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Chess-a-palooza 2024 rules and regulations:


All entries must be received by March 15 for us to ensure that each student’s personalized medal is for the tournament and the proper number of trophies is ordered.


Important: Kids must be checked in by 8:50! If you arrive later, the likely will not be paired for the first round and will have a ‘bye’ (an unplayed game that will count as a ‘draw’, but will negatively affect tiebreaks). The first round begins at 9:00am!

Most tournaments use the following rules:

1. touch move rule - if you touch a piece, you have to move it. Kids get this because it's not far off from 'if you took your hand off the piece, you can't take it back'.

2. players must record (write down) the moves.

3. games are timed - using a chess clock, each player only has a certain amount of time. If you run out of time, you lose.

Chess-a-palooza rules:

1. touch move rule - we will enforce this rule and it will be explained to the kids. Without this rule, kids can 'try out' a dozen moves before deciding, which is very distracting to the opponent. It’s good to learn this rule for a player’s self discipline.

2. players do not have to write down moves.

3. games in the K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 are not timed. Kids tend to move quickly, so it's usually not an issue. However, if a game is going very long, we may have to intervene – I will either adjudicate the game (make a ruling) if one side is clearly winning; or have the players use a clock to finish the game (five minutes each). If we do not do this, kids can think 'forever', and one game would hold up the entire tournament. The 6-8 section will be G/20 (20 minutes per player for the entire game). Do not worry too much about this; last year we had to use the clock in just one of the hundreds of games played.

Each section will be four games. Kids play all four rounds. As soon as all games are finished, the next round is paired and the games automatically begin. If a student wants to withdraw from the tournament, that is ok, but tell us. If you do not, we will pair them and their opponent will end up just sitting there and miss out on a game.


The sections are: K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8. This is a tournament for beginners, so no rated player over 1000 USCF are allowed in the K-1, 2-3, 4-5 sections. Any ties (kids achieving the same score) for trophies will use the U.S. Chess federation’s tiebreak system. I assure you, it’s fair!


Refunds will not be given for withdrawals after 3/15 or no-shows! The personalized medals will be finalized and ordered March 16. Questions? Email

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