I am new to chess. How can I learn to play?

If you are completely new to chess and don't know how to play, you can learn the basics here. If you already know how to play but aren't sure you know what you're doing or just want to improve, we highly recommend our popular Adult Class on Tuesday nights. See our full schedule for details here.

Check out our Beginners page for more information.

I signed up for an at-club event, but this is my first over-the-board (OTB) tournament. What do I need to know?

Congratulations on registering for your first event! The club is fully equipped with chess sets, chess clocks, scoresheets and pencils so you don't have to bring anything. Just be on time, or make sure to contact the club if you can't make it. No-shows will trigger a penalty fee. But more importantly, your opponent will have to sit and wait for an opponent that never shows up, and this can be very annoying. Please be considerate of your opponents!

Other things to keep in mind is that in OTB, rated events, there are basically three requirements that does not apply when you are playing your friend in your living room:

  1. Games are timed. Each player has a given amount of time to complete their game. Chess clocks are provided by the club.
  2. Players must notate their games. Scoresheets and pencils are provided.
  3. There are many rules for USCF rated events, but the main one for beginners to remember is the touch move rule. If you touch a piece, you must move that piece as long as it's legal to do so. If you move a piece and let go, the move can't be taken back, as long as it was a legal move.
If you have any questions or doubts about the rules, always stop the clock and ask the tournament director. Don't ask your opponent or players playing at the next table. Only the tournament director's ruling counts, so keep this in mind.

And most importantly, just have fun!

Check out our Beginners page for more information.

Are guests permitted at the club?

Yes! Out of town guests are welcome to drop in for a visit. Check the footer at the bottom of this page for hours.

Where is the club located?

We are located on the first two floors of a townhouse at 23 W 10th st. The building is easy to find. Please see this link to Google maps.

Is there street parking?

There is usually parking available on neighboring streets (9th, 10th &11th streets) on weekend mornings and on weekdays after 6pm. It is harder to find parking in the afternoons. The cheapest pay-for-parking garage is located on 8th street, between Broadway and Mercer.

Where is the club office?

The office is located in the front of the building on the second floor. When you enter it's right above you, simply walk up the stairs!

What kind of events does the club have?

We are the most active tournament club in the country, and host some kind of rated event almost every day of the year! We also have classes, lectures, simuls, and more! Please visit our calendar for our complete schedule!

How do I read a tournament listing?

If you are new to tournament chess and having trouble with the jargon on our calendar, don't fret! Below is an annotated version of one of our tournament listings for your convenience:

Marshall Action! 4-SS, G/25 d5. ($375 b/25): $150-100; U2200: $75; U1900: $50. EF: $25; Non-MCC Mbr: Additional $25 Mbr fee. ($5 late fee: in-person reg hour before Rd 1.) GMs Free. Rds: 7-8:15-9:30-10:45pm. Max one bye, for Rd 1 or 4 only; request at entry. Register Online:

4-SS This is the number of games (4) and the style of the tournament. Almost all of our events are "SS," which stands for Swiss-System. In a SS tournament you are scheduled to play all the games; if you win you play other players who won, if you lose you player other players who lost, etc.

G/25 d5. The time control for the event. G/25 means "game in 25 minutes." Each player will get 25 minutes on their clock to make all of their moves. "d5" means "delay 5 seconds." Before each move you will get 5 free seconds - a delay - before your clock continues counting down. Another common time control at the club is "G/90 + 30." In this control, you get an increment of 30 seconds (+30); it is added to your clock each move.

($375 b/25): Now we get into prizes! The tournament will pay out $375 in prizes based on (b/) 25 paid entries. If there are more paid entries, the prizes will go up. If there are less, the prizes will go down! Some tournaments are listed as "GTD." This stands for guaranteed. In a GTD tournament the prizes are fixed regardless of paid entries.

$150-100 1st prize and second prize.

U2200: $75; U1900: $50. These are class prizes. The player's scoring the best with ratings under 2200 and under 1900 will win $75 and $50 respectively, assuming there are 25 paid entries.

EF: $25; Non-MCC Mbr: Additional $25 Mbr fee. ($5 late fee: in-person reg hour before Rd 1.) EF stands for "Entry Fee." This tournament costs $25 to register. Players who are not members of the club must pay an additional $25. There is also a $5 dollar charge for last minute registration on-site.

GMs Free. Forgot to mention, Grandmasters play for free!

Rds: 7-8:15-9:30-10:45pm. The schedule for each of the 4 rounds. We try to be very punctual!

Max one bye, for Rd 1 or 4 only; request at entry. If you need to miss a game, or only want to play 3 games, you can take a bye. Taking a bye means you will not be paired for the round in question and will receive 1/2 point (equal to a draw.) Just remember: you must request byes at entry, otherwise you cannot get 1/2 for a bye. If you want to withdrawal from the event midway through, please be sure to visit the club office and sign out with the Tournament Director.

Register Online: Head over to our registration page to enroll! Your entry is not confirmed until your payment is received!