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

Florida is a great place for chess lovers, as it hosts many chess tournaments throughout the year. Whether you are a beginner or a master, you can find a suitable event to test your skills and have fun. In this guide, we will introduce you to some of the most popular chess clubs and institutions in Florida, and the tournaments they offer regularly.


Can't see your favorite chess club or academy here? Make sure to contact us and we will add them :)

Chess tournaments near Miami


They're the official US Chess Affiliate for the state of Florida and organize five championship events per year, as well as other tournaments and activities for chess players of all levels and ages.


They even have a magazine! Which is pretty cool, you can check it out here

Some of the FCA events are:


  • Lerman Florida State Championship: This is the main event of the FCA, where the best players in Florida compete for the title of state champion. It is usually held in September or October, and it has several sections based on rating and age.

  • Florida State Scholastic Championship: This is the largest scholastic chess event in Florida, where students from kindergarten to 12th grade can participate. It is usually held in March, and it has individual and team categories.

  • Florida State Women’s Championship: This is an annual event for female chess players in Florida, where they can compete for cash prizes and trophies. It is usually held in February, and it has an open section and an under 1400 section.

  • Florida State Senior Championship: This is an annual event for chess players who are 50 years old or older. It is usually held in February, and it has an open section and an under-1800 section.

  • Florida State Quick and Blitz Championships: These are two separate events that are held on the same weekend, usually in August or September. The quick championship has a time control of 10 minutes per player, while the blitz championship has a time control of 3 minutes per player.


You can find more information about their events on the FCA website.


The Florida Scholastic Chess League (FSCL), offers chess classes, camps, clubs, and tournaments for students of all ages and skill levels. Affiliated with the United States Chess Federation (USCF) and the Florida Chess Association (FCA). The FSCL hosts several tournaments throughout the year, both online and in-person. Some of the regular tournaments are:

  • FSCL Grand Prix Series: A series of four online tournaments held on Lichess.org, one per month from September to December. Each tournament has four sections: K-1, K-3, K-5, and K-12. The top three players in each section receive trophies and qualify for the FSCL Grand Prix Finals in January.

  • FSCL Regional Championships: A series of three in-person tournaments held in different regions of Florida: South, Central, and North. Each tournament has five sections: K-1, K-3, K-5, K-8, and K-12. The top five players and teams in each section receive trophies and qualify for the FSCL State Championship in May.

  • FSCL State Championship: The final and most prestigious tournament of the FSCL season, held in May at a central location in Florida. The tournament has five sections: K-1, K-3, K-5, K-8, and K-12. The top five players and teams in each section receive trophies and medals. The winners of the K-8 and K-12 sections also receive scholarships to attend the National Scholastic Chess Championship.

  • FSCL Online Blitz Series: A series of four online tournaments held on Chess.com, one per month from January to April. Each tournament has four sections: K-1, K-3, K-5, and K-12. The top three players in each section receive medals and qualify for the FSCL Online Blitz Finals in May.

  • FSCL Scholastic Chess Festival: A one-day in-person event held in February at the University of Central Florida. The event features a four-round Swiss tournament with five sections: K-1, K-3, K-5, K-8, and K-12. The top five players and teams in each section receive trophies and certificates. The event also includes chess lectures, puzzles, games, and prizes.

  • FSCL Team Championship: A two-day in-person event held in April at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center. The event is open to teams of four players from any FSCL-affiliated school or club. The event has four sections: Elementary (K-5), Middle (6-8), High (9-12), and Open. The top three teams in each section receive trophies and medals. The event also features a blitz tournament, a bughouse tournament, and a chess trivia contest.


Since the dates and locations are constantly changing, I’d recommend visiting their website or their Facebook page for more information about upcoming events.


