The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

2017 South Texas Scholastic Chess Championships

2017 South Texas Scholastic Chess Championships - Flyer

General information

1. Organizer: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), , (956) 882-5761, under auspices of Texas Chess Association

a) Chief Tournament Organizer:     GM Bartek Macieja

b) Deputy Tournament Organizer:   Mr. David Ortiz

2. Dates: March 10-12, 2017

3. Playing Venue: UTRGV Fieldhouse, 1201 W University Dr, Edinburg, TX 78539

4. Parking: Parking around playing venue is free on Fridays from 7 pm, on Saturdays, and on Sundays

5. Official tournament website:

6. Official payment portal:

7. Official registration (batch) form:

8. Sponsors: TBA

9. Sections:

a) K-1 Championship                             – no rating limit

b) (K-3) Primary School JV                      – USCF rating limit 699

c) (K-3) Primary School Championship     – no rating limit

d) Elementary School JV                         – USCF rating limit 799

e) Elementary School Championship        – no rating limit

f) Middle School JV                                – USCF rating limit 899

g) Middle School Championship              – no rating limit

h) High School JV                                  – USCF rating limit 999

i) High School Championship                  – no rating limit

10. Ratings:

a) 2017 March Supplement will be used. If a registration form is submitted earlier, organizers will adjust ratings. A player will be moved to Championship section, if his rating exceeds limit for JV section.

b) The championships will be reported to USCF for rating purposes.

11. Eligibility: Official Eligibility Rules (TCA bylaws) and hints about which section to play are available here . Teams and Players that did not qualify at the regional tournaments may still register at this event.

12. Tournament Rules:

a) Play shall be governed by USCF rules.

b) No postponement of games is allowed.

c) The game is lost by the player who arrives at the chessboard after his flag has fallen (his allotted time has elapsed).

d) Participants shall have their own clocks. Chessboards and pieces will be provided.

e) Digital clocks are preferred. If neither player has a digital clock, an analog clock shall be used.

f) 5-second delay on digital clocks shall be substituted by 5 additionally allotted minutes on analog clocks.

g) Players are kindly requested to keep silence at the tournament hall. Players who do not comply with this request may receive the following penalties:

- official warning

- time penalty (reduction of time by 50% in the following game)

13. Notation: Chess notation is not required in the K-1, both Primary sections, and the Elementary JV section. In all other sections, each player is required to record the moves, move after move. Neither player is required to keep score, if either player has less than five minutes left.

14. Tournament Directors (Arbiters):

a) Chief Tournament Director (Chief Arbiter): NTD Lakshmana Viswanath

b) Section Chief Tournament Directors (Section Chief Arbiters):

Chief TD for K1 Championship:                                   STD Victor Bailey

Chief TD for Primary School JV and Championship         STD Victor Flores

Chief TD for Elementary School JV and Championship:   STD Richard Newman

Chief TD for Middle School JV and Championship:          STD Edward Guetzow

Chief TD for High School JV and Championship:             NTD Eduardo Rios           

c) Floor Tournament Directors (Floor Arbiters): TBA

d) The tournament is run by the Chief Tournament Director with the help of Section Chief Tournament Directors and Floor Tournament Directors.

e) Decisions of the Chief Tournament Director are final.

15. Pairings:

a) Pairing Director: Mr. James Houghtaling ; Deputy Pairing Director: Mr. Remy Ferrari

b) Program: SwissSys version 9.53

c) Pairings between players from the same school shall be avoided, if possible.

16. Appeals:

a) All appeals shall be submitted in writing to the Chief Tournament Director possibly soon after an irregularity happened. Each protest shall be accompanied by a deposit fee of $20. If the appeal is successful, the fee shall be returned. If the appeal is rejected, the fee may be forfeited to the organizers.

b) Appeals can be submitted on the following matters:

    i) appeal against decision of Tournament Director or Section Chief Tournament Director

    ii) protest or complaint against participant’s actions or behavior

    iii) complaint alleging false interpretation of the regulations

    iv) all other matters that Chief Tournament Director considers important

c) The Chief Tournament Director shall reach a decision without a delay, if possible. His decisions are final.

