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

Chess is more than just a game. It’s a sport, an art, a science, and a way of life. If you’re a chess fan who lives in West Virginia, or plans to visit the state soon, you’ll be happy to know that there are many opportunities to play chess and compete with other players. West Virginia has a rich chess history and culture, with several chess clubs and institutions that organize chess tournaments throughout the year. In this guide, we’ll show you some of the most popular and exciting chess tournaments in West Virginia, and how you can join them.


The West Virginia Chess Association (WVCA) was founded in 1941 to foster and promote chess activity in the state of West Virginia. The WVCA is affiliated with the United States Chess Federation (USCF) and organizes the official state championships and other rated tournaments. The WVCA also supports scholastic chess programs and publishes a quarterly newsletter. Some of the chess tournaments that the WVCA offers regularly are:

  • Mountaineer Open: A one-day, four-round Swiss system tournament that is held in January at the Mountainlair in Morgantown. The tournament has three sections: Open, U1800, and U1400. The entry fee is $25 and the prizes are based on the number of entries.

  • WV Junior Championship: A one-day, four-round Swiss system tournament that is held in November at the Bridgeport Library in Bridgeport. The tournament is open to players under 21 years old and has two sections: Championship and Beginner. The entry fee is $10 and the prizes are trophies and medals.

  • WV Senior Championship: The tournament is open to players over 50 years old and has one section. The entry fee is $20 and the prizes are cash and trophies.

  • Thomas Bergquist Memorial WV State Championship: This is the main event of the WVCA, where the state champion is crowned. A two-day, five-round Swiss system tournament that is held in September at the Marshall University in Huntington. The tournament is open to all players and has one section. The entry fee is $40 and the prizes are cash and trophies.

  • Grand Prix: This is a series of events that award points to the participants based on their performance. The 2022-2023 Grand Prix had 14 events and was won by Lewis Sanders, followed by John Boylin and Markle Butcher.


Kanawha Valley Scholastic League

The Kanawha Valley Scholastic League (KVSL) is a chess league for students in grades K-12 in the Kanawha Valley area. It organizes chess tournaments for schools and individuals, such as:

  • KVSL Team Tournament: This is a tournament for school teams of four players each. The teams are divided into three divisions: elementary, middle, and high school. The tournament is usually held in February and the winners qualify for the state scholastic team championship.

  • KVSL Individual Tournament: This is a tournament for individual students in grades K-12. The students are divided into four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. The tournament is usually held in March and the winners qualify for the state scholastic individual championship.


More info about these tournaments can be found at the WVCA website


Chess tournaments in Charleston

Charleston Chess Club

The Charleston Chess Club (CCC) is a group of chess enthusiasts who meet every Thursday evening at the Charleston Town Center Mall. The CCC is a member of the WVCA and the USCF and welcomes players of all ages and skill levels. The CCC also organizes chess lessons, puzzles, and casual games. Some of the chess tournaments that the CCC offers regularly are:

  • CCC Monthly Tournament: A one-day, four-round Swiss system tournament that is held on the first Sunday of every month at the Charleston Town Center Mall. The tournament has two sections: Open and U1400. The entry fee is $10 and the prizes are based on the number of entries.

  • CCC Scholastic Tournament: Held on the third Sunday of every month at the Charleston Town Center Mall. The tournament is open to students in grades K-12 and has four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. The entry fee is $5 and the prizes are trophies and medals.

  • CCC Annual Championship: A two-day, five-round Swiss system tournament that is held in May at the Charleston Town Center Mall. The tournament is open to all players and has one section. The entry fee is $20 and the prizes are cash and trophies.


Kanawha Valley Chess Club

The Kanawha Valley Chess Club (KVCC) is a non-profit organization that promotes chess in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding areas. The KVCC was established in 1978 and is a member of the WVCA and the USCF. The KVCC meets every Tuesday evening at the Charleston Civic Center and welcomes players of all ages and skill levels. The KVCC also hosts chess lectures, workshops, and social events. Some of the chess tournaments that the KVCC offers regularly are:

  • KVCC Monthly Tournament: A one-day, four-round Swiss system tournament that is held on the last Saturday of every month at the Charleston Civic Center. The tournament has two sections: Open and U1600. The entry fee is $15 and the prizes are based on the number of entries.

  • KVCC Scholastic Tournament: Held on the second Saturday of every month at the Charleston Civic Center. The tournament is open to students in grades K-12 and has four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. The entry fee is $5 and the prizes are trophies and medals.

