Rebecca Holt

Left Foot, Right Foot — Zoey Tang’s US Girls Junior Championship Experience

“Focus on the step ahead of you, not the whole staircase” ~Unknown

This was the quote running through my head when I scanned the email for the umpteenth time, not believing the words. Every small step I had taken, every hour I had invested in my chess journey had led me to this grand achievement. It didn’t feel so long ago that I was watching my idols play chess on television for the national title, and now it was my turn.

I had just received my invitation to the US Girls Junior Championship, a prestigious tournament held by the Saint Louis Chess Club. Every year, there are five national championships: the Junior Championship (under 20 years old), the Girls Junior Championship (under 20), the Championship, the Women’s Championship, and the Senior Championship (over 50). And almost every year, it has been held at Saint Louis, the chess capital of the world.

Each championship has only ten slots for the best players of the U.S., so I was very excited when I received my invitation to participate in the Girls Junior section. The weeks afterward were a flurry of shopping for dresses, preparing for my opponents, and playing in tournaments. I even got interviewed twice for local news, a new and highly nerve-wracking experience for me. After reuniting with my friends at the opening ceremony, it was time to face them over the board as opponents in the following games.

The Saint Louis Chess Club was so fancy, almost exactly as I remembered watching it on TV. DGT boards built into the tables, miniature clipboards to prevent sliding, built-in coasters and ledges for refreshments… And that’s not to mention the cameras. I never imagined that the beautiful shots in the broadcasts actually involved people with huge cameras strolling through the tournament hall (it sounds intuitive, but it wasn’t to me at the time). The tournament was run very smoothly, for which I can thank the arbiters and the whole team at the club.

My final score was not exactly what I wished for, but I played many interesting games of fighting chess. It was nice to experience such high-level competition after so many months of COVID and online blitz.

Overall, I had a great time at this acclaimed tournament. Looking back, I can now confidently say that every time I chose to study chess instead of slacking off was worth it. After all, those are the small stepping stones to success, no matter how far across the river it may seem.

P.S. I will be hosting a Q&A seminar on August 8th. More details can be found here.

-Zoey Tang

Chess4kids Free Online Classes May 24- July 26

Chess4kids will be hosting free online classes from May through July. The teachers will teach students chess strategy and tactics for the first part of class. After that, kids will play with each other online. There will be lots of teachers for people of different skill levels. All teachers are very experienced and are 1500+.

Time: 7:00-8:30PM
Date: All Tuesdays from May 24th to July 31st
Contact: info@chess4kids.net

Students should know basic chess rules.
Please create a zoom account for the lesson, and a chess account on chess.com for playing online. 

Chess4kids online class registration

Register Now for OSCF State Championship

Want to see who’s coming to the OSCF State Championship? Here is the complete list of registered players. Note that there may be changes as we invite some players to move up in order to avoid having an odd number of players in a section.

Here is the list of the 256 players that have qualified, along with those who are “nearly” qualified and need just one more tournament.

For those who are on the list, REGISTRATION IS OPEN! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

Need a place to stay? These hotels are offering discounts for chess families.

If you don’t see your name on the list of qualified players, check this:

  1. Have you played in ONE OSCF qualifying tournament this year? (Not all tournaments are qualifiers – OSCF qualifiers are shown in GREEN on the NWSRS calendar).
  2. Have you played at least 8 NWSRS Rated games in your chess lifetime? (Look up your number of NWSRS games in the online NWSRS system).
  3. Have you played at least 8 NWSRS Rated games this academic year? (September 1, 2021 to March 23, 2022)

You can also check the list of players close to qualifying here.

Players may also qualify be playing in 8 USCF Regular Rated or USCF Regular Online Rated Games. If you qualified through USCF games and are not on the list, please email oscf@oscf.org.

For more information, see our details on how to qualify.

If you have played one qualifying tournament and just need more games to establish your rating, you can still qualify if you play the additional rated games before March 23, 2022.  See our instructions on how to do this and notify us at oscf@oscf.org if you plan to do this.

If you think you’ve qualified based on OSCF qualifying tournaments and NWSRS / USCF games and don’t see your name, contact us with details of what tournaments/games you think you’ve played and we’ll look into why you’re not on our list yet.

