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Borders Scholastic Tournaments are back for Winter 2003! The sponsor and format have changed, and there is now a 60-player limit, so please read carefully and register quickly. (A big thank you to Phil Sanstrum for getting the Borders tradition started! We follow humbly in your footsteps, Phil!)


WHEN: Sunday afternoons:

                Feb. 2

                Feb. 23

                March 30

                Date TBD soon -- Invitation-only Trophy Cup Finals


WHERE: Borders Books, Gresham


TIME: Check-in 12:30 p.m., Rules and Announcements at 1:00; play immediately thereafter


FORMAT: USCF-rated G/45 Quads (see below for details about Quads)


WHO: USCF members, grades K-12 (new USCF members without ratings are welcome)


ENTRY FEE: $10.00


AWARDS: All players with 2 points or more earn a Borders Tournament medallion and an invitation to the Trophy Cup Finals. Top player in each quad also takes home a $10 Borders Gift Card (tie-breaks resolved by blitz).


BRING: Players must bring tournament-style boards and sets, and clocks if you have them. A very limited number of each will be available. Bring your own scorepads and pencils.


ENTRY LIMITS: Due to space considerations, only the first 60 registered *and paid* players will be able to play. All must be USCF members with dues up-to-date (join or renew online at  We will keep a waiting list for last-minute cancellations. Yes, this is about 1/3 smaller than previous years. While our scholastic players were well behaved in the past and Borders welcomed us back warmly, the number was dictated by both Borders staff and the organizers' desire to reduce overcrowding.


HOW TO ENTER: Reply to this e-mail: with player name(s), approximate rating (we'll confirm exact ratings just before each tournament), grade level, contact e-mail, and phone number. Payment options include online via PayPal (preferred) or by snail mail to: ChessFamilies, Inc. 25 NW 23rd Place, Suite 6, #137, Portland, OR 97210. Online payment instructions will be sent in the confirming e-mail. If players are not current USCF members at registration, instructions for joining will be provided with the confirming e-mail as well. If you do not get a confirmation e-mail, you are not registered, so please watch for it.


ENTRY DEADLINE: Enter ASAP to secure a spot. We must receive payment no later than Jan. 21st, or the space will be released to the next player on the waiting list. (Sorry to be such a stickler about this, but with the quad format and limited space, we want to ensure that we have an absolute minimum of no-shows on tournament day).


ABOUT QUADS: A quad section consists of 4 players, all as close as possible to the same playing level, according to USCF rating. Play is round-robin, so each player plays three games. Each player gets up to 45 minutes to play, for a possible total game length of 90 minutes. Games among lower-rated players tend to be much shorter. Most games will be self-starting, which means that quads run at their own speed, without having to wait for large sections to finish before starting the next game. Likewise, awards will be presented as groups of quads finish.


QUAD ASSIGNMENTS: To account for recent USCF-tournament performance, we will use the very latest ratings published on the USCF web site (often shown as "unofficial" between bi-monthly supplements). We will try very hard to avoid quads with siblings and, if possible, also separate members from the same team. However, there are no guarantees; forming well-balanced quads will take priority. Unrated players will be in quads with other unrated players; WSRS ratings and/or age may also be factors as we attempt to provide everyone with a quality experience. In any case, unrated players will earn a rating as a result of play in this tournament.


MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: Borders is asking us to enforce two rules: No outside food, and no lawn chairs in the aisles. We will be working with them to ensure there is sufficient seating for spectators (or a place set aside to set up lawn chairs) and a wider variety of affordable food that appeals to kids in the Cafe'. Also, the quad format will likely get the younger players home to dinner sooner. Thanks for helping us be good guests.


Hope to see your registration, soon!

Amy Boyett