The Stormont Kings Chess Program is a scholastic chess club that teaches chess to children of all ages, academic backgrounds, and developmental stages in Miami-Dade County. It was founded in 1991 by Chris Stormont, who is a National Master and a certified USCF coach. The club has produced over 30 state and national chess champions and hundreds of other students who enjoy playing chess. The club offers weekly classes, private lessons, online coaching, summer camps, and tournaments, such as:

  • Stormont Kings Monthly Tournament: A monthly tournament that consists of four rounds of game/30 with a 5-second delay. The entry fee is $25 and the prizes are trophies for the top three in each section (Open, U1400, U1000, U600). The next Stormont Kings Monthly Tournament will be on October 28, 2023 at the Kendall United Methodist Church.

  • Stormont Kings Winter Open: A two-day tournament that consists of five rounds of game/90 with a 30-second increment. The entry fee is $60 and the prizes are based on entries. The next Stormont Kings Winter Open will be on December 8-9, 2023 at the Kendall United Methodist Church.


Chess tournaments in Palm Beach


Palm Beach Chess is a chess club that offers tournaments, classes, camps, and other services for chess players in Palm Beach County. It hosts several regular events, such as:

  • PBC Quads: This is a monthly event where four players of similar ratings are grouped and play three rounds. It is usually held on Saturdays at the North Palm Beach Library.

  • PBC Action: This is a monthly event where players play five rounds with a time control of 15 minutes per player. It is usually held on Mondays at the Habit Burger Grill.

  • 88 Palms Grand Prix: This is a series of four events that are held throughout the year, where players can accumulate points and qualify for the final tournament. Each event has four sections based on rating and a time control of 30 minutes per player.

  • Fall Classic: This annual event is held in November, where players can compete for cash prizes and trophies. It has two sections: an adult quad section and a scholastic section.


Chess tournaments in Boca Raton


The Boca Raton Chess Club is a chess club that promotes chess education and competition in Boca Raton and surrounding areas. It hosts several regular events throughout the year, such as:

  • Boca Raton Chess Club Tournament: This is a monthly event where players play four rounds with a time control of 25 minutes per player. It is usually held on Sundays at the Boca Raton Community Center.

  • Gulf Coast October Open: This is an annual event that is held in October, where players can compete for cash prizes and trophies. It has four sections based on rating, and a time control of 40 minutes per player plus 5 seconds’ increment.

  • 21st Annual Turkey Bowl: This is an annual event that is held in November (10-12), is open to players of all skill levels, where players can enjoy a Thanksgiving-themed chess tournament. It has four sections based on rating, and a time control of 40 minutes per player plus 5 seconds’ increment. It is unrated.

  • South Florida Grand Prix: This tournament series is held monthly from October to May. It is open to players of all skill levels and is rated by the USCF. October 21, November 18, December 9, February 10, March 11, April 8, and May 12. USCF rated.


Chess tournaments in St. Petersburg


The St. Petersburg Chess Club is one of the oldest in America in the same location, as it has been operating continuously since 1930. It is located in downtown St. Petersburg and welcomes players of all ages and skill levels. The club has a library of over 1,000 chess books, magazines, and DVDs that members can borrow for free. The club also hosts weekly events, such as:

  • Monday Afternoon Chess: A casual event that takes place every Monday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Players can play friendly games or practice puzzles with other members. There is no entry fee or registration required.

  • Wednesday Afternoon Chess: A casual event that takes place every Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Players can play friendly games or practice puzzles with other members. There is no entry fee or registration required.

  • Friday Night Chess: A rated event that takes place every Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Players can play in one of two sections: Open or U1800. The entry fee is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. The prizes are based on entries.


For more information about St. Petersburg Chess Club and its events, visit their website or follow them on Facebook.



Chess tournaments in Orlando


Orlando Chess and Games Center is a chess club that offers tournaments, classes, camps, and other services for chess players in Orlando and surrounding areas. It hosts several regular events, such as:

  • OCGC Open: This is a monthly event where players play four rounds with a time control of 30 minutes per player plus 10-second increments. It is usually held on Saturdays at the OCGC location.

  • OCGC Blitz: This is a monthly event where players play nine rounds with a time control of 3 minutes per player plus 2-second increments. It is usually held on Fridays at the OCGC location.