17. Commentaries: UTRGV students, including Grandmasters and International Masters will provide live commentaries.

18. Cooperating hotels: TBA

19. Team Rooms: Requests shall be sent to

20. Conditions of participation and entry fee:

a) Participants must have a valid USCF Membership as of March 2017. Validity of USCF Membership and player’s USCF number can be checked on USCF Website. No player without a valid USCF Membership will be allowed to compete in the event. Organizers will not process membership renewals.

b) Participants shall sent a registration (batch) form to and pay the entry fee via the official payment portal no later than on February 28, 2017.

c) Phone registrations will not be accepted.

d) Incomplete or wrongly filled out registration (batch) forms will be returned. If a form is returned for the third time, $5 per player surcharge will be applied.

e) Entry fee is $46 per participant, if paid by February 28, 2017.

f) Entry fee is $66 per participant, if paid March 1-10, 2017.

g) Entry fee is $66 per participant, if paid on March 11, 2017, however such a participant shall receive 0-point bye in the first round, unless the Pairing Director decides otherwise.

h) A list of players who have registered and paid the entry fee will be regularly updated on the championships website. In case of doubts, please contact the organizers by sending an e-mail to

i) Players registered in March 2017 will be allowed to participate only in the case of free places. The organizers reserve the right to admit such players from the second round.

j) Participants wishing to obtain an invoice are kindly requested to send all necessary information to

k) The organizers reserve the right to verify the data provided in the applications.

l) If necessary, organizational questions can be adressed at the playing venue on March 10, 2017 from 5 to 9 pm or/and on March 11, 2017 from 7 am.

21. Refunds: Refunds can be requested up to February 28, 2017 with a $10 per player surcharge for withdrawing. In March 2017 no refunds will be processed.

22. Substitutions:

a) School can substitute one member with another up to February 28, 2017 upon $10 per substitution surcharge.

b) School can substitute one member with another from March 1 to 10, 2017 upon $20 per substitution surcharge.

c) No substitutions will be accepted on March 11, 2017.

23. Withdrawals: Participants wishing to withdraw from the event before its end shall inform the Chief Tournament Director.

24. PO’s: PO’s from schools will be accepted with the same deadlines as described in Point 19. Individuals shall use the official payment portal only. Surcharges described in Points 20, 21, and 22 will be added, if a school misses the deadline, submits incomplete or incorrect registration for the third time, changes the number of team members, substitutes team members. By submitting PO school agrees to these conditions.

25. Verification of participation: The list of participants will be published on the official tournament website . Participation of any player present on the list is thereby confirmed. Such a player may arrive directly for the first round, provided that she/he has paid an entry fee.

26. System of Play: Swiss System. All participants shall play 7 rounds.

27. Individual standings will be determined by:

a) Number of scored points

b) Modified Medium

c) Median

d) Solkoff

e) Sonneborn-Berger

f) Cumulative

28. Team standings will be determined by:

a) Number of scored points

b) Total Individual Median

c) Total Solkoff

d) Total Sonneborn-Berger

e) Total Cumulative

29. Byes: A buy in Round 1 shall be requested by March 10, 2017. A bye in any other round (only one possible) shall be requested no later than at the end of Round 1.

30. Corrections:

a) It is a duty of parents, guardians, coaches, and teachers to check results published after every round for accuracy and to report immediately any discrepancy.

b) If a discrepancy has been reported after the following round had started, it is up to the Chief Tournament Director to correct the standings or not.

31. Awards:

a) Trophies for top 15 teams in each section, prepared by the Valley Trophy Service (Representative - Ms. Lou Gracia)

b) Trophies for top 20 individuals in each section, prepared by the Valley Trophy Service (Representative - Ms. Lou Gracia)

c) Medals for all participants, prepared by the Children's Chess Club (Representative - Mr. Jorge Trevino)

d) $1000 Scholarship at UTRGV for winner of High School Championship Section (sponsored by UTRGV Office of President)

e) Additional surprises

f) Trophies will not be given out in advance and must be picked up at the Closing Ceremony

32. Dress Code: Participants are encouraged to wear official school uniforms.

33. Tournament Schedule: 4 rounds on March 11, 3 rounds on March 12. Detailed schedule

34. Food and drinks: Participants and accompanying persons will be able to purchase drinks and food provided by Chess Club at UTRGV :

a) drinks: water, sofas, coffee, snow cones, energy drinks

b) snacks: variety of candy, popcorn, cotton candy, pickles, chips, nachos, hot cheetos with cheese

c) breakfast: tamales, sweet bread, tacos

d) lunch: pizza, bbq plates, chic-fil-a, sandwiches, hot dogs

35. Media Patronage: TBA

36. Special Accommodations: Special Accommodation requests shall be sent to

37. Health:

a) Parents, guardians, coaches, and teachers are responsible for the safety of their participating and accompanying minors.

b) Organizers will secure basic medical assistance.

38. Changes: The Organizers reserve the right to make changes to the General Information. All changes will be published on the official tournament website

39. Side Events: Participants shall sent a registration (batch) form to and pay the entry fee via the official payment portal

40. Vendor:

a) The official vendor for the Chess Store is the Children's Chess Club (Representative - Mr. Jorge Trevino). At the end of the event chess sets used during the championships will be available for purchase.

b) The official vendor for Trophies is Valley Trophy Service (Representative - Ms. Lou Gracia).


Chief Tournament Organizer


GM Bartek Macieja