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

Finding chess tournaments in Louisiana can be a nightmare, but worry not, fellow chess enthusiasts! This comprehensive guide highlights prominent chess institutions across the state, showcasing their regular tournaments:


The LCA n is the official state affiliate of the United States Chess Federation, and the governing body of chess in Louisiana. They support and coordinate chess activities in the state, such as tournaments, clubs, scholastics, and publications. The LCA also maintains the state rating system and the state championship cycle. Some of the chess tournaments that Louisiana Chess Association sponsors or endorses are:

  • The Louisiana Open: The Louisiana Open is the flagship event of the Louisiana Chess Association, and one of the oldest and most prestigious chess tournaments in the state. The Louisiana Open is usually held in May, and attracts players from all over the region. This is a 5-round Swiss system tournament with two sections: Open and Reserve (under 1800). The time control is 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by sudden death in 1 hour. The entry fee is $50, and the prize fund is $3,000 guaranteed. The winner of the Open section is declared the Louisiana Open Champion and receives a trophy and a cash prize.

  • Louisiana Scholastic Championships: Made for students in grades K-12. The Louisiana Scholastic Championships are usually held in June, and consist of four sections: Primary (K-3), Elementary (K-6), Junior High (K-9), and High School (K-12). The time control is 30 minutes per player. The entry fee is $25, and the prize fund is $1,000 guaranteed. The winners of each section are declared the Louisiana Scholastic Champions and receive trophies and cash prizes. The top four players in each section also qualify for the National Scholastic Championships.

  • Ruston Knights Open: The Ruston Knights Open is a chess tournament organized by the Ruston Knights Chess Club, a chess club based in Ruston, Louisiana. The Ruston Knights Open takes place at 500 East Reynolds Drive, in Ruston, Louisiana. The Ruston Knights Open is a 4-round Swiss system tournament with one section. The time control is 60 minutes per player. The entry fee is $20, and the prize fund is $500 guaranteed. The winner of the Ruston Knights Open receives a trophy and a cash prize.


Many chess players in a room playing a tournament

You can find more information about Louisiana Chess Association and its events on its website, and Facebook page or by contacting Adam Caveney at adam.caveney@louisianachess.org or 504-495-6200.


Chess tournaments in New Orleans

This is a non-profit organization that promotes chess in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region. They organize and sponsor various chess tournaments, camps, and clinics throughout the year.

  • Weekly Tuesday Night Action: A five-round Swiss tournament with a time control of G/90. The entry fee is free for members and $5 for non-members. This is a US Chess-rated event that counts for the Regular rating.

  • Quarterly Weekend Tournaments: A two-day, four-round tournament with a time control of G/120, 5. The entry fee is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Cash prizes are awarded to the top finishers in each section. This is a US Chess-rated event that counts for the Regular rating.


You can contact the club by phone at 504-834-4054 or email at jlebon@cox.net or visit their Facebook page for more information. The club meets at Morning Call, 5101 Canal Blvd., New Orleans (Intersection of Canal Blvd. and City Park Ave).


Based in New Orleans they aim to promote chess in the community and provide opportunities for players of all ages and skill levels to enjoy the game. Downriver Chess Club hosts the annual Louisiana State Chess Championship, which is the official state championship event sanctioned by the Louisiana Chess Association. The winner of this event is crowned the Louisiana State Chess Champion and receives a trophy and a cash prize. Some of the chess tournaments that Downriver Chess Club offers regularly are:


  • Downriver Chess Club Weekly Blitz: Every Wednesday at 7 pm, a 5-round Swiss system blitz tournament with a time control of 5 minutes per player. Entry fee is $5, and prizes are based on entries.

  • Downriver Chess Club Monthly Rapid: Every first Saturday of the month at 10 am, a 4-round Swiss system rapid tournament with a time control of 15 minutes plus 10 seconds increment per player. Entry fee is $10, and prizes are based on entries.

  • Downriver Chess Club Monthly Classical: Every third Saturday of the month at 10 am, a 3-round Swiss system classical tournament with a time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment per player. Entry fee is $15, and prizes are based on entries.


You can find more information about Downriver Chess Club and their events on their Facebook page or by contacting Andrew Squitiro at asquitiro@gmail.com or 202-656-9754.


Their goal is to promote chess as a tool for education, social development, and cultural diversity. The center is named after Paul Morphy, and is located in the historic French Quarter, where Morphy lived and played chess. The center offers chess classes, workshops, camps, and tournaments for players of all ages and backgrounds. Some of the tournaments they host regularly are:

  • Morphy Open: A quarterly open tournament with four rounds of G/90;d5. Entry fee is $30, and prizes are based on entries. 

  • Morphy Scholastic: A quarterly scholastic tournament for K-12 students with four rounds of G/30;d5. Entry fee is $20, and trophies are awarded to the top three in each section. 

  • Morphy Rapid: A quarterly rapid tournament with six rounds of G/15;d5. Entry fee is $25, and prizes are based on entries. 


This is a free and open chess club that meets weekly at the New Orleans Healing Center. They welcome players of all ages and skill levels and offer casual play, lessons, and tournaments.

  • Weekly Friday Night Blitz: A fast-paced blitz tournament with a time control of G/5. The entry fee is $5 and the winner takes all. This is a fun and exciting way to test your chess skills and reflexes.

  • Biweekly Sunday Swiss: A six-round Swiss tournament with a time control of G/25, 5. The entry fee is $10 and cash prizes are awarded to the top finishers. This is a US Chess-rated event that counts for the Regular rating.

You can contact the club by email at nolachessclub@gmail.com or visit their website for more information. The club meets at 2372 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117, United States.