  • OCGC Scholastic: This is a monthly event where students play four rounds with a time control of 25 minutes per player plus 5 5-second increments. It is usually held on Sundays at the OCGC location.


You can find more information about their events on their website or follow them on Facebook.


The Central Florida Chess Club (CFCC) is one of the largest and most active chess clubs in Florida. The CFCC hosts a variety of tournaments throughout the year, including:

  • Sunshine Open & Scholastic Tournament: This tournament is held at the beginning of June (3-5) and features both open and scholastic sections. The open section is rated by the United States Chess Federation (USCF), while the scholastic section is unrated.

  • Autumn Open Tournament: This tournament is held in the middle of September (16-18) and is open to players of all skill levels. It is rated by the USCF.

  • Winter Open Tournament: This tournament is held at the end of January (27-29) and is open to players of all skill levels. It is rated by the USCF.

Venue: The CFCC hosts some tournaments at the Orlando Chess & Games Club in Altamonte Springs, some at the Holiday Inn Resort in Lake Buena Vista, and some at other locations.

Rating: USCF rated.



Chess tournaments in Jacksonville


Jacksonville Chess Club is a chess club that promotes chess culture and community in Jacksonville and surrounding areas. It hosts several regular events, such as:


  • Jax Open: This is a monthly event where players play four rounds with a time control of 40 minutes per player plus 5 seconds increment. It has three sections based on rating, and it offers cash prizes and trophies.

  • Jax Blitz: This is a monthly event where players play twelve rounds with a time control of 3 minutes per player plus 2 seconds increment. It has an open section, and it offers cash prizes.

  • Jax Scholastic: This is a monthly event where students play five rounds with a time control of 25 minutes per player. It has several sections based on grade level, and it offers trophies and medals.


Chess tournaments in Tampa


Tampa Bay Chess Academy is a chess club that offers chess instruction, tournaments, camps, and after-school programs for students of all ages in the Tampa Bay area. The club is affiliated with the USCF and the FCA. The club has a team of experienced and certified coaches who teach chess in a fun and interactive way. The club also hosts several tournaments throughout the year, such as:

  • TBCA Monthly Tournament: A monthly tournament that consists of four rounds of game/30 with a 5-second delay. The entry fee is $25 and the prizes are trophies for the top three in each section (Open, U1400, U800). The next TBCA Monthly Tournament will be on October 28, 2023 at the TBCA Center.

  • TBCA Scholastic Championship: A two-day tournament that consists of six rounds of game/45 with a 5-second delay. The entry fee is $35 and the prizes are trophies for the top three in each section (K-1, K-3, K-5, K-8, K-12). The next TBCA Scholastic Championship will be on November 18-19, 2023 at the TBCA Center.


For more information about Tampa Bay Chess Academy and its tournaments, visit their Facebook page.



Conclusion

Whether you are a beginner or a master, Florida offers chess tournaments that suit you. Playing in tournaments can enhance your chess skills, socialize with others, and enjoy yourself. Grab your chess set and join a tournament today!



Other options

capablancachessacademy.com: In honor of the legendary Cuban chess player (hence its name) this a big academy that offers regular tournaments and chess lessons in Florida.


https://tampachessclub.wordpress.com/ If you're into more local tournaments, the Tampa Chess Club is the perfect place for you.


https://orlandochessacademy.com/ It’s also more local than the Orlando Chess and Games Center. The club hosts several tournaments throughout the year, such as:


  • Orlando Chess Center Monthly Tournament: A monthly tournament that consists of four rounds of game/30 with a 5-second delay. The entry fee is $25 and the prizes are trophies for the top three in each section (Open, U1400, U800). The next Orlando Chess Center Monthly Tournament will be on October 27, 2023 at the Orlando Chess Center.

  • Orlando Chess Center Scholastic Championship: A two-day tournament that consists of six rounds of game/45 with a 5-second delay. The entry fee is $35 and the prizes are trophies for the top three in each section (K-1, K-3, K-5, K-8, K-12). The next Orlando Chess Center Scholastic Championship will be on November 17-18, 2023 at the Orlando Chess Center.

Have a great day!

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