Irwin Information & Rules

6th Annual John T. Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions

Revised June 20, 2022 (Note: The below information is for the 2022 event. Watch this space for 2023 information.)

GENERAL INFORMATION

The John T. Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions is an annual invitational event run by US Chess that has determined the Irwin National Champion since 2018. The 2021 champion was International Master Igor Khmelnitsky (2488, PA). $11,599 in prizes will be awarded, including $2,500 to the champion. The champion will qualify for the US Senior Championship. Any tournament-qualification prize will be determined by tiebreak—not by a playoff.

The next Irwin will be held Saturday, July 30 - Tuesday, August 2, 2022 in Rancho Mirage, CA at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa during the 122nd Annual U.S. Open Chess Championship. To reserve a hotel room at US Chess’s reduced rate, click next to Reservations. If calling, mention U.S. Open Chess. Players who complete all 6 rounds of the Irwin may register onsite at Chess Control for the U.S. Open’s 4-day schedule, 6-day schedule, or 9-day schedule (with byes) for 50% of the early registration fee.

QUALIFICATION

Each state affiliate may nominate 1 player to represent its residents 50+ years old as of the first day of the Irwin, and that state representative will receive free entry to the Irwin. Washington, DC will be considered a state, and California will be considered 2 states (Northern California and Southern California). US Chess recommends the following methods of qualification, in descending order of preference:

1. A championship section that is restricted to state residents 50+ years old as of the first day of the Irwin and that is part of a state championship tournament open to players 50+ years old as of the first day of the Irwin.

2. A section restricted to state residents 50+ years old as of the first day of the Irwin with a high rating.

3. The highest-rated state resident 50+ years old as of the first day of the Irwin.

Ultimately, though, a state may determine its representative by whatever method of qualification it deems best—as long as the representative is a state resident (or was a state resident during the state qualifier) and is 50+ years old as of the first day of the Irwin. If the representative is unable to compete, then the state may substitute its next highest qualifier as an alternate.

US Chess will email to each state a link to an online nomination form that must be completed by June 20th. US Chess reserves the right to appoint a representative for a state that fails to meet this deadline. After the deadline, an appointment made by US Chess will take precedence over an appointment made by the state. However, prior to US Chess’s appointment of a state representative, if the state were to inform US Chess of its desired appointment, then US Chess would honor the state’s selection.

To eliminate byes, the host state (the state in which the tournament will be held) may provide an alternate who will play only in rounds that have an odd number of players. If the alternate is not needed to play in a round, then the alternate will be paired for free in a concurrent round of the U.S. Open and in any concurrent U.S. Open side events. The alternate is eligible for prizes.

ELIGIBILITY

During the State Qualifier for the Irwin

The representative must be a resident of the state the representative will represent. Each state may determine who is a state resident—but only of that state. Consequently, if a player were to be considered a resident by multiple states (say, both by the state in which the player maintains a primary address, and by a different state in which the player maintains a secondary address), then the player would be eligible to represent multiple states and could compete in multiple states’ qualifying events; however, note below that a player may not represent multiple states.

During the Irwin

A player may not represent multiple states—neither in the same national invitational for state champions, nor in multiple national invitationals for state champions. A player may represent only 1 state and may play in only 1 of the 5 simultaneous national invitationals for state champions. The representative must be 50+ years old as of the first day of the Irwin. Proof of eligibility is the responsibility of the representative and of the state certifying the representative. The representative must have a current US Chess membership.

SCHEDULE

July 30, 2022

Saturday

10 AM - 1 PM

Blitz

Optional

 

 

1 - 1:30 PM

Check-in

Required. Receive medallion & state flag.

 

 

1:30 - 3 PM

Opening Ceremony, Reception, & Group Photo

Required. Light snacks will be available.

 

 

7 - 11 PM

Round 1

Same time as U.S. Open round

July 31

Sunday

12 - 4 PM

Round 2

 

 

 

7 - 11 PM

Round 3

Same time as U.S. Open round

August 1

Monday

12 - 4 PM

Round 4

 

 

 

7 - 11 PM

Round 5

Same time as U.S. Open round

August 2

Tuesday

10 AM - 2 PM

Round 6

 

 

 

4 - 5:30 PM

Awards Ceremony

Gift certificates awarded only here. Cash prizes will be mailed.

If attending the opening ceremony, men are expected to wear a collared shirt and slacks, and women are expected to wear a blouse and slacks or skirt—or a dress. T-shirts, tank tops, and shorts are not permitted. Photos will be taken for Chess Life and state chess publications—so, look sharp. This dress code applies only to the opening ceremony.

RULES

Players are required to play all 6 rounds of this Swiss tournament. Players unable to play in a round or in the remainder of the tournament because of an emergency (medical or otherwise) must notify a tournament director of their withdrawal as soon as possible, so the host state’s alternate can be substituted, if needed. Players will forfeit prizes if they withdraw or are expelled. A player who withdraws because of a non-emergency (medical or otherwise) or is expelled, may not play in any national invitational for state champions run concurrently with the U.S. Open the following 2 years. The tournament follows FIDE rules and is both FIDE-rated and US-Chess-rated. The time control is G90 +30: 90 minutes base time with a 30-second increment added after each move. Players should bring a chess clock that supports time increment. US Chess will provide boards, pieces, and scoresheets—but not clocks. Players are required to furnish a complete and legible scoresheet at the conclusion of each round. While a player is playing in a round of a national invitational for state champions, the player may not play multiple games simultaneously. That is, a player may neither play multiple games simultaneously (for multiple states) in the same tournament, nor play multiple games simultaneously (neither for the same state, nor for a different state) in the national invitational for state champions and in another tournament (a different national invitational for state champions, the U.S. Open, a side event of the U.S. Open, or any other tournament).

