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.