For New Chess Players

If you are new to chess you might be thinking to yourself “Whoa, I never realized that chess was its own world and that this world is so big”

It really is its own world and it is indeed quite large. It’s looks something like this:


Yes it can be a little daunting but have no fear my fellow chess friends and chess parents!

That is why this article is written: to answer your frequently asked questions especially concerning chess tournaments.

Is my child ready for a chess tournament? Absolutely! Chess tournaments are a great way for you and your child to see chess from a bigger perspective and it is highly motivating for a child to improve his chess.

Where can I go to find out information about chess tournaments? Right here on my blog! I post information about chess tournaments right here in Utah as well as results and information after the tournament.

What will I need for a chess tournament? Well if you want to enter into this world there definitely are a few essentials you need: a tournament sized chess set, a chess timer, chess notation sheets, a USCF membership (we’ll cover this) and preferably a friend who has a little bit more experience with these things which can be a point of reference while at a tournament.

Now I know what you might be thinking right now. It might be something along the lines of “what is a USCF membership? where do I get all of these things? I don’t really know anybody who has experience with chess tournaments”

Just breathe. It’s actually not that tough to get the answers to these questions.

USCF Membership: The United States Chess Federation (USCF) is the chess organization in the US and it does many wonderful things. The site is

Chess tournaments are rated with a special formula that is designed to give someone a ranking based off of their performance in the tournament.

The ranking, or rating, essentially determines how good you are as a chess player. But in order to be a part of this and to participate in tournaments you must simply buy a membership which is relatively inexpensive from their website.

Chess set and timer: Conveniently there is a local chess store here in Utah which can be found at


They have all of these things and it is pretty inexpensive.

chess set Chess timer

Chess notation sheets: You can also buy these also at and these are SO IMPORTANT for chess development. By writing the moves of your games down you can see where you made your mistakes and do better next time.

chess sheets

A chess friend/coach: First check out your local school, perhaps they have a chess club. If not, they hey! I’m here and I attend every tournament in order to help promote more chess in Utah and you can find my contact information on the “about” page.

There really are so many other questions about chess but this is a really short and simple introductory to tournament chess for those who are seeking to play more chess.


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