Cincinnati Scholastic Chess

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

2019 Ohio Girls Championship

Cincinnati Scholastic Chess is proud to host the 2019 Ohio Girls Chess Championship on Saturday and Sunday, February 23 and 24, 2019.

This is an Ohio Scholastic Chess Association/State Championship Event!

Tournament in Brief

4-round Swiss in 4 sections:

  • Championship: limited to players resident or attending school in Ohio, USCF membership required, G/90 +30
  • U1000: USCF membership required, G/30 d5
  • U600: USCF membership required, G/30 d5
  • K-3 U300: limited to players in grades K through 3, USCF membership not required, G/30 d5


  • Championship: Saturday rounds at 11 & 4 at Princeton High School, Sunday rounds at 9 & 2 at Hyatt Place
  • U1000, U600, K-3 U300: Saturday rounds at 11, 12:30, 2* & 3:30* (*or earlier) at Princeton High School

Bye: One half-point available for round 1, 2 or 3

Prizes: Individual trophies to top five in each section and to anyone else scoring 3.0 or more; participation medals to all players; team trophies to top three teams in each section

Entry fee: $35 through February 17, then $40; reduced entry fee of $15 to qualifying players

Click here for online entry or to download entry form.

Use the links below to navigate to any topic for more details.

Tournament Format
US Chess Federation Membership
Forfeits and Withdrawals
Other Matters (Clocks, Notation, Equipment, Scoresheets, Devices)
Venue Information

Tournament Format

This event will be conducted in compliance with the Ohio Scholastic Chess Association Tournament Guidelines as of April 8, 2017, which are available at the OSCA website on the Event Guidelines page. Parents, coaches and players are referred to these guidelines for the rules and conditions applicable to this event but should be aware that the OSCA Board agreed to modify the tournament format in 2018. The 2019 event will follow the modified format.


Sections are defined by rating (and also, only in the case of the K-3 U300 section, by grade). See Ratings and Pairings below for an explanation of ratings. Please note:

  • Girls residing or attending school in Ohio may play in any section for which they are eligible by grade and rating.
  • Girls from other states may not play in the Championship section but may play in any other section for which they are eligible by grade and rating.

Championship Section

The Championship section is limited to female scholastic players in all grades residing or attending school/home school in Ohio. All players must be current members of the USCF. (See US Chess Federation Membership below for more information.) Players rated 1000 or higher must play in this section. Players with ratings under 1000 or who are unrated may play in this section, but should do so only if they are suitably experienced and skilled.

Under Sections

U1000: Players who are rated under 1000 or unrated may play in this section. Female scholastic players in all grades may play in this section if they qualify by rating. All players must be current members of the USCF. (See US Chess Federation Membership below for more information.)

U600: Players who are rated under 600 or unrated may play in this section. Female scholastic players in all grades may play in this section if they qualify by rating. All players must be current members of the USCF. (See US Chess Federation Membership below for more information.)

K-3 U300: Players who are rated under 300 or unrated may play in this section, but only if they are in grade K, 1, 2 or 3. For home school students, the grade is determined by the level of material that they are studying in a majority of their subjects. USCF membership is not required to play in this section. Players who are not USCF members and choose not to purchase a membership may enter under the Junior Tournament Player Program, which allows them to play in this tournament without being current USCF members. (See US Chess Federation Membership below for more information.)

Guidance for choosing a section

The Championship section is the most advanced section in the tournament. The winner of this section will be the Ohio State Girls Champion; accordingly, the best players in the tournament will play in this section. Only players with extensive tournament experience and relatively strong ratings (approximately 900 or higher) should play in this section. Players rated 1000 or higher must play in this section. While players rated under 1000 (including unrated players) are permitted to play in this section, they should consider carefully whether whether they are prepared to compete at this level. Also, be aware that in this section the time control can result in games lasting up to four hours, whereas games in the other sections will last only about an hour or less; and that the Championship section will play rounds on both Saturday and Sunday, whereas the other sections play all their rounds on Saturday.

We recommend the U1000 section for players with a rating in the range of approximately 500 through 999. Players rated under 600 are permitted to play in the U1000 section but  should consider carefully whether they are prepared to compete at the higher level. We do not recommend this section for unrated players.

We recommend the U600 section for players with a rating in the range of 100 through 599, including players in grades 4 through 12 who are rated under 300 or unrated. Players in grades K through 3 who are rated under 300 or unrated are permitted to play in this section, but we recommend that they do so only if they have previous tournament experience.

We recommend the K-3 U300 section for players in grades K through 3 who are rated under 300 or unrated. Be aware that players in grades 4 through 12 are not eligible to play in this section.

