Learning and playing chess at a young age has been known to provide many benefits to students, including gaining confidence, learning to solve problems, building discipline, increasing concentration and learning to formulate strategy. It has also been shown to help kids develop critical thinking skills, learn to recognize patterns and develop tactics.
Kids who play chess improve their communication and build memory skills, learning sportsmanship and how to analyze and evaluate. Playing chess is a great antidote to the distractions of electronic games, social media and attention deficit disorder.
The 2017-18 scholastic chess season opens in the Quad A region on October 14 with the United States Chess Federation (USCF) Membership Tournament, to be held at the Murray State University (MSU) Paducah Campus.
Students throughout the western Kentucky region — from Paducah to Bowling Green and everywhere in between — will compete in four divisions: K-12, K-8, K-5 and K-3, for team and individual awards. This event is also open to Kindergarten through 12th graders from any state that finds Paducah closer for them.
The tournament, a traditional season-opener, is sponsored by West Kentucky Chess. It provides students with free 12-month memberships in the U.S. Chess Federation. Membership in the USCF provides students with ratings that can be compared with other players as well as access to chess resources. All participants in Quad A tournaments throughout the year must have a USCF membership.
Check-in will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 am, with the first round to begin at 10 am. Onsite/late registration will receive a ½ point bye and do not play round 1. There will be a pre-tournament players' meeting at 9:45 am to give players and parent’s information about tournament expectations and conduct.
The tournament’s early entry fee is $25 if paid online or via email by noon on October 13. The onsite entry fee is $35. Online registrations can be paid via PayPal, while onsite fees can be paid with check, card or cash. Group entry information is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For kids that received discounts during the Under 1000 Series this summer, please email to use the discount.
Players in the K-12 and K-8 divisions will play four rounds with 45 minutes per side on their clock with a 5 second delay; this timing code is written as G/45;d5, while the players in the K-5 and K-3 divisions will play four and perhaps five rounds, depending on the number of entries; and will have 30 minutes per side with a 5 second delay. Their timing code is G/30;d5.
Trophies will be awarded to the top six teams in each division and the top eight individual players.
All scholastic tournaments are Swiss style tournament. That is, players with similar tournament records play each other in subsequent rounds. For example, those who won in the first round will play each other in the second round and those who lost in the first round will play each other in the second round. All players will play all rounds; there is no elimination.
There are currently five other tournaments that lead up to the Quad A regional tournament in Marion on February 24, which will determine qualifiers for the state team tournament.
If a young player isn’t quite ready to start competing this Saturday, but wants to start learning, West Kentucky Chess can assist with hourly lessons, either for just the student or their family - even entire school programs. Once they have a handle on the game and want to start competing, both kids and adults can get a US Chess Membership, and start playing at any time.
For more information about the tournament or future scholastic tournaments, visit westkychess.com and click on the “Events” tab.