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

In Massachusetts, there are many chess institutions that offer tournaments for all levels and ages. In this guide, we will help you find the best one for you by describing each institution and its tournaments, with information on dates, locations, and ratings.


MACA is the official state affiliate of the United States Chess Federation (USCF). It promotes chess education and organizes tournaments for players of all ages and skill levels. Some of the tournaments that MACA offers are:

  • Spiegel Cup Qualifiers: These are scholastic tournaments that determine the participants for the Spiegel Cup, the state championship for youth players. There are four qualifiers held throughout the year, each with four sections: 8 & Under, 11 & Under, 14 & Under, and 18 & Under.

  • Greater Boston Open: This is an open tournament that attracts players from all over New England. It has four sections: Open, Under 2000, Under 1800, and Under 1600. The prize fund is $3,000 guaranteed.

  • Massachusetts Open: This is the state championship for adult players. It has five sections: Championship, Under 2200, Under 2000, Under 1800, and Under 1600. The prize fund is $10,000 guaranteed.

  • Hurvitz Cup: This is a chess scholastic tournament for teams of four students in grades K-12, in honor of a former MACA leader. There are four sections by grade level, and each game lasts 25 minutes plus 5 seconds per move. The entry fee is $80 per team, and the winners get trophies and medals.


You can find more information about their events on MACA Website and their Facebook Page.


MetroWest Chess Club is one of the largest and most active chess clubs in Massachusetts. It meets every Tuesday night at Natick Senior Center. It is affiliated with both USCF and FIDE, the world chess federation. Some of the tournaments that MetroWest Chess Club offers are:

  • Monthly Tournaments: These are four-round Swiss system tournaments that are held every month. They have four sections: Open, Under 2000, Under 1800, and Under 1600. The entry fee is $25 for club members and $30 for non-members. The next tournament is on October 3-24, 2023.

  • Blitz Tournaments: These are fast-paced tournaments that are held every third Tuesday of the month from September to June. They have two sections: Open and Under 1800. The time control is 5 minutes per player per game. The entry fee is $10 for club members and $15 for non-members. The next tournament is on October 17, 2023.

  • Quick Tournaments: These are rapid tournaments that are held every fourth Tuesday of the month from September to June. They have two sections: Open and Under 1800. The time control is 15 minutes per player per game. The entry fee is $10 for club members and $15 for non-members. The next tournament is on October 24, 2023.

Have a look at their event calendar


WMCA is a nonprofit chess organization that supports chess in Western Massachusetts. It runs the Western Massachusetts / Connecticut Valley Championship and the Western Massachusetts Scholastic Championship each year. It is affiliated with the United States Chess Federation (USCF) and the Massachusetts Chess Association (MACA). It also hosts various open and scholastic tournaments throughout the year at different venues in Western Massachusetts. Some of the tournaments that WMCA offers are:

  • 7th Cumberland Fall Chess Fest: This is a one-day tournament that is open to players of all ages and ratings. It has four sections: Open, Under 1800, Under 1400, and Under 1000. The time control is played in 30 minutes with a 5-second delay. The entry fee is $30 for online registration or $35 for onsite registration. The prize fund is $1,000 based on 50 entries.

  • 1st Nonotuck King’s Hunt: This is a one-day tournament that is open to players of all ages and ratings. It has one section with a time control of the game in 60 minutes with a 5-second delay. The entry fee is $25 for online registration or $30 for onsite registration. The prize fund is $500 based on 40 entries.

  • 1st WMCA Senior Open Over 50: This is a one-day tournament that is open to players who are over 50 years old. It has one section with a time control of the game in 60 minutes with a 5-second delay. The entry fee is $25 for online registration or $30 for onsite registration. The prize fund is $500 based on 40 entries.

  • 32nd Mid-Winter Classic: This is a one-day tournament that is open to players of all ages and ratings. It has four sections: Open, Under 1900, Under 1600, and Under 1300. The time control is played in 45 minutes with a 5-second delay. The entry fee is $35 for online registration or $40 for onsite registration. The prize fund is $1,500 based on 80 entries.

  • 98th Western Massachusetts / Connecticut Valley Championship: This is a two-day tournament that determines the champion of Western Massachusetts and Connecticut Valley. It has one section with a time control of the game in 90 minutes with a 30-second increment. The entry fee is $50 for online registration or $60 for onsite registration. The prize fund is $2,000 based on 80 entries.


