National Chess Festival in Houston

Later this month, the Hilton Hobby Airport Hotel in Houston will be the site of a Chess Festival that includes two National events: The U.S. Junior Open (July 22-24), open to all players under the age of 21 as of 1/1/2011, and the U.S. Senior Open (July 18-23), open to players age 50 and over as of 7/18/2011. For those who are not eligible for these two events, we will also have the Not-A-Senior-Not-A-Junior Open (July 22-24)! In addition to these three main events, there will be Blitz and Bughouse side events as well as a tournament for the Parents and Friends of the U.S. Junior participants.

The U.S. Junior Open has four sections: U21, U15, U11, and U8 (age as of 1/1/2011). The U21 will have cash prizes and plaques, and the winner gets an automatic spot in the 2012 U.S. Junior Championship, if still eligible by age. The other three sections have trophy prizes. All sections have Class prizes (age and rating) and all participants receive commemorative medals. In addition to the individual awards, the event will have team prizes and players are eligible to enter school or club teams! Top four scores, minimum of three, count towards team scores in each section. Winners of all four divisions, including ties, are considered National Champions. On line registration is available at

The U.S. Senior Open has 6-Day and 3-Day Schedules. It has a guaranteed prize fund of $5,000 with the overall winner taking home $1,250! The top three finishers get Commemorative Clocks and six class (age) winners will receive plaques. The event is open to all players age 50 or over, and the top finisher born on or before January 1, 1951 is the official USCF entrant in the World Senior Chess Championship. That player also receives a $500 USCF stipend towards that event. On line registration for this event is available at

The Not-A-Senior-Not-A-Junior Open offers a Prize Fund of 70% of entries collected. This event has four USCF rated sections: Open (also FIDE rated), U2000, U1600/Unrated, and U1200. More details and on-line registration is available at

The names of all National Champions in the Junior Open and the Senior Open will be included in the USCF 2011 Yearbook. Grandmasters receive free entry for any of these events, if eligible. On-site registration will be available but to take advantage of the early rates, you must register as soon as possible, so REGISTER TODAY!