Cincinnati Scholastic Chess

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

Other Opportunities for Enjoying Chess

State Chess Championship Tournaments (scholastic)

The Ohio Scholastic Chess Association oversees five championship tournaments every year, two of which (the Middle School Championships and the High School Championship) are played concurrently at the same site. Typically these four events are played at different sites in Ohio from year to year.

Girls Championship

Only girls may play in the Girls Championship tournament, which is normally played between late February and early May. The Championship section (K-12 Open) plays a two-day schedule, two rounds on Saturday and two on Sunday, with a time control of G/90; +30. Non-championship sections play a one-day schedule on Saturday with a time control of G/30; d5.

Elementary Championships

The Elementary Championships include an Elementary Championship for grades K through 6 and a Primary Championship for grade K through 3. The event is a 5-round, 1-day tournament, normally played between late February and early May with a time control of G/30; d5. Sections include a Primary Championship (K-3), an Elementary Championship (K-6), and non-championship sections as determined by the organizer.

High School and Middle School Championships

These two events are usually conducted together as a single tournament, known in shorthand as the “HSMS” and usually played in March or April, with the High School Championship open to players in grades 9 through 12 and the  Middle School Championship open to players in grades K through 8. The tournament is a 6-round, 2-day tournament with a time control for the High School and Middle Schools Championship sections of G/60; d5 for rounds 1-3 and G/90; d5 for rounds 4-6. Non-championship sections for grades K through 8 and for grades 9 through 12 are typically offered as well, with a time control of G/60; d5 for all rounds.

Grade Level Championships

CSC will host the 2021 Ohio Grade Level Championships on November 6, 2021. See the Grade Level page for details.

The Grade Level Championships event is a 5-round, 1-day tournament, played in November, with each grade (K through 12) as a distinct section (all players must play in the section for their grade). The time control for grades K through 6 is G/30; d5 for all rounds. The time control for grades 7 through 12 is G/45; d5 for all rounds.

For more information about these tournaments, visit the Ohio Scholastic Chess Association website.

Thunder Chess Academy

Learn from the best! Thunder Chess Academy, in Mason, announced in July 2021 that both intermediate and advanced students will receive exclusive instruction from USCF masters this fall!

NM Dane Mattson is a full-time content creator for and has coached kids and adults for more than 18 years. According to Thunder’s founder, Coach JW Holes, Coach Dane is one of the best coaches he has ever seen in action. Mattson, whom users may know better as “Fischwitsch,” holds a degree in Psychology and will coach on Thursday afternoons. Mandatory minimum 6 students to form a class.

NM Justin Storn is a two-time Cincinnati city champion and is the youngest player ever to win that title. Storn also won the Queen City Classic twice. Storn has agreed to work with Thunder this fall even as he begins his first year at Case Western in Cleveland to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering.

Thunder’s founder “Coach Jay” will continue to coach the program’s beginners and emerging players with the same engaging style he has used for the last 8 years both at Thunder and previously at the Greater Cincinnati Chinese School.

Thunder will once again be online for the 2021-22 school year. Classes are forming now! For more information email “Coach Jay” at:

Open Chess at the Library (non-rated recreational play, all ages)

The Symmes Township branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County hosts a chess club that meets once each month, normally on the third Tuesday, although other factors might sometimes affect our scheduling. We will post scheduled future dates on this website, and interested people can always confirm dates with the library by calling (513) 369-6001. Scheduled dates through May 2022 are:

  • September 21
  • October 19
  • November 16
  • December 21
  • January 18
  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 19
  • May 17

The Symmes library is located on Enyart Road just off Montgomery Road. This program was originated by one of the CSC founders in January 2006, to offer the opportunity for people of any age to drop in whenever they want to play games recreationally, get some coaching from more experienced players, or learn the game from scratch in an informal and unstructured setting. Play is from 6:30 until 8:30 pm, and players may arrive and leave whenever they choose within that time period. For more information see the Symmes Chess Club flyer. If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact Jeff Davis at

For 14 years the program met almost every week; now with a reduced scheduled, it will become even more important that its loyal fans show up to support it if it is to continue.

Cincinnati Chess Club (rated play, all ages)

The Cincinnati Chess Club has resumed meeting in person with otb chess. The Club meets regularly on Thursday nights at the Deer Park Community Center, aka Francis R Healey Community Center (Chamberlin Park), 7640 Plainfield Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45236 from 6:30 until 11:00 pm; players may arrive and leave whenever they choose within that time period. Players of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Parking is available on the outlying streets if the parking lot is full. See the Cincinnati Chess Club website for more information.

Cincinnati Tornado

The series of Cincinnati tornado tournaments has been suspended due to the pandemic. It is not known at this time whether or when the Club will resume the tornadoes.

Chess Activity in Other Places

Our site is not an official clearinghouse of chess-related information; we provide information only about events that come to our attention. Listed to the left are a number of links to other websites that might be of interest. By exploring these you might find other opportunities to play or study chess, in the Cincinnati area or elsewhere in and around Ohio.