For the first time in the event’s 50-year history, US Chess is cancelling the National High School (K-12) Championship (NHS) due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on March 12 that he is banning mass gatherings of more than 100 people. As the NHS was expected to draw up to 1,800 players plus family, friends, and coaches, US Chess had no choice in this matter.
The event will not be rescheduled. The next NHS 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 Junior High (K-9) and National Elementary (K-6) Championships, scheduled for Jacksonville, Florida (April 24-26) and Nashville, Tennessee (May 8-10) respectively, are still currently planned to be held.
We know that for many scholastic players our spring nationals are an important part of their lives. For this event, we are especially sad for our 12th grade participants for whom this would have been their last US Chess scholastic event. Executive Director Carol Meyer says, “My heart aches for all of our participants but especially our seniors as they won’t get this final national scholastic experience that I know they were looking forward to. Many of them have grown up playing in US Chess national scholastic events. However, we support the governor’s decision in light of Ohio’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.”
US Chess will be providing full entry fee refunds to the almost 1,100 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 March 31. If you are still awaiting a refund as of April 1, please email Debra Robison at [email protected]. US Chess appreciates your patience.
Hotel refund information: US Chess has authorized the Hyatt Regency Columbus and the Hilton Columbus Downtown to waive the one-night deposit rule in the event of a cancellation close to the event. You should receive a full refund from the hotel, but the hotels likely need 24-48 hours for this cancellation information to enter their reservations system. UPDATE: US Chess has been told this by the Hyatt Regency: “Our reservations team is cancelling all individual reservations and processing refunds. It could take 7-10 business days for the refunds to be reflected on bank statements and credit cards. It is not necessary to contact Hyatt Regency Columbus to cancel their reservation.”
US Chess will continue to work hard to bring you the national scholastic championships our community loves. Though the NHS event will no longer take place, we continue to focus on advancing our mission statement: Empower people, enrich lives, and enhance communities through chess.