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

Chess tournaments are a great way to test your skills, meet new friends, and have fun. In this guide, we will introduce you to some of the chess clubs and institutions that organize chess tournaments in Connecticut, and give you some information about their events.


The Connecticut State Chess Association (CSCA) is the official governing body of chess in Connecticut. It is affiliated with the US Chess Federation and the New England Chess Association. The CSCA organizes and sponsors several chess tournaments throughout the year, such as the Connecticut Open, the Connecticut Classic, the Connecticut Scholastic Championships, and the Connecticut Speed Championships. The CSCA also runs a weekly online prize event on Lichess.org, and supports chess education and outreach programs in the state. Some of the CSCA tournaments are:


  • Connecticut Speed Championships: A blitz tournament with a time control of 3 minutes plus 2-second increments per move.

  • Connecticut Senior Championship: A tournament for players aged 50 and over. The tournament is a four-round Swiss system with a time control of 40 minutes plus 5-second increments per move. 

  • Connecticut Collegiate Championship: A tournament for college students enrolled in any Connecticut institution. The tournament is a four-round Swiss system with a time control of 40 minutes plus 5-second increments per move. 

  • Connecticut Scholastic Team Championships: A tournament for school teams from kindergarten to 12th grade. The tournament is a four-round Swiss system with a time control of 30 minutes plus 5-second increments per move. 

  • Connecticut Women’s Championship: A tournament for female players of any age. The tournament is a four-round Swiss system with a time control of 40 minutes plus 5-second increments per move. 


For more information about the CSCA and its events, you can visit their website or their events calendar.


The National Scholastic Chess Foundation (NSCF) hosts engaging and well-structured chess tournaments throughout New York and Connecticut, providing opportunities for players of all levels to compete, learn, and connect. If you're a chess enthusiast residing in Connecticut, consider joining the action with the NSCF tournaments!


NSCF primarily conducts scholastic chess tournaments aimed at K-12 students. These tournaments are held throughout the school year, typically on weekends, at various locations across Connecticut. While specifics may vary, here's what you can generally expect:


Multiple Sections:

Tournaments are divided into sections based on skill levels, ensuring fair and balanced competition for players of all abilities. These sections may include names like:

  • Future Masters: For experienced players with ratings above a certain threshold.

  • Championship: For players with strong ratings.

  • Reserve: For developing players with lower ratings.

  • Primary: For beginners and novice players.


Formats

  • Tournaments typically follow the Swiss system, where players are paired based on their performance in each round, ensuring fair matchups throughout the event. Time controls vary depending on the section and age group.


USCF-Rated

All NSCF tournaments are US Chess Federation (USCF)-rated, meaning your performance directly affects your official US Chess rating. This allows you to track your progress and aim for higher ranks.


Finding a Tournament

To find an upcoming NSCF tournament in Connecticut, visit their website's "NY & CT Tournaments" page. The page provides a calendar listing upcoming tournaments with details like date and time, location, sections, and registration Information


The Play More Chess Academy is a chess school and club located in Hamden, Connecticut. It offers chess classes, lessons, camps, and tournaments for players of all ages and levels. The academy has a team of experienced and certified chess instructors, and a spacious and comfortable facility with chess boards, clocks, books, and computers. They host several chess tournaments throughout the year. Some of the academy’s tournaments are:


  • Play More Chess Open: A monthly tournament for players of any age and rating. The event is usually held on the first Saturday of each month, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, at the Play More Chess Academy. The tournament is a three-round Swiss system with a time control of 60 minutes plus 5-second increments per move. The entry fee is $25 for academy members and $30 for non-members. The prizes are based on the number of entries, and the top three players in each section receive cash awards.

  • Play More Chess Scholastic: A monthly tournament for players in grades K-12. The event is usually held on the third Saturday of each month, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, at the Play More Chess Academy. The tournament is a four-round Swiss system with a time control of 25 minutes plus 5-second increments per move. The entry fee is $20 for academy members and $25 for non-members. The prizes are trophies and medals for the top players in each section.

  • Play More Chess Blitz: A monthly tournament for players of any age and rating who enjoy fast chess. The event is usually held on the last Friday of each month, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at the Play More Chess Academy. The tournament is a double round-robin with a time control of 3 minutes plus 2-second increments per move. The entry fee is $10 for academy members and $15 for non-members. The prizes are based on the number of entries, and the top three players in each section receive cash awards.


This academy is also well-known for its casual plays, where stakes are low and fun is plenty. Visit their event calendar to learn more about these events.


This is a chess club for kids to learn chess and play the game and is a program offered by the Way of the Sword Fencing, Archery, and Chess Club.  They meet every Saturday from 10:10 AM -1:15 PM in downtown Ridgefield. Some of the tournaments they offer are:


  • WOB Sunday Swiss: Held the second Sunday of the month at the WOB facility, this is a Swiss-System tournament open to all players.


Forget stuffy textbooks and lonely online games. Ignite your chess passion at Fairfield County's premier hub, catering to beginners and grandmasters alike in a confortable and cozy envirovement.


USCF-rated tournaments and team matches await seasoned players. Visit their website to learn more about their upcoming events.


Some of the events and tournaments the CCFC offers are:

  • Saturday G/45 Quads

  • Sunday G/30 Quads

  • Online Friday Blitz

  • DIverse seasonal events (USCF-rated and unrated)


Here's a look at their facility:

Outside view of the Fairfield County Chess Club
An inside room filled with chairs, tables and chessboards to hold a tournament
A large room full of chairs, tables and chessboards accomodating for a chess tournament

Find them at 710 West Ave, Norwalk, have a look at their upcoming tournaments by visiting their event calendar, or contact them by emailing ccfc@fairfieldcountychess.com or texting (203) 981-2472.


DIG Chess hosts tournaments quite regularly throughout the month and the state of Connecticut, typically on the weekends you can gather with other chess players and enjoy a dose of chess battles and physical activities like pickleball.


Tournaments are USCF-rated, meaning that in order to compete you have to have a USCF membership.


They organize tournaments at the following locations:


The tournament sections are as follows:

  • Beginners: 0-300

  • Intermediate: 300-799

  • Advance: 800-1300

Rounds/Time Control:

  • 5 rounds. May reduce to 4 rounds to finish the event on time.


A group of kids participating in a chess tournament indoors

Photo courtesy of DIG Chess Team Source: Instagram @dig_usa


Their chess club organizes regular events like tournaments and meetings open to all ages, on top of the other many fun activities they offer. The KPL is a great place to have fun, grow and meet other enthusiasts. Make sure you visit them if you're rearby.


They hold chess events on the second Wednesday of every month, apart from special events and tournaments. Here is their calendar of events.



If you'd like to dig a bit deeper:

Here you will find a list off all the chess clubs in Connecticut, some of them have closed by now, but many are still active: https://www.chessmaniac.com/Clubs/Connecticut.htm


Conclusion

As you can see, there are many chess tournaments in Connecticut that you can participate in and enjoy. Whether you are a beginner or a master, young or old, there is a tournament for you. Chess tournaments are not only a way to improve your chess skills, but also a way to meet new people, have fun, and challenge yourself. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your chess set, register for a tournament, and play more chess!


Meta description: Learn about the chess tournaments in Connecticut that are organized by the CSCA and other institutions. Find out the dates, locations, ratings, and prizes of the events.


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