As I write, we've got 94 players entered for this weekend, including six Grandmasters and one International Master. The estimated prize fund is currently $6,416.67, and (knowing the many procrastinators in our community) we have a chance of making it all the way to the maximum $7,500. (A turnout of between 100 and 110 is a bit more likely.)
You can register onsite, but why not register in advance and save?
Here are a few FAQs from our email....
QUESTION: Am I strong enough to play in this event?
ANSWER: If your rating is above US Chess 1100, of course you are. Jump in the pool! (Rule of thumb for folks who play online: subtract 200 points from your online rating, and that's a fair guess of your over-the-board strength.) It's surprising how many chess knowledge you can pick up from hanging around top players, watching them play and analyze.
While we don't necessarily recommend the Under 1300 section for absolute beginners, this section is definitely appropriate for advanced beginners! Players with ratings above 900? You should be ready! Players with ratings between 700 and 900? It depends....players and parents should feel free to call me at 773-294-1709.
Most players with ratings below 700 will not be ready for the U1300 section. Don't worry: we have a couple good tournaments for you in February.
QUESTION: I don't have $95. Is financial aid available for scholastic players?
ANSWER: If you are a scholastic player (K-12, public, private, or parochial) living in the city of Chicago, and you'd LIKE to play, but can't AFFORD to play, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. (We operate on the honor system: we trust that people who could otherwise afford to play are not going to take funds away from those who truly can't.)
If you have had a plus score in the top section of one of the Chicago Chess Foundation's events, you're certainly ready for the Under 1300 Section, and we'd even be happy to buy you a US Chess membership.
It's our intention to handle as many advance requests for free entry as our budget allows! Unfortunately, we're not able to handle onsite requests.
If you're reading this and you would like to SPONSOR young players who otherwise couldn't afford to play, again, please drop us a line. We have the not-cheap entry fees so we can run events that are attractive to Grandmasters. We don't want our entry fees to become a barrier to the participation of young players.
Thanks to the Walter S. Mander Foundation for making this possible!
QUESTION: I would love to play, but I can't take the entire weekend away from my family.
ANSWER: No problem! If you are entering the Hull-House Grandmaster, U2100, U1900, or U1700 sections, you can skip Saturday, receive two 0.5 point byes, play two games on Sunday, and possibly even win a small prize.
Or you can play two games on Saturday, then skip Sunday, and receive a 0.5 point bye and a 0.4 point bye. (If you take more than one bye on the final day, the extra byes count as 0.4 for prize distribution purposes only.) We treat Sunday byes differently because top players in each section will generally be facing each other.
The U1500 and U1300 sections have three games each day: yes, you can take up to three byes in this section, too! Three byes in rounds 1-3 will receive three 0.5 point byes. If you play all three games on Saturday, the first bye on Sunday will count 0.5 points, and additional Sunday byes will count 0.4 points for prize distribution purposes only.
QUESTION: Do you need house players?
ANSWER: Yes! No guarantee that you'll be paired, but folks are welcome to hang out and watch the action.