Cincinnati Scholastic Chess

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

Under Section Description

Please note: The information on this page pertains only to the U2100, U1700 and U1300 sections. If you intend to play in the FIDE section, please see the FIDE Section Description page.

Tournament Rules

Play in the U2100, U1700 and U1300 sections will be governed in accordance with U.S. Chess Federation’s Official Rules of Chess, 7th Edition, ©2018 as amended. Click here for the mobile phone policy or for other rules and policies that are additions to or clarifications of standard USCF rules that will be effect for the Cincinnati Open.

Memberships and Ratings

US Chess Federation (USCF) membership is required to play in any of these three sections. To purchase or renew a USCF membership, click here.

Section eligibility and pairings will be based on March 2020 official USCF ratings, except that unofficial ratings, if available, will be used for players who are officially unrated. Players may choose to play up but may not play up more than one section.

Schedule and Time Control

All players play five rounds out of the six rounds that are scheduled.* The time control for all rounds is G/120; d5.

  • Friday: round 1 at 7:00 pm
  • Saturday: round 2 at 9:30 am, round 3 at 2:00 pm, round 4 at 7:00 pm
  • Sunday: round 5 at 9:30 am, round 6 at 2:00 pm

*Six rounds are scheduled. Players must 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 and still play five games all at the regular time control. As best suits their individual circumstances, therefore, 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.


Players must select any one of the six scheduled rounds for a required zero-point bye so that all players play a five-round schedule. In addition players may elect to take one or two optional ½-point byes for any of the remaining five rounds.

Whenever byes are requested for multiple rounds (the required zero-point bye plus one or two optional ½-point byes), the zero point bye will apply to the earliest of the requested bye rounds and the ½-point bye(s) to the later round(s).

Players may request, change or cancel byes for future rounds, provided that they satisfy the requirement for one zero-point bye, until 5:00 pm Saturday, March 28. Players are committed to their selected bye rounds as of 5:00 pm Saturday, March 28.


Re-entries: Only players who play the Friday night round are eligible to re-enter, and any wishing to do so must re-enter before 9:00 am Saturday, March 28. Any eligible player who played up in round 1 may re-enter the same section or the next lower section as he or she chooses. Players re-entering must take the Friday night round as their zero-point bye for the re-entry. 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.

Equipment: Players should being pieces, boards and clocks. Scoresheets will be provided, but players may use their own scoresheets or score books if they choose.