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

Join us in this quick guide and learn where to find the best tournaments in Oregon-State, as well as clubs and organizations that offer regular events!


The Oregon Chess Federation (OCF) is the official state affiliate of the United States Chess Federation (USCF). The OCF promotes the great game of chess to the great state of Oregon by organizing state championships, scholastic events, and other tournaments. The OCF also supports local chess clubs and activities. Some of the upcoming tournaments sponsored by the OCF are:

  • Oregon Closed: The Oregon Closed is the state championship of Oregon, open to the top 10 players in the state by rating. The tournament is a round-robin format, with one game per day. The winner of the tournament qualifies for the US Chess National Tournament of State Champions. 1st. Quarter of the year.

  • Oregon Class Championships: The Oregon Class Championships is a 5-round Swiss paired event with three rounds on Saturday and two rounds on Sunday. The tournament is open to all players, and is divided into five rating classes: Master/Expert, Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D/E. The prize fund is $3000 based on 100 paid entries. Held in the last quarter of the year.

  • Oregon Open: The Oregon Open is the largest and most prestigious open tournament in Oregon, held annually over Labor Day weekend. The tournament is a 6-round Swiss paired event with two rounds per day. The tournament is open to all players, and is divided into four sections: Open, U2000, U1700, and U1400. The prize fund is $5000 based on 150 paid entries. Takes place in the 3rd quarter of the year.

For more information about the Oregon Chess Federation and its events, take a look at their calendar


The Portland Chess Club is the oldest and largest chess club in Oregon, founded in 1914. The club is located at 8205 SW 24th Ave, Portland, OR 97219. The Portland Chess Club is a vibrant and active community dedicated to the timeless game of chess. With a rich history dating back several decades, the club has grown into a hub for chess enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. The club offers a welcoming and supportive environment where players can come together to learn, practice, and compete.


The club hosts a variety of chess events throughout the year, including monthly tournaments, quads, scholastic tournaments, and casual chess nights. Some of the upcoming tournaments at the Portland Chess Club are:

  • Annual Neil Dale Memorial Open: A five-round Swiss tournament in one section, with a $1000 prize fund based on 40 paid entries. The tournament is normally held in January.

  • Wednesday Daytime Quads: A monthly event where players are divided into quads (four-player sections) based on their ratings. The event is held on the third Wednesday of every month, with on-site registration.

  • Sunday Quads: A monthly event similar to the Wednesday Daytime Quads, but held on the third Sunday of every month.

  • Game in 60: A monthly event where each player has 60 minutes for the whole game. The event is held on the last Saturday of every month, with a single section and a $30 entry fee for non-members and $20 for members.

  • Portland Amateur Championship: A four-round Swiss tournament in one section, open to players rated below 2200. The tournament is held in February, with a $1000 prize fund based on 40 paid entries.

For more information about the Portland Chess Club and its events, have a look at their event calendar.


Chess for Success is a youth development organization that has operated in Oregon and SW Washington for 24 years. Its mission is to use chess instruction and play to positively impact school-aged children’s academic, social, and personal skills. Its chess clubs provide young people with diverse backgrounds and abilities a dynamic framework for success in school and life.


Chess for Success offers various programs and services, such as In-School Chess Clubs, Summer Chess Camps, Community Chess Clubs, Tournaments and Events: Regional and state tournaments, where students can compete with other chess players and win trophies and medals. Other events include chess festivals, chess nights, and chess exhibitions.


Some of the tournaments & events are: 

  • Regional Tournaments: Qualifying tournaments for the state tournament, held in various locations across Oregon and SW Washington. The tournaments are open to students in grades K-8 who are members of a Chess for Success club. The entry fee is $5 per player, and the registration deadline is two weeks before the tournament date. 

  • State Tournament: The final tournament of the season, where the top players from each region will compete for the state championship. The tournament will be held on March 9-10, 2024, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. The tournament is open to students in grades K-8 who have qualified through a regional tournament. Chess Festival: A fun and educational event, where students can enjoy chess activities, games, and prizes. The event will be held on April 14, 2024, at the Portland Art Museum. The event is open to students in grades K-8 who are members of a Chess for Success club. 


Here's a look at their events calendar.


Located in downtown Eugene, the club offers a welcoming and supportive environment where players can come together to learn, practice, and compete.


The club meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., at Bill & Tim’s Barbecue and Tap House. On the last Tuesday of each month (except for October and December), the club meets at The Bier Stein. Some boards and clocks are provided, but players are encouraged to bring their own equipment to ensure enough for all those who wish to play. Membership is available for those who wish to take full advantage of the club’s resources and participate in exclusive members-only events.


