Springfield Chess ClubFrequently Asked Questions

The Club

The Tournaments


Are there any special requirements to come to club meetings?

No. Just come ready to play chess and have fun.


Do I need to be a member of the SCC to come to club meetings?

No. SCC membership is encouraged, but not required, to play at our meetings.


Should I bring anything to club meetings?

Bring a board and set if you have one, but it's no big deal if you don't have one. Other club members may have one that you can borrow for the evening.


Do you have any kind of formal instruction?

Not at this time. However, other club members might be willing to show you some things or go over a game with you, if you ask them.


Do you have a scholastic program?

We're working on one. As of November 2015, a pilot scholastic program is under construction. For more information, see here.
Kids can join the club and play in our regular (adult) tournaments under the same rules as anyone else, but they should not expect any kind of special treatment or discounts.


How do I join the club?

Mail in your name, address, and membership dues or give them to one of the club officers at a meeting. Click here for more detailed instructions.


How much are club dues?

SCC adult dues are currently $8 per year. Scholastic dues are currently $5 per academic year. You can join for as many years as you like. If you are a new member, your first year's dues may be pro-rated.


How does the pro-rating of new memberships work?

SCC adult memberships expire on December 31. Scholastic memberships expire on June 30. If you are either a new member, or have not been a member of the club at any time in the previous two years, your dues are pro-rated based on how much time remains in the calendar year or ten-month academic year of September through June, rounded up to the next even dollar.

Under the present dues system:

New adult member's
join date
Adult dues New scholastic
member's join date
Scholastic dues
January 1-February 14 $8 July-October $5
February 15-March 31 $7 November-December $4
April 1-May 15 $6 January-February $3
May 16-June 30 $5 March-April $2
July 1-August 15 $4 May-June $1
August 16-September 30 $3
October 1-November 15 $2
November 16-December 31 $1

New members can of course extend their membership for one or more additional years beyond the remainder of the current calendar year by paying an additional full year's dues for each year.


What's with all these other organizations?

The Springfield Chess Club, the Illinois Chess Association, and the U.S. Chess Federation are different organizations with different functions. The SCC encourages its members to join the larger organizations as well, but it is not required to join any of them (even the SCC), with the exception that you must be a member of the USCF to play in a rated tournament.


Those boards and sets are nice. Where do I get one?

The regulation tournament boards and sets that we use at most meetings can be ordered by mail or by internet from various suppliers, including the U.S. Chess Federation. Cheap hollow-plastic sets with a folding board are not recommended for serious play, although they are better than nothing.


What do I get as a club member?

SCC membership gets you a copy of our quarterly newsletter, the Chess Club Observer, and a discount on entering most of our tournaments.


Are donations to the Springfield Chess Club tax-deductible?

No. The club will be happy to accept a donation, but it will not be tax-deductible.


Can I advertise my tournament on your site?

Maybe. Central Illinois organizers are welcome to advertise their tournaments on the club forums, within reason. We ask that you limit these advertisements to one post per tournament. If you have several similar tournaments, keep them in one thread. If your tournament is not in central Illinois, please do not post it.
We may post information about a tournament in the Springfield metro area on our Tournaments page and/or the club newsletter at our discretion.
The club will not forward outside advertisements to its emailing list for any reason.


I have a business/coaching/advertising proposal. What do you think?

If it involves us paying you, just throw it in the trash.


Do I need to be a member of the SCC to play in tournaments?

Usually no, but SCC members usually receive a $2 discount on entry fees at our tournaments. Exceptions will be noted in pre-tournament publicity.


Do I need to be a member of the USCF to play in tournaments?

Usually yes, unless the tournament is non-rated or otherwise marked as a non-USCF (U.S. Chess Federation) tournament. You can join the USCF either by mail or through their internet site at www.uschess.org. You can also pay USCF dues at the tournament site and we will forward them to USCF when we send in the tournament results for rating.


Do I need to be a member of the ICA to play in tournaments?

Usually no. ICA (Illinois Chess Association) membership is encouraged but not required. Exceptions will be noted in pre-tournament publicity.


Should I bring anything to the tournament?

Bring proof of USCF membership, and a board, set, and clock if you have them. You must verify that you are a USCF member before we can process your registration. If we cannot verify your USCF membership, we will require you to pay a year's USCF dues. If we later discover that you were a USCF member, we will either forward the dues to the USCF to extend your membership, or refund them to you (be sure to indiciate your preference to us.) The $12 one-day membership option is no longer available! Bring chess equipment (board, set, clock) if you have them. If you do not have them, you may be able to use your opponents' equipment or borrow from someone else, but it's best if everyone has their own.


What time should I arrive at the tournament site?

Plan on arriving at least 20 minutes before the start of the first round. Allow more time if you're not sure exactly where you're going. If you arrive late, you will have to play your first game against another late entrant or against a houseman, or receive a bye if none are available. Please do not call the tournament director after 7:30 a.m. on the morning of the tournament. If we are already at or on our way to the playing site, we cannot be reached by telephone.


How do I pre-register?

Send your name, address, USCF ID number, and entry fee to the tournament director listed in the pre-tournament publicity. We have a printable registration form and instructions available here.


What's the cutoff time for pre-registration?

Pre-registrations must be received by the day before the tournament to count. If it is not in our hands by that afternoon (usually a Friday), you will have to pay the full at-site entry fee, even if you mailed it already.


I mailed in my registration. Was it received?

Check the advance registration list for a list of registrations received. It is located at prereg.htm. This is updated irregularly in the days before the tournament, but the last update is usually done on the Friday evening before the tournament. If you do not see your name listed by 7 p.m. Friday night, you might want to call and ask about it (I may have been delayed from doing the update), but please do not call after 7:30 a.m. on the morning of the tournament. If we are already at or on our way to the playing site, we cannot be reached by telephone.


I lost my first game. Does that mean I'm eliminated?

No! The SCC does not hold elimination tournaments. Unless you withdraw, we will keep you in the tournament, even if you lose all your games.


How do you determine who I will play against?

Most of our tournaments use the Swiss System to determine who your opponents will be. Exceptions will be noted in pre-tournament publicity.


I need to leave early. What if I win a prize?

Be sure the tournament director has your address. If you win anything, we will mail it to you.


Copyright 2011-6 Springfield Chess Club, Inc.