Chess Tournaments

Chess Glossary - Chess Tournaments GraphicChess Tournaments play a significant part of the modern game, as more and more people, all across the world, get the 'chess bug' and want to compete to find out "who's the best".

Like any, competitive, organized sport, Chess has its own hierarchy of localized tournaments held by Chess Federations of different countries, plus highly prestigeous, global tournaments, such as those held by World Chess governing body, FIDE.

In addition to Tournaments run by FIDE-member Chess Federations, there are also privately-organized, invitation-only events, which are often sponsored by businesses, or wealthy individuals.

International Chess Federation Tournaments

There are reported to be 605 million people, throughout the world, who know how to play Chess ... Of those, about 7.5 million players are registered members of about 160 different, national chess federations.

Using the US and English Federations, as examples, here are typical tournaments you're likely to find in other countries ...

English Chess Federation

English Chess Federation Banner

Formerly known as the British Chess Federation, the English Chess Federation continues to support Chess Tournaments from School level, all the way up to the British Championships.

A list of ECF events, held every year, include:

  • British Championships
    This tournament is only open to those with British citizenship, or who have been living Britain for one year, prior to tournament entry.

    Fees to enter this tournament are around the £200 mark and individual prizes are between £100 and £5,000.

  • British Rapidplay
    Rapidplay games may be fixed times, between 15 to 60 minutes. These ECF tournaments are usually graded events, ranging from the Under 11 Trials, up to the Major and Open events.

  • County Championships
    Competing counties include: Lancashire, Surrey, Middlesex, Norfolk, Shropshire, Essex, Yorkshire, Hertfordshire, and Nottinghamshire.

  • Grand Prix
    A tournament which takes place between 1st June and ends on 31st May, the following year.

    It is restricted to direct members of the ECF

  • Correspondence Championships
    Contensted annually and played via the postal service, or email. Competitors abide by FIDE's laws of Chess and Algebraic Notation is used to record moves. Once a player posts their move, it is considered binding.

  • National Club Championships
    Open to all the various clubs in Britain and usually held at weekends, every 6-8 weeks. It is up to the various clubs to arrange the dates, within that timescale.

  • ECF National Schools Championship
    Held every school term, the 2009-10 season saw an increase in participation, to 165 competing schools, split up into 15 Zones throughout the UK.

United States Chess Federation

US Chess Federation Banner

Bobby Fischer was the first person from the States to become World Chess Champion and, as a result, is probably one of the most widely known of American Chess players.

The following Tournaments are where the next generation of US Chess talent will emerge from:

For practical reasons and lack of language translation, it's an extremely limited selection; however, some resourceful person has listed Global Chess Federations, including their National Chess Tournaments, on this Wikipedia page.

FIDE Chess Tournaments


FIDE Banner

FIDE's Tournaments are the Chess equivalent of what FIFA organize for football ... They're prestigeous events attracting competition from the top players throughout the World.

A couple of FIDE's major Tournaments include:

Privately-organized Chess Tournaments

As mentioned at the begining of this page, there are Chess Tournaments organized by independent companies and individuals.

These are ultra-prestigeous events, with high prize funds, though usually they're "Invitation-only", where only the best are given a seat.

Two such Tournaments are:

<<< Back to the Chess Glossary
Chess Search 2.0 for more details and full list for more details and full list, Basic Chess Rules, Thumbnail, Beginner's Chess Guide, Thumbnail, Chess Openings Guide, Thumbnail, Chess Strategies Guide, Thumbnail, Chess Tactic Guide, Thumbnail, Chess Endgame Guide, Thumbnail