Big Changes Coming for the 2017-18 Chess Tournament Season!

August 31st, 6:24AM

Sponsor a Local Chess Tournament

The Madison City Chess League is excited to announce the 2017-18 Chess Tournament Schedule.  We welcome sponsors for each tournament to help us pay for awards and tournament directors.  The sponsorship level for each tournament is listed below under the name of each tournament.  Contact Ranae Bartlett, MCCL Executive Director, if you are interested in sponsoring a tournament at

Here are the benefits of sponsorship:

  • Exclusive Corporate Sponsorship - become the one named corporate sponsor of a chess event listed below.
  • Choose which event you would like to sponsor.
  • Option to send a representative to address the crowd of players and parents at the opening of the tournament or during awards.
  • Will display company signage at tournament.
  • Corporate name listed in all promotional materials.
  • You are promoting chess education in our community, and our families will know it!

August 26, 2017 - Summer Knights Chess Tournament - Rainbow Elementary - Rated & Non-Rated Sections

Sponsored by CB&S Bank

New this year:  Although we are offering both a Rated section (for those with a USCF rating) and a Non-Rated section for beginning players, we will NOT issue a tournament report to the USCF.  So, this is an opportunity for everyone to relax, not worry about ratings, but play in their first chess tournament early in the school year to help prepare for the State Championship in Birmingham over Labor Day weekend.  

The same sections and time control as last year:  Rated sections - G/30/d5; Non-Rated sections - G/20

Rated Sections and Awards:  K-12 (Open); K-12 Under 1000; K-12 Under 500; Trophies for 1st-3rd, Medals for 4th-6th and Top Female

Non-Rated Sections and Awards:  K-12; K-6; K-3; Trophy for 1st, Medals based on enrollment and for Top Female

Registration Fee:  $20 for MCCL members and $25 for non-MCCL members who register by August 23rd.

2016 Summer Knights Under 500 Winners pictured with sponsor CB&S Bank President Taron Thorpe.

October 21, 2017 - MCS Fall Scholars - Madison Elementary - Rated & Non-Rated Sections

Sponsorship Amount:  $500

New this year: We added another Rated section to mirror the rated sections at  Summer Knights and we created a new Non-Rated K-2 and Non-Rated 3rd-6th sections.  We are asking any 7th-12th grade students to play in the Rated Under 500 section.  All rated section competitors must have a USCF membership.

Rated:  Championship (K-12) ; Under 1000 (K-12); and Under 500 (K-12)

    Prizes:  Trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd; Medals for 4th-6th & Top Female

    USCF membership required to compete in the Rated (Championship & Under) sections.

Non-Rated:  K-2 and 3rd-6th (Note:  If you are in 7th-12th grade and non-rated, you must play in the Rated Under 500 section and register for a USCF membership.)

    Prizes:  Medals for 1st through 5th and Top  Female

Registration Fee:  $20 for MCCL members and $25 for non-MCCL members.

2016 MCS Fall Scholars Championship Section playing in the Madison Elementary Library.

November 18, 2017 - Queen's Quest - Mill Creek Elementary - Rated Sections Only - Team + Individual Awards

Sponsorship Amount:  $1000

New this year for Elementary Sections:  We are re-imagining Queen's Quest for 2017 recognizing some trends we noticed at last year's fall tournaments.  One trend was how our K-3 sections continue to grow.  When we added an Under 500 section to the K-6 age group, it was because that had grown into the largest section and pairings became unwieldy.  Now, we are seeing the K-3 sections become the largest, so it is time to divide this section into two sections:  a K-3 Under 300 section and a K-3 Championship section.  Therefore, Queen's Quest will become a rated Elementary team and individual tournament with 4 sections:  K-3 Under 300, K-3 Championship, K-6 Under 500, and K-6 Championship.  The time control remains the same at Game 30/d5.  Because this tournament offers both team and individual awards, the registration fee will increase to $25 per person.

New this year for Middle and High School Sections:  This year we continue our focus of growing the numbers of those playing middle and high school chess.  Lower turnout in the upper grade levels can be attributed to a number of factors: (1) middle and high school kids are really busy; (2) they do not enjoy the shorter 30 minute game times of many scholastic tournaments, and related to this (3) they do not like to take a ratings hit by having to play in a team tournament with shorter time controls when they have worked for years to establish a rating and have moved to to playing in tournaments in longer time controls.  We also recognized that the State Scholastic championship for the older sections use a Game 45/d5 time control, so how does this fit in traditional local scholastic individual and team format?

MCCL has decided to conduct a four-round tournament to determine the winner of the Varsity Section of the MCCL Team Cup Championship for middle and high school players using a Game 45/d5 time control during the Queen's Quest.  Coaches and sponsors for middle and high school chess teams will choose the students who will represent their schools, and there will be no fee for competing in this event.  However, all participants must be MCCL members.  You can read more details about the Varsity MCCL Team Cup Championship in an upcoming article.  The MCCL Team Cup Championship is not rated.  Coaches will register teams by emailing the MCCL Executive director by Friday October 6th.

January 13, 2018 - Winter Knights - Columbia Elementary - 60 Minute Games

Sponsorship Amount:  $500

Where: Columbia Elementary School, 667 Balch Road, Madison, AL  35758

When: January 13th, 2018, Players Meeting: Rated Section: 8:45 am; Non-Rated Section: 9:15 a.m.

Round TimesSaturday - Rated Sections9:0012:002:30-5:00, Time Control - G/60;d5

Non-Rated Sections:  9:30 - 11:00 - 12:30 - 2:00 - 3:30, Time Control - G/30;d5

Memberships, Fees, And Deadlines

  • USCF membership is required for all rated sections, and must be obtained before registering for this tournament.  USCF membership can be obtained online at or by mail using this form.
  • Entry Fee: $20 for MCCL members in all sections.  $25 for non-members.  (All MCCL annual members must renew their memberships in January each year.)
  • Entry Deadline: Online entry by Wednesday, January 10, 2018. 

Awards and Trophies

Rated:  Individual Trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd; Individual Medals for 4th, 5th, 6th and Top Female in each section.
Non-Rated:  Individual Medals for 1st-3rd and Top Female in each section.

January 27, 2018 - Rookie Rally -  Blossomwood Elementary - Rated Sections Only - Team + Individual Awards

Sponsorship Amount: $1000

Additional Information Coming Soon.

February 24, 2018 - Bishop's Bash - Hampton Cove Elementary - Rated Sections Only - Team + Individual Awards

Sponsorship Amount: $1000

Additional Information Coming Soon.

Changes to the 2018 City Chess Championship Format

April 13-14, 2018 - James Clemens High School

Sponsored By: Systems Products & Solutions, Inc.

In 2018, Madison City will expand the levels and amounts of awards by conducting its first Grade-Level City Chess Championship!  That means we will crown a chess champion for each grade level K-12.  There is no need to qualify.  The City Chess Championship now becomes an open championship where anyone can register to compete by grade level.  Awards will be presented at 7 p.m. to the top 3 finishers in each grade level.  Each City Champion in grades K-2nd will receive a $50 prize.  Each City Champion in grades 3rd-12th will receive a $100 prize.

  • Jr High and High School grades Game 90/d5; 4 rounds; starts Friday
  • Elementary (4th-6th) grades Game 60/d5, 4 rounds; starts Saturday
  • Primary (K-3rd) grades Game 45/d5, 4 rounds; starts Saturday
  • Awards at 7 pm

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