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Part 4.6: Scholastic Chess Tournaments & Ratings

by John Bain

Part of a Team

Scholastic Chess Tournaments introduce students to more serious competition with chess players from other schools.

Field trips to scholastic chess tournaments give students a sense of belonging–an opportunity to be part of a “team!”

Hosting scholastic chess tournaments give students an opportunity for responsibility and service as well as being part of a team! Whether traveling or hosting scholastic chess tournaments, good, simple, sturdy chess clocks ($24.95) and chess sets ($14.00) are essential to Chess Club Ladder and Tournament Competition.

And, most importantly, scholastic chess tournaments give students an opportunity to earn ratings. Ratings!


Ratings! At United States Chess Federation (USCF) sponsored tournaments, students earn USCF ratings.

To students in chess clubs, USCF ratings rank in importance right behind position on the club chess ladder.

Chess Club Ladder Competition is by far the activity that attracts the most attention, most interest and the most students to chess club in the school setting. 

Nothing will improve interest and attendance in a chess club more than a well-constructed and well-displayed Chess Ladder! However, shortly after ladder rankings, come USCF ratings!

National & State Scholastic Chess Associations

State and national chess associations will provide information on how to locate chess tournaments as well as how to organize and run scholastic chess tournaments.

United States Chess Federation (USCF)

The United States Chess Federation lists upcoming scholastic chess tournaments, state by state!

United States Chess Federation

State Scholastic Chess Organizations

Most states have regional state scholastic chess organizations like Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation, which also lists upcoming scholastic chess tournaments.

Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation

NEXT> Part 5: How to Promote Chess Clubs in Schools! in a school setting presents effective practices to increase attendance, enthusiasm and participation in  school chess clubs!

What Makes “Chess Clubs For Students” Work?

Parts 1-6

by John Bain

Intro: What Makes “Chess Clubs For Students” Work? outlines practices for building a well-attended, successful chess club.

Part 1 – Basic Chess Skills and Psychology For Students emphasizes how learning the Chess Rules and Three Psychological Practices enable students to become stronger players.

Part 2 – Basic Endgame Checkmate Patterns For Students covers Four Basic Endgame Checkmate Patterns that will yield collateral benefits to all aspects of a student’s games.

Part 3  – Choosing Location, Meeting Times & Equipment demonstrates that the right location, the right meeting times, and quality chess equipment will foster enthusiastic student chess club participation.

Part 4.1 to 4.6 – Chess Club Activities For Students shows that activities that are fun–and that improve chess knowledge and skills–are the lifeblood of a well-run, great chess club!

Part 5 – How to Promote Chess Clubs in Schools presents the very best, promising practices for promoting school chess clubs.

Part 6 – What Chess Teaches Kids About Life notes the virtues, lessons and life skills that chess teaches!

NEXT> Part 5: How to Promote Chess Clubs in Schools! in a school setting presents effective practices to increase attendance, enthusiasm and participation in  school chess clubs!


Solve a chess puzzle, enter the weekly drawing as often as you like, and win awesome prizes! Winners’ prizes are listed below. If you don’t win this week, try again next week! New puzzles are posted daily!


Below are the weekly prizes we send out! If you don’t win, try again the following week for your chance to win! Click on the prize to learn more about it.

Checkmate In One Prize
Chess Rules For Students Workbook
An instructional workbook designed for students learning the game of chess. Click here to learn more!
Checkmate In Two Prize
Checkmate! Ideas For Students
An instructional workbook containing tactics in worksheet format used to checkmate--like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance, and Attacking Flight Squares!
Checkmate In Three Prize
Chess Tactics For Students
An instructional workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems presented in worksheet format.

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