Jeff Dobbins

How do I get to play at Seaside?

For the last several years, the OSCF State Chess Championship has been the largest chess tournament in the state.  On April 13 and 14 of this year, we meet for our 13th annual competition, and we hope you will join us for this fun event and weekend in Seaside, Oregon.  The all-volunteer OSCF board is busily preparing for the event; rules have been drafted, the location secured, trophies are being ordered, and commemorative pins are being designed for players to take home and remember the event by. On Friday April 13, Blitz will be back, fast and furious, while Bughouse will return with bug trophies and Crazy Hats in full madhattery.  And, of course, Saturday will bring high-level competition to the hundreds of scholastic players who travel to Seaside for the day’s rounds. You don’t want to be left out of this event!

To come, though, you need to be qualified.  The current list of qualified players can be found here; we will update the qualified player list on a more-or-less a weekly basis through the week before the tournament.  If you want to qualify and haven’t yet done so, though, here’s what you need:

1) Be an Oregon scholastic player, enrolled in K-12 schools, aged at least 5 as of the date of the tournament, and no older than 19 as of September 1 of the year prior to the tournament.

2) Earn an established rating.

What does this mean? One of the great things about the OSCF State Championship Seaside is that we divide players into grade-and-rating based sections of approximately 32 (or fewer) players, which helps to make sure that every player competes against peers of their age and skill level, and that every player has a reasonable chance to walk away from the event with a great prize.  But this means we have to have a good sense of what every player’s skill level is, and for that, they need to have a certain number of games under their belt.  Under the scholastic rating system used in the Northwest, for instance (the NWSRS), a player’s rating is considered established after they have played 15 career NWSRS rated games. Note that not all scholastic chess organizers rate their events. In particular, Chess for Success doesn’t rate, and so games played at CFS events don’t count toward this requirement. Once you’ve played 15 rated career games, you’re set for life on this requirement; your rating will change as you play additional rated events, the total games just keeps going up, and we can always place you in a section with confidence. For more information about this requirement, see this post. The people who are missing only this requirement are listed here.

3) Attend at least two OSCF qualifying tournaments.

OSCF was formed to encourage more parents, coaches, and community volunteers to organize and hold their own chess tournaments throughout the state.  So part of qualifying for State is taking advantage of those opportunities by playing at least two OSCF qualifying tournaments during the relevant year.  If you have an established rating but still need a qualifier tournament (or two) in order to go to OSCF State, there are still a few opportunities listed on the NWSRS schedule (on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) between now and April 4; you want the events listed in Green. (There are both scholastic events and events at the Portland Chess Club; the latter are generally better for more experienced players, but the G/45 quads, especially, tend to draw a number of less experienced scholastic players.).

That’s it. There are some small exceptions; for the real nitty-gritty, see the detailed rules. Or contact us with questions. But in the end, we’re just looking for Oregon scholastic players who have demonstrated a commitment to chess through the prior year, and who we can place in the tournament in a way that lets us be confident that they and their competitors will have a fair and fun time.


Leaping to Seaside!

0425150713Registration for the 11th Annual OSCF State Championship in Seaside on April 29-30, 2016, is now open!  Check to see if you have qualified already by checking here to see the most recent list of qualified players (updated on 2-28-16).  Then register by clicking here!  Then practice your chess by joining us at one of the coming tournaments, and get into the mood by designing our t-shirt front for 2016!

Not qualified yet?  There’s still time.  To qualify, you need an established rating (at least 15 career games) and to have played in at least two qualifier trophiestournaments since the last state championship.  For more detailed explanations, see this post on how to get to play at Seaside, or the specific qualification rules posted here.  (See green tournaments on the NWSRS calendar.)  Players needing only one more qualifying tournament are listed here; players needing only an established rating are listed here.  Go play some chess and then come join us!

Presidents’ Weekend Lame Duck Follow-up

franklin_rooseveltThanks to all 208 players, along with their parents and coaches, who attended the 2016 Presidents’ Weekend Tournament at Robert Gray Middle School in Portland!  Top prize in the top Roosevelt section was shared by Gavin Zhang and Owen McCoy.  Congratulations to them and all the winners at the event.  A special thanks to all the parents and players who volunteered their time and assistance during the event.

A list of the team awards follows after the break; we will also add the sportsmanship nominations to this list as soon as we are able.

Presidents’ Weekend Sections

Recruitment PosterAre you ready to play some Presidential Chess?  The 209 players who have registered for the Presidents’ Weekend Tournament have been placed into sections.  You can find the section assignments here — make sure you know when you need to arrive (by 8:20 for the top sections, by 9am for the U900 and U600 sections) based on your players’ section assignments!  See you on Saturday!

Presidents’ Weekend Registration closes Thursday (2/11)

Mount RushmoreThe Fourth Annual Presidents’ Day Weekend Chess Tournament is coming on February 13th!  We’ve got 150+ players registered (who’s coming?), and are expecting over 200 to join us.  Please join the Wilson, Gray, and Rieke teams in SW Portland by registering online here — late registration is available through Thursday Feb. 11th.  Why come?

  • Generous awards for teams and individual players:
    • Nine team awards – to top three teams in three different ratings groups.
    • Cash awards in two sections (1100-1299 and 1300+ sections)
    • Trophies to the top FIVE places in each section
    • Award medals to players with a plus score
    • We work hard to keep section sizes small so everyone has a chance to compete and win, and everyone will go home with a commemorative gift!
    • Fantastic sportsmanship trophies recognize outstanding and remarkable sportsmanship shown during the event.


