section because he or she is no longer eligible for the section selected at entry. Any such necessary changes will be communicated to the affected players as soon as possible after the April 1 ratings become available.

Time Control, Schedule and Byes: The time control for all rounds is G/120; d5. Six rounds are scheduled as follows:

  • Schedule: Friday 7:00, Saturday 9:30, 2:15 & 7:00, Sunday 9:30 & 2:15

Players must select any one of the six scheduled rounds for a zero-point bye so that all players play a five-round schedule. Any optional half-point bye requested will be additional to this zero-point bye. When a player requests one or more optional byes, the zero-point bye will be assigned to the earliest bye round. (See General Information above for more information about byes.) This schedule provides the flexibility for players to choose a bye round and still play five games all at the same time control. As best suits their individual circumstances, players can:

  • Skip the Friday night round and play a two-day schedule,
  • Sleep in Saturday morning,
  • Take Saturday evening off,
  • Take a long break between morning and evening rounds on Saturday,
  • Skip the Sunday morning round,
  • Leave for home earlier on Sunday without giving up a game, or
  • By electing a zero-point bye for round 5 and a half-point bye for round 6, play a two-day schedule on Friday and Saturday and still play four games.

Prizes: The total tournament prize pool is $16,000, based on 240 paid entries; otherwise prizes will be paid in proportion but not less than 50% of the published amounts. There are four place prizes in each section and two additional prizes in the U1000 section for the two highest finishers rated under 800. Prizes will be split among tied players except that, in the U1000 section, a player who qualifies for more than one prize will be paid the larger prize for which he or she qualifies.

U2001 $975 $600 $475 $350
U1801 $825 $525 $415 $315
U1601 $700 $450 $350 $260
U1401 $575 $375 $275 $215
U1201 $450 $280 $220 $170
U1000 $320 $200 $160 $120
     Under 800 $200 $120

Re-Entry Restrictions: Only players who play the Friday night round are eligible to re-enter, and any wishing to do so must re-enter before 8:45 am on Saturday, April 15. A player may re-enter the same section or any other under section for which he or she satisfies the rating requirement. (Re-entering players may not move from an under section to a FIDE section.) Players who re-enter must take the Friday night round as their zero-point bye for the re-entry and will abandon their original entry; only the re-entry will be carried forward into later rounds regardless of the first-round score related to either entry.

Equipment and Reporting Results: Players are expected to bring their own boards, sets and clocks. Only a limited amount of equipment will be available onsite for emergency use. Scoresheets will be provided, but players are free to use their own scoresheets or scorebooks if they wish. Players are not required to provide a copy of their scoresheet to the tournament director.
Both players are responsible for making sure that the result of their game is recorded correctly on the posted pairing chart. This should be done promptly after the conclusion of their game. At the time when pairings must be generated for the next round, any missing results will be treated as a double forfeit. Please be conscientious about this to prevent confusion, frustration, delays, and skewed pairings.
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Entry Information

The information under this heading pertains all sections.

Entry fees: The entry fees for all sections are $115 in advance, $130 onsite, and $65 to re-enter. Each re-entry counts as ½ paid entry for prize purposes; see the section details above for restrictions pertinent to re-entries. For GMs, IMs, WGMs, WIMs no entry fee is required to enter the tournament, but $115 will be deducted from any prize won.

Advance Entry: Players may enter online, paying by means of a credit card or PayPal account. Alternatively players may enter by mail using this mail-in entry form. When entering by mail, pay the entry fee (and any associated USCF dues and magazine fees) by check payable to “Cincinnati Scholastic Chess”. Advance entries must be received by 8:00 am on Friday, April 14; players wishing to enter by mail should be careful to take this into account.

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

  • Friday, April 14, 5:00–6:00 pm to enter any section and any schedule.
  • Saturday, April 15, 8:00–10:00 am:
    — To enter a FIDE section 2-day schedule.
    — To enter a FIDE section 3-day schedule with a half-point bye for round 1.
    — To re-enter a FIDE section (i.e., change from the 3-day to the 2-day schedule) after playing round 1. See Details Specific to FIDE Sections above for more information pertinent to re-entries.
    — To enter any under section with a zero-point bye for the Friday, 7:00 pm round. Players must enter before 8:45 am to be paired in the Saturday 9:30 am round. Players entering after 8:45 am will be given a half-point bye for the Saturday 9:30 am round.
    — To re-enter any under section with a zero-point bye for the Friday, 7:00 pm round. Players wishing to re-enter an under section must do so before 8:45 am. See Details Specific to Under Sections above for more information pertinent to re-entries.

Entry fee refunds: If a player withdraws from the tournament, we will refund the entry fee paid fee only if we receive notice of the player’s withdrawal by email or text prior to 6:00 pm on Friday, April 14. The amount refunded will be the entry fee paid less any applicable transaction fee.

Email questions to info@chesscincinnati.com, or text/call Alan Hodge at 513-600-9915.
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