Knights of Northern Kentucky logo


Saturday, April 20 at Scott High School, Taylor Mill KY 


Never played in a tournament before? knight and queen greeting playersYou're not alone!  Here are some of the commonly asked questions along with links to useful information about the game of chess!  If you still have questions call Linda Fritz at 859-630-2694 or email [email protected].

For full tournament details download the form: FORM
For full tournament rules: RULES
For large teams sending in one check download the spreadsheet:TEAM FORM


: April 20 (Saturday)
TIME: Doors open 8:30 AM, players meeting 9:15 AM
LOCATION: Scott High School
5400 Old Taylor Mill Road, Taylor Mill, KY
FORMAT: 5 Round Modified Swiss
$15 (if emailed or postmarked by 4/13//2013)+ USCF member, $20 after that, $25 event day
ENTRY FEE NON-RATED/NOVICE: $10 (if entered on-line by 413/2013, $20 after that, $25 event day
"Knights Chess", 2600 Worth Road, Crestwood, KY 40014-9133 (or pay with credit card: ONLINE,small fee applies)

AWARDS: Top 25% in each section of rated and non-rated, minimum
SECTIONS: K-1, K-3, K-5, K-8, K-12; G/30 Rounds 1-3; G/45 Rounds 4-5 (applies to both rated and non-rated, sections may combine as numbers warrant)

How do I get to Scott High School?
From the I275 and I75/71 Interchange go east on I-275E for 4 miles. Take exit 79 for Kentucky 16/Taylor Mill Road toward Taylor Mill/Covington. Turn right onto Taylor Mill Road. Take the first right onto Old Taylor Mill Road, go south for 1.8 miles, the high school will be on your right, the main entrance is near the back parking lot. MAP

View Larger Map
Should a student play in the Rated section?
Rated means a player has joined the United States Chess Federation and the scores from their games at this tournament and other tournaments will generate their rating. Lower rated players are usually paired with other players of similar ratings within an age division (K-12 U800 means the players have current ratings under 800 in this group of mostly 9-12th graders).

Who should play in the Non-Rated/Novice section?
Anyone who has never played in a "rated" tournament and is not interested in joining the United States Chess Federation to play in rated tournaments would find more enjoyment in the Non-rated/Novice sections. Unless a player is interested in pursuing chess on a serious level, new players with little experience should start in the Non-rated section to avoid getting badly beaten by those with greater tournament experience.

What's a really high rating?
The highest players are usually adults and are in the 2800 range. Grandmasters are rated at least 2500. We have had players at this tournament with ratings in the 1600s.

Do I have to join the USCF?
Children playing chess
Only if you want to play in the Rated section and plan to keep playing in tournaments.

How do I join the USCF?
Go to the link: uschess.org to Join or Renew. A regular scholastic membership for those 12 and under is $16 for one year, for those 15 and under it is $20 for one year.

What is the schedule for the day?

8:30-9:15AM CHECKIN

Why are the divisions "K-whatever" mean?

K-3 means the oldest that a child can be to play in this division is a 3rd grader. K- 5 is up to fifth grade, K-8 up to 8th grade, etc. Usually divisions are made of the highest grade plus the grade below. For example, K-5 is usually made up of 4th and 5th graders. Younger players may play in the higher divisions though if they feel they can compete or if there rating is higher than those in their age group. Playing up usually translates to higher ratings if you win and you can play back in your own division for the next tournament.

How will I be paired up with other players?
Since more people enter a tournament than there are rounds to play everyone, the Swiss System for pairings helps determine the strongest players and the eventual winner as fast and as fair as possible. Players with the same scores meet each round and no one is ever eliminated. Everyone will play both black and white.

What does G/30 or G/45mean?

G/30 means you get 30 minutes to make your moves during the round as does your opponent. Some people like to use a clock that counts down the 30 minutes of each so they get their exact amount of time. G/45 is 45 minutes each to move.

What is the touch-move rule?

If you touch a piece you must move it unless it has no legal move that it can make. Once you take your hand off a piece your move is complete and cannot be undone unless the move is determined to be illegal.

What is an illegal move?

You cannot move your king onto a square that will put it in check. If you are playing and suddenly discover that your king has been in check unless you can go back to the previous moves that created the situation your next move is to get your king out of check.
chess clock with less than 3 minutes remaining for one side
Do I have to use a clock when I play?
Not unless the other player requests it. If the director sees that a couple players are taking too long to make their moves and finish their game within the round's time frame (usually a total of an hour) he may assign each a certain amount of time left to play the game.  You will then have to hit the clock on your side to stop it once your move is complete.  You must use the same hand you move the pieces with to stop your clock. If the game is not won by one of the players, whoever runs out of time first loses the game.

How many games will I get to play?
Each player is scheduled for 5 games. If there an odd number of players in a division one of your games may be a "bye". In our tournament we give a 1/2 point for a bye.

How many points do I get if I win?

1 point for a win, 1/2 point for a draw, and 0 points if you lose.

What does "bye" mean?

If you are scheduled a "bye" then you do not play that round. If you are going to be late and may miss the first round or you have to leave early and you will miss the last round you may request a bye. A bye is an automatic 1/2 point awarded to you.

