When you first open our Webpage you will see a reference to “Your home for tournament rated games.” So what does that mean? In general this refers to any tournament sanctioned by U.S. Chess, the national organization in the United States with over one hundred thousand members. The term “rated” means that the results of the tournament are submitted to U.S. Chess. San Gabriel Valley Chess Club (SGVCC) is an affiliate of U.S. Chess and authorized to hold such tournaments. Everyone who plays in their first such event is considered unrated. Once you have completed your first tournament you get a “rating.” It is a 3 or 4 digit number that reflects how you have performed in rated tournaments and is used to match you against players of similar strength. One of the big differences between a rated event and a non-rated one is that you use a chess clock and also must write down your moves using what is called chess notation. But wait before you say this is not the Club for me!
One of our goals at SGVCC is to help those who have never played in a rated tournament get started. This includes showing you how to join U.S. Chess, use a chess clock, and learn chess notation. We have a playing area where we can help you practice before jumping into a tournament. Joining U.S. Chess and playing in your first event places you in a very special class of chess players. It shows that you want to make the move from casual or online player to more serious chess and it is a step worth taking!
Our Calendar feature has a list of our upcoming tournaments and events. Here’s a short guide on how to better understand it. You will see that most of our tournaments are over a five or six week period and say, for example, “Six Rounds.” A round refers to a game and we play one round (or game) each Tuesday evening. Players do not have to play every week and can usually miss two rounds or weeks if their schedule requires. Also, rated games are slower than what you are likely used to and can last from one to three hours. Kids and adults play in the same tournament and many of the kids at our Club are among our strongest players. Each tournament listed also has a registration link. If you have already played in rated tournaments then registering should be familiar to you. But, if this is your first time considering joining a tournament and you have more questions please reach out to us through our Contact Us tab. Remember, all of us here at SGVCC were once just starting out too. So, drop us a line or just come by the Club to check it out!