  • KVCC Annual Championship: A two-day, five-round Swiss system tournament that is held in December at the Charleston Civic Center. The tournament is open to all players and has one section. The entry fee is $25 and the prizes are cash and trophies.


Phone: +13043441905


Chess tournaments in Huntington

Huntington YMCA

The Huntington YMCA is a community center that offers various programs and activities, including chess. It hosts some of the WVCA events, such as the Thomas Bergquist Memorial WV State Championship. It also has a chess club that meets every Tuesday from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. The chess club welcomes players of all ages and skill levels, and provides chess sets, boards, and clocks. The chess club also organizes casual and rated tournaments, such as:

  • Huntington YMCA Spring Open: This is a 4-round Swiss system tournament with a time control of G/75 d5. The entry fee is $25 and the prizes are based on entries. Usually held in April

  • Huntington YMCA Fall Open: This is a similar tournament to the Spring Open, but held in October.


Chess tournaments in Morgantown 

Morgantown Chess Club

The Morgantown Chess Club (MCC) is a group of chess enthusiasts who meet every Wednesday evening at the Morgantown Public Library. The MCC is a member of the WVCA and the USCF and welcomes players of all ages and skill levels. The MCC also organizes chess lessons, puzzles, and casual games. Some of the chess tournaments that the MCC offers regularly are:

  • MCC Monthly Tournament: A one-day, four-round Swiss system tournament that is held on the first Saturday of every month at the Morgantown Public Library. The tournament has two sections: Open and U1400. The entry fee is $10 and the prizes are based on the number of entries.

  • MCC Scholastic Tournament: A one-day, four-round Swiss system tournament that is held on the third Saturday of every month at the Morgantown Public Library. The tournament is open to students in grades K-12 and has four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. The entry fee is $5 and the prizes are trophies and medals.

  • MCC Annual Championship: A two-day, five-round Swiss system tournament that is held in May at the Morgantown Public Library. The tournament is open to all players and has one section. The entry fee is $20 and the prizes are cash and trophies.


West Virginia University Chess Club

The West Virginia University Chess Club (WVUCC) is a student organization that fosters and promotes chess activity on the campus of West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown. The WVUCC is affiliated with the WVCA and the USCF and welcomes students, faculty, staff, and alumni of WVU as well as community members. The WVUCC meets every Monday evening at the WVU Student Recreation Center and offers chess lessons, puzzles, and casual games. Some of the chess tournaments that the WVUCC offers regularly are:

  • WVUCC Monthly Tournament: A one-day, four-round Swiss system tournament that is held on the last Monday of every month at the WVU Student Recreation Center. The tournament has two sections: Open and U1200. The entry fee is $5 and the prizes are based on the number of entries.

  • WVUCC Scholastic Tournament: A one-day, four-round Swiss system tournament that is held on the second Monday of every month at the WVU Student Recreation Center. The tournament is open to students in grades K-12 and has four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. The entry fee is $5 and the prizes are trophies and medals.

  • WVUCC Annual Championship: A two-day, five-round Swiss system tournament that is held in April at the WVU Student Recreation Center. The tournament is open to all players and has one section. The entry fee is $10 and the prizes are cash and trophies.


Chess tournaments in Parkersburg

Parkersburg Chess Club

The Parkersburg Chess Club is a group of chess players who meet every Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Parkersburg Library. The club welcomes players of all ages and skill levels and provides chess sets, boards, and clocks. The club also organizes casual and rated tournaments, such as:


  • Parkersburg Chess Club Championship: This is an annual tournament that determines the club champion. The format is a round-robin with a time control of G/90 d5.

  • Parkersburg Chess Club Open: This is a quarterly tournament that is open to anyone. The format is a 4-round Swiss system with a time control of G/75 d5. The entry fee is $20 and the prizes are based on entries. The next edition is scheduled for January 20, 2024.


Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this guide to chess tournaments in West Virginia. Whether you’re a beginner or a master, you’ll find a chess event that matches your interest and level. Chess is a wonderful way to exercise your brain, learn new skills, and have fun. It’s also a great way to meet new people and make friends. So, don’t hesitate to register for one of these chess tournaments and experience the thrill of chess in the Mountain State.


Other options: 


The club meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month at the South Charleston Public Library. The club is open to players of all ages and skill levels.

Phone: +13047446561

Address: 312 4th Ave, South Charleston, WV 25303, United States


This is a chess club that is conveniently located in nearby Roanoke and is available for players from Charleston. They organize regular classes and offer various resources for chess players.

Phone: +15403457365

Address: 2112 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24015, United States


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