What is a draw?
In chess, a draw is a tie and worth a 1/2 point. A draw comes when 1) A total of 50 moves have been made with no piece being captured or a pawn moved 2) a player moves and repeats the the same position 3 times. 3) perpetual check or 4) both payers agree that neither can win. Sometimes a tournament director will determine a draw if both sides appear equal and neither are close to winning and the round is about to end.

What is a stalemate?
A stalemate is a draw that occurs when the king is not in check but cannot make any legal moves. 1/2 point awarded to each player.

What if I forfeit a game?
You get 0 points and your opponent gets 1.

board with algebraic notationWho are the tournament directors?
Steve Dillard is the certified Foor Director and the person to direct questions to about the play that occurs. Mike Amos is our certified Computer Technical Director and he compiles all the results and creates the next rounds' pairings and the last round's standings. Both of these guys are incredible people, very professional, kind, organized and experienced. Linda Fritz coordinates the tournament with help from the Walton Verona Elementary School Principal Rob Hartman, Vice Principal Tony Feldmann and other awesome WV staff and volunteers.

What are pairings and standings?

Pairings tell you what board number you'll be at, who you will be playing and what color pieces you will use. Standings tell you how you are doing within your division. The top one at the end gets the biggest trophy!

What's algebraic notation?
All the squares on a chess board have a name, the file it's in is listed first and then the row it's in is listed second (see brown and tan example board above). Algebraic notation is a way to keep track of yours and your opponents moves using those names. You record what piece moved to what square and make a note about that action, if necessary. All of the chess boards at our tournament will be set up with the white pieces always on the a1 side. The Queen pieces always go on their own color (black on dark, white on light). Click on the chess board image above for more information on notation.

Do I have to write down my moves?

algebraic notationNo. But, if there are any disagreements about who moved what and where, then you can show them what actually happened and not be taken advantage of. Click on the small image to the right to see an example of algebraic notation. Five pages like this one (a set for each round) are included in the booklet that you will receive at the tournament.

How do the directors determine the different final place winners?

The Swiss System for pairings does all the work. It is pretty close to rocket science so we will not attempt any further explanations here.

What are the official rules the tournament follows?
US Chess Federations' Offcial Rules of Chess, Fifth Edition.

How long does the tournament take?
Players meeting is at 9:15 and matches and awards are usuallly finished by about 4:15.

Can I talk while I'm playing my game?
You should not talk other than what is necessary: introducing yourself, check or checkmate, adjusting a piece on the board, agreeing on a draw.. If you have a disagreement and cannot work it out, contact the tournament director.

Can parents and coaches watch the games?
In most tournaments they cannot watch but since our tournament is held in the gym, bleachers are available for parents and coaches to observe from. However, there is to be no interaction during the games between players and audience. Also, any one who is a distraction (cell phones, crying babies, etc.) will be asked to wait outside of the gym for their player.

Will there be food sold at the tournament?
Yes, we will have breakfast and hot lunch items for sale throughout the day of the tournament.

Where do I keep my stuff while I play?
We will have tables and chairs in the skittles room (our cafeteria).

What is a "skittles" room?
A place where there are tables and chairs where you can play informally or just hang out. If your team consists of more than a dozen kids we will provide a separate room for your team.

play Will there be team trophies?
If a school or group has at least 2 players in a division there may be team trophies available in that division to the top 25% of the teams. The top 3 scores are taken from each team to determine team rank. In the rated division team members must be from the same school and not just the same gropu or club. If there is only one team in a division there may not be a team tropny for that division, team trophies are not guaranteed due to fluctuating late sign ups.

What is so great about chess?
Many things! Read on: BENEFITS

Where can I learn more about chess in general?

How can I learn to play better?
Here's one place to start: The Chess Website

What is En Passant?
French for "in passing" it is a special pawn capture that occurs when an unsuspecting pawn makes its first move of 2 squares and ends up right beside an enemy pawn that is on its fifth rank.. The enemy - at that moment only - can capture the unfortunate pawn as if it had only moved 1 square and lands on that square to perform the capture.

What if there's bad weather the day or morning of the tournament?
As long as there are no declared weather emergencies with the roads shut down in our area, the tournament will go on. If the weather may prohibit a good portion of players from arriving on time we will do a 1 or 2 hour delay of start. If you still need a little more time please call 859-630-2694 and request a Bye for the first round. If you can't make it all please let us know before the tournament starts.If there is a weather delay we will post the status on the home page of this site, send a notification to all of the email addresses that we have and call any players who have not given us their emails.

Are there refunds if a player can't make it?
Most tournaments do not refund money if a player can't make it. As long as you let us know you're not coming before the day of the tournament we will tear up your check if you've already paid and the check hasn't been cashed. If there's bad weather the day of and you can't make it please call and we will also tear up your check (again if it hasn't been cashed) but following up with an email also helps. If we don't hear from you at all and your child is a no-show there are no refunds since the work to enter and pair your child has already been done. If you ordered a T-shirt and would still like it we can give it to someone you know who will be there at the tournament, otherwise there is no way to get it to you or refund you.

What's a good way to carry chess stuff for a small Chess Club?
While there are many ways to carry chess stuff, we recommend CRESBI crates! Not only are they a collapsible, reusable, environmentally-friendly and stackable box idea - purchasing them will help the director with her new business make up for all the time she freely gives running the tournament. :) See www.cresbi.com.play


facebook link

site design by Kodiak Video Productions