Because of costs and a hard deadline for notifying the Great Wolf Lodge Chef of a guaranteed headcount, we are no longer scheduling reservations for the Veterans Banquet. We also regret to announce we are reducing the number of planned meals. Anyone affected will receive an emailed explaination within a few days.
We originally anticipated 40 to 50 players. As this is written we are at 89 advance registrations. We welcome walk-in players, which is a USAFOCC tradition. There is no entrance fee, another USAFOCC tradition. We anticipate even more will register ("Hey, Jim. I've got five buddies I'm going to recruit for you!"). We rented another room, in case we needed more space, and to provide a skittles area. That costs money.
Fundraising has also been phenominal. We will schedule as many diners as funds allow. But we are up against a hard deadline to notify the Chef. Again, we'll notify anyone affected and place them on a stand-by list. The skittles room will be manned by one volunteer from our staff, so non banquet players can enjoy themselves. Great Wolf Lodge has many entertainment and dining centers. Plus Grapevine Mall, theaters, Bass Pro Shop, and restaurants are nearby.
Jim Hollingsworth does not like to over promise and under deliver. He will continue working to ensure as many players as possible enjoy the Veterans Banquet. Some USAFOCC staff refuse to accept a salary. All are dedicated to making this an epic championship adventure few will experience. On Friday, September 17th, Jim will meet with Great Wolf Lodge officials and make another personal donation to help with headcount issues.
We appreciate everyone for their patience and understanding.
For all other USAFOCC events and activities masks are optional as long as the person has been inoculated.
Note: Effective Monday, August 23, 2021, Great Wolf Lodge requires the use of face coverings regardless of vaccination status in all public areas. This policy will apply to all guests 5 years of age and older with the following few exceptions:
While consuming a meal inside a restaurant or a designated, physically distanced table positioned near food outlets.
When actively eating or drinking, as long as stationary and maintaining appropriate physical distancing from other guests.
While swimming or actively enjoying the water park attractions.
Acceptable face coverings must have at least two layers, fully cover the nose and mouth, secure under the chin, and fit snuggly along the sides of the face. Face coverings should not require the use of hands to hold in place, it should secure using ear loops, ties or elastic bands. Facemasks with exhalation valves, made with mesh material, cloth bandanas, veils, and costume masks are not acceptable.
Note: USAFOCC Organizers were first told of the new policy on 7 Setember 2021.
For the AFO and VOC, the default forfeiture time is 60 minutes and white's clock will be started at the start of the round if there is a clock available. If there is no clock available, time remaining will be split evenly with bonus time added accordingly when a clock becomes available.
For the FIDE Rapid the default time is 15 minutes.
Individual championships will be decided using standard chess scoring and the following standard US Chess tiebreaks when necessary:
Cumulative of Opposition
This same individual placement will be used to determine team scores for the team championships (see Team Championships below).
Teams championships will be decided using the Rollins (Military) System, the official scoring system of the US Armed Forces Open Chess Tournament. Teams scores will be determined by the five (5) highest placed players from each team within a single section. Player placement is determined by each players' placement within the individual championships (see Individual Championships and Tiebreaks above). For additional information, please see rule 31A1 of the US Chess Federation's Official Rules of Chess: 7th Edition Updated for 2020.
Team Pairing Restrictions:
Team pairing restrictions will be observed for the first round (if possible) and will be observed at the director's discretion for the second round. Team pairing restrictions will be removed for the third round onward.
The USAFOCC is a National Championship. A few years ago organizers offered state affiliates the option of crowning their State Armed Forces Chess Champion, if they pay for it. The 62nd USAFOCC continues that tradition. Some state affiliates decline, which is perfectly okay. Often they have other plans for recognizing their chess-playing military and veterans. We only make the offer to help.
We have a huge number of Texans in this USAFOCC. The Texas Chess Association is one of our sponsors and is allowing us to crown their Armed Forces and Veterans Chess Champions. A private donor, who wishes to be anonymous, is covering the cost.
We are grateful to the Texas Chess Association and the private donor for making this special gesture possible.
As you know, the 62nd USAFOCC is a FIDE-rated event. That means everyone is required to have a USA FIDE ID number. To obtain a USA FIDE ID number your birthdate is required and you must give US Chess permission to award you a USA FIDE ID number. Without doing this now there will be a HUGE BACKLOG during registration. We want everyone to enjoy their USAFOCC experience. That means being able to walk in, show your ID card (and DD 214 for VOC players), and hear these wonderful words, "Hey, welcome! We're glad you're here. You are checked in and good to go! Relax and we'll let you know when the pairings are up!" 😀
Birthdates are "Personal Identifying Information" (PII). All PII must be protected. The Texas Armed Forces Chess website's Registration page is secured with encryption.
If your MSA page does not show a FIDE ID number, please register a second time so we can capture your required PII securely. Your FIDE ID number be processed and shown on your MSA page.
In early July, we had 38 players needing a USA FIDE ID. As of 25 August we have
FIDE rated players are TOUGH. They are serious about their chess. But they are like the rest of us; they put on their pants one-leg-at-a-time and they occasionally make the last mistake in a game.
One "draw" (yes, ½ point) is all that's needed to achieve a FIDE rating. One draw total against five FIDE rated opponents within a twenty-six month period. One draw in only five FIDE rated games. This can be accomplished in one, two, three, four or even five FIDE tournaments.
