US Chess Grand Prix Program

(Junior Grand Prix information is at the bottom of this page.)

This page was revised on March 18, 2024

Covid-19 Update: The Executive Board moves to remove, effective April 30, 2024, the temporary change to US Chess Grand Prix rules implemented during the Covid-19 Pandemic and to return to previous Grand Prix requirements. 

Grand Prix Results

Grand Prix Event Qualifications

To qualify, an event must be US Chess-rated (regular or quick) and meet these criteria:

  • All US Chess-rated players over 2199 must be eligible to play in the top (or only) section. However, tournaments limited to seniors, juniors, women, or college students are eligible provided they satisfy the other Grand Prix requirements. 
  • The prize fund for which all masters are eligible MUST equal or exceed $300 guaranteed; $150 be guaranteed to first place; no more than one prize under $100 may count towards the Grand Prix (GP) total; and prizes below the maximum entry fee do not count towards the GP total.
  • Class prizes for Under 2300 or a higher rating requirement qualify towards GP points, but if they exceed 25% of the total qualifying GP money, they count as 25% of the total.
  • Other than entry fees and US Chess dues, no charges over $25 are permitted.
  • The tournament must be submitted for the Tournament Life section of Chess Life and designated by the submitter as a GP tournament.
  • Only players who are US Chess members during the tournament may earn GP points. Foreign grandmasters, international masters, women grandmasters, and women international masters can play without being members, but they will not obtain GP points unless they join.
  • An event may obtain “Enhanced Grand Prix” status if the organizer agrees to make a per-player contribution to the Professional Players Health and Benefits Fund at the time the TLA for the event is submitted. An Enhanced Grand Prix event has its GP points raised one level higher than the original level of the event.
  • Conditions concerning US Chess GP tournaments are subject to review and adjustment by the US Chess Executive Director.


The top prizes must be unconditionally guaranteed (or if a GP event’s prize fund is based on entries, only the absolutely guaranteed minimum payout counts for point awards) and announced in Chess Life. Even if prizes are raised at the tournament, no additional points can be awarded because the bonus would be unfair to players who may otherwise have entered.



If you have questions about the Grand Prix, please contact Click here to show email address.



Grand Prix chart v2

US Chess Junior Grand Prix Rules

Last Updated in January 2016

The purpose of the US Chess Junior Grand Prix is to encourage young players to face higher-rated competition in 'slow' chess events. We believe that playing stronger players in events with longer time controls is the best way to improve one's chess, the Junior Grand Prix encourages and rewards that.

Player Eligibility:

Every US Chess member who is under 21 throughout the calendar year (eg, for the 2016 Junior Grand Prix was born after 12/31/1995) is automatically eligible for the Junior Grand Prix (JGP).

Event Eligiblity:

  • A Junior Grand Prix event must have a Tournament Life Announcement (TLA) in Chess Life and be a regular rated only section of that event. Blitz, Quick-Rated only or Dual rated sections may not earn JGP points.
  • A Junior Grand Prix event must have four or more rounds with the total time* slower than 65 minutes per player to be eligible.
    For details on how the time control affects which rating systems a section is eligible for, see the document 'Rulebook Changes since the Publication of the 5th Edition' at
  • A Junior Grand Prix eligible section does not have to be the top or open section of that event, players can earn JGP points in 'under' sections, providing the section is regular-rated only.
  • The event must end in the calendar year, eg, 2016. For example, an event that begins in December of 2012 and ends in January of 2016 is a 2016 JGP event, but an event that begins in December of 2016 and ends in January of 2017 is a 2017 JGP event.

How to earn Points:

Eligible US Chess members earn points by winning or drawing against higher rated players, based on the pre-event ratings for both players. (If a player does not have a US Chess rating yet, or has a provisional rating based on less than 4 games, that player's post-event rating from that event is used to compute JGP points.)

For a win against a higher rated player, the number of JGP points earned is 2X the ratings difference, up to a maximum of 700 points per game.

Example: A 1200 player who defeats a 1350 player earns 2X the difference in ratings (150) or 300 points.

For a draw, the number of JGP points earned is the ratings difference, up to a maximum of 350 points per game.

Example: A 1200 player who draws a 1350 player earns the difference in ratings, or 150 points.

The US Chess Executive Director has the authority to review events for compliance with these rules.

* The TOTAL TIME is defined as the number derived by adding the total amount of time per player [in minutes] with the amount of delay or increment [in seconds]. For example, G/61;d5 gives 61 + 5 = 66 and would be eligible. G/60;d3 gives 60 + 3 = 63 and would not be eligible.