To learn more about why we think you should join us at this fun event, click through on the link below…

All-Starry Winter Wonderland of Chess!

Starry ChessThere’s lots of activity this month in Oregon Scholastic Chess!  First, the Winter 2016 All-Stars List has been posted.  Congratulations to all these players, who were the top 10 (based on established ratings) active players in their grades between 9/1/2015 and 12/31/2015.  They’re invited to the Oregon All Stars Invitational to take place next October.

Second, there are many tournaments planned for this month and the next two months.  Check the NWSRS Calendar (especially the events listed in green) for the full range of options.  In addition to the regular quads being held by Chess Odyssey (generally every other Friday evening in Beaverton), the Silver Knights Chess Club (generally every other Sunday in Happy Valley), and at Willamette HS in Eugene (one Sunday a month), the following full day events are planned for the next couple of months.  Register or learn more at the links below, and you can find information about many of these events in further posts down below on this web site.  Essentially every one of these events is a qualifier for the always-fantastic 2016 OSCF State Championship in Seaside, Oregon, which will take place on April 29-30, 2016.  More on that event in February, but if you’re looking to qualify, the basic qualification requirements are set out here.

Full Day scholastic tournaments scheduled for February – March 2016

February 13: President’s Weekend Tournament in Portland

March 5; Hops Chess Fiesta Tournament in Independence

March 12: OES Aardvark Tournament in Portland

March 12: March Madness! Tournament in Eugene

Note also that the Portland Chess Club holds several tournaments — the G/45 events each month are good for kids and adults, while the G/60 at the end of each month are full day events that are best for advanced players.  There are also several significant two-day tournaments that PCC and the Oregon Chess Federation are holding during the coming months; all the above mentioned events are OSCF Qualifiers.  Finally, Chess for Success will be holding their regional qualifiers throughout January and February as a leadup to their State Championship in early April.  The CFS tourneys are not rated, and not OSCF qualifying events, but they’re still fun chess!

All-Stars Results

Thanks to everyone who came to the 2015 All Stars tournament last Friday.  Photos have been posted from the capitol steps, as well as many photos from the rooms.  Click on “photos” at left to see the 2015 All Stars album.  In addition, the tournament has been rated both in the NWSRS and in the USCF ratings system (click on those links to see the ratings; note that the Golden Pioneers section was not USCF rated).  We hope to see everyone in Seaside at the end of April 2016 for the State Championship, and in October 2016 for the 9th Annual OSCF All Stars Invitational Tournament!

All-Stars 2015 Sections Posted

fireworksThe 8th Annual OSCF All-Stars Invitational Tournament will be our largest ever, with 122 All-Stars coming to the Capitol in Salem to face each other in friendly competition on Friday, October 8.  Please check in at the Capitol no later than 9am!  Anticipated section assignments have been posted here (Alphabetical List) and here (list by rating).  Please email if you have any final questions or concerns, and please email us if you know your player will not be able to attend.  Thank you, and see you in Salem!

Summer All-Stars, Lifetime Achievement, OOK Invitees Posted!

FireworksThe Summer 2015 All-Stars List has been posted (click there!).  These players were the top ten Oregon scholastic chess players in each grade from K-12 during the trimester from May 1 to August 31, 2015.  The players had to play at least one regular rated game (NWSRS or USCF) in the trimester. Rankings for those students are based on the highest established rating attained in the trimester, as determined by the maximum of the highest established NWSRS rating held during the trimester and the highest established USCF published monthly rating from the supplements published June 2015 through September 2015.  Do let us know if you think that you see something incorrect in the list, and we’ll check and add you if necessary.

We have also posted the 2015 Lifetime Achievement list (the 25 scholastic players in the state with the largest number of rated NWSRS games), and the list of invited Order of the Knight members — i.e., those members who have played a NWSRS rated game between 9/1/14 and 8/31/15.

All these players, as well as those on the 2015 Winter and Spring lists, are eligible to participate in the 2015 8th Annual Oregon All-Stars Invitational, which will be held in Salem on October 9, 2015 (details and online registration will be posted here by September 13). You can find a master alphabetical list of all invited players here.  Congratulations to all of the invitees!

Oregon Open Scholastic Tournament in Portland on Sept. 1

800px-Flag-map_of_Oregon.svgIn connection with the Oregon Chess Federation & Portland Chess Club’s annual Oregon Open, held each year over Labor Day Weekend, we will be holding the Oregon Open Scholastic Tournament at the Lloyd Center Doubletree in Portland.  While the full three-day Oregon Open tournament will be great for those of you who want the challenge of playing very long time controls against adult players (they play two games a day for three days; see here for more details), the shorter time controls of the scholastic section will be a great warmup for the new academic year of chess.

The event is a 4-round Swiss-paired event (time control G/45 d5) and will be held on Saturday, September 1, with the first round at 10am, so starting about an hour before the first round of the Oregon Open main event.  Rounds will be held at 10, 11:45 (or ASAP), 1:45 and 3:30 (or ASAP), and should be done by 5:30pm.  The room can only hold 48 players, so register early!  Depending on how many register, we may divide the group into two or three sections based on highest established USCF or NWSRS rating.  The event will be NWSRS rated, though if a section consists of all USCF members, we may dual-rate the section as well.  This is a 2019 OSCF State Championship Qualifier.  We will have medals for plus scores (including 1st-3rd place trophies), and we will also award one year (for 4.0 and 3.5 point winners) and 6-month (for 3.0 and 2.5 point winners) memberships to NW Chess, which includes a monthly subscription to the NW Chess magazine.  Register online by clicking here; All registrations must be in by August 30.