ImagesNew at Chess

New? Here are the steps you can take to get your child involved with chess:


1. Summer/Winter Camps

There are three options for camps; Regular, Master, and Strategy-Games. 

Regular Camp: we welcome any child of 5 years or older to our Regular Chess Camps. Prior chess knowledge is NOT required to attend the camp, we regurarly get absolute beginners, beginner and intermediate players at these camps. For more information on location, schedule, please click here.

Master Camp: this chess camp is for our advanced players who are rated 1000 or above, or with special coach recommendation. These camps are taught by titled instructors (Grandmasters, International Masters, or Fide or National Masters.) The level of puzzles and games covered are for advanced players who already have prior tournament experience. For more information on location, schedule, please click here.

Strategy-Games Camp: (Not a Chess Camp). This camp specializes in problem solving, and trains kids to use the three forms of strategy (logical / operational / transformational) to breakdown and solve a problem. We play a variety of games here, from ancient board games, homebrew concepts and new titles. To learn more about Strategy-Games Camp (and Club), visit here.

For more information click here.


2. After School chess classes

We offer after school classes in different locations, click here Each session consists of a lesson, practice game, and individual coaching. From time to time, students also work on puzzles and exercises to sharpen their mental acuity and reinforce the lesson. The time is roughly split evenly between formal instruction and practicing what you learned. Most sessions are 1 hour long but advanced and team sessions are longer.

We teach chess as an enrichment class where students can learn about chess as well as successful living. Examining the board before moving is akin to evaluating your alternatives before making a decision. Preparing for a response to your move is akin to preparing for different possibilities in life. We also teach the value of losing and learning from your mistakes and we emphasize good sportsmanship and respect towards others. 


3. Weekend clubs 

We offer classes for beginners to higher intermediate players every weekend with a drop-in class!. We have four locations and five possible times to find the specific times and dates click here.


4. Tournaments

Tournaments are organized every week at different locations by BayAreaChess and they vary in duration, level and scope. Our most frequent tournaments are the signature tournaments (swiss and quads) that we offer for our youth players. These are half day tournaments at 6 different locations. We also have county, state and national championships at multiple times every year.

What types of tournaments are there?
There are two types of tournamaments that BayAreaChess is organizing: Swiss and Quads.

Swiss tournaments:
Players are placed into groups and ranked within their group based on their USCF rating. In the normal ("regular") swiss any kid play (as long as they are rated over 1400). The pairing for the first round is based on their rating, however the pairing for the next round is based on the result of the result of the previous round. All pairing is done by a software. There are usually 3 or 4 rounds in a scholastic tournament. All swiss signature tournaments are in the morning, stats at 10am and ends around 1-2pm.The time control is G30, so each player gets 30 minutes.

Quads tournaments:
Players are placed into groups of 4 players based on their USCF rating. There are 3 rounds in a quads tournament, and each player in the group is playing against each other, in a round robin system. Therefore the pairing of all rounds are determined at the start of the tournament. All quads signature tournaments are in the afternoon, with a required checking at 2pm, and with a starting time around 2:30pm. The tournament usually end by 5pm.
Quads tournaments usually have a non-rated section, where players do not need to be a USCF members in order to play.

What tournament is better for a beginner player?

This depends on multiple factors, like rating, taste, and objectives. If your child is a morning bird, swiss tournament is better, if your child is an evening owl, then quads is more suitable. Swiss tournaments are usually more popular, and usually slower, whereas quads tournaments are less crowded, and usually are faster (because as soon as your opponent finishes his/her round you can start the next round.)

If you want to avoid playing agains much higher or lower rated players, you should either choose quads tournament, or choose a swiss tournament with narrow rating sections.

Should I pre-register for a tournament, or can I register on-site?
We encorage everyone to pre-register for any tournament to save you time and money and help us plan for the tournament better. On-site registration is available on the day of the tournament, usually an hour before the first round, howevery, there is an additional fee for on-site registration. Please, check the tournament page and flier to get the exact fees for each tournament.

What does rated and unrated tournament mean?
Most tournaments are so called rated tournaments. In order to register and play in any rated tournament, player must have an active USCF membership. Each player with a USCF member number will receive a rating after each game. USCF membership can easily be purchased via BayAreaChess' website separately or together with registering for any tournament.

What can I expect the day of the tournament?

Please, arrive a few minutes earlier than the start of the first round to find the room.

The pairings will be posted a few minutes before the first round in the hallways, on the walls. Look for your child's section's posting, and determine the table s/he is playing at, and what color are they playing with. 

When the game is finished, it's usually the winner's responsibility to go out to the hallway and put down the score of the game on the pairing paper that was posted on the wall. Put a 1 in empty square in front of the winner's name and a 0 in the empty square in front of the other player's name.

When everyone is finished, the tournament directors (TDs) will input the scores in the pairing software and determine the next round's pairing. This will again be posted a few minutes before the next round.

The trophy ceremony will be after the last round. Everyone with a winning score will get a trophy and everyone else will get a medal.