Tournament FAQs

What happens if two individuals have the same score?

Chess tournaments use tiebreakers to form the final standings and award trophies. Tiebreakers are somewhat complicated, but basically they reward the players who have played more difficult opposition. This most often comes up when several players are tied with a score of 3/4, and some receive trophies while others do not. Tiebreakers may seem arbitrary at times, but they do rank the players as fairly as possible given that there are only four rounds in most scholastic tournaments.

What is a "bye?"

Sometimes children have other activities that prevent them from playing in one or more of the rounds. Chess tournaments use byes to get around this problem. A bye is a scheduled absence from a round. If a child registers for a tournament with a bye, the child will not be paired for that round. The child receives half a point for the skipped game, and will be paired as usual for the other rounds. Children can take a maximum of two half-point byes in a four or five round tournament. Additional byes will be zero-point byes. Byes may only be scheduled before a tournament begins.

I can't make it to the tournament. Can I get a refund?

If a player withdraws from a tournament by noon the Friday before the event, we will give a refund minus a $5 processing fee.  Alternatively, the registration can be transferred to a future tournament. The best way to withdraw is to use the "contact" button on the Silver Knights website to let us know.  Once it is past 12:00pm the Friday before the event, we do not give any refunds for tournaments.

We have to leave a tournament before the last round. What do we do?

Please let a tournament director know that your child is withdrawing. If you leave without telling anyone, your child will still be paired with another player, which will prevent that player from participating in the round.

What is the USCF and why do I have to be a member in order to play in most tournaments?

The U.S. Chess Federation is the national sanctioning body for chess. It provides all of its members with a rating which corresponds to how skilled the player is. This allows, for example, a ten-year-old player in Philadelphia to be accurately compared to an adult player in Los Angeles. Most of our tournaments are USCF-rated so all players must be USCF members. In addition to the rating, Premium USCF scholastic members receive its scholastic magazine, Chess Life for Kids.

All of our tournaments are USCF rated, so all players need to be members of the U.S. Chess Federation.

How can I join the USCF?

You can purchase a 1-year membership to the USCF when registering for a tournament on the Silver Knights website.

What if my child's opponent doesn't show up?

Occasionally, a child who is pre-registered for a tournament will be a no-show for the first round. The USCF rule in case of a player being late to a round says that you must wait until the player's time runs out before claiming a forfeit win. Since the time controls for most Silver Knights tournaments are G/30, this means that a player can be up to 30 minutes late for a round and still get to play. (Of course, if a clock is being used, the late player may have to play the entire game using very little time.)