Frequently asked questions

Is the WCC open to all ages?

Yes - there are members as young as 5 years old and as old at 80+. You don’t have to be an experienced player to join. We have a scholastic section for players under 13 years old. Scholastic players can play in the regular sections when their rating reaches 1000.

When does the WCC meet?

The club meets on Thursday nights from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Tournament games start at 8 pm sharp.

Where does the club meet?

We meet upstairs at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 25 Crane Rd, Scarsdale, NY 10583. There is ample parking.


What are the tournament formats?

We hold quads and swisses which take place over several weeks. The vast majority of the time, we play one game per night. We occasionally have unrated handicap blitz tournaments or one-night tournaments. The schedule is announced on the website and on the club member emails. In order to play in the rated tournaments, you will also have to join the USCF.

How do I join the WCC?

You join by paying dues ($60 for adults, $30 for students). You can also pay per tournament at $15 per tournament. Entry fee for tournaments is waived for members. You can pay cash, check or by Venmo (to @Sven-Nielsen-WCC). Once you are a member, you are added to the distribution list which provides tournament details, registration for upcoming tournaments and other club news.

Do I have to join the USCF to play in the tournaments?

Yes. And USCF tournament rules apply to all our tournaments (touch move, taking notation, etiquette, turning off phones, etc). Members should be familiar with tournament rules as defined in the Official Rules of Chess vol 7. Here is a pdf file of chapters  1, 2, 10, 11 of the rules.

How do I join the USCF?

Go to uschess.org and click on “Join” and follow the instructions.

How do I enter tournaments?

You have to email the TD (a.l.kuras@gmail.com) or sign up online through a link provided in the club emails at least two days in advance of the tournament. Registration is not automatic. The TD posts the registration list during the sign-up period.

What if a tournament is already in progress - can I jump in? Are there casual games?

Once a tournament has started, you have to wait until the next tournament to enter. However, if you catch within the first week of a Swiss tournament, you can sometimes enter with a half-point bye by contacting the Tournament director. Otherwise, feel free to come by the club and see if other members are looking for friendly games. No guarantees.

Do I need my own equipment?

Yes - you need a chess set and a clock, and you should have your own score sheet for taking down notation. We do not supply these. You must know how to set your clock.

Does the WCC offer chess instruction?

No, but we can put you in touch with local instructors. Most players are willing and open to going over games, but it is not a mandatory part of the club.

Can I come down and just watch?

Yes - check us out. You can also play friendly games if people are around.

Can I eat at the club?

No food is allowed. You can bring and drink water only.

Is there prize money for each tournament or is it bragging rights only?

There is only one prize money tournament - the annual Club Championship, a six round Swiss open to all members. The fee for the championship is $20, and all money goes to prizes (1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each of the Open, U1700 and U1400 sections). All other tournaments you get to brag. We also give out handsome certificates, suitable for framing, for most tournaments.


Do you publish a list of players during the week prior to the tournament(s)?

The TD publishes the registration list about a week before each tournament and as members enter the tournament. We use the most recent ratings supplement for players' ratings each tournament, not their most recent tournament changes you might see on your USCF page.


Do the tournaments run right up to 10:30pm, or do they end earlier?

We have to be out of the church by 10.30, so time controls are designed to have all games finished by at least 10.20.


What is the time control for the quads and swiss?

The most common time controls are G/65;d5. The tournaments run over 3-5 weeks, one game per night. For the one-night quick tournaments, the usual time control is G/15;d5 in order to get in three rounds in one night.


What if I can’t play every round?

You can request an advance half-point bye for any nights you can't play. Bye requests must reach the TD 24 hours in advance or before pairings are posted, otherwise the game will be forfeit.


What happens if there are not enough players in a section?

Generally I can fill two or three sections (we have about 25-40 players per tournament). The TD adjusts sections as needed to get a clear winner, if possible. It’s not always possible.


If I need to drop out of a tournament, what is the last day to give notice, and do I get my fees refunded? 

This would apply only to those paying per tournament. If you give 48 hours notice, or before the pairings go out, you will get your money back, or you could use it for a future tournament. Membership includes all tournaments, and it doesn’t matter how many or few tournaments you play.

Is the church handicap accessible?

Yes - you will need to climb the  7-8 outside stairs to get into the building, but there is a chair escalator inside the building. Check with the TD about using it.