Palm Beach Chess

Tournament Rules & Proceedures


Chess Tournaments Rules & Procedures

General Policy:

Unless otherwise stated on the tournament flyer players are required to bring their own chess set and clock.

It is the player’s responsibility to know how to set their own clock for the time controls of the event.

It is the player’s responsibility to be aware of United States Chess Federation tournament rules and procedures. We suggest our curriculum text: Become A Chess Champion (Definitive Edition) for our essential rule knowledge explanation for all of our Florida Chess tournaments.

Electronics Policy:

Players in the tournament cannot have an electronic device on their person while games are in progress. Cell Phones are to be off and in a bag or on the table by your board face down for the length of the game (this includes smart watches and any device that could be used to gain assistance). If you have an electronic device you need for medical reasons please speak with us prior to the start of round one to alert us of this as any electronic device will be seen as suspicious without prior warning.

Score Sheet Policy:

Players at Palm Beach Chess tournaments are provided score sheets for the recording of their games. Score Books with multiple games are not permitted as new developments in rules from the USCF have banned these books in National Scholastic tournaments as players can potentially flip back in the book for ‘written help’. We strongly agree with this and apply this rule to our tournaments.

Any electronic score sheet device must be approved by the USCF for use or it is not allowed in our tournament. Please check the United States Chess Federation’s policies on electronic score sheet devices as it changes frequently.

In our events we require that championship games be turned in if carbon copy score sheets are provided. In our Miami, Florida FIDE tournaments it is required to provide a copy of your game via carbon copy (signed).

Spectator Policy:

We hold spectators to the same standards as players for professional decorum. Do not communicate with players while they have a game in progress and do not analyze or speak in the tournament hall.

If your phone rings in the tournament hall while play is in progress you will receive a warning for first offense and for the second offense you will no longer be welcome at the tournament venue.

Refund Policy:

If you cannot attend one of our tournaments, send us an email at least 2 hours before the first round.  If this is not possible, call the tournament site and ask for the chess tournament. If you have contacted us before pairings have been created you can obtain a refund of the fee minus a $15 service charge.


You may also give notice of withdrawal at least 7 days before the first round.  NO REFUND, full or partial, is EVER given once you have started playing your game in the first round or if your absence without notice effects the results of the tournament.

PLEASE ALLOW up to two weeks to receive your refund.  If you have not heard from us two weeks after the event please send us a reminder and we will make it top priority.

PLEASE REFRAIN FROM REQUESTING UNNECESSARY REFUNDS.  Some players automatically ask for a refund whenever they withdraw.  This causes extra work for us and costs you a $15 service charge you can easily avoid.

Prize Policy: 

1. How do I get my prize? 

WE RECOMMEND THAT ALL PRIZEWINNERS WAIT TO RECEIVE THEIR PRIZES AT THE TOURNAMENT! Prizewinners may receive their prize checks right at the tournament, as soon as the amount of their prize has been determined! The IRS also requires that anyone who wins $600 or more show proof of their Social Security Number to the Tournament Director, in order to receive their check.

Those prizewinners who choose not to receive their prizes at the tournament may instead provide us with their addresses so we can mail them their prize checks after the tournament. However, especially during our busy periods, it may take up to four (2) weeks for us to process all the outstanding prizes, for you to then receive your prize by mail, instead of just receiving it on site, at the end of the tournament.  We strongly encourage all prizewinners to collect their prize checks at the tournament.

2. Where do you mail my prize? 

If you didn't provide an address when you entered, you can send us your address by email to:  and include your name, which section of which tournament you played, how many points you scored, and your USCF ID number.  DO NOT send your Social Security number by email because it is not secure.  


3. Why do I have to wait to get my prize?

It can take a while to process and send out all the prize checks for players who didn't get them at the tournament.  

4. What if I leave early, but I don't want to wait to get my prize in the mail either? 


Do you have an option where I can leave, so I don't have to wait in line to get paid at the tournament, and still get my own prize immediately?
Yes, upon verifying the prize we can also send the prize through PayPal.


5. Can't you just send me my prize right now, so I don't have to wait, and then send everyone else's prize later on?

Sorry, no, understand we appreciate you want to get home faster but USCF tiebreaks require all games in a section to be completed before we can cut checks.

6. What is the Sofia Rule and why do you use it on Championship games in your major tournaments?

In 2005 a set of rules were imposed on the players to attempt to get an actual game out of the top players who frequently have draws at the end of a long event and simply split the prizes. Imposing this rule on players in Championship games in the final round makes an attempt by the organizer to assure that players produce a game that requires actual effort.

Adapted Sofia Rule:

  1. Players are not allowed to offer (and/or) agree to a draw prior to move 30.

  2. Draws can only be claimed by perpetual checks, threefold repetition and if the position is a theoretical draw.

  3. Draw offers should be made to the arbiter/tournament director. The arbiter is the only person who can decide the outcome of the game.


Unclaimed Trophy Policy:

1. Why can't you just send me the trophy if I leave?

Understand with the volume of tournaments that we do and the number of trophies at each event that this is a major burden for the company to handle. If players have won a trophy they need to get it on site after the last round. We do not keep or ship trophies to players. Once a player has left with their trophy from one of our Florida Chess Tournaments it is their responsibility.

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