Chess tournaments in Boston, Worcester, & Cambridge

New England Scholastic Chess is a chess organization that focuses on providing chess opportunities for students in New England. It was founded in 2016 by Nicholas Sterling, a USCF National Master and chess coach. New England Scholastic Chess runs scholastic chess tournaments, camps, classes, and online activities. Some of the tournaments that New England Scholastic Chess offers are:

  • State OPEN Championship/Spiegel Cup Qualifier: A four-round Swiss tournament held on October 1 at Westford Regency Inn & Conference Center in Westford, MA. The tournament has four sections: High School (grades 9-12), Middle School (grades 6-8), Elementary (grades K-5), and Primary (grades K-3). The time control is 40 minutes with a 5-second increment per move. The prizes are trophies for the top three finishers in each section and medals for all participants.

  • NESSP Kids’ Chess Club: A weekly chess club held every Sunday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at New England Shirdi Sai Parivaar in Groton, MA. The club is open to students of all ages and levels. The club offers chess lessons, practice games, puzzles, and tournaments. The fee is $10 per session or $30 per month.

They offer weekly and monthly tournaments for all ages and skill levels! Don't forget to take a look at their calendar


Follow them on Facebook for updates and invitations


Chess tournaments in Boston, & Cambridge

The Boylston Chess Club is the largest chess club in Boston and one of the oldest in the country. It was founded in 1919 and has been hosting chess events ever since. The club is located in downtown Boston and has a spacious playing hall with chess sets, clocks, books, and magazines. The club organizes rated chess tournaments throughout the year, as well as lectures, simul exhibitions, blitz events, and social gatherings. Some of the tournaments that the club offers are:

  • BCF October Tuesday Night Swiss: A four-round Swiss tournament held every Tuesday night in October at the Boylston Chess Club in Boston. The time control is 75 minutes with a 30-second increment per move. The entry fee is $25 for members and $35 for non-members. The prizes are based on the number of entries.

  • BCF Early Autumn Six-Week Swiss ONLINE: A six-round Swiss tournament held online on chess.com every Tuesday night from September 12 to October 17. The time control is 60 minutes with a 10-second increment per move. The entry fee is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. The prizes are $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place.

  • BCF Friday Night Blitz: A double-round robin blitz tournament held every Friday night at the Boylston Chess Club in Boston. The time control is 5 minutes with no increment. The entry fee is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. The prizes are 50% of the entry fees for first place, 30% for second place, and 20% for third place.

You can join their Facebook group to get updates and interact with the community


Chess tournaments in Boston, & Worcester

The Wachusett Chess Club is another well-established chess club in Massachusetts. It was founded in 1960 and has been serving the chess community in the north-central part of the state ever since. The club meets every Wednesday night at the Fitchburg State University campus in Fitchburg. The club hosts USCF-rated tournaments, as well as casual games, lectures, simul exhibitions, and chess classes. Some of the tournaments that the club offers are:

  • Wachusett Chess Club Championship: An annual seven-round Swiss tournament that determines the club champion. The tournament runs from September 6 to October 18. The time control is 90 minutes with a 5-second delay per move. The entry fee is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. The prizes are trophies for the top three finishers and class winners.

  • Ernest E. Fandreyer Memorial Tournament: A five-round Swiss tournament held in honor of Ernest E. Fandreyer, a former club president and director who passed away in 2017. The tournament runs from October 25 to November 22. The time control is 90 minutes with a 5-second delay per move. The entry fee is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. The prizes are trophies for the top three finishers and class winners.


You can find more information about the Wachusett Chess Club and its tournaments on its website or on its Facebook page.


Chess tournaments in Worcester

Your Move Chess Club is a chess club in Worcester that welcomes players of all skill levels and ages. The club meets every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Acoustic Java, a cozy coffee shop in downtown Worcester. The club offers chess lessons, practice games, puzzles, and tournaments. Some of the tournaments that the club offers are:

  • Your Move Chess Club Championship: An annual tournament that determines the club champion. The tournament runs from September to June and consists of 10 rounds. The time control is 90 minutes with a 5-second increment per move. The entry fee is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. The prizes are trophies for the top three finishers and medals for all participants.

  • Your Move Chess Club Blitz: A monthly blitz tournament held on the last Sunday of each month. The time control is 5 minutes with no increment. The entry fee is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. The prizes are cash prizes for the top three finishers and medals for all participants.


