A Parent's Guide to Chess Tournaments


Chess Tournaments are a wonderful way for children to gain confidence, meet new friends and practice their Chess skills! 

Chess tournaments are held nationwide nearly every weekend and their is no limit to the amount you can play. Chess is the perfect extra-curricular activity for those looking to compete in an educational sport with far-reaching benefits. 

Reasonable expectations and a good support system will breed success!

The North Texas Chess Academy provides an environment for safe learning and allows students to grow at their own pace. 


To play in a rated ​ Chess Tournament you must be a current member of the United States Chess Federation (USCF). Depending on the age of the participant membership costs range from $17-$49 for one year.

Once you are member of US Chess you will receive and ID# and after your first tournament you will receive a Chess Rating. A current USCF Membership is the only requirement to play in tournaments at the North Texas Chess Academy. USCF Memberships can be used nationwide for all rated events. 

Click the US Chess logo to sign up today! 

            Guide to Chess ratings:

A Chess Rating is a number that reflects your Chess skill based on tournament results. You receive a rating after playing in a United States Chess Federation (USCF) tournament. The number will increase or decrease depending on your results only. 

Unrated (UNR) - Rating assigned before your first tournament. This is not 'zero', it indicates you are new to chess tournaments.

Between USCF 100-400 - Still growing accustomed to tournament play, most young children and beginners will begin in this range. 

USCF 800 - A player who is well versed with the basics. One that can recognize and perform certain Chess tactics and checkmates.

USCF 1200 - A player who some knowledge of Chess strategy and often has played many tournaments (usually 30 or more).

USCF 1600 - A strong scholastic Chess player, often among the top scholastic players in the state of Texas depending on their age.

USCF 2000 - Expert Level – A great milestone! At 2000+ the player is well versed in all phases of Chess and a few steps from being a Chess Master!

Very few scholastic players reach this level.

USCF 2200  - Chess Master. An amazing achievement putting the individual in the top 1% of all chess players. This level of understanding takes much dedication and maturity.

USCF 2400 - Senior Master. The top title given by the US Chess Federation. A formidable chess master that can compete with all but the world's best. This level typically will take ten years or more of tournament chess and training. 

USCF 2500+ - Players of this rating will typically be International Masters (IM) or Grandmasters (GM), the top titles in the world given by the international governing body of Chess, F.I.D.E. 

When should my child begin chess tournaments?

Chess tournaments are not something to be intimidated by, and should be not thought of as only for the best players.

We recommend beginning Chess tournaments around age six or seven depending on the maturity of the child and their ability to concentrate. Once a child can play a full game, perform checkmate and understand the objectives of Chess they should be ready to begin tournaments. 

NTCA coaches are happy to provide feedback about the development of each student and thoroughly prepare them for the exciting journey ahead!


HOURS of Operation:

Saturday - Sunday - 10:00am-6:00pm

Monday - Closed

Tues - Friday - By appointment or call




3730 N. Josey Ln. #124 Carrollton, TX 75007


Phone: 469-900-8014


801.705.5700 (USA)

© 2020 by North Texas Chess Academy.