In general all WSCF tournaments follow the rules of the US Chess Federation and its latest rules. Any disputes in games are resolved within these guidelines. Here are some things to keep in mind at WSCF tournaments:

  1. The Tournament Director (TD) and floor TD’s will not interfere in a game unless there is an obvious lack of ability to enforce mate. It is up to players to enforce the rules in their own games. If there is a disagreement, players should stop the game and raise their hand to ask for a floor TD. If you do not like the ruling of the floor TD you can ask for the TD. 
  2. Always play by touch move. Avoid “I touched it accidently.”  A chess player can learn not to touch pieces by accident. If you need to adjust a piece, say “adjust” before you touch a piece, not after. If you touch a piece, even by accident, and it is a legal move, you must make that move. If you pick up a piece and touch a piece to take, you must take that piece. 
  3. You do not need to say “check.” It is an opponent’s job to know when they are in check. 
  4. If an opponent is in check and doesn’t see it, it is your responsibility to help them get out of check. 
  5. After a game, reset your board and then go as a pair to the scoring table where you each write down your own score. Never write down your opponents score. Not recording your score will result in no score. 
  6. Always be a good sport and shake hands with your opponent before and after your match. 
  7. You are responsible for checking the results postings after rounds 2, 3, 4 and 5 to verify that the right score is recorded and that your name, grade and team are correct. 
  8. Remember that any game disputes can only truly be resolved during the game, not after. 
  9. Be prepared to use a clock at any time. If your opponent brings a clock, you must use it. If a clock is put on your board in the last 30 minutes of your game you must use it. 
  10. In any tournament be prepared to play immediately after the previous round ends. Round times may not be published or posted in advance.
  11. After your last match, reset the board, bag your pieces and place the board and pieces where the floor TD directs. 
  12. Please stay for the awards ceremony. If you or your representative is not there, you will not receive your medal or trophy. 
  13. Please support the local school and buy your lunch or snacks on site. Bringing in outside food is considered by some to be disrespectful of the host. Work instead for healthier concessions and make suggestions as to what is healthy, easy to make and will be bought by children, parents and coaches. 
  14. Chess boards and sets can always be purchased at every tournament. Sometimes they are only available after the tournament. Sometimes new sets are available. 

UPDATES as of December 7, 2023

After reviewing the season’s tournaments to date we feel it is in our community’s best interest to maximize tournament efficiency. We will do this with the following policy changes: 

Tournament Action Form – We have a new form that will be available at check-in/registration and chess control. We want all requests to be on this form and will not accept post-its, notes, lists, etc. We will always have a separate chess control for tournaments over 100. At national tournaments no parents or coaches are allowed anywhere near the TD room. This keeps the stress down for the TD. We try to turn our rounds every 65-75 minutes so we can complete the tournament in a timely manner. Also, we have always had the protocol of one slip for one action. This helps the TD not miss anything and to treat each issue fully. 

Withdrawals – One of the issues in each tournament is that a few players seem to disappear in the 4th or 5th round without telling us. We need to reemphasize how important this communication is. If there is a player who does not show and we have to do manual pairings or give a bye, it compromises players’ tie break points. Please have players check out before the rounds are paired. Withdrawals are communicated via a Tournament Action Form.

Late entry accepted, withdrawal and reentry is not – We accept late entries but find withdrawals and reentry to be excessive. So we will no longer allow reentry for students who need to miss for another activity. Once a player withdraws there will be no reentry into the tournament. 

Byes – We are no longer offering byes. We have done this for many years but have come to realize that this slows us down and we also don’t think it is fair for a 4.5 to beat out a 4 when they didn’t play the games. Byes in chess are really an adult chess carry over and we realize that it is not best for scholastic tournaments. 

Excessive emails – We often get emails for errors made in registration. Please no emails. These issues are best addressed with a tournament action form upon check-in at the tournament. This is a more efficient use of everyone’s time. An alternative is to re-register. Duplicates are not a problem for us.

We hope these changes will help us run faster, smoother, and more fair tournaments!

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation, and patience. 

Bob Patterson-Sumwalt & Erin Endress