In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Chess.com is bringing your favorite over-the-board events online with the support of US Chess online ratings. As a result of US Chess' Executive Board ruling, tournament directors across the country can now organize official online rated blitz and rapid events on Chess.com. After working closely with US Chess, Chess.com has prepared a secure infrastructure for organizers to run events, with the added protection of our industry-leading cheat detection software.
This step-by-step guide will showcase how tournament directors can run their online events on Chess.com while abiding by US Chess' requirements to be eligible to run online rated events. Please note that as Chess.com continues to roll out new features, this article will be updated to reflect the most efficient tournament directing practices.
To learn about a specific subtopic, click one of the links above. Chess.com has also created a general video overview on running US Chess online rated events, which you can watch here.
Chess.com clubs are the best way for organizers and tournament directors to centralize communication, organize tournaments, and keep in touch with their community online. With over 35 million players on Chess.com, many players in your organization are likely already active on-site and are eager to play US Chess online rated events against their rivals.
Watch IM Danny Rensch's video for a video demonstration of how to create a club on Chess.com:
In response to COVID-19, club creation is currently free and accessible for all Chess.com members. For a step-by-step guide, follow our article on how to maximize engagement for your club.
For organizers looking to restrict entry to their club for paying members only, make sure to turn off "Anyone Can Join" off in order to approve members manually. Watch our video demonstration below to see this in action.
Larger clubs that are new to Chess.com should consider applying for a Chess.com affiliate in order to earn a cash kickback for new users that upgrade to premium. For more information, click the link below.
Read More: Earn Passive Revenue For Your Club As A Chess.com Affiliate
Once you have built a virtual home for your organization on Chess.com, fill out the application below to advertise your events. Both Chess.com and US Chess will be launching a page for active US Chess affiliatesto help US Chess members find regular online rated games. Promoting your organization on these pages will allow you to connect with many new online players and run larger events.
If you are interested in running US Chess online rated events but are not an active US Chess Affiliate, learn more about running tournaments here.
Once approved by US Chess, a Chess.com representative will contact you in order to run officially verified cash prize tournaments. Organizers that do not fill out this form but run cash events without verification run the risk of having their tournaments canceled to protect our online community from fraud.
Promote Your Events
Verifying your affiliate will allow you to advertise your online rated events as a TLA and reach more players.
In order to compete in any US Chess Online rated event, players are required to be an active US Chess memberand have filled out the form below. For weekly games, the officialUS Chess - Members Only clubruns regular online rated events.
By registering your Chess.com username with your US Chess ID, US Chess is able to ensure you are protected from rating fraud.
For a faster processing time, we recommend requesting to join the club after filling out the application. You only need to fill out the form once to gain eligibility, but if you change your username you may need to resubmit the form to renew your authentication.
Looking for a Game?
Connect with other US Chess Members and play online rated games with players across the United States.
Swiss tournaments are a natural option for larger online events and can be scheduled easily within Chess.com's clubs. Our club tournament technology currently handles event scheduling, player check-in, and pairings, meaning tournament directors will not need to use WinTD or SwissSys to manage their events.
Watch IM Danny Rensch's video demonstration below to learn more about organizing and playing in Swiss tournaments on Chess.com:
When scheduling a future tournament within your club, please note that players will only be able to start joining the event 60 minutes prior to the event start time. This is a proven practice that will minimize first-round forfeitures. While late joining is possible there are limited spots available in each tournament. As discussed in the FAQ section, it is not possible for players to request half-point byes in an event.
Once a tournament is complete, you can access a tournament archive through the top panel on your club profile.
By clicking "Live Tournaments" you can access your club's tournament archive, which will breakdown topical information such as the tournament name, time and date, winner, and the total number of players. Once you click on a particular event, you will reach the tournament's landing page:
On each tournament landing page, users will be able to access the tournament crosstable, as well as a downloadable PGN of all of the event's games. Within the tournament crosstable, users can see each player's pairings (with a link to the game), score, and tiebreaker.
Read More: How to Organize a Live Tournament
For organizers looking to host a more intimate online event, "quads" offer an easy tournament format without needing to work within Chess.com's club infrastructure. Commonly referred to as Quads, these round robins only require four players and can be organized easily within Live Chess.
To run a successful quad, players should be comfortable adding friends and creating custom challenges on Chess.com. For players new to Chess.com, here is a quick video demonstration from IM Danny Rensch.