Time Controls and Schedule

All players should be present for announcements at 10:30 am. Players who wish to make any change or correction to their entry should do so onsite between 9:30 and 10:15 am on Saturday. Players arriving late will be subject to withdrawal from the tournament. See Forfeits and Withdrawals below for more information.

The time control for the Championship section is G/90; +30 (each player has 90 minutes for the game with a 30-second increment added to each player’s clock at each move), so games could last up to approximately four hours. This section will play a two-day schedule. Rounds 1 and 2 will be played on Saturday, February 23 at 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. Rounds 3 and 4 will be played on Sunday, February 24 at 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. The awards ceremony will begin as soon as possible after the conclusion of round 4.

For the U1000, U600 and K-3 U300 sections, the time control is G/30; d5 (each player has 30 minutes for the game with a five-second delay at each move before a player’s clock begins to run), so each game could last up to approximately an hour and ten minutes. All rounds will be played on Saturday, February 23 according to the following schedule:

  • Round 1: 11:00 am
  • Round 2: 12:30 pm
  • Round 3: 2:00 pm (earlier if possible, depending on when round 2 ends)
  • Round 4: 3:30 pm (earlier if possible, depending on when round 3 ends)
  • The awards ceremony for each section will begin as soon as possible after the conclusion of round 4.

Ratings and Pairings

A rating is a numerical measure of a player’s playing strength calculated by the US Chess Federation based on the results of rated games played by the player. An unrated player is one who has not yet earned a rating because he or she has not yet played four rated games. A player is officially rated when he or she has played four or more rated games, whether as a USCF member or under the Junior Tournament Player Program. The USCF publishes official ratings for all rated players every month.

Official ratings published in the USCF February 2019 ratings supplement will govern section eligibility except in the case of a player who is officially unrated but earned a rating after the February 2019 ratings supplement was published, in which case the player’s most recent rating as indicated in the player’s tournament history on the USCF website will govern. Unrated players in all sections will earn a rating from playing in this tournament.

Swiss pairings will be used for all sections; players will play only other players in their own section. In any section where there is an odd number of players to be paired for a given round, one player will not be paired because there will be no opponent against whom to pair him or her. Such a player is said to be “paired out” and will receive a full-point bye for that round. For purposes of the player’s tournament score, a full-point bye is equivalent to winning a game, but a bye has no effect on the player’s rating. The player paired out is typically the lowest-rated player in the lowest score group who has not already had a bye or requested a bye for a future round.

Round 1 pairings will be posted based on advance entries; no roll call will be taken prior to pairing round 1 to identify players who have not yet arrived. Players will be forfeited if they are not at their boards when round 1 begins. See Forfeits and Withdrawals below for further details.

Accelerated pairings may be used, but will not be used in any section with fewer than 16 players. An explanation of accelerated pairings in simple terms is as follows. A score group is a group of players in a given section who all have the same score. Players in each score group are ranked from top to bottom by rating. When pairing a section normally, the top half of the score group is paired against the bottom half. When pairing a section using accelerated pairings, the first (top) quarter of the score group is paired against the second quarter, and the third quarter is paired against the fourth (bottom) quarter. When used at all, accelerated pairings are usually used only in the first round of a tournament.


Half-point byes are optional. A player may elect to take one half-point bye in any round through round 3. No player may take a half-point bye in round 4. A player who received a full-point bye in round 1 may not request a half-point bye for a later round. A player who wishes to take a second bye may request a zero-point bye for the later round.

Players may request a bye on their entry form. After entering, players may also request a bye or change a bye previously requested (a) by email to until noon, Friday, February 22, (b) at the information desk during the change period, 9:30-10:15 am on Saturday, February 23, or (c) by notifying the information desk staff or any tournament director up until round 2 pairings are posted (at about 12:20 pm on Saturday). After round 2 pairings are posted, byes may no longer be requested nor can any previously requested byes be changed.

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US Chess Federation Membership

Membership Requirements

All players must be current members of the US Chess Federation (USCF) to play in the Championship, U1000 or U600 section. Players whose membership has lapsed must renew their membership, using the same USCF ID number assigned to the lapsed membership. Players who have never been USCF members must purchase a new membership. This includes players who have played in past tournaments under the Junior Tournament Player Program (JTPP). Former JTPP players must purchase a new membership using the same USCF ID number assigned to them under the JTPP.

USCF membership is optional for the K-3 U300 section. Players who are not current USCF members may choose any of the following options:

Renew a lapsed membership if they have previously been a USCF member but their membership expired.

Purchase a new membership if they have not previously been a USCF member. Anyone purchasing a new membership who previously played under the Junior Tournament Player Program (JTPP) must use, for the new membership, the USCF ID number assigned to him or her under the JTPP.

