Irwin Information & Rules

 

4th Annual John T. Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions

 

INFORMATION & RULES

Revised June 4, 2021

 

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 2020 champion was a grandmaster with a US Chess rating of 2558. $11,599 in prizes will be awarded, including $2,500 to the champion. The champion will qualify for the US Senior Championship.

The next Irwin will be held July 31 - August 3, 2021 in Cherry Hill, NJ at the Crown Plaza Philadelphia - Cherry Hill 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 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. 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 home address, and by a different state in which the player attends school [day or boarding]), then the player would be eligible to represent multiple states and could compete in multiple states’ qualifying events.

During the Irwin

A player may not represent multiple states—neither in the same national state champions invitational, nor in multiple national state champions invitationals. A player may represent only 1 state and may play in only 1 of the 5 simultaneous national state champions invitationals. 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 31

Saturday

10 AM

Blitz

Optional

 

 

3 PM

Opening Ceremony

Optional

 

 

7 PM

Round 1

Same time as U.S. Open round

August 1

Sunday

12 PM

Round 2

 

 

 

7 PM

Round 3

Same time as U.S. Open round

August 2

Monday

12 PM

Round 4

 

 

 

7 PM

Round 5

Same time as U.S. Open round

August 3

Tuesday

10 AM

Round 6

 

 

 

4 PM

Awards Ceremony

Gift certificates awarded only here

 

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, Chess Life for Kids, 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. 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. The tournament is FIDE-rated and follows FIDE rules. 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 state champions invitational, the player may not play multiple games simultaneously. So, a player may neither play simultaneously (for multiple states) in the same tournament, nor play simultaneously (neither for the same state, nor for a different state) in another tournament (a different national state champions invitational, 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 

5 simultaneous national state champions invitationals run concurrently with the U.S. Open:

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 state champions invitationals to be eligible for team prizes. If the host state has 2 representatives in 1 or more of the 5 simultaneous national state champions invitationals, 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

Cash prizes and gift certificates will be handed out during the awards ceremony. Gift certificates must be picked up during the awards ceremony and must be redeemed with the U.S. Open bookstore vendor before the U.S. Open concludes.

2nd 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 2020 champion was a grandmaster with a US Chess rating of 2644.

 

First Saturday, 10 AM. Optional. No entry fee. Open only to players in the 5 simultaneous national state champions invitationals 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. 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. US Chess does not plan to supply clocks to players. If neither player brings a clock to the board, then both players will forfeit the round. The tournament is US-Chess-rated only and follows US Chess rules. 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, US Chess: The John T. Irwin Fund, John D. Rockefeller V, 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.

 

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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