2021 San Francisco Scholastic Championship - ONLINE | Mechanics' Institute

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2021 San Francisco Scholastic Championship - ONLINE

Saturday, March 20, 2021

2021 San Francisco Scholastic Chess Championship Online

Annual, heritage event for our scholastic chess community 

FREE event on chesskid.com
and chess.com


Come join us for this fun, free event! We want kids to be able to play, have fun, compete, make friends and keep the scholastic community together in the Bay Area through chess. There are both non-rated and USCF online rated sections, so there are levels suitable for players of any skill levels. 

If your child has never played online no worries, we can guide you through the process. Once your child has an account, they are eligible to particpate in not only this tournament, but in Mechanics' daily FREE scholastic tournaments as well.


Platform -- Date -- Tournament format -- Teams -- Byes -- Fair Play -- Awards

Registration -- Eligibility -- Tournament rules -- Staff -- FAQ -- Side Events


March 3rd at 6PM via Zoom - Scholastic Chess Town Hall and Q&A session for the 2021 San Francisco Scholastic Championship
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/scholastic-chess-town-hall

Any questions? Send email to [email protected]


1. Platform

  • The tournament is played on one of the two platforms: 
    The non-rated sections are played on ChessKid.com
    The USCF online rated sections are played on Chess.com
  • Free account is sufficient to play in the tournament. No account on ChessKid or Chess.com account yet? Open one now: ChessKid.com  or  Chess.com
  • See Eligibility for more details on chesskid.com or chess.com accounts.

2. Date

  • Saturday, March 20

3. Tournament format:

  • Sections: The tournament will have a total 7 sections:
    4 sections will be Non-USCF rated, played on ChessKid and 3 sections will be USCF online rated, played on Chess.com

    Players should first decide if they want to be in a USCF online rated section or be in a non-rated section.

    • For beginners, we suggest to be in one of the four non-rated sections:
      • Grade K-1
      • Grade 2-3
      • Grade 4-5
      • Grade 6-12 (JHS & HS) 
        These sections will be running on ChessKid, autatically paired by the platform (aka. bot paired).
    • For anyone with a current US Chess membership and/or established US Chess rating, we suggest to play in one of the three USCF online rated sections:
      • K-12 Championship under1000
      • K-12 Championship under1600
      • K-12 Championship 1600+
        These sections will be running on Chess.com.
        Sections will be manually paired using USCF OTB or ONL regular March supplemental rating, and games will be manually started on chess.com.
        These sections will have fixed round times, and half point bye is available for players who have to miss a certain round.




Platform Format Round Times (ET)
# of Rounds Time Control
Kindergarten - Grade 1 ChessKid 5 G/15+5 11am start & ongoing
Grade 2-3
Grade 4-5  
Grade 6-12
K-12 Championship u1000 Chess.com 5 G/25+5 9am, 11pm, 1pm, 3:30m, 5pm
K-12 Championship u1600
K-12 Championship 1600+


3.A. How to Play?

  • Welcome email will be sent out before the tournament that explains all the details how to play in the tournament. Be sure to provide a correct email when registering for the event!
  • More details to come

3.B. Practice Tournament - Friday, March 19 

  • Details to come!

4. Teams scores

  • Minimum 3 players from same school or chess club may for a team. Top 4 players' scores count towards team score.
  • Commemorative medals to Top 3 teams in the Non-USCF sections combined and also Top 3 teams in the USCF-online rated sections combined.


    Individual Awards Team Awards
    Kindergarten - Grade 1 Top 10 players Top 3 Teams
    Grade 2-3 Top 10 players
    Grade 4-5 Top 10 players
    Grade 6-12 Top 10 players
    K-12 Championship u1000 Top 10 players Top 3 Teams
    K-12 Championship u1600 Top 10 players
    K-12 Championship 1600+ Top 10 players


5. Byes

  • Players in the non-rated sections played on ChessKid are not able to request any byes, as the tournament is automatically paired and run by the platform.
  • Players in the K-12 Championship sections, run on Chess.com, may take two (2) half-point byes in any round. Byes in the last two rounds must be selected before round 1 and are irrevocable after round 1 begins.

6. Fair Play

Monitoring requirements:

  • ALL players in the K-12 Championship sections must be logged into a tournament-specific Zoom meeting with at least one webcam.
  • Zoom link will be distributed closer to the event and will also be linked via the Google sheet.
  • Zoom participation is first and foremost to be able to communicate with players and guide them. Of course it'll also be used to monitor all players for fair play.

