2023 Steel City Open

Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh

Event Overview

The Pittsburgh Chess Club is bringing back the Steel City Open tournament!


This tournament will be held in Levinson Conference Hall in the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. When arriving, please enter through the garage entrance (by foot or by car).

Note: Neither this event nor the Pittsburgh Chess Club are affiliated with the JCC.


  • Saturday, January 21, 2023
    • Championship Section, Rounds 1-3: 9 am | 11 am | 2 pm
    • Reserve Section, Rounds 1-3: 9 am | 11 am | 2 pm
    • Novice Section, Rounds 1-3: 9 am | 11 am | 2 pm
  • Sunday, January 22, 2023
    • Championship Section, Rounds 4-5: 9 am | 1 pm
    • Reserve Section, Rounds 4-5: 9 am | 1 pm
    • Novice Section, Rounds 4-5: 9 am | 1 pm

*Please note, rounds 3-5 use a different time control schedule – the last three rounds are slower than the first two.

Tournament Format

Format: 5-round Swiss System, in three sections
Time Control:

  • Rounds 1-2: Game/45 delay 5 (Each player starts with 45 minutes on their clock with 5 second delay before subtracting time)
  • Rounds 3-5: Game/90 delay 5 (Each player starts with 90 minutes on their clock with 5 second delay before subtracting time)

Sections: There are three sections

  • Championship: open to all players
  • Reserve: open to rated players under 1800
  • Novice: open to players rated under 1000 or unrated

Pairings: Pairings will be generated using the Swiss System using ratings issued by US Chess (see Ratings below).

Ratings: All players must be current USCF members to play in this tournament series. Players can purchase or renew USCF memberships in conjunction with entering the tournament. To see membership options, details and dues or to purchase or renew memberships directly online, click here: https://new.uschess.org/become-member. Membership dues are non-refundable even if the tournament is cancelled or the player withdraws. All games will be USCF-rated. Official USCF ratings from the latest supplement will apply as listed below in order of priority:

  • USCF Regular
  • USCF Quick
  • USCF Online-Regular
  • USCF Online-Quick

The Pittsburgh Chess Club reserves the right to assign any player to a higher-rated section based on the player’s rating history. Any player who does not have any of the USCF ratings listed above will be entered as an unrated player.


  • $5000 prize fund based on 100 paid entries (re-entries, GMs/IMs & Novice section count 70%), else proportional, except min. 50% each prize guaranteed:

    • Championship: 1st place – $1,000 & Plaque, 2nd place – $750, 3rd – $500, U2000 – $250
    • Reserve: 1st – $750, 2nd – $500, U1600 – $250, U1400 – $250, U1200 – $250
    • Novice: 1st – $350, 2nd – $150
    • A special playoff (ie. Armageddon) will be implemented to break perfect-score ties.
    • No winner shall receive more than one cash award (Rule 32B1).
    • Unrated Players are ineligible to receive Under-rated prizes.
    • Unrated Players may not win over $100 in Reserve or Novice,
    • Prizes will paid on-site by check. If a prize is not collected, it will be transferred to winner’s designated PayPal account email address.
    • Per IRS rules anyone with a cumulative $600+ prizes in any calendar year will need to fill out a W9 and The Pittsburgh Chess Club will be providing a 1099 form.


  • Players must be current US Chess Federation members.
  • Players do not need to be Pittsburgh Chess Club members


  • Byes are available for players in any round in case they can’t participate but would like to stay in the tournament.
  • A request for up to two half-point byes will be accepted under the following conditions:
    • All byes are irrevocable
    • A player may cancel an irrevocable half-point bye under the condition that if the player wins, the result will be treated as a draw for prize purposes.
    • Byes for rounds 4 and 5 must be requested before 2PM Saturday (ie. the start of round 3). Bye requests after this deadline will be considered 0 point byes.
  • Please see Commitment to play all rounds, below.

Tournament rules

Fair Play

  • Use of computer chess engines, databases, chess books, magazines, written notes and any other form of external assistance while playing is strictly prohibited. Assistance from other players is also prohibited and will result in disqualification.
  • The electronic score keeping devices, ChessNoteR and eNotate, cannot be used at this tournament


Please email Click here to show mail address if you have any questions. Or call (412) 421-1881.


Register using the online entry form at:  https://pittsburghchessclub.org/memberships/signup/8a9f04

  • Entry Fee: $80 if online or check mailed by 1/10. $90 (no check, credit card OK) at site, or online to 1 hour before round 1. Novice Entry Fee: $30 less than top 2 sections.
  • There is no entry fee for GMs, IMs, WGMs and WIMs, but an entry fee will be deducted from prize.
  • On-site registration will be available before round 1, 8AM – 8:45AM Saturday.
  • Late registrants who register after 8:45 AM Saturday may have to take a half point bye in round 1.
  • Administrative Fee: $30 for all cancellations or refunds issued after the first round.
  • Commitment to play paired rounds: All players who have not withdrawn prior to the start of each round pairing will be paired and expected to play in that round -regardless of their results. A player will be forfeited if he or she does not arrive at his or her assigned board to play a scheduled game before the expiration of the default time, which is the lesser of the time control or 60 minutes. Once a forfeit occurs, the player is automatically withdrawn from the event and they will be charged a forfeit penalty fee.
  • Forfeit penalty fee: $30
  • Players must agree to our COVID-19 Safety Acknowledgement and Release


This tournament is designed to be compliant with current covid-related requirements. Based on guidance from the PA Department of Health and the CDC, we have listed the requirements most pertinent to this tournament:

  • If any player shows symptoms of sickness or fever, their tournament entry will cancelled and fully refunded
  • We will be providing hand sanitizer and latex gloves to anyone who wants them

Advance Entry List

A list of advance entries may be viewed on the tournament information page here:  https://pittsburghchessclub.org/event/steel-city-open/2023-01-21/


5738 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
United States

Sections: 3
Grand Prix Points:
Prize Fund: $5000
FIDE Rated: No
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Residency Restriction: No
Online Event: No

Organizer Overview

Pittsburgh Chess Club
Email: director@pittsburghchess.club
Phone: (412) 421-1881