National Elementary (K-6) Championship Canceled due to COVID-19 Concerns

Tennessee Governor strongly discourages events of more than 250 people; US Chess must cancel event expected to draw up to 2,200 players


For the first time in the event’s 44-year history, US Chess is cancelling the National Elementary (K-6) Championship (NEC) due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has strongly discouraged events of 250 people or more to limit exposure to COVID-19 and in Executive Order 17 signed on March 22, 2020, he ordered, in pertinent part, that persons in the State of Tennessee shall not participate in social gatherings of ten (10) or more people, persons in the State of Tennessee shall not eat or drink onsite at restaurants, bars, or other similar food or drink establishments, and shall not visit gyms or fitness/exercise centers of substantially similar facilities, and that restaurants, bars, and similar food and drink establishments, including nightclubs, shall not be open to persons, except only to offer drive-through, pickup, carry-out, or delivery service for food or drink. As the NEC was expected to draw up to 2,200 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 NEC will be part of SuperNationals VII from May 7-9, 2021 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

We know that for many scholastic players our spring nationals are an important part of their lives. Executive Director Carol Meyer says, “I regret that we will not be with our youngest players this spring, something we never thought could happen. However, we fully support the governor’s order in light of guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control. 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. I wish every member of the US Chess community good health as we weather this unprecedented situation.”

US Chess will be providing full entry fee refunds to the almost 250 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. 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 posted that you must call the hotel. The Gaylord has now provided us with the following information regarding refunds: “We will indeed cancel … all the individual reservations associated with the block and work diligently to return the one night deposits we have received.” It is not necessary to call the hotel.

US Chess will continue to work hard to bring you the national scholastic championships our community loves. Though the NEC event will no longer take place, we continue to focus on advancing our mission statement: Empower people, enrich lives, and enhance communities through chess.


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