• Bi-Annual in Fall & Spring

    Northern California
    Elementary- Middle- & High-
    School Team Fall Championship

    Co-Organized with Fallon Chess Club

    Elementary School - Saturday, Nov 11, 2017
    Middle & High-School - Sunday, Nov 12, 2017

    NEW location: Santa Clara Convention Center
    5001 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95045 (map)

    Register Online - Flyer - Alpha Entries: Saturday or Sunday
  • Schedule, Time Control, Prizes


    Onsite Registration:
    Saturday: 8:45-9:15am
    Sunday 8:45-9:15am

    Time Control: G/30;d5 (Game in 30 minutes with 5 sec delay)
    5 rounds of Swiss type of tournament games.

    Tournament will be rated - but it'll only affect QUICK rating due to the G/25 time control

    1 10am 10am
    2 11:30am 11:30am
    3 1pm 1pm


    5 3:30pm 3:30pm
    Trophy Ceremony 4:30pm 4:30pm

    Tiebreaks: same team tiebreak rules are followed as applied at USATW.
    Clocks: Clock use is encouraged but optional, but may be implemented in later stage of game if it goes long.

    Sections & Prizes

    Three Sections
    Kindergarten - Grade 6 Teams - SATURDAY
    this section is good for all elementary school teams

    Kindergarten - Grade 8 Teams - SUNDAY
    this section is good for all middle-school teams

    Kindergarten - Grade12 Teams
    - SUNDAY
    encouraging all high-school teams to enter to this section

    Commemroative CLOCKs for Top 3 teams in each section.
    Commemorative Trophy to each team.

    Commemorative CLOCKS to best performance on each board in each section.
    Special prize to Best Team Names.

    Entry Fee - We are keeping it LOW!!

    Entry Fee: $29 for individual player
    or $119 for registering 4 players

    Late fee is switched on after 11/8 midnight:
    11/9-10: +$10 per player, +$40 per team
    onsite: +$20 per player or +$80 per team
  • FAQ regarding the new Elementary, Middle & High School Team Championship

    What is it and why?

    Note from 2017 Spring: This is a first-year tournament held to determine the best middle and high school teams in the region (and elsewhere!). It is the brainchild of Bay Area Chess and Fallon Middle School in Dublin.

    There are many weekend scholastic tournaments in northern California, with the largest being the CalChess Grade Level Championships in December, and the CalChess SuperStates in March. Participation is overwhelmingly dominated by elementary school players, and the focus is on individuals or clubs, with school teams an after-thought.

    There also used to be a student-run NorCal High School Chess League that is currently inactive. 

    We believe a team-focused tournament fills a much-needed niche - witness the strong turnout for February’s U.S. Amateur Team West Kids tournament - and will attract many middle and high school players of all levels who have either ‘retired’ from weekend tournaments or play only in their school club. We also think this is a fun format that builds camaraderie and school spirit.

    So what IS the format?
    The format will be familiar to anyone who has followed the Chess Olympiads or U.S. Pro League, or played in the U.S. Amateur Team West Kids’ tournament: a team-based, one-day Swiss tournament with each team consisting of 4 boards (players) ranked by rating (unrated players at the bottom). The goal is to win as many team matches. Tiebreaks will be determined using the same format as the U.S. Amateur Team Tournaments.

    Each team can have 1 optional alternate player to swap into matches if some players have conflicts and cannot play the entire day, or just because they want to keep players fresh. In each match, the team that is assigned white gets that color on boards 1 and 3, and black on 2 and 4, and vice-versa.

    Each team should designate a player or parent/adult as captain to communicate with the tournament director. Parents or adult coaches can be captains of only one team. Communication between captains and players is limited to advice on players offering or accepting draws (to maximize a team’s chances of winning) - no opinions about the position itself are allowed. Players who speak in a foreign language during their games will be assumed to be giving advice on positions and will be penalized accordingly.

    What if I’m homeschooled, or cannot raise 4 kids from the same school?
    If your school cannot raise 4 players, you have several options:

    1. Add kids from other schools in the same school district or city.
    2. Add homeschooled kids who live in your district or city.

    Tournament director may ask for proof on entry of address, school ID, etc.

    Alternatively, the tournament director will add kids without teams, including homeschooled kids, to your team.

    Don’t worry! Similar to the U.S. Amateur Team West, all players who have registered will find a team to play. Please come to the tournament 30 minutes early and check in with the tournament director so they help match you up!

    Can teams from outside of the Bay Area participate?

    Yes! We invite teams from Sacramento and northwards, central California and even our friends from Southern California to come and play!

    We especially encourage school clubs whose members do NOT usually play in weekend tournaments. If there is ONE tournament that you want to play this year, this is IT.

    What are the sections?
    There are three sections: 1) K-6, 2) K-8 and 2) K-12. Yes, elementary school teams can participate.

    Can schools have multiple teams?

    Will it be USCF Rated?
    Yes. Due to the time control, the tournament will only affect player's quick rating.
    Also, there are no guidelines for maximum or minimum ratings for players or teams
    They must just attend the same schools/districts or be part of a homeschooled team as per above.

    Normal USCF tournament rules DO apply, including touch move:

    1. If you touch a piece when it is your turn, you must move it if it is legal;
    2. If you touch an enemy piece, you must capture it;
    3. If you let go of your piece even by accident on a legal square, you must leave it there;
    4. You must say “adjust” before touching a piece to exempt yourself from above rules

    Why the short time control?
    Partly due to the fast time control, but also to encourage wide participation from high-rated tournament players as well as unrated school club members.

  • Organizers and TDs

    Chief Organizers: Judit Sztaray, PhD from BayAreaChess
    & Eric Lai, Head Coach & Organizer of Fallon Chess

    TDs: National TD Tom Langland, Senior TD Jordan Langland, Abel Talamantez, Wolfgang Behm
  • Site & Accomodation

    Tournament site: BayAreaChess old office
    1639A South Main Street, Milpitas, CA 95035 (map)