Organizing a Chess Tournament

Ever dreamed of organizing a chess tournament? Well it could be much easier to organize that you think. You just have to follow some basic procedures to get it done. First up, set the objectives of the tournament. Decide clearly on why you want conduct one. Like:

  • Whether you want to create a friendly tournament just for leisure
  • Do you want to attract more players to the club via the tournament?
  • Want to grab some sponsors for the club?
  • Conduct a competitive tournament for improving the skills of the club players
  • Or Just want to generate some income

Whatever your objective maybe, make it clear and plan the tournament accordingly.

The next step in organizing a chess tournament is getting sponsors. Without them, your plans will never get off the drawing the board. So you have to decide on a few important things before you approach a sponsor. For example

  • How many people will be enrolling for the tournament?
  • How many visitors do you expect to receive?
  • Does the tournament support any specific cause?
  • How long do you wish to conduct the tournament?
  • Are you inviting any celebrity grandmasters for the games?

Since, once you have decided on the above, you can decide what kind of sponsors you can approach. If you’re expecting a small scale tournament, it is always advisable to settle with one or two minor sponsors.

Once you have settled down on which sponsors to approach, work on the competition itself. The major part of organizing a chess tournament depends on what kind of competition you’re going to conduct. This should actually be one of the first decisions to be made.

  • Review what time you are willing to allocate for each game
  • Decide on how many rounds to be conducted and manage the time control accordingly
  • Decide whether it will be a rated tournament or a leisure tournament
  • Select which system of pairing to be used

Once you have finished the above, the major part of organizing the tournament would have been finished.

Though most players do not enter tournaments for the sole purpose of winning money, a prize reward can attract a lot of people to the tournament. But be wary of the other expenditures involved in conducting and organizing a chess tournament as well. Just because you have a sponsor, doesn’t give you the freedom to announce a fat prize amount for the winners. There are plenty of hidden costs involved as well. So be very conscious of how you spend the sponsor money.

Though a huge grand prize can make your tournament worth a shot, a creative way of organizing the prize structure would be to set, level-by-level payments. For instance, allocate a small amount to winners of each round after the preliminaries. This will encourage a lot of players to enroll, and clear the rumors of a rigged tournament biased toward pros. And finally you have to set up other amenities, common for all events. You will have to cater for the players and visitors, arrange security, and provide restroom and appropriate furniture and so on. But these are minor obstacles in organizing a chess tournament, once you have completed the above major operations. So what are you waiting for, get to work and get the tournament up and running.