For the first time in the event’s 47-year history, US Chess is cancelling the National Junior High (K-9) Championship (NJH) due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic. The City of Jacksonville, Florida is heeding the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people for social or recreational purposes. As the NJH was expected to draw up to 1,300 players plus family, friends, and coaches, US Chess had no choice in this matter, plus we fully support governmental efforts intended to protect everyone’s health and well-being.
The event will not be rescheduled. The next NJH will be part of SuperNationals VII from May 7-9, 2021 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The 2020 National Elementary (K-6) Championships, scheduled for Nashville, Tennessee (May 8-10), is still currently planned to be held.
We know that for many scholastic players our spring nationals are an important part of their lives. Executive Director Carol Meyer says, “I share the sense of loss felt by our players, families, and coaches who have been preparing for this event for months. However, we fully support the city’s decision in light of new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control regarding gatherings of 50 or more people. We look forward to seeing our players again at the National K-12 Grade Championships in December and at the 2021 SuperNationals VII next spring.”
US Chess will be providing full entry fee refunds to the almost 100 players that have already registered for the event. They will be processed automatically over the next few weeks; there is no need to contact US Chess about this. If you paid for a team room deposit, US Chess will refund the deposit.
Our goal is to have all refunds processed no later than April 8. If you are still awaiting a refund as of April 9, please email Debra Robison at [email protected]. US Chess appreciates your patience.
Hotel refund information UPDATE: We previously stated here, based on information from the hotel, that you would need to call the hotel for a refund. The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville-Riverfront now says that beginning the morning of March 18, they will automatically process refunds. There is no need for you to call. They will send a cancellation confirmation.
US Chess will continue to work hard to bring you the national scholastic championships our community loves. Though the NJH event will no longer take place, we continue to focus on advancing our mission statement: Empower people, enrich lives, and enhance communities through chess.