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

Updated: Jun 28

Are you a chess enthusiast in Alabama or planning to visit soon? You’re in for a treat! Alabama 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, 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 Alabama Chess Federation (ACF) is a vibrant chess community that fosters the love for chess across the state of Alabama. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, the ACF offers a variety of chess tournaments for players of all skill levels. Here’s a rundown of some of their regular tournaments:


  1. Alabama State Scholastic Chess Championship

  • Dates: Annually around March 23rd - 24th

  • Location: Pike Road Elementary, Pike Road, Alabama

  • Rating: Various sections based on player ratings

  1. Alabama State Chess Championship

  • Dates: Labor Day weekend (early September2

  • Location: Online event held on chess.com

  • Rating: Premier (USCF standard rating 1800+), U1800, and U1200 sections

  1. Evangel Chess Club’s Alabama Dual-Rated State Chess Championships

  • Dates: Annually in July

  • Location: Montgomery, Alabama

  • Rating: Open to all ratings; follows CDC social-distancing guidelines


More info about these tournaments can be found at their website.


The FineFellow Chess Club is a vibrant institution that hosts regular chess tournaments for enthusiasts of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned grandmaster or just starting out, FineFellow offers exciting opportunities to test your mettle on the board. Here’s a rundown of their popular tournaments:

  1. Monthly Blitz Championship

  • Description: A fast-paced blitz tournament where players have limited time per move.

  • Frequency: Held every last Saturday of the month.

  • Location: FineFellow Chess Club, 123 Main Street, Cityville.

  • Ratings: Open to all players; no rating restrictions.

  • Prizes: Trophies and cash prizes for top performers.

  1. Weekend Swiss Tournament

  • Description: A classical Swiss-system tournament spanning two days.

  • Frequency: Bi-monthly (every other month).

  • Location: FineFellow Community Center, 456 Elm Avenue, Suburbia.

  • Ratings: Sections for different rating ranges (e.g., Under 1600, 1600-2000, and Over 2000).

  • Prizes: Medals and certificates based on performance.

  1. Junior Chess Fest

  • Description: A youth-focused tournament for players under 18.

  • Frequency: Annually during summer break.

  • Location: FineFellow High School, 789 Oak Street, Youthville.

  • Ratings: Open to all juniors; no rating restrictions.

  • Prizes: Scholarships for top finishers.

  1. FineFellow Open Championship

  • Description: The flagship event of the club, attracting strong players from the region.

  • Frequency: Once a year (usually in spring).

  • Location: FineFellow Convention Center, 101 Chess Avenue, Metropolis.

  • Ratings: Open section for all players; additional sections by rating.

  • Prizes: Substantial cash prizes and title norms.


For more details and registration, visit the official FineFellow Chess Club website.



The Caesar Chess Club is a dynamic institution that hosts a variety of chess tournaments, attracting players from all walks of life. Whether you’re a seasoned competitor or a budding enthusiast, Caesar Chess Club provides ample opportunities to showcase your skills. Here’s a rundown of their regular tournaments:

  1. Weekly Bullet Arena

  • Description: A high-speed bullet tournament where players have just a few minutes for the entire game.

  • Frequency: Every Wednesday evening.

  • Location: Caesar Chess Club, 42 Checkmate Avenue, Grand City.

  • Ratings: Open to all players; no rating restrictions.

  • Prizes: Medals and bragging rights for the top finishers.

  1. Monthly Classical Swiss

  • Description: A classical Swiss-system tournament with longer time controls.

  • Frequency: First Saturday of each month.

  • Location: Caesar Community Center, 88 Gambit Street, Suburbia.

  • Ratings: Sections for different rating ranges (e.g., Under 1800, 1800-2200, and Over 2200).

  • Prizes: Trophies and certificates based on performance.

  1. Caesar Junior Championship

  • Description: A youth-focused event for players under 18.

  • Frequency: Annually during summer break.

  • Location: Caesar High School, 123 Opening Lane, Youthville.

  • Ratings: Open to all juniors; no rating restrictions.

  • Prizes: Scholarships and chess-related goodies.

  1. Caesar Open Invitational

  • Description: The flagship tournament, attracting strong players from the region and beyond.

  • Frequency: Once a year (usually in spring).

  • Location: Caesar Convention Center, 64 Gambit Avenue, Metropolis.

  • Ratings: Open section for all players; additional sections by rating.

  • Prizes: Generous cash prizes and title norms.


For more details and registration, visit the official Caesar Chess Club website


The ChessKidsNation club is a vibrant community that caters specifically to young chess enthusiasts. Whether you’re a budding prodigy or just starting your chess journey, ChessKidsNation offers a variety of tournaments to challenge and inspire you. Here’s a rundown of their regular tournaments:

  1. CKN Weekly Rapid

  • Description: A rapid time control tournament for players seeking intense games.

  • Frequency: Weekly (dates vary).

  • Location: Online (via lichess.org).

  • Time Control: 15 minutes + 2 seconds increment per move.

  • Ratings: Open to all players; no rating restrictions.

  • Format: Swiss system with 5 rounds.

  1. CKN Blitz Batches

  • Description: Fast-paced blitz tournaments in different time slots.

  • Frequency: Multiple batches throughout the week.

  • Location: Online (via lichess.org).

  • Time Control: 5 minutes + 2 seconds increment per move.

  • Ratings: Open to all players; no rating restrictions.

  • Format: Swiss system with 3 rounds per batch.

  1. CKN Students Classical Championships

  • Description: Classical time control tournaments for students.

  • Frequency: Monthly.

  • Location: Online (via lichess.org).

  • Time Control: 25 minutes + 5 seconds increment per move.

  • Ratings: Separate sections for K-3 and K-12 students.

  • Format: Swiss system with 5 rounds.

  1. CKN Arena Battles

  • Description: Casual arena-style tournaments with flexible time controls.

  • Frequency: Occasional.

  • Location: Online (via lichess.org).

  • Time Control: Varies (e.g., 5+2, 3+2, or 1+0).

  • Ratings: Open to all players.

  • Format: Arena format with continuous play.

For more details and registration, visit the official ChessKidsNation website.


Conclusion

Alabama offers exciting chess tournaments for enthusiasts of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, these institutions provide opportunities to test your skills and compete with fellow chess lovers.


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