Maryland Chess Association



Today's Date




Re: Proposal for the Maryland Chess Association to Run a Scholastic Chess Tournament at Name of School on Date




Name of School

School Address




Principal X,



As Scholastic Director of the Maryland Chess Association, I am writing in the hope that you would authorize the MCA to run a scholastic chess tournament (MCA Name of School 2012) at Name of School on Date. By hosting an MCA-run scholastic chess tournament, your school would encourage the growth of its ES/MS/HS Chess Club and cultivate the school’s reputation as a premier location for competitive scholastic chess in Maryland.


Each year the Maryland Chess Association, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, runs 16 scholastic chess tournaments at 12 public and private schools throughout Maryland for approximately 2,000 K-12 players.We run 10 tournaments for 60-150 players; 3 tournaments for 200+ players (the Greater Baltimore Scholastic Chess Championships, the Greater Mid-Atlantic Scholastic Chess Championships, and the Maryland HS & MS Chess Championships); 1 tournament for 300+ players (the Maryland Scholastic Team Chess Championships); and 1 tournament for 400+ players (the Maryland ES Chess Championships).


We anticipate that as many as 100 players would participate at MCA Name of School 2012.To run the tournament, we would need to rent 2 large rooms:

  • a Tournament Room (usually a multi-purpose room or gym with a sufficient number of rectangular tables and chairs) to accommodate the 100+ players while they play their games;
  • a Skittles Room (usually a multi-purpose room or gym with a sufficient number of tables and chairs) to accommodate everyone affiliated with the tournament (the players and their parents, siblings, and coaches).The room should be able to accommodate a number of people that generally adheres to the formula of multiplying the number of players by 1.5.(Thus, 150 people altogether, if there are 100 players.)The room should also be able to accommodate a concession stand that would serve food (pizza, etc.) and drinks.


The 4 primary MCA board members who would run and direct the proposed tournament at your school are Jim Becker (MCA President), Chris Kim (MCA Secretary), Brent Layer (MCA Board Member at Large), and myself (MCA Scholastic Director).Combined, we have 25 years of experience running and directing scholastic tournaments in Maryland: Mr. Becker (a USCF Local Tournament Director) since 1996, Dr. Kim (a USCF Senior Tournament Director) since 2006, Mr. Layer (a USCF Club Tournament Director) since 2010, and myself (a USCF Club Tournament Director) since 2009.Furthermore, 2 of us are Maryland-certified Crowd Managers.


When MCA runs a chess tournament, we handle 99% of the details.We set up an online registration page at our website, We contract out the directing of the tournament to Tournament Directors whose certification by the United States Chess Federation is current.We deliver and set up the chess equipment.We purchase and deliver the 36 trophies for the top individuals and teams in the tournament’s 5 sections.


We request that the host school organize only the following tasks:

·setup and breakdown of tables and chairs;

·janitorial services (which should be included in a school’s rental fee);

·a concession stand (which local parents usually want to run, because profits can be used to support the school’s chess club/team).


In short, we handle all of the finances and almost all of the logistics of running the tournament.Once a school authorizes the MCA to run a tournament, the school’s administrative work is done, and our work begins.


An MCA scholastic chess tournament runs from 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM.Registration for an MCA tournament costs $15.Moreover, each player must be a current member of the United States Chess Federation.A 3-month USCF membership costs $8 and can be purchased with tournament registration at our web site.1 of the advantages of running a USCF-rated tournament (rather than an unrated tournament) is that players have permanent online access to the results of their games and their friends’ games at USCF’s database:, based on their performance at the tournament, players are assigned a USCF rating from 100 to 3000 that allows them to compare their skill level with that of other players in their school—as well as throughout the state and nation.We separate the K-12 players into 5 sections according to their grade and skill level (as determined by the players’ previous performances at USCF-rated tournaments), with the least advanced players divided into 2 grade-restricted sections: an ES section and a HS/MS section.Players who have not yet competed at a USCF-rated tournament are considered unrated and may register in the lowest section for which they qualify by grade.


Many of MCA’s scholastic tournaments are Sweet-16 Qualifiers, in which players in the highest section (Varsity) compete to qualify to win the 4-year, $34,000 scholarship that UMBC (the University of Maryland, Baltimore County) offers each year to the top scholastic chess player in Maryland.MCA Name of School 2012 would be a Sweet-16 Qualifier.


We hope you’ll look favorably on the idea of the MCA running a USCF-rated scholastic chess tournament at your school.I would look forward to the opportunity to meet or speak with you to formulate a plan of action. Please contact me by email or phone with any questions or concerns.


Thank you for considering the MCA’s proposal. I hope to be in contact with you soon.








John D. Rockefeller V

MCA Scholastic Director