Scholastic Side event of 2021 US Amateur Team West ONLINE - National Championship | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Scholastic Side event of 2021 US Amateur Team West ONLINE - National Championship

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Scholastic Side Event of the USATW Online

USCF Online Regular Rated event via
Open for all K-12 players, regardless of residence!

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

Registration -- Eligibility -- Tournament rules -- Staff -- FAQ


Useful Links: Register -- Standings -- Pairings -- Google Sheet with live results -- Change Report Form


What's NEW? Special Announcements - Check back often!


1. Platform

2. Dates

  • Saturday, February 6.

3. Teams:

  • Teams: MUST have four players. -- NO alternates allowed this year.
  • Team average rating is to be calculated based on the players January 2021 supplemental USCF Regular OTB or ONL rating, whichever is the highest. Top 4 players’ rating counts towards the rating average.
  • If no USCF rating (unrted) conversion from other rating system and TD discretion will be used to place players accurately. ​
  • The average rating of four highest must be under 1400.

4. Tournament format:

  • Tournament format: fixed roster Team event
  • Total Round: 5 rounds  
  • Round times: 9:30am, 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3:30pm
  • Time control: G/20+10  (Game in 20 minutes with 10 second increement with each move.)
  • Games will be US Chess online regular rated - tournament will be submitted 7-14 days after the tourament to allow all games to be screened for fair play.
  • Sections: one Open section
  • Pairings are based on the average rating of the teams.

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!
  • Players must be logged in to AND stay on FASTCHESS: at the start of the round and wait for their game to pop up!
  • Players must NOT engage in any play (game, challenge, other touranment).
  • Games are MANUALLY STARTED by the Chief TD and will automatically pop up for every player. 

5. Byes

  • Individual byes are NOT allowed.
  • Team byes are available: Round 1-3 byes must be requested 1 hour before the tournament. Round 4-5 byes must be requested before Round 1.

6. Fair Play

Monitoring requirements:

  • ALL players, in both sections must be logged into a tournament-specific Zoom meeting with at least one webcam.
  • Zoom links 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’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’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 and by Dr. Kenneth W. Regan, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo.
  • Players found or believed to be violating fair play are not eligible for an award, their team will be immmediately disqualified from the tournament and their account will be removed from Mechanics' group.
  • Players who are confirmed to be using outside assistance will be reported to US Chess and restricted from future Mechanics' online and over-the-board events.
  • 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.


7. Information / Communication during the event

  • During the event main announcements will be made through discord: link coming soon.
  • Standings, Pairings and LIVE results (aka updated as soon as the games are over) will be via a Google Sheet: Click HERE.
  • 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: link coming soon.
  • The event will be covered LIVE via TWITCH: join 3-times US Champion, GM Nick de Firmian, FM Paul Whitehead and Chessroom Director Abel Talamantez

8. Awards

  • Commemorative Trophy and medals will be given to the Top 3 teams, Top under900 and Top under600.
  • Commemoriative medals to Top Scorer on Board 1, Board 2, Board 3 and Board 4.
  • Commemorative special medals to each team members in the following special categories:
    • Top “High School” Team
    • Top “Elementary School” Team
    • Top “Club” Team
    • Top 3 Best Team Name
  • Awards will be officially announced only after fair play review has been completed.

9. Registration - closes 2/5 at 6PM Pacific Time SHARP!

  • Team registration fee: $120 by 1/30 11:59PM Pacific Time
  • Individual registration fee: $30 by 1/30 11:59PM Pacific time
  • Late fee after 1/30 11:59PM: $40/team or $10/player
  • $10 admin fee for all cancellations & refunds.
  • A change fee equal to the late fee will apply to any changes other than bye requests within 3 days of the tournament.

10. Eligibility (individual) - for Team eligibility, please scroll up!

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 

  • Chief TD: Senior TD, FA dr. Judit Sztaray
  • Assistant Chief TD/Organizer: Senior TD, FA Abel Talamantez
  • Zoom TDs - Reka Sztaray, Aaron Thompson, and others

13. FAQ

  • What are the time controls mean?
    Time controls are telling you how much time you have for each game.
    G20+10 for example: Game in 20 minutes with 10 second increment. This means you get 20 minutes, your opponent gets 20 minutes and with each move every player gets 10 second added to the clock. So one game can last up to 40-60 minutes.
  • How many games/rounds?
    The 5SS before the time control means how many rounds, i.e. how many games can a player play in the tournament. The tournaments are never elimination, so win or lose you can stay in the tournament.
  • Do I need to join the club on to play? 
    No, but it's highly recommended - we provide regular updates and news on that channel, as well as occasional free tournament.
  • Players Database
    For players who are interested in play in our online tournament.
    PLEASE fill out our online Players database:  to get email notifications about last minute changes and invitational opportunities.