Title King Queen

Youth Chess Playday and Tournament
Saturday, December 4, 2010
at Lynden Christian Middle School

A chess tournament and playday for chessplayers of all abilities, from beginner to experienced tournament competitor, from Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Three playing sections: Kindergarten-2nd grades, 3rd-4th grades, 5th-8th grades.

State Qualifier Tournament! Kindergarten-6th grade players with winning scores (3/5) qualify to participate in the 2011 Washington State Elementary Chess Championships, being held this year in Tacoma on April 30, 2011.

Location: Lynden Christian Middle School, 503 Lyncs Dr, Lynden. (Lynden map - LC Campus map)

Format: Five round Swiss (no elimination). Game/30 (maximum one hour for each game.) Tournament rated by the Northwest Scholastic Rating System. Pairings by computer.

Schedule: Check-in 8:30 - 9:00am sharp. Opening ceremonies at 9:05am. Each round will start A.S.A.P. So, estimated start times for each round: 9:30, 10:45, 12:00, 1:15, 2:30. Awards ceremony A.S.A.P., around 3:50pm.

Food Drive! We will be collecting canned food for the homeless and needy in Whatcom County.

Extras: Giant chess set -- Craft table -- Homemade chili & homemade concessions, hot dogs etc -- Chesshouse.com for Christmas shopping.

Also: Consider staying in Lynden after the tournament for the 2010 Lighted Christmas Parade, which starts downtown at 6:00pm.

And: Someone in your group might want to sneak out to hear Handel's "Messiah" presented by the Lynden Choral Society, at 3pm, First Christian Reformed Church, 1010 Front Street, Lynden.

Register online by December 1 at Chess4Life via the Chess4Life secure website. All players must also check-in the morning of the tourney between 8:30 and 9:00am. Late check-ins will receive a half-point bye for Round 1.

Further information: Email Stefanie Faddis at fadfam@frontier.com.

Download the One Page Tournament Flyer in .pdf format

Christmas Chess Classic FAQ

I don't know how to play chess. Should I come?
Sure! Before tournament day, you can have a friend show you how to play, or you can learn the rules of chess online here or here or here. Only three things you need to know to play: 1.The starting position. 2.How the six different pieces move. 3.How the game ends. (Get the King!)

I'm not a good chessplayer. Should I play?
Sure! Come play with the rest of us patzers. We're all learning, and you don't have to be a Grandmaster to have fun at chess. Besides, the Swiss pairings system will match you with opponents of equal ability (after a few rounds). And just think of how much better you'll be after a day of chess playing.

I've never played in a tournament. I'm nervous! What do I do?
Have fun and enjoy the competition! You might have your parents read Considerations Before Competing, an article by a Whatcom County mom published in Neighborhood-Kids.com. Then you'll know a bit more about what to expect. (Also helpful is Tournaments - How They Work.)

When do we eat lunch?
Whenever you can! There's no scheduled lunch break between rounds, so if you have a game that ends early, that might be a good time to eat.

How many games will I play?
All players will play five rounds, win or lose. With Swiss pairings, there's no elimination, and you'll always play someone with the same score as yourself (with a few exceptions). So for example, if in the first three rounds you have one win and two losses, you'll play someone else with one win and two losses in the 4th round.

I can't play in all five rounds. Can I still play?
It's possible, although our flexible "A.S.A.P." schedule makes it tricky. If you'll be arriving late, check the schedule (above) and indicate on your entry which rounds you will be missing. Then be sure to check in with a tourney director when you do arrive.

If I haven't taken my hands off of the chess piece yet, can I change my mind?
In a rated tournament like this one, if you even touch a chess piece, you must move it! And if you touch an opponent's piece, you must capture it! So sit on your hands until you know what you want to do. If a piece needs to be centered or adjusted, you may do so by first saying "I adjust".

Do I have to write down the moves?
Scorekeeping may be required for the 5th-8th grade section. To learn how, have a teacher or friend show you, or go here. Hey, it's good for you! One of the best ways to improve is to review your games after a tournament. (Besides being able to show your friends the awesome move you made that clinched the game.) Also, learning chess notation opens you to the whole wide world of chess literature.

Will we use chess clocks? How do they work?
We'll use clocks in the 5th-8th grade section on all boards. Eventually we might use clocks on the top boards in the 3rd-4th grade section. And if a game looks like it may go long, we may place a clock on your game after about 40 minutes. Chess clocks are a great invention. They keep slow players from slowing and losing players from stalling. Here's how it works: After your move, you hit the button nearest you on the chess clock. Your timer stops, and your opponent's timer begins. In this tournament each middle school player will get 30 minutes, thus ensuring that no game goes over an hour. If a player uses up all of their clock time, it's a loss just like checkmate. So bring a chess clock if you have one, but if you don't, that's okay.

How do school team awards work?
The team scoring used will be similar to cross-country meet scoring. That is, the best four or five results from a single school will be tallied and compared with other schools. Efforts will be made not to pair players from the same school. We'll use the eligibility rules used at Elementary State.

Helpers Is this tourney an Elementary State Qualifier tournament? Tell me about State.
The largest chess tournament in the state every year is not the Washington Open, the Seafair Open or the State High School Team Championships, it's the State Elementary Championships. Last year over 1,200 players pre-registered to compete in Tacoma. And consider this: to attend, players had to first qualify by posting a winning record in a qualifying tournament!

To qualify for Elementary State, a Washington student in grades 1-6 must post a winning record (score over 50 percent) in a NWSRS-rated Scholastic Chess Tournament in Washington State with at least 4 rounds, at least 6 players in their section, and at least 3 different school codes represented. Players in Kindergarten need to score 2/5 in a divison which includes K-2 players. A list of qualifying players for the current school year can be found at the WHSCA website.


Parents, check out the Parents FAQ on the NW Wa. Elementary School Chess page

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