Enter the tournament under the JTPP, which allows a player to play in this section without being a current USCF member. This applies to former members whose membership has lapsed as well as to those who have never been members, including players who have previously played under the JTPP.

Note: Because a USCF ID number is required for every player in order for the tournament director to submit the tournament report to the USCF for rating purposes, we (Cincinnati Scholastic Chess) will obtain a USCF ID number for everyone entering under the JTPP who does not already have one. No action is necessary for the parents or players in this regard. When we have obtained the USCF ID number, we will notify each family accordingly.

Providing USCF ID Number on Entry Form

Players who have a USCF ID number are expected to provide it on their entry forms. This includes former members whose membership has lapsed as well as non-members who have played in a tournament previously under the Junior Tournament Player Program.  A member’s eight-digit USCF ID number can be found on his or her membership card, on the USCF chess magazine address label if the member receives a magazine, or online by searching by member name using the USCF Player Lookup function.

Purchasing a USCF Membership

Players who need or choose to purchase or renew a USCF membership may do so either in conjunction with entering the tournament or separately at Relevant membership types and dues are listed in the table below. For more information and additional membership options, including family memberships, please visit

Membership Type 1 Year 2 Years
Premium Young Adult $35 $65
Regular Young Adult $26 $48
Premium Youth $30 $55
Regular Youth $22 $40
Premium Scholastic $25 $45
Regular Scholastic $17 $30

Premium membership includes a chess magazine mailed to the member: Chess Life (12 issues/year for Young Adult, 6 issues/year for Youth) or Chess Life for Kids (6 issues/year for Scholastic). Regular membership includes online access to the respective magazine.

Young Adult memberships are for members older than 15 years of age. Youth memberships are for members who are 15 years of age or younger, and the member must be 16 years of age or younger at membership expiration, whether a one- or two-year membership is purchased. Scholastic memberships are for members who are 12 years of age or younger, and the member must be 13 years of age or younger at membership expiration, whether a one- or two-year membership is purchased. USCF memberships always expire on the last day of the month of purchase one or two years later. For example, a two-year membership purchased on June 10, 2017 will expire on June 30, 2019. Members may purchase a higher category of membership than that indicated for their age.

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Forfeits and Withdrawals

Players who are not present at their assigned board at the start of round 1 will be forfeited and withdrawn from the tournament, and their opponents will be re-paired. (Participants may not avoid forfeiting by calling a tournament director while en route to notify him of an expected late arrival. All late arriving players are urged to check in with a tournament director immediately upon arrival.) After round 1, players who do not appear at their assigned board before half of their time for the time control has elapsed will be forfeited and withdrawn. (In the Championship section this is 45 minutes; in the other sections this is 15 minutes.) Any player withdrawn in either situation may be readmitted at the discretion of the chief tournament director.

A player who answers a cell phone call, sends a text message, or reads an incoming text message during a game shall immediately forfeit that game. A player whose cell phone or pager audibly rings during a game shall receive a warning for the first such incident, and forfeit the game upon a second such incident during the tournament.

Players may withdraw from the tournament at any time prior to round 4; however, it is extremely important that players choosing to withdraw so notify a tournament director before the next round pairings are posted otherwise they will be paired, resulting in a forfeit.

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A team is defined as two or more players who (a) attend the same school or qualifying home school organization and (b) are playing in the same section. Distinct primary, elementary or intermediate schools within a given school district constitute separate schools for this purpose. The Ohio Scholastic Chess Association, in its By-Laws §2.3 Definition of a School, defines school as follows:

2.3.1 For all purposes of these Bylaws, a school shall be defined to include any of the following:

  1. a) An institution identified by one name, providing instruction in one building or adjacent buildings, under the supervision of one administrator, and providing core curricular instruction in English, math, science and social studies over the course of a typical school year.
  2. b) A virtual or online school which meets all the criteria above except it has no central physical location for instruction.
  3. c) A home school organization identified by one name, under the supervision of one administrator or administration committee, and providing group instruction in multiple academic subjects.
  4. d) A family which has notified the local public school district of its decision to home school its children, and has been excused from public school attendance.

To represent a school on a team, a player must be enrolled more than half-time in the school. To prevent confusion and facilitate the proper designation of teams, participants are asked to identify the player’s school or home schooling organization by complete name and the name of the city where it is located.

For teams with more than three players, the top three scores will count toward a team trophy. Players from the same team will not be paired against each other unless necessary to avoid pairing a player inappropriately out of his or her score group or otherwise unduly skewing the natural pairings that would have occurred without considering team affiliation.

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The top five finishers in each section will win individual place trophies. Any player scoring 3.0 or more and not finishing among the top five places will win an honorable mention trophy. All players will receive a participation medal. The top three teams in each section will win team place trophies. Standard USCF tiebreaks will be used to determine the order of finish among tied players and teams.