Coquille Hybrid Tournaments March 12 & 19

Beginners, all ages welcome! Divisions determined at site.
Register 9:30 a.m., start around 10 a.m. end afternoon
Prizes: Cash for advanced section, figurines for novice section
OSCF Qualifier
Up to ten players can attend virtually. $5.00 Registration Fee.
Those playing virtually must pre register with drnancykeller@yahoo.com
Need:  Name, school, grade, Northwest rating, address, phone number, e-mail and lichess.org name.

Bethel Chess Quads in Eugene on March 20

Bethel Chess Quads

Who: All ages,  no previous tournament experience required. As per Bethel School District requirements, all players will wear masks while indoors.

When:
March 20
April 24
May 22
June 12

These quads are OSCF State qualifiers.

Format:  All players (K-12 and adults) will be divided into quads (4 player sections) based on the higher of their USCF or NWSRS ratings. USCF rules will be followed and all games will be NWSRS rated.  Any quad with all USCF members will be dual rated.

Schedule:  Registration 12:30-1:15 with play beginning at 1:30 pm sharp! Preregister by email to guarantee a spot: mike.myers@bethel.k12.or.us

Time Control:  Each quad chooses time control from G25/5 to G40/5.  Lower rated quads likely to finish earlier than 4:30. G40/5 quads may go until 6:00.  Please bring your clock if you have one.

Prizes:  Winner of each quad will receive $10 plus free admission to the next Bethel Chess Quad event.

Entry Fee:  $10 ­- all proceeds will go to the Willamette High Chess Club.

Directions:  Park in the main parking lot on Echo Hollow Rd and follow signs to the Media Center.

Contact: Mike Myers

Email: mike.myers@bethel.k12.or.us

Oregon Girls Championship on March 12

The 2022 Oregon Girls Championship will be held on Saturday, March 12 at the Portland Chess Center. This is the qualifier for the Haring Tournament which will be held July 30 through August 2 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Eligibility: Open to all K-12 girls living in Oregon.

Format: 5-round Swiss in one section. US Chess ratings will be used for pairings and prize eligibility. One half-point bye is available if requested before round one.

Time Control: G/40;inc5 (forty minutes per player with a five second increment each move).

Schedule: The rounds are scheduled for 10am, 12noon, 2 pm, 4pm, and 6pm. Players who have a game go long can request extra time off before the next round.

Registration: Use this online form to register. Registration deadline is Friday, March 11 at 7pm.

Sunday Quads at Portland Chess Club on March 20

Are you a mature scholastic player looking for a serious challenge? Come play in the Sunday Chess Quads at the Portland Chess Club. Sunday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Entry fee is $15 and this is an OSCF State Championship Qualifier.

US Chess dual rated and NWSRS rated. US Chess membership is required and can be purchased during registration. US Chess membership rates/information/benefits

*While this tournament is open to scholastic players, it’s only recommended for mature scholastic players who are capable of playing in a serious tournament and against adults.*

Click here for more info.

OHSCTA State Championship March 4-5 in person AND online (REGISTER NOW!)

The Oregon High School Chess Team Association has been sponsoring local team chess leagues and holding state championship tournaments for over 50 years.  This year’s edition of this longstanding team-based competition takes place at Willamette High School in Eugene, Oregon, on March 5-6.  Teams are made up of five players (high school players from a single school can play in the Varsity Division; high school or middle school players can play in the JV division for their high school, and; high school or middle school players from any combination of schools can play in the Open Division) who compete in five rounds of high stakes chess (two on Friday evening, three on Saturday).  For more about the tournament itself, see details here.  In order to register teams, or if you are an individual HS or MS player who wants to compete in the individual division, register online at this link before March 2.  Get your teams together and register in order to become recognized as the top high school chess team in Oregon.  If you have questions, contact OHSCTA leadership at OHSCTA -at- OHSCTA.org.  See you in Eugene!

Portland Chess Club Scholastic K-12 Chess Tournament on Feb. 12 (online)

Registration is Open! Click here to register!

Date: February 12th, 2022
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

* Registration closes on the day before the tournament, February 11th, at 12 PM (Noon).

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Location: Online (via chess.com and Zoom). Please create a chess.com account (free account), if you don’t have one. You need that to complete this registration.

Entry fee: $20 per player
Eligibility: All scholastic players, K-12.

Format: 5-round NWSRS-rated Swiss tournament. Open to all scholastic chess players.

Time Control: G25+5 (Game in 25 minutes with a 5 second increment per move)

Prizes: $50/$30/$20 for 1st-3rd place in each section (8-12 players per section).

Contact: Mike Morris
e-mail: mikejmorris@earthlink.net
Phone: (971) 409-4841