Spring Nationals and Coronavirus: What You Should Know

US Chess has three national events scheduled this spring: 2020 National High School (K-12) Championship, April 3-5 2020 National Junior High (K-9) Championship April 24-26 2020 National Elementary (K-6) Championship May 8-10 Another US Chess national event is being held this spring but is being organized by an independent body (any questions about this event should be directed to the contact link on their website): KCF All-Girls National Chess Championship April 17-19  US Chess is paying close attention to concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking this situation seriously. These three events, the most popular ones on our calendar, are being held as scheduled, as is the KCF All-Girls. EDIT on 3/12: Please see here for updated information about the NHS: https://new.uschess.org/administration/national-high-school-k-12-championship-interim-update/ We will keep this page updated as new information is shared by relevant authorities. We are monitoring this situation daily and will adjust plans accordingly if relevant new information becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve registered my child for one of these events and we no longer want to attend. Can I get a refund? Entry fees may be refunded in full up until 11 a.m. local time on the day of the event. What steps should our family take at the tournament site?
  1. Masks: There is no need to wear a mask during the tournament. If a player has a cold or is otherwise ill, then it is recommended that they simply stay home.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Hand washing: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  4. Chess pieces and other objects: Sanitizing wipes will be available to clean pieces before each round. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  5. Open areas: You may wish to avoid congregating in public areas.
  6. Stay home when you are sick.
What should my player do if he/she gets sick during the tournament? If your player feels sick while competing, he/she should talk to a Tournament Director. If your player is sick between rounds, you may withdraw him/her at Chess Control. Note: It is not unusual for children to experience nausea and vomiting in anticipation of a chess tournament and these symptoms are not clearly linked with coronavirus symptoms. What special steps are you taking at these events to help me protect my child? US Chess is in consultation with physicians within our community, including Ellen Whalen MD, pediatrician; as well as paying close attention to information updates from reliable public health sources. Some of the important steps we are taking include:
  •  Hand sanitizer will be available at the playing hall entrances;
  •  Players will be encouraged to begin and end their games with a brief verbal exchange, not a handshake (for example, "I resign," "I offer a draw," "draw accepted," "good game," etc.);
  •  Signage will be displayed listing the best prevention practices.
We also encourage families to talk to your competitor about keeping themselves and others healthy. Where can I learn more about the Coronavirus? US Chess consulted several authoritative sources (e.g. U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), among others) in creating this resource page. Follow the links below for more information. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public https://www.aappublications.org/news/2020/02/28/coronavirus022820 How can I stay up-to-date on US Chess plans? See the event websites (links at the beginning of this article) for the most current event information. This FAQ document will also be updated as needed.

Revised March 12, 2020

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