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Chess tournaments in Colorado: Where to look for the best ones?

Updated: Jun 28

Are you a chess enthusiast in Colorado or planning to visit soon? You’re in for a treat! Colorado has a lot of chess fun to offer, with tournaments for every level and taste. This guide will reveal some of the top chess clubs and events in Colorado, and explain how they work and what they offer. Whether you’re after a casual game, an academic competition, or a FIDE-rated challenge, this guide will help you find it.


The CSCA is the official governing body of chess in Colorado. It organizes and supports various chess activities, such as tournaments, lectures, and publications. The CSCA also maintains the ratings and rankings of Colorado chess players, and selects the representatives for national and international competitions. If you want to become a member of the CSCA, you can register online or at any CSCA-sponsored event. Some of the benefits of membership include discounts on entry fees, access to the Colorado Informant magazine, and eligibility for state titles and awards. 


The CSCA hosts several tournaments throughout the year, such as:


  • Colorado Open: The Colorado Open is the flagship event of the CSCA, and one of the oldest and most prestigious chess tournaments in the state. It is usually held in September.

  • Colorado Closed and Scholastic Closed Championship: The Colorado Closed and Scholastic Closed Championship is an invitational event for the top players in Colorado. It is usually held in March and features two sections: the Colorado Closed, for the top eight adult players, and the Scholastic Closed, for the top eight scholastic players.

  • Colorado Class Championship: The Colorado Class Championship is a tournament for players of different rating classes, ranging from Class A (1800-1999) to Class E (under 1000). It is usually held in June. 

  • Colorado Quick and Blitz Championship: The Colorado Quick and Blitz Championship is a tournament for players who enjoy fast-paced chess. It is usually held in September, and features two sections: the Quick Championship, with a time control of 10 minutes per game, and the Blitz Championship, with a time control of 5 minutes per game. 


Summit School of Chess is a chess school and club located in Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Denver. It also hosts regular tournaments, leagues, and other events for its students and the chess community. 


Some of the tournaments that the Summit School of Chess organizes are:


  • Summit School of Chess Open Division: The Summit School of Chess Open Division is a series of monthly tournaments for players of all levels and ages. They are usually held on Saturdays, from 9 am to 5 pm, and consist of four rounds, with a time control of 40 minutes per game, with a 5-second delay. 

  • Summit School of Chess Scholastic Division: The Summit School of Chess Scholastic Division is a series of monthly tournaments for scholastic players of all levels and ages. They are usually held on Saturdays, from 9 am to 3 pm, and consist of five rounds, with a time control of 25 minutes per game, with a 5-second delay. 

  • Summit School of Chess Rapid Saturday: The Summit School of Chess Rapid Saturday is a monthly tournament for players who enjoy fast-paced chess. It is usually held on the first Saturday of each month, from 9 am to 1 pm, and consists of six rounds, with a time control of 15 minutes per game, with a 5-second delay. 


The Summit School of Chess is one of (if not THE) best options to participate in regular tournaments.

A bunch of kids holding their chess certifications

Courtesy of Summit School of Chess



Colorado Master Chess is a chess academy and club in Greenwood Village, near Denver. The academy’s founder and director is Todd Bardwick, a national master and a certified chess coach. Colorado Master Chess hosts regular tournaments, lectures, and other events for its students whom are mostly kids.


Some of the tournaments that Colorado Master Chess organizes are:


  • The Kings of Chess Tournament: a monthly tournament that takes place on the second Saturday at the Colorado Master Chess Academy. The tournament has four sections: K-3 Unrated, 4-6 Unrated, K-12 Rated, and Open.

  • The Denver Chess Academy Summer Tournaments are a series of weekly tournaments for scholastic players of all levels and ages, held during the summer break. They are held on Saturdays, from 9 am to 3 pm, at the Colorado Master Chess Academy. The tournaments have two sections: K-3 Unrated and 4-7 Unrated. The K-3 Unrated section is for scholastic players in grades K-3 who do not have a USCF rating. The 4-7 Unrated section is for scholastic players in grades 4-7 who do not have a USCF rating. 

