Cincinnati Scholastic Chess

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2021 Ohio Grade Level Championships

CSC is proud once again to host the Ohio Grade Level Championships on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Blue Ash (Cincinnati), Ohio.

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

The Grade Level Championships will be conducted in compliance with the Ohio Scholastic Chess Association Tournament Guidelines as of November 1, 2019, which are available on the Ohio Scholastic Chess Association website, Event Guidelines page. The tournament will likewise be conducted in compliance with covid-related protocols prevailing at that time. While it is not yet known what those protocols will be, entering the event will be without risk because entry fees paid will be fully refunded upon request prior to the tournament date or in the event that the tournament is cancelled. Applicable protocols will be published on this page when they are known.

To be eligible to play in this tournament, all players must reside or attend school/home school in Ohio.

Tournament Format
Forfeits and Withdrawals
US Chess Federation Membership
Tournament Schedule
Entry
Teams
Trophies
Venue Information
Questions

Tournament Format

This is a five-round Swiss tournament. The time control is G/30 d5 for grades K–6 and G/45 d5 for grades 7–12.

Sections

There are 13 sections, one for each grade. Every player must play in the section for his or her grade regardless of rating. All sections are rated sections. Unrated players will earn a rating by playing in this tournament.

Ratings

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. The USCF publishes official ratings for all rated players every month.

Official ratings published as of November 1, 2021 will be used for pairing purposes, except that for a player who is officially unrated but earned a rating after the data cutoff date for the November 2021 ratings, the player’s most recent rating as indicated in the player’s tournament history on the USCF website will be used. Accelerated pairings may be used, but will not be used in any section with fewer than 32 players.

Notation

All players in grades 4 through 12 are required to take notation. Players in grades K, 1, 2 or 3 are not required to take notation; however, those in these grades who choose not to take notation will be ineligible to make certain claims regarding their games.

Byes

Players may take one half-point bye for round 1, 2, 3 or 4 only. No half-point byes are permitted in round 5. Players may request a bye (a) on the tournament entry form when entering, (b) by notifying Alan Hodge after entering (phone/text: 513-600-9915, email: info@chesscincicnnati.com), or (c) onsite between 8:30 and 9:15 am.

Equipment

CSC will provide all sets, boards and clocks. CSC will also provide scoresheets, but players may use their own scoresheets or scorebooks if they wish. Use of electronic scoresheets is permitted provided that such use complies with USCF regulations.

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Forfeits and Withdrawals

Round 1 pairings will be based on entries received; no roll call will be taken prior to pairing round 1 to identify players who have not yet arrived. 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 players arriving late must check in with a tournament director immediately upon arrival.) Any player withdrawn in this situation may be readmitted at the discretion of the chief tournament director.

In rounds 2 through 5, players who do not appear at their assigned board before one-half of their time for the time control elapses will be forfeited and withdrawn. Players in grades K-6 have 15 minutes from the start of the round to appear at their assigned board; players in grades 7-12 have 22 minutes and 30 seconds from the start of the round to appear at their assigned board. Any player withdrawn in this 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 are encouraged to leave their cell phones and other electronic devices (except approved electronic scoresheets) with a parent or coach outside the playing hall if possible, and otherwise to turn them completely off and stow them out of sight while in the playing hall when games are in progress.

Players may withdraw from the tournament at any time prior to round 5; however, it is 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. Notification must be given by means of a completed and signed Notice of Withdrawal either presented to a tournament director or deposited in the chief tournament director’s in-box.

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US Chess Federation Membership

Players in grades 4 through 12

Players in grades 4 through 12 must be current US Chess Federation (USCF) members on the day of the tournament. USCF dues are additional to the tournament entry fee. Details of the most pertinent membership options are shown below:

  • Youth (age 18 and under): $20
  • Young Adult (age 19-24): $27

These options are for individual, one-year memberships, which may be purchased or renewed in conjunction with entering this tournament either online or by mail. Alternatively players may purchase or renew a membership directly from US Chess Federation/Join, where other types of individual memberships, two-year memberships, and family memberships are also available. USCF membership dues are not refundable.