Chess tournaments in Cambridge

The Harvard Chess Club is a chess club affiliated with Harvard University in Cambridge. The club is open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the university, as well as community members. The club meets every Friday night from 7 pm to 10 pm at the Harvard SOCH building in Cambridge. The club hosts USCF-rated tournaments, as well as casual games, lectures, simul exhibitions, and chess classes. Some of the tournaments that the club offers are:

  • Harvard Fall Open: An annual open tournament held in November at the Harvard SOCH building in Cambridge. The tournament has four sections: Open, Under 2000, Under 1600, and Under 1200. The time control is 40 minutes with a 5-second increment per move. The entry fee is $25 for students and $35 for non-students. The prizes are cash prizes for the top three finishers in each section and trophies for the top student finisher in each section.

  • Harvard Winter Scholastic: An annual scholastic tournament held in February at the Harvard SOCH building in Cambridge. The tournament has four sections: High School (grades 9-12), Middle School (grades 6-8), Elementary (grades K-5), and Primary (grades K-3). The time control is 30 minutes with a 5-second increment per move. The entry fee is $15 for students and $20 for non-students. The prizes are trophies for the top three finishers in each section and medals for all participants.

You can find Harvard Chess Club Lichess tournaments here.


The MIT Chess Club is a chess club affiliated with MIT in Cambridge. The club is open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the university, as well as community members. The club meets every Wednesday night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the MIT Student Center. The club hosts USCF-rated tournaments, as well as casual games, lectures, simul exhibitions, and chess classes. Some of the tournaments that the club offers are:

  • MIT Fall Open: An annual open tournament held in October at the MIT Student Center in Cambridge. The tournament has four sections: Open, Under 2000, Under 1600, and Under 1200. The time control is 40 minutes with a 5-second increment per move. The entry fee is $25 for students and $35 for non-students. The prizes are cash prizes for the top three finishers in each section and trophies for the top student finishers in each section.

  • MIT Winter Scholastic: An annual scholastic tournament held in January at the MIT Student Center in Cambridge. The tournament has four sections: High School (grades 9-12), Middle School (grades 6-8), Elementary (grades K-5), and Primary (grades K-3). The time control is 30 minutes with a 5-second increment per move. The entry fee is $15 for students and $20 for non-students. The prizes are trophies for the top three finishers in each section and medals for all participants.


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


SENECA is a nonprofit chess organization that supports chess in the southeast New England region. It runs both the Rhode Island State Chess Championship and the Rhode Island Scholastic State Chess Championship each year. It also hosts various all-ages and scholastic tournaments throughout the year at different venues in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, most of them in the last quarter of the year.


Conclusion

Massachusetts is a state that has a rich chess culture and history. You can find a variety of chess institutions that cater to players of all ages and levels. Whether you want to play scholastic, open, blitz, quick, or beginner tournaments, there is a place for you in the Bay State. So grab your chess set and get ready to join the chess community in Massachusetts. We hope this overview of each institution and the tournaments they offer regularly has helped you choose the one that fits your needs and preferences best.


Other options

Ocean State Chess

Info about its tournaments at MACA’s website.


Ocean State Chess is a chess organization that promotes chess in Rhode Island and nearby areas. It was founded in 2017 by David Harris, a USCF National Master and chess coach. Ocean State Chess organizes various chess events, such as tournaments, camps, classes, lectures, simul exhibitions, and online activities. Some of the tournaments that Ocean State Chess offers are:

  • Cumberland Fall Chess Fest: A four-round Swiss tournament held on October 21 at Cumberland High School in Cumberland, RI, which is about 30 miles from Worcester. The tournament has four sections: Open, Under 1800, Under 1400, and Under 1000. The time control is 40 minutes with a 5-second increment per move. The entry fee is $25 if paid by October 18 or $30 at the door. The prizes are trophies for the top three finishers in each section and medals for all participants.

  • Brookline BLITZ Championship Tournament: A six-round Swiss blitz tournament held on October 22 at Brookline High School in Brookline, MA, which is about 40 miles from Worcester. The tournament has two sections: Open and Under 1400. The time control is 5 minutes with no increment. The entry fee is $20 if paid by October 19 or $25 at the door. The prizes are cash prizes for the top three finishers in each section and medals for all participants.


  • Springfield City Chess Club

  • Missouri State University Chess Club

  • SGCPB Chess Club

  • Phelps Chess Club

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