The top finisher in the Championship section will be offered the opportunity to be the Ohio representative to the National Girls Tournament of Champions held at the US Open or the National Polgar girls tournament. If that player declines to participate in either event, the offer will be passed in turn to the next top finisher until a player accepts. The next player in line will be offered the remaining event.

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Other Matters

Clocks and Notation

All players in all sections will be required to use chess clocks. Players in the Championship, U1000 and U600 sections will be required to take notation in accordance with applicable USCF rules. Players in the K-3 U300 sections are encouraged but not required to take notation, and will be ineligible to make certain claims regarding their games if they do not.

Equipment and Scoresheets

Cincinnati Scholastic Chess will provide pieces, boards, clocks and scoresheets for all sections. Players may choose to use their own scoresheets or scorebooks. All players are cautioned that they are not permitted, while their game is in progress, to consult or look at any other scoresheet, scorebook, or any other document or device other than the scoresheet on which they are recording their current game in progress.

Players who intend to use an electronic scoresheet are expected to comply with the US Chess Federation National Scholastic Chess Tournament Regulations, Appendix F: Approved Electronic Notation Devices. The USCF has approved only the following four electronic scoresheets for tournament use:

  • MonRoi Personal Chess Manager.
  • eNotate by North American Chess Association
  • Plycount LLC, Plycounter®
  • ChessNoteR

The use of any other electronic device for recording a chess game while it is being played is prohibited at the Girls Championship. CSC tournament directors will monitor the use of electronic scoresheets. Failure to comply with the above regulations will result in a warning upon the first instance, and in forfeiture of the game and withdrawal from the tournament upon the second instance.

Other Electronic Devices

Players are required to comply with the USCF policy regarding other electronic devices, which is summarized as follows:

Cell phones, iPads, e-Readers, and other electronic devices are not permitted in the bathrooms. We encourage you to leave these items with your parents, coach or a responsible adult. If you bring a phone, you may not take it to the bathroom or carry it on your person once your game begins. It must remain off at all times, stowed away, and out of sight at your board. Any player found to have had a phone or other aid to game analysis in the bathroom or on his or her person while his or her game was in progress will be subject to severe penalties.

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Venue Information

Players in the U1000, U600 and K-3 U300 sections will play the tournament entirely at Princeton High School, 100 Viking Way (Chester Road), Cincinnati, OH 45246. Princeton High School is located very near the intersection of I-75 and I-275 north of Cincinnati. Click here for a map. This is the venue for Saturday, February 23, 2019, when all rounds in these sections will be played. Participants should park in the east parking lot (between the school and Chester Road, accessed from Lippelman Road) and enter the school through door #30.

Players in the Championship section will play rounds 1 and 2 (Saturday) at Princeton High School, but rounds 3 and 4 (Sunday) at the Hyatt Place, 11345 Chester Road (0.2 of a mile north of the school).

For those wishing to stay overnight at the Hyatt (regardless of which section they are playing in), the hotel rate is $105. This rate includes a complimentary breakfast featuring freshly prepared breakfast sandwiches, a variety of fresh fruits, hot and cold cereal, yogurt, breads, premium coffee, and an assortment of juices. The Hyatt also offers:

  • High-definition, 42” flat screen television that easily integrates with laptops and features DirecTV’s Residential Experience with 127 channels
  • Free wi-fi and remote printing everywhere, plus hard-wired access in every guestroom for seamless and secure access
  • An indoor, heated swimming pool and a 24-hour gym with Life Fitness® cardio equipment

Reserve by February 2, 2019 to ensure room and rate. For reservations call 513-771-1718 and request the rate for the Cincinnati Scholastic Chess Block, or book directly online here. (Alternatively, cut and paste the entire link below into your web browser for reservations. Be sure to include the last four characters “CSCB” in the link.)

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Players must enter in advance. There will be no onsite entry. Click here to enter online or to download an entry form. The entry fee is $35 if entry is made online or mailed on or before February 17, 2019, and $40 thereafter. Some entries are available for qualifying low-income players at $15.00, subject to verification of player eligibility. Players requesting the $15 entry fee must enter by mail (this entry fee is not available with online entry). All entries must be received by noon on Friday, February 22, 2019.

Entries will be confirmed by email if a valid email address is provided on the entry form and will be posted here. Players and parents are asked to verify that the posted information is correct. If any change is required, please let us know by sending an email detailing the necessary correction to until noon on February 22, 2019, or in person onsite from 9:30 to 10:15 am on Saturday.

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Direct inquiries to, or contact Alan Hodge by phone or text at 513-600-9915.

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