How to apply for a chess competition?

how to apply for chess tournaments

Lately, a few of my friends have been asking me on how to apply for chess competitions. Post-pandemic, they started playing chess. They watched Samay, Vidit, Chessbase India, Hikaru and finally The Queen’s Gambit. Now they want to start playing in chess tournaments.

Maybe you’re a parent who’s new to participating in chess events. Or maybe you’re a passionate chess player looking to play his first chess tournament, domestic or abroad. Then this mini-guide is for you. 

If you’re a professional looking to play his first tournament abroad, there’s something for you as well. So stick around.

In this guide, you’ll find out how you can find and apply for participation in the chess competitions.

Before applying for a chess tournament, you’ve to first find out where the tournaments are being conducted? 

If you join certain Whatsapp groups, know some chess organizers or players, it’ll help you find out the chess tournaments.

If not, here are a few websites which’ll help you find chess tournaments.

Chess Websites to Find Chess Competitions

Find FIDE-rated chess events on these chess websites

These are the 4 websites on which you’ll find any chess event in the world. In my 13 years of chess experience, I and my colleagues have relied on these websites to find and play chess in serious tournaments.

Your country’s federation will have it’s own separate calendar. Just like AICF is for Indian chess and USCF is for the US.  Make sure to check out your local federation’s calendar as well.

Where to find online chess events?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any websites which’ll give you a stream of online chess events. You’ll find such events in Whatsapp groups, lichess teams or chess.com groups. 

Big companies like chess.com or lichess have their own calendar of online events. They don’t display the countless other online chess events which keep happening on a daily basis.

Your best bet will be to join specific chess groups on chess playing sites (mostly lichess and chess.com). 

Select the tournament you want to participate in…

The next step is pretty much straight forward. Select a tournament, you wish to participate in. You’ll find a brochure or you can contact the organizer to share all the details of the chess tournament.

Done?

Now we come to the fun part about applying participation. 

Applying for participation at chess competitions

There are two ways you can contact the event organizer.

  1. Contact via Messaging
  2. Contact via email

1. Contact via Messaging

Generally, a chess organizer will accept your entries via whatsapp. If you’re participating in local events or online chess competition, the organizer will be happy to accept your entires via whatsapp. 

Make sure to pay the fees before participating. This way, the organizer will confirm your participation quickly and allow you to play. 

Introduce yourself, give him your details. Within a few minutes or hours, you can expect the organizer to reply back. Keep everything short.

Here’s an outline you can follow –


“Hello Sir/Madam,

My name is xyz and I want to participate in your tournament abc starting from this dd-mm-yyyy to dd-mm-yyyy. My details are –

Name

FIDE Elo or Unrated :

FIDE ID : (Don’t include it if you don’t have one)

Chess.com/lichessid :

Screenshot of payment

Please confirm my participation.”


That’s it. Very simple. It should take you no more than 5 minutes. 

After Confirmation

For online events, the organizer will share the password and tournament link with you. 

For local events, they’ll just send a confirmation message. Report to the venue, check your name in the starting list and you’re good to go.

2.Contact via email

For larger events like FIDE rated tournaments or norm events, you’ll have to mail the organizer to accept your entry. The email ID will be given in the tournament details. Find that and write your mail.

Now for big tournaments, there are two ways you can pay the entry fee. 

  • Some tournaments need an online payment before you can participate.
  • Other tournaments accept payment at the tournament venue.

If you’re playing in a foreign country, the organizer will generally allow you to pay cash directly at the venue. Just mention it in your email. But please check with the organizer whether they allow it or not. I know some foreign tournaments where paying at the venue isn’t allowed.

You can keep the format of the email simple and short. Here’s an outline for you –


“Hello Sir/Madam,

I wish to participate in the abc tournament at xyz city from dd-mm-yyyy to dd-mm-yyyy. My details are –

Name :

Elo :

FIDE ID : 

The payment proof is attached below. (Don’t forget to attach the payment proof)

OR

Since I’ll be traveling to xyz from my city, can I pay the entry fee directly at the venue?

Please confirm my participation.”


For big chess competitions, the organizing team usually takes a day or two to respond back. So don’t panic if you don’t get an early message. If they don’t reply back to you within 2-3 days, call the organizer.

Again, if you pay before the event, the organizer will happily accept your entry.

After confirmation

The organizer will leave a reply confirming your entry. Sometimes they don’t reply when there are a lot of participants participating in the event. 

So in a big FIDE rated event, how can you be sure that your entry is confirmed?

The answer lies in chess-results.com. 

Using chess-results for confirming your participation

Almost every FIDE rating event is covered on this platform. I’m yet to hear a FIDE tournament, whose results weren’t updated on this website. Infact, you’ll also find a lot of non-FIDE rated events on the website. 

Chess-results is exactly as the name suggests. It shows results of each and every player playing in the tournament – right from the World Champion to an unrated playing his first FIDE rated game.

Here’s how you can use chess-results to confirm your participation – 

  • Open the chess-results website.
  • Find out the country(Federation to be precise) where the tournament is being held. You’ll see all the tournaments being held by that country/federation.
Confirming participation using chess results.
  • Find the tournament in which you’re participating.
  • Check the tournament’s updated starting list and search for your name.

Most organizers will update the name of the participants playing in the tournament on a daily basis. If your name is in the list, congratulations, your entry is officially accepted.

If your name isn’t in the rating list, wait for a day or two before messaging the organizer.

Conclusion 

I hope this provides a detailed guide – for finding chess competitions and for applying in them. Return to this post, if you need any help in the future. You can also drop your questions in the comments, which I’ll be happy to answer.

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