2021 US Junior Congress Online - National Championship | Mechanics' Institute

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2021 US Junior Congress Online - National Championship

Saturday, April 10, 2021 to Sunday, April 11, 2021

2021 US Junior Congress Online
a US Chess National Event

Co-organized by Chess Weekend 
& Mechanics' Institute

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

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

Any questions? Send email to [email protected]


1. Platform

  • The tournament is played on Chess.com.
  • Free account is sufficient to play in the tournament. No Chess.com account yet? Open one now!
  • See Eligibility for more details on chess.com accounts.

2. Dates

  • Saturday, April 10 and/or Sunday, April 11
    1 or 2-day tournament based on sections.

3. Tournament format:

  • Sections: Players may choose sections based on their age as of September 1, 2020.
  • Swiss individual tournament: Pairings based on the ratings of the players in each section. 
  • US Chess 2021 April supplemental OTB or ONL regular rating will be used, whichever is the higher one.
    Section Tournament Date Format Round Times (ET)
    # of Rounds Time Control
    Age 6 & under Saturday, April 10 5 G/15+5 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm
    Age 8 & under Saturday, April 10 5 G/15+5 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm
    Age 10 & under     Saturday, April 10 5 G/25+5 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm
    Age 12 & under Sunday, April 11 5 G/25+5 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm
    Age 14 & under Sunday, April 11 5 G/25+5 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm
    Age 16 & 18 & under Saturday – Sunday, April 10-11 6 G/60+5 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm each day

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 Chess.com AND go to Chess.com/LIVE and stay there!
  • Players must NOT engage in any play (game, challenge, other touranment).
  • Games are MANUALLY STARTED by the TD and will automatically pop up for every player. 

3.B. Practice Tournament - Friday, April 9th at 6PM ET

  • The goal for the practice tournament is to make sure all kids know where to be, what do to and know what to expect from the tournament staff.
  • Format: 3SS G/10+2 - manually paired and games manually started.
  • Players are expected to log into a zoom meeting so that the tournament staff can explain and direct them what to do.
  • Start time: 4PM - expected end time: 6PM.

4. Teams:

  • Club Teams or School Teams may compete for team prizes within each section as described in the US Chess National Scholastic Chess Tournament Regulations, section 14.2
  • Teams must have a minimum of three members
  • The top three scores within any one section count toward the team score

5. Byes

  • Players 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 all sections must be logged into a tournament-specific Zoom meeting with at least one webcam.
  • Champtionship section - must be logged in with 2 cameras.
  • 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 plaques or medals will be shipped to the winners. Individual awards will be shipped to players at the address given during registration. Team awards will be shipped to the coach for distribution to the players.

    Sections Individual Prizes Team Prizes
    Age 6 & under Top 10 and Top 3 u600 Top 5 Teams
    Age 8 & under Top 10 and Top 3 u800 Top 5 Teams
    Age 10 & under Top 10 and Top 3 u1000 Top 5 Teams
    Age 12 & under Top 10 and Top 3 u1200 Top 5 Teams
    Age 14 & under Top 10 and Top 3 u1200 Top 5 Teams
    Age 16/18 & under Top 10 and Top 3 u1200 Top 3 Teams

    Organizers reserve the right to adjust the number and quality of awards up or down based on registration numbers. 

9. Registration 

  • https://www.kingregistration.com/event/USJCC2021
  • One-Day Sections: Age 6 & Under, 8 & Under, 10 & Under, 12 & Under, 14 & Under: $40 by March 15, $50 by March 30, $60 by April 9 at 7pm ET when registration closes
  • Two-Day Section: 16&18 & Under:  $50 by March 15, $60 by March 30, $70 by April 9 at 7 pm ET when registration closes

10. Eligibility 

11. Tournament rules

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


12. Staff 


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 chess.com 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. 


14. Side Events - More chess! More practice! More fun! 

  • Detailed information will be coming soon:
    • April 9,Friday evening --  Blitz warm-up on chess.com
      Register by 6PM ET / 3PM ET on 4/9, Friday: https://www.kingregistration.com/event/JCCBlitz

      Format: 8SS G/5+2
      Sections: Open & under1200 (chesscom rating)
      Round 1 @ 8PM ET / 5PM PT and then automatically run by chess.com
      US Chess online blitz rated
      Registration Fee: $20
      Prizes: commemorative medals to Top 5 players in each section

    • April 11, Sunday -- Swiss side event on ChessKid.com for families who prefer for their children to play on chesskid.com or for players who want a lighter competition.
      Register by 9PM ET / 6PM PT on 4/10: 
      Format: 5SS G/15+5
      Sections: One open
      Round 1 @ 1PM ET / 10AM PT and then automatically run by ChessKid.com
      US Chess online rapid rated
      Registration Fee: $20
      Prizes: commemorative medals to Top 10 players and Top 3 players with under1000 ChessKid rating (pre-tournament)

virtual: chess.com