Open Tournaments
Regular Tournaments are open to all players. Since Northern California is one of the top scholastic areas in the U.S., this frequently includes many strong junior players as well! There is often one open division and several other divisions based on USCF rating. However, beginners are still encouraged. Chess equipment (sets/board/clocks) is generally NOT provided for a tournament, so please bring your own.
Prizes are usually cash or free entries to the next tournament in a series. The prize fund for some tournaments can exceed $5000. In fact the Golden State Open in January the prize fund is $25,000. Can you get your share?

Youth Tournaments

Scholastic Tournaments are intended for school age players, usually up to (and including) High School. The tournaments are ordinarily divided into different sections by ability level, so that even beginners will have a chance to win a prize. Typically the chess sets/boards are provided for the tournament, so all you need is to just show up and enjoy! In general prizes are trophies.

Open Tournament Information
1. Register before the tournament. If you have to register on-site, please arrive early!
2. Remember the Golden Rule. Your opponent is a person too, treat them like you would like to be treated.
3. Know (or ask) what time the next round starts.
4. Know (or ask) what the Time Control is.
5. Make sure your USCF membership is current.
6. Double-check that you are playing the right color, with the correct opponent, at the proper board.
Scholastic Tournament Information
1. If you have ANY questions about anything that happens in your game, stop... don't move, raise your hand and wait for a tournament director to assist you! Do NOT wait until the game is over!
2. Remember rule #1!!

Event Organizers Information
If you are considering holding an chess tournament, your first step should always be to contact the CalChess Clearinghouse. This individual can assist you with your plans and help make your tournament a success! Most importantly, the CalChess Clearinghouse can coordinate your tournament dates around other tournaments. Northern California has an extremely busy tournament schedule providing a tournament almost every weekend in the year! The CalChess Clearinghouse's job is to try and avoid organizers holding events that might conflict with each other.

Even though you may see a date open on the current CalChess Calendar list, that does NOT mean you should begin scheduling a tournament for that date. The date may be reserved by another organizer pending facility approval or may be held open for an annual event. Bottom line: talk to the CalChess Clearinghouse first!!!
CalChess Championship Tournaments
If you are interested in organizing a CalChess State Championship event, please review the following document for bidding guidelines:
CalChess Event Bid Guidelines