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Join us at NESA for the next Chess Tournament!  Rated with United States Chess Federation (USCF - and affiliated with Massachusetts Chess Association (MACA -

Register on our Chess Tournaments page.
About program
Check out the NESA Chess Blog!

This course will cover the basic rules and skills of chess: how the pieces move, how to record games and positions, the relative values of the pieces, popular tactics (including forks, pins, skewers, discovered attacks) and fundamental strategy, and some frequently seen opening and endgame positions. Kids will get to play each other to test out what they have learned. There are additional opportunities for private tutoring.

Rules for NESA USCF-Rated Chess Tournaments:

Students enrolled in NESA Chess classes will receive 50% of their tournament fees back as credits.  (This discount, however, may not be combined with other credits, such as Weekend Warrior.)

NESA Chess Tournaments are run in cooperation with AP Chinese School of Sharon.  Please bring boards, sets, and ESPECIALLY CLOCKS if you have them.  All of these will be provided at the site for those who do not have them.

Two sections will be arranged (given enough players), one USCF-rated, one unrated.   Both sections are open to players of all ages, Adult & Scholastic.  For the rated section, players must have:

(a) a current membership with the United States Chess Federation (USCF: annual fee $17-$46 to join or renew, depending on age); sign-up at site can be arranged, or you can enroll online at,com_wrapper/Itemid,323/ or by calling 800-903-8723 (or 931-787-1234) during daytime business hours.

(b) a current membership with the Massachusetts Chess Association (MACA: annual fee $12 for Adults, $6 for Juniors,
with an additional fee possible to receive _Chess Horizons_ in the mail); sign-up at site can be arranged, or you can enroll online at An equivalent state membership for out-of-state players (e.g., RI) is acceptable.

The format of the tournament will be 4-round Swiss, Game/30.  This means that all the players play all 4 rounds (if they wish to) regardless of win or loss.  The pairings and colors are decided partly by the results from each round (wins, losses, and draws); the aim is to have players of similar skill levels playing each other by the fourth round.

All tournament sections will be run in accordance with USCF rules.  Use of clock is required during play.  Players must use ONE HAND ONLY to move each piece and press the clock.  Scorekeeping is REQUIRED during play; a player who does not keep score will have 10 minutes subtracted from his time at the beginning of the game. Touch-move is enforced: a move is determined by letting go of the piece, and completed by punching the clock.  If an illegal move is made on the board, the opponent adds two minutes to his/her clock, and play resumes. Delay clocks are preferred where available, but Black always has choice of all equipment unless White has a digital delay clock and Black does not. Black also has choice of which side of the board to place the clock, and starts the clock to begin a round.  Draw offers must be made after a player moves a piece and before pressing the clock.  Repeated draw offers in the same game should be avoided.

During game play spectators are FORBIDDEN in the tournament room; players, and parents of players, are asked to wait in the next room or downstairs during rounds in progress.  Talking in the tournament room during rounds, especially to one's opponent, and all other noise which may distract other players is forbidden at all times except as permitted by USCF rules (such as draw offers, scoresheet checks, and the like).

First, second, and third prizes will be awarded to the top three winners in each section if there are a sufficient number of players to allow them.  The usual minimum is six, with seven or more preferred.

All kids in a Saturday tournament may stay that evening for Weekend Warrior, held every Saturday 6-10 PM, at a 50% discount off the regular price ($25 for one child, $50 for a family of more than one child up to 4, with $10 for every additional child and $10 for every half-hour after 10:30 PM).
About program director
Nicholas Sterling
(781) 493-6345
Dr. Nicholas Sterling a Ph.D. in ancient Greek & Roman civilization from Brown University, is a lecturer of Greek and Roman literature at University of Rhode Island and has been an after-school instructor of chess at Kennedy-Longfellow School in Cambridge, and Math Mania and Stock Market Game with Newton Community Education. Dr. Sterling provides one-on-one chess tutoring and is a Tournament Director at the Waltham Chess Club.
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