Some of the regular tournaments that the Eugene Chess Club organizes are:


  • Bethel Quads: A monthly event where players are divided into quads (four-player sections) based on their ratings. The event is held on the second Saturday of every month, with on-site registration from 12:30-12:45 p.m. and rounds at 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. The entry fee is $10 per player, and the prizes are $40 for first place and $20 for second place in each quad. The event is USCF and NWSRS rated.

  • Eugene Open: An annual event that attracts players from all over the state and beyond. The event is a five-round Swiss tournament in one section, with a $2000 prize fund based on 50 paid entries. The event is USCF and NWSRS rated. The next Eugene Open will be held on May.


Puddletown Chess is a chess community that offers chess lessons, camps, and tournaments for students of all ages and levels. The community is led by Jason Cigan, a USCF National Master and a certified chess coach. Puddletown Chess is located at 12555 SW 1st St, Beaverton, OR 970051. Puddletown Chess hosts monthly scholastic and seasonal tournaments that are fundraisers for the Oregon Chess Federation and the Portland Chess Club. 


Rose City Chess is a chess school that offers chess lessons, tournaments, and camps with experienced coaches and organizers. Rose City Chess is based in Portland, Oregon, but also serves the Beaverton area. Rose City Chess welcomes players of all ages and skill levels and offers online and in-person events. USCF affiliated. Some of the upcoming tournaments at Rose City Chess are:


  • Rose City Chess Open: February 17-18, 2024. Five round Swiss in two sections: Open and U1800. Entry fee: $35 for non-members, $25 for members.

  • Rose City Chess Quads: March 3, 2024. Three round quads in four sections: Open, U2000, U1600, and U1200. Entry fee: $15 for non-members, $10 for members.

  • Rose City Chess Scholastic Tournament: March 31, 2024. Four round Swiss in three sections: K-12 Open, K-8 U1000, and K-5 U600. Entry fee: $202.


Oregon’s Chess Coach is a service offered by Matt Zavortink, a state champion and experienced coach. He provides virtual lessons to anyone looking to learn the game of chess or improve their skills. He charges $30 an hour and tailors his lessons to the needs and goals of each student. He also organizes online tournaments for his students and other interested players.


Some of the tournaments that Oregon’s Chess Coach offers are:


  • Weekly Blitz Arena: A one-hour online blitz tournament held every Wednesday at 7:00 pm. The time control is 3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment. The tournament is open to anyone with a Lichess account and is free to join. The winner receives a free lesson from Oregon’s Chess Coach.

  • Monthly Rapid Swiss: A four-round online rapid tournament held on the first Sunday of every month at 2:00 pm. The time control is 15 minutes plus 10 seconds increment. The tournament is open to anyone with a Lichess account and is free to join. The winner receives a free lesson from Oregon’s Chess Coach.

  • Quarterly Classical Round-Robin: A six-player online classical tournament held every three months. The time control is 60 minutes plus 30 seconds increment. The tournament is open to anyone with a Lichess account and requires a $10 entry fee. The winner receives a $50 prize and a free lesson from Oregon’s Chess Coach.


Other options: 

A chess school founded by Roshen Nair, a FIDE Master and USCF National Master. The academy offers chess lessons, camps, and tournaments for students of all ages and levels. The academy is located at 15405 SW 116th Ave, Suite 204, King City, OR 972243. The academy hosts monthly scholastic tournaments (Roshen’s Chess Academy Scholastic Tournament) that are fundraisers for the OCF and the PCC. This tournament has four round Swiss in three sections: K-12 Open, K-8 U1000, and K-5 U600. 


For more information about Roshen’s Chess Academy and its events, visit the Portland Chess Club’s website.


The King of Kings Chess is a chess community organized by the Youth with a Mission Ministry in Salem, Oregon. They meet on Fridays for casual play and occasional competitive tournaments. 


They hold various Blitz events, Rapids and Scholastic Tournaments, and meets every week (Tuesdays at the Old Town Neighborhood Center 4550 Shattalon Dr, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. And Thursdays at Miller Park Community Center 400 Leisure Ln, 6:15 to 9:00 p.m.).

  

The Salem Chess Club is a community-based chess club that meets weekly at West Salem Public Library. They welcome players of all ages and skill levels and offer casual play, lessons, and tournaments. 


The Willamette University Chess Club is open to both students and non-students and meets weekly on campus. They welcome players of all levels and offer lessons, casual play, and tournaments. 


Conclusions

As you can see, Oregon has a lot to offer for chess enthusiasts of all ages and levels. Whether you want to play for fun, for rating, or for prizes, you will find a chess tournament that suits your needs and preferences. You will also meet other chess players and make new friends. Playing chess tournaments is a great way to improve your skills, challenge yourself, and have fun. So, what are you waiting for? Check out the websites of the chess venues we mentioned and register for a tournament today!


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