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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.