Player's setup requirements:

  • The location in which you are playing must have a reliable high-speed internet connection (upload capability of 2+ megabits per second [Mbps]). An unreliable or slow internet connection and/or technical setup errors might result in a loss or forfeit loss. A player’s internet connection and, more broadly, all aspects of the player’s technical setup are the player’s responsibility—not US Chess’s.
  • Play in a quiet room with no background noise and with no one else in the room.
  • A player may not have in or around the player’s ear a device that can receive and/or transmit data or sound (such as headphones, headsets, earbuds, etc.). All hearing aids (even medically prescribed ones) must be removed before the start of a game. Furthermore, a player’s face, ears, and entire head must be fully visible; they may not be covered by a hoodie, hat, or headwear of any kind. While monitoring players, tournament directors need a full, unobstructed view of the player from the neck up. Let TDs see clearly that you have nothing to hide.
  • Play only on a device with a large screen (10+ inches) such as a laptop, desktop, or large tablet. Use a web browser, rather than chess.com’s app, because browsers are more reliable (they have fewer bugs and glitches). Playing on a device with a small screen (<10 inches) such as a mobile phone or small tablet is prohibited.
  • Players must abide by US Chess’s Rules of Chess and Code of Ethics, as well as by chess.com’s Community Policies. Players may not use external chess assistance of any kind: no computer engine, no database, no chess program, no book, no hand-written notes, no other person, etc.
  • Parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their kids' activity during the tournament to ensure fair play.

Fair Play screening:

  • All games will be screened by both chess.com and by Dr. Kenneth W. Regan, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo.
  • Parents - Please help us educate your child that IT'S SIMPLY NOT WORTH THE RISK!
  • Award distributions and rating submission will take place AFTER all games have been screened.
  • Organizers may forfeit the game(s) of any player found to have committed a fair-play violation and expel the player from the tournament.
  • Results of the games of a player found to have committed a fair-play violation will be adjusted according to US Chess Official Rules of Chess.
  • Players found to have violated fair play are subject to the following:
    • being brought before the US Chess Ethics Committee.
    • having US Chess membership revoked.
    • being banned from competing in future tournaments (both online and over-the-board) rated by US Chess.
    • being banned from competing in future games rated by the online platform providers.


7. Information / Communication during the event

  • During the event main announcements will be made through discord: 
  • Standings, Pairings and LIVE results (aka updated as soon as the games are over) will be via a Google Sheet: 
  • Standings and Pairings will be posted on this webpage too: Standings -- Pairings
  • Did you see something that's incorrect? Please report it within 2 rounds of the error via this Google Form: 
  • The event will be covered LIVE via TWITCH: www.twitch.tv/mechanicschess: join 3-times US Champion, GM Nick de Firmian, FM Paul Whitehead and Chessroom Director Abel Talamantez

8. Awards

  • Commemorative Medals to Top 10 players in each section.
    Medals will be mailed by Mechanics' Institute upon completion of the fair play review.

9. Registration 

  • This is a FREE event, but registration is needed! Only players with confirmed registration will be able to participate in this event.
  • Registration deadline: Friday 6PM SHARP! No exceptions, no late registrations.

10. Eligibility 

11. Tournament rules

  • Standard US Chess rules apply, with special focus on the Chapter 10 Online Chess rules.
  • Forfeit time is 15 minutes: if player is not logged in by 15 minutes after round time starts, the opponent will be awarded a forfeit win.


12. Staff 

  • TBA

13. FAQ

  • What are the time controls mean?
    Time controls are telling you how much time you have for each game.
    G15+5 for example: Game in 15 minutes with 5 second increment. This means you get 15 minutes, your opponent gets 15 minutes and with each move every player gets 5 second added to the clock. So one game can last up to 30-35 minutes.
  • How many games/rounds?
    All sections of this tournament will have 5 rounds, players will play 5 games win or lose. Chess is not an elimination game.
    The are three reasons why you would not get a game in a round are: 1) you requested a half point bye (this is only available in the K-12 Championship section); 2) there are an odd number of players and you are receiving a full point bye; 3) you were not active on the ChessKid website and the platform assigned you a zero point bye (this is only a possibility in the non-rated sections played on ChessKid).
  • Do I need to join the club on chess.com to play? 
    For the non-rated sections, played on ChessKid: yes, players have to join Mechanics' Institute's Group on ChessKid.
    For the K-12 Championship sections, played on Chess.com: no, players do not need to be part of Mechanics' Club on Chess.com but it's highly recommended.
  • Players Database
    For players who are interested in play in our online tournament.
    PLEASE fill out our online Players database: 
    https://forms.gle/ZFjPmgvPGsKdzWc27 to get email notifications about last minute changes and invitational opportunities. 




virtual - chesskid.com or chess.com