Chess tournaments in Baton Rouge

This club holds regular meetings at two locations in Baton Rouge. It offers regular tournaments, classes, and other events for players of all levels. Some of the tournaments they host regularly are:

  • Baton Rouge Winter Chess Classic: A three-day, six-round, open tournament with two sections (rated and unrated). The prize fund is 80% of the entry fees, and the entry fee is $50. 

  • Baton Rouge Spring Chess Classic: A similar event to the Winter Chess Classic, but held in spring. 

  • Baton Rouge Blitz Chess Tournament: A monthly blitz tournament with seven rounds of G/5;d2. The entry fee is $10, and the prize fund is 70% of the entry fees. 


LSU Chess Club is a chess club located on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. It offers regular tournaments, classes, and other events for students and players of all levels. Some of the tournaments they host regularly are:

  • LSU Open: A two-day, five-round, open tournament with two sections (open and U1800). The prize fund is $1,000 guaranteed, and the entry fee is $40. The next event is on March 11-12, 2024 at LSU Student Union, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

  • LSU Scholastic: A one-day, four-round, scholastic tournament for K-12 students with four sections (K-3, K-6, K-9, and K-12). The entry fee is $20, and trophies are awarded to the top three in each section. The next event is on March 25, 2024 at LSU Student Union, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

  • LSU Rapid: A one-day, six-round, rapid tournament with two sections (open and U1600). The entry fee is $30, and the prize fund is $500 guaranteed. The next event is on April 22, 2024 at LSU Student Union, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.


Chess tournaments in Lafayette

This chess club is affiliated with the US Chess Federation. They offer regular tournaments, classes, and other events for players of all levels. Some of the tournaments they host regularly are:

  • Lafayette Winter Chess Classic: A three-day, six-round, open tournament with two sections (rated and unrated). The prize fund is 80% of the entry fees, and the entry fee is $50. The next event is on January 6-8, 2024 at JE Hargrove Dental Office, 563 Colonial Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70806.

  • Lafayette Spring Chess Classic: A similar event to the Winter Chess Classic, but held in spring. The next event is on April 7-9, 2024 at the same location.

  • Lafayette Blitz Chess Tournament: A monthly blitz tournament with seven rounds of G/5;d2. The entry fee is $10, and the prize fund is 70% of the entry fees. The next event is on February 18, 2024 at 2515 O’Neal Ln Suite 9, Baton Rouge, LA 70816.


Chess tournaments in Shreveport

Shreveport Chess Club is a community-based chess club that meets weekly at the Shreve Memorial Library. They welcome players of all ages and skill levels and offer casual play, lessons, and tournaments. Some of the tournaments they host regularly are:

  • Shreveport Winter Chess Classic: A three-day, six-round, open tournament with two sections (rated and unrated). The prize fund is 80% of the entry fees, and the entry fee is $50. 

  • Shreveport Spring Chess Classic: A similar event to the Winter Chess Classic, but held in spring. 

  • Shreveport Blitz Chess Tournament: A monthly blitz tournament with seven rounds of G/5;d2. The entry fee is $10, and the prize fund is 70% of the entry fees.


Chess tournaments in Lake Charles

This is a student-run organization at McNeese State University. They welcome players of all ages and skill levels and offer casual play, lessons, and tournaments. The club meets at 4205 Ryan St, Lake Charles.

  • Weekly Tuesday Night Action: One US Chess-rated game every Tuesday night, completely free for CCC members. This is a great way to practice your skills and meet other chess enthusiasts. The time control is G/90, 30.

  • Monthly Saturday Swiss: A four-round Swiss tournament held on the first Saturday of every month. The entry fee is $10 for CCC members and $15 for non-members. The time control is G/45, 5. Cash prizes are awarded to the top finishers.


This is a school-based chess club that is open to all Barbe High School students. They offer lessons, casual play, and competitive tournaments. The club meets at 2200 W McNeese St, Lake Charles, LA 70605, United States.

  • Weekly Wednesday Afternoon Club: A friendly and relaxed club meeting where students can play chess, learn from each other, and have fun. The club provides chess sets and boards, but students can bring their own if they prefer.

  • Quarterly Scholastic Tournaments: A four-round Swiss tournament for students of all grades and skill levels. The entry fee is $5 and trophies are awarded to the top finishers in each grade category. The time control is G/30, 5. This is a US Chess-rated event that counts for the Regular rating.


This is a school-based chess club that is open to all St. Louis Catholic High School students. They offer lessons, casual play, and competitions. The club meets at 1620 Bank St, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States.

  • Weekly Monday Lunchtime Club: A convenient and enjoyable club meeting where students can play chess, learn from each other, and socialize. The club provides chess sets and boards, but students can bring their own if they prefer.

  • Biannual Inter-School Tournaments: A team-based tournament where students compete against other schools in the area. The entry fee is $10 per team and medals are awarded to the top teams and individuals. The time control is G/25, 5. This is a US Chess-rated event that counts for the Regular rating.


This is a school-based chess club that is open to all Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School students. They provide lessons, casual play, and competitive tournaments. The club meets at 803 Division St, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States.

  • Weekly Friday Morning Club: A fun and educational club meeting where students can play chess, learn from each other, and improve their skills. The club provides chess sets and boards, but students can bring their own if they prefer.

  • Annual School Championship: A five-round Swiss tournament for students of all grades and skill levels. The entry fee is $10 and certificates are awarded to the top finishers in each grade category. The time control is G/20, 5. This is a US Chess-rated event that counts for the Regular rating.


Other options: 

The Monroe Chess Club holds weekly meetups on Mondays at 5:30 pm at Enochs and on Saturdays at 10 am at BooksAMillion.


Conclusion

With dedicated clubs and organizations fostering chess across Louisiana, finding tournaments has never been easier. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a curious beginner, delve into the exciting world of Louisiana chess!


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