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 Rapid 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 Quick 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: Tammy Matta.
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 $35 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 70 slots. 70 are filled. Anyone, player or guest, wishing to participate in the Veterans Banquet will be charged $35 during Check-In. Depending upon fundraising this could change. Please keep checking this website for updates or contact Jim Hollingsworth.
Expanding the number of banquet slots depends upon available space and funding. Both are finite quantities. Anyone pre-registered to play by 6 March 2021 AND who coordinated for guests is automatically confirmed for the Veterans Banquet. Anyone registering after 6 March 2021 can expect to pay a $35 Veterans Banquet fee.
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 March 7, 2021. Again, if you are PRE-REGISTERED to play AS OF TODAY you are also PRE-REGISTERED for the Veterans Banquet. We look forward to hearing from you. Email Address: email@example.com
The $35 Banquet Fee only applies to anyone registering or RSVPing after 6 March 2021. PLaying is still free for all qualified players.
The banquet contract is for 60 diners. Each additional diner costs us $35. As this is written we are at 70 diners. The organizers will ensure those ten extra dinners are covered. To ensure we can fully fund this USAFOCC there has to be a cutoff. We regretfully are at that point.