In addition to memberships, USCF offers two magazines: Chess Life (published monthly, 12 issues per year) and Chess Life for Kids (published bi-monthly, 6 issues per year). USCF members have online access to these magazines, but members may also choose to receive a printed copy by mail. You may purchase or renew a USCF membership with or without a print magazine subscription. The cost of a one-year print subscription for each option is as follows:

  • Chess Life, 1 year: $9.35
  • Chess Life for Kids, 1 year: $4.75

Players in grades K, 1, 2 or 3

For players in grades K, 1, 2 or 3, USCF membership is optional. Players in these grades who do not already have a USCF membership expiring on or after November 30, 2021 may choose any of the following options:

1. Renew an expired membership: If they are now or previously have been a USCF member, they may renew their membership if it has expired or will expire before November 1, 2021.

2. Purchase a new membership: If they are not now and have not previously been a USCF member, they may purchase a new membership. Players purchasing a new membership who previously played under the Junior Tournament Player Program (JTPP) must use, for the new purchase, the USCF ID number assigned to them under the JTPP.

3. Play without a membership: If they do not want to have a USCF membership, they may enter the tournament under the Junior Tournament Player Program (JTPP), which allows a player to enter the tournament without being a 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. CSC will obtain a USCF ID number for any player entering under the JTPP who does not already have one. No action is required by the parents or players in this regard other than selecting the JTPP option on the entry form.

Although they will not have USCF membership status, players participating under the JTPP will nevertheless earn a rating from playing in this tournament.

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Tournament Schedule

All five rounds played will be played on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Players may make a correction to their entry, or request or cancel a bye, onsite between 8:30 and 9:15 am. Announcements will begin at 9:30 am. Round times are as follows:

Grades K–6

Grades 7–12

Round 1

10:00 am

10:00 am

Round 2

11:40 am

12:00 noon

Round 3

1:00 pm

2:00 pm

Round 4

2:20 pm

4:00 pm

Round 5

3:40 pm

6:00 pm

Awards

~5:00 pm

~8:00 pm


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Entry

Players must enter in advance, either by mail or online. There will be no onsite entry. Entries must be received by noon, Friday, November 5. The entry fee is $35 through October 29, and $40.00 thereafter.

A limited number of reduced entry fees ($15.00) for qualifying players are available to low-income families upon request. Players seeking to pay the reduced entry fee must enter by mail. Cincinnati Scholastic Chess may require a statement documenting eligibility.

Entries will be confirmed to the participants by email if a valid email address is supplied on the entry form and are listed here, updated with new entries periodically. Players should verify that all posted information is correct and notify CSC if any change is required (including bye requests) by email to info@chesscincinnati.com through noon, Friday, November 5, or onsite during the corrections period from 8:30 to 9:15 am.

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Teams

Two or more players in the same section from the same school, as indicated on their entry forms, will constitute a team. Players are asked to identify their schools by complete name and city to facilitate the proper designation of teams. The top three scores among a team’s players will count toward a team trophy. Players from the same team will not be paired against each other unless necessary to avoid pairing another 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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Trophies

In each section trophies will be awarded to the individual players finishing in first through fifth place and to all other players scoring 3.5 points or more. Team trophies will be awarded to the teams finishing in first through third place. The order of finish among players or teams with the same score will be determined by standard USCF tiebreaks.

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Venue Information

The tournament will be held at the Embassy Suites, 4554 Lake Forest Drive, Blue Ash, OH 45242. The hotel is located approximately three miles from the intersection of I-71 and I-275. Click here for a map. The Embassy Suites offers a made-to-order breakfast and dinner in its restaurant adjacent to the playing hall, and a two-hour evening reception for overnight guests. Arrangements are being explored for having the restaurant open for lunch as well, or for an alternative food concession for the benefit of tournament participants. For more information about the hotel, click here or visit the hotel’s website. For those wishing to stay overnight, the rate is $107 for a king suite and $117 for a suite with two double beds. All suites also include a sofa bed. Reserve by October 22, 2021 to ensure room and rate; reservations received after this date will be accepted only on a space-available basis and at rates available at that time. For reservations call 513-733-8900 or 800-362-2779. Please note: Be specific that you are reserving for the Ohio Grade Level on November 6. The Kings Island Open will be played in the same venue on the following weekend. If you refer only to the “chess tournament”, you might get booked for the KIO instead of the Grade Level! CLICK HERE TO BOOK A ROOM ONLINE.

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Questions

Email inquiries to info@chesscincinnati.com or contact Alan by phone/text at 513-600-9915.

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