Normally, the VOC is not FIDE rated. When John Farrell urged Jim Hollingsworth to organize this Jim said, "Only on one condition. It's FIDE for all or FIDE for none!"
We have two FIDE Arbiters on staff to make it happen.
One draw. Five games. The "Clock" starts after your first draw or win against a FIDE opponent. Good luck.
How are the Pairings determined for Friday's four-round FIDE Blitz Tournament?
The AFO and VOC will be combined into one tournament. US Chess ratings will be used to determine the pairings. As this is being written we have 39 players and three have a FIDE Rapid rating. Also US Chess rated. Time control is Game in 15 minutes plus 10 seconds increment. Starts at 6:00 PM.
All players are automatically entered in the FIDE Rapid Tournament. Tell Gary Gaiffe, Arbiter, if you have other plans.
FREE TIME, Skittles Chess, TEXAS HOLD 'EM, and the Annual Armed Forces Chess Committee Meeting will occur immediately after the FIDE Rapid Tournament.
How are the Pairings determined for Saturday's six-player double round-robin FIDE Quick Sectionals?
The AFO and VOC will be combined. US Chess ratings will be used to determine the composition of each section, however adjustments will be made to attempt ensuring two FIDE rated players are in each section. This goal could a challenge. As this is being written we only have 37 players (because 2 are leaving after Round 1 for NATO) and only one has a FIDE Quick rating.
All players in the section will play two games, with alternating colors, against each opponent. Also, the number of players may be increased in some sections to eight. Time control is Game in 3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment. This event will also be US Chess rated.
Starts right after Round 2 and a dinner break. We will do our best, but please be flexible and prepared for this event to be US Chess rated only.
All players are automatically entered in the FIDE Blitz Sectionals. Tell Gary Gaiffe, Arbiter, if you have other plans.
HNR's improve Active Duty morale, raise public awareness, keep family and friends informed, and help fundraising efforts so the USAFOCC can be held in future years. Please send us contact information for your local newspaper or media outlet.
We will also have HNR forms available during check-in. POC: Jim Hollingsworth.
No electronic devices are allowed in the tournament hall during any FIDE play. This includes cell phones and "watches" or any watch which may look like one. Fortunately, we have good news for all. Each suite is equipped with a locking safe and ample room for storing laptops, cell phones, valuables, etc. If more space is needed the Concierge Desk in the main lobby offers secure storage.
IMPORTANT, see EXCEPTIONS below.
Exception 1. US Chess approved notation devices may be used as long as they stay on the table, next to the board, at all times while the game is in progress. This means players cannot take them to restrooms, etc.
As this is written (September 2020) only three personal notation devices are US Chess approved.
Please present your notation device to USAFOCC Staff (Bob Curtis or Chris Wood) for inspection before using.
Exception 2. Arbiter Staff will have computers, printers, and muted cell phones to perform their duties. These will be strategically positioned away from the boards. Screens will be protected to prevent unauthorized viewing.
Exception 3. Support staff, such as the Chief Organizer (when not playing), Adjutant, Games Judge, Facebook Administrator, Twitter Administrator, and others TBD may be using computers and muted cell phones. We will also have at least one photographer on staff. All equipment will be strategically positioned away from the boards as in Exception 2 above.
HELPFUL HINT: Make sure your notation device is fully charged. Also have a fully charged "Power Bank" device available, just in case. Nothing is more embarrassing than having to scramble and update a scoresheet (on your time) because your battery died (Voice of painful experience).
ANOTHER HELPFUL HINT: If you are new to using notation devices, be sure to test yours with an emailed game before you leave home.
NOTE: The TLA was published in October 2020 and contains a link to this website. This website has priority for all USAFOCC details, as it's the quickest way to communicate any changes. Recent changes include adding the FIDE Rapid tournament, the FIDE Quick sectionals, and the possibility of a Veterans Banquet Standby List. Please check this website, especially the FAQ page, for the latest information.
I prefer registering for the tournament and the banquet as late as possible, even as late as check-in. Is that a problem?
The two best short answers are "Registering to play during check-in or later is not a problem. Late arrivals will receive ZERO-POINT BYES." However, banquet registrations now cost $50 each."
The USAFOCC tradition is to allow "walk-ins" to register at the last moment and play. Last year, 2020, was an exception. Because of the pandemic, space limitations, and funding, the announced available slots was 20 players. Everyone else was on standby. Ultimately 21 played, including the TD. This 62nd Annual USAFOCC will return to tradition. Anyone qualified will play.
"I say again. Anyone qualified will play. Period." (Jim H).
The Veterans Banquet is different. It is a combination of players, non-playing staff, speakers, VIP's, other guests, space, and available funding. As this is written we have 120 slots. 119 are filled. After (date under review), anyone, player or guest, wishing to participate in the Veterans Banquet will be charged $50 during Check-In. Depending upon fundraising this could change. Please keep checking this website for updates or contact Jim Hollingsworth.
No other USAFOCC has ever offered a Veterans Banquet. However, your hosts are Texans and we do things differently in Texas. Recently, two Texas Armed Forces and two Texas Women's Chess Championships all featured a banquet. It's a great opportunity to recognize players, sponsors, donors and others. It's just one reason why the 62nd USAFOCC will be known as an epic championship adventure few will ever experience.
Today is September 15, 2021. Again, if you are PRE-REGISTERED to play AS OF (Date under review) you are also PRE-REGISTERED for the Veterans Banquet. We look forward to hearing from you. Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org