PRIZES

Cash Prizes

1st $2,500
2nd $1,500
3rd $1,000
4th $600
5th $300

Irwin Special Senior Chess Award

The $500 Irwin Special Senior Chess Award will be presented to the highest finisher 75+ years old as of the first day of the tournament. If there are fewer than 2 participants 75+ years old, then the award will go to the top finisher 70+ years old. There must be at least 2 eligible players for the award to be given. If there is a tie, then the award will go to the highest finisher, based on tiebreaks (1. Modified Median, 2. Solkoff, 3. Cumulative, and 4. Cumulative of Opposition); the award will not be split.

Gift Certificates for U.S. Open Bookstore

Biggest Upset in each round $50 (6 rounds)
State versus State $400 (total)

Plaques

Top Senior 50+
Top Senior 60+
Top Senior 70+
Top Senior 80+

State versus State Championship 

The 5 simultaneous national invitationals for state champions that run concurrently with the U.S. Open are:

John T. Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions
GM Arnold Denker National Tournament of High School State Champions
WIM Ruth Haring National Tournament of Girls State Champions
Dewain Barber National Tournament of Middle School State Champions
John D. Rockefeller III National Tournament of Elementary School State Champions

The state whose representatives have the highest combined score will be recognized. Gift certificates for the U.S. Open bookstore will be awarded to each player from the 3 highest-scoring states. In addition, gift certificates will be awarded to each player of the highest-scoring state whose players’ average rating is Under 2100, Under 1900, or Under 1600. A total of $400 of gift certificates will be awarded. States must have at least 3 players from the 5 simultaneous national invitationals for state champions to be eligible for team prizes. If the host state has 2 representatives in 1 or more of the 5 simultaneous national invitationals for state champions, then only the representative’s score (not the alternate’s score) will count toward the team total. Each state’s Irwin representative will be the state’s honorary captain.

Internet Chess Club (ICC) Membership

Each participant who completes all 6 rounds (including the host state’s alternate, if available for all 6 rounds) will receive a free, 1-year ICC membership valued at $70. If a participant is already a current ICC member, then the participant will receive a 1-year membership extension.

Awards Ceremony

Gift certificates must be picked up during the awards ceremony and may be redeemed onsite with the U.S. Open bookstore vendor or may be redeemed online at uscfsales.com within 6 months (no shipping charged). Cash prizes will be mailed and are intended to reimburse some players for tournament expenses. Note: The bookstore does not open until 8/3, so only those playing in the U.S. Open will be able to redeem on site.

3rd ANNUAL FM SUNIL WEERAMANTRY NATIONAL BLITZ TOURNAMENT OF STATE CHAMPIONS

The FM Sunil Weeramantry National Blitz Tournament of State Champions is an annual invitational event run by US Chess that has determined the Weeramantry National Champion since 2020. The 2021 champion was Grandmaster Awonder Liang (2674, WI).

Saturday, July 30, 2022, 10 AM - 1 PM. Optional. No entry fee. Open only to players in the 5 simultaneous national invitationals for state champions running concurrently with the U.S. Open: the Irwin, Denker, Haring, Barber, & Rockefeller. 4 sections: Championship (2200+), 1800-2199, 1400-1799, & Under 1400. Prizes: $3,200 ($800 per section). Section eligibility and pairings determined strictly by US Chess Regular rating—no playing up. The tournament follows US Chess rules and is US-Chess-rated. 4DSS: 4 double rounds (players alternate as White & Black) with Swiss-system pairings. G3 +2: 3 minutes base time with a 2-second increment added after each move. Players must bring a chess clock, and it should support time increment. If neither player brings a clock to the board, then both players will forfeit the round. US Chess will provide boards and pieces—but not clocks. 9:45 AM: announcements & review rules. All Invitational players are welcome to register for the free, optional Weeramantry Blitz tournament by filling out an online form, the link to which will be emailed to them. No onsite signups.

Prizes for Each of the 4 Sections: Gift Certificates for the U.S. Open Bookstore

1st $240
2nd $200
3rd $160
4th $120
5th $80

If there is a tie, then the prize will go to the highest finisher, based on tiebreaks (1. Modified Median, 2. Solkoff, 3. Cumulative, and 4. Cumulative of Opposition); the prize will not be split.

SPONSORS

The primary sponsors are US Chess: the John T. Irwin Fund, John D. Rockefeller V, US Chess, and the Internet Chess Club (ICC).

TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATIONS

Players are responsible for arranging and financing their travel and accommodations. Players sharing rooms should make their arrangements carefully, as neither US Chess, nor the tournament sponsors are responsible for any consequences arising from such arrangements.

CONTACT INFORMATION & CONFIRMATION OF PARTICIPATION

US Chess will email to each state a link to an online nomination form that must be completed by June 20th. Soon thereafter US Chess will contact players, who are required to confirm their participation.

INFORMATION FOR ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS

Consistent with the Guidelines for Accessible Chess Events, requests for reasonable accommodations during the event should be made 2-3 weeks in advance of the event. Requests for accommodations made on site will be handled to the best of our ability. All requests should be made to nationalevents@uschess.org.

QUESTIONS?

Contact the Chair of US Chess’s National Tournaments of State Champions Committee, Jon Haskel, at Jon@BocaChess.com or 561.302.4377.

If a tournament-related situation arises that is not covered by the text above, then it will be resolved by the Chair of US Chess’s National Tournaments of State Champions Committee.

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