For a step-by-step guide on how to create challenges from an Android or iOS device, read our support guide below.
Read More: How to Create a Challenge in Live Chess
Want to see what this looks like in practice? Watch the demonstration below to see how to manage club registration, provide various admin roles to specific users, file Fair Play complaints, and view a tournament crosstable.
As mentioned in the video, if you are running an event with over 100 participants, please contact Isaac Steincamp (email@example.com) with a copy of your registration list for technical consultation on how to run a US Chess online rated event.
With a secure infrastructure in place to run US Chess online rated events, Chess.com is committed to protecting its players and community with our cheat detection technology. Chess.com currently reviews millions of games every day, and with our years of experience running online cash prize events, our Fair Play Team is confident that US Chess online rated play will remain clean, safe, and fun for everyone.
All US Chess Online rated events played on Chess.com will be automatically processed for Fair Play. For organizers submitting rating reports to US Chess, Chess.com recommends waiting 72 hours to allow our processor to complete a conclusive tournament screening. Before any accounts are closed, all reports are thoroughly reviewed by a team of specialists who have reviewed and closed thousands of accounts in their roles as Chess.com statisticians.
In order to report a specific user for a Fair Play violation, follow this walkthrough guide from our Support team.
Both Chess.com and US Chess actively recommend requiring your participants to join an active video call mid-tournament to take note of additional Fair Play infractions. Currently, there are many video call clients that can satisfy your organization's budget:
Regardless of which platform you choose for your organization, tournament directors should be comfortable chatting directly with players, and requesting for them to share their screen.
If you are interested in directing online rated events, all US Chess members are eligible to apply to become a Certified Club Tournament Director. Club Tournament Directors maintain their status for a non-renewable three-year term, after which they must pass the Local Tournament Director exam in order to maintain their license. Information regarding the limitations of club level organizers can be found here.
Want to join a network of US Chess tournament directors? Join the US Chess Tournament Directors Club on Chess.com!
Run Your Own Events
Apply to be a US Chess Club Tournament Director to run online rated events for your organization.
Verified US Chess members are eligible to play in online rated events organized by any US Chess affiliate, provided they meet the registration requirements of the tournament director. You can view a list of active affiliates on Chess.com here.
In order for your organization to be listed as an active US Chess Affiliate on this page, make sure you fill out the application above.
Can my organization run events with cash prizes on Chess.com?
Yes. Upon filling out the form linked above, Chess.com will verify active US Chess affiliates to run cash events independently of our official tournaments. Once verified, a Chess.com representative will publicly denote your club as a clearance to run cash prize events.
How can I run a multiple-day tournament in club tournaments?
Currently, Chess.com Tournaments do not support multi-day tournaments. Organizers determined to run multi-day formats should be comfortable explaining how to challenge players on Chess.com to their players in order to ensure pairings take place.
That being said, the US Chess Executive Board has only approved online blitz (ranging from 3|2 to 10|0) and online rapid (ranging from 10|1 to 29|0) rated games. Therefore organizers looking to run online US Chess rated events should be able to consolidate their tournament schedule into a single day in order to avoid technical issues.
Do I need to create a separate club every time I want to run a new rated event?
Within the existing technology on Chess.com, tournament directors will need to create a club environment for each event if they want to restrict entry to paying members. That being said, there are several logistical workarounds Chess.com recommends if you plan on running regular events:
Chess.com is continually developing new features for our online community. As our club tournament resources continue to improve, this article will be updated to reflect the most efficient practices for organizers.
Can players pay entry fees and club membership fees on Chess.com?
Chess.com does not currently support payments to third-party recipients. We advise using your organization's existing registration processing software as a means of collecting various fees from players.
Can Chess.com make each player's rating more equitable to their US Chess rating?
Given the mass influx of requests regarding tournament support, Chess.com cannot adjust a player's Chess.com ratings to make them more synonymous with their US Chess rating. We advise all players to play in Live Chess prior to each tournament to ensure an event has equitable pairings.
Can I withdraw and re-enter into a Live Tournament, or take half-point byes during an event?
No. Chess.com's club tournament environment currently does not support half-point byes and mid-tournament re-entry. For users playing online rated events on iOS devices, we recommend staying on the tournament screen at all times, as toggling between applications and other features on site can result in tournament withdrawal.
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