  • The Colorado Master Chess Championship is an annual tournament for the students of Colorado Master Chess. It is a single-elimination format, with a time control of 40 moves in 90 minutes, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 5-second delay. The winner of the tournament is declared as the Colorado Master Chess Champion and receives a trophy and a cash prize. The tournament is held in December. The tournament has two sections: K-12 and Adult. 


The Denver Chess Club is one of the oldest and most active chess clubs in Colorado. They offer regular tournaments, lectures, and other events for players of all levels. Some of their regular tournaments include:


  • DCC Tuesday: weekly on Tuesdays. Sections: Premier (1700+ or Unrated) - U1900 - U1500. 

  • DCC Thursday: weekly on Thursday. Sections: "1600+ Premier" and "U1600 & Unrated".  Unrated players must play in the U1600 section.


Their schedule changes frequently and they offer a ton of cool events and tournaments to participate in. Make sure to take a look at their calendar.


Kings of Chess is a chess academy that offers chess lessons, camps, and tournaments for kids and adults. It is located at 1298 Peoria St, Aurora. The academy has a team of experienced and certified chess coaches who can help students improve their chess skills and enjoy the game. The academy also has a chess club that meets every Friday from 6 pm to 8 pm.


Some of the tournaments that the academy offers are:


  • Kings of Chess Monthly Tournament: A monthly tournament that is open to all players under 18 years old. The tournament is usually held on the first Saturday of each month and consists of four rounds.

  • Kings of Chess Junior Rapid Tournament: A quarterly tournament that is open to all players under 12 years old. The tournament is usually held on the second Saturday of March, June, September, and December and consists of six rounds. 

Make sure to take a look at their calendar or contact their tournament director at Kar.ka@aol.com for more information.


Other options


The Chess Club at Aurora University is a student organization that aims to promote chess on campus and in the community. It provides opportunities for students to learn, play, and compete in chess, as well as to socialize with other chess enthusiasts. The club meets every Wednesday from 12 pm to 1 pm at the Student Center, Room 105.


Some of the tournaments that the club offers are:


  • Aurora University Chess Championship: An annual tournament that is open to all students, faculty, and staff of Aurora University. The tournament is usually held in April and consists of five rounds. The time control is 25 minutes with a 5-second delay per move. The entry fee is $5 and the prizes are trophies and medals.

  • Aurora University Chess Blitz: A monthly tournament that is open to all students, faculty, and staff of Aurora University. The tournament is usually held on the last Wednesday of each month and consists of seven rounds. The time control is 5 minutes with a 2-second increment per move. The entry fee is $2 and the prizes are gift cards and chess books.


The University of Denver Chess Club is a chess club located on the campus of the University of Denver. They offer regular tournaments, classes, and other events for players of all levels. Some of their regular tournaments include:

  • Senior and under 50 tournament

  • Class Championship

  • Quick Championship


The MACM chess program is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting chess in Denver, CO. They offer tournaments, classes, and other events for players of all levels. Some of their regular tournaments include:

  • Northern Colorado Chess Club

  • Fort Collins Summer Championship

  • NCCC Club Championship: Location

Location: 2015 E 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80205. Rating: USCF rated.


Conclusion

Colorado offers a variety of chess tournaments for different types of players, from scholastic to open, from unrated to rated, and from blitz to standard. By participating in chess tournaments, you can improve your chess skills, compete with other players, and have a lot of fun.


We hope that this helped you find the chess tournaments that suit your preferences and goals and that you will have a great time playing chess in Colorado.


Talking about the right places. Are you looking for the right place to improve your skills? Learn from our Masters online either in private lessons or group lessons.


We'd love to hear your ideas on how to make this better! Share them with us and we'll update this post ASAP! And remember to subscribe to our Newsletter so that you will get all of our awesome online monthly tournaments!


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Meta description: A blog post that introduces some of the best chess tournaments in Colorado, and provides useful information about the dates, locations, and ratings of the tournaments.


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