The game of chess is quite undemanding. Organizing a chess tournament does not have to be too hard. The difficulty of organization depends on the type of tournament, the number of players, the size of tournament, etc. Organizing the chess Olymipcs is of course a very challenging task for a professional team of organizers. On the other hand, organizing a smaller chess tournament for players with ELO rating above 1800 points is not that hard. This article tries to pinpoint things, which are important for tournament organization and preparation.

We made a list of ten most important and vital things that every organizer has to prepare and decide:

  • Goal of the tournament. In the beginning, it is necessary to clarify why are we organizing the tournament, what is the goal and vision of the tournament and whether we do it for the joy of the play, profit or other reasons.
  • Tournament system. Next step is to determine which tournament system we are going to use. The tournament system heavily depends on the number of players in the tournament. The tournament can be played with for example, discarding system or a favorite Swiss system.
  • Selection and sign up of the players. It is important to decide which players you invite to the tournament. There are several possibilities - contact specific players and have tournament closed, open tournament for anyone or state a clear conditions (for example ELO rating range).
  • Date of the tournament. We recommend to specify the exact date of the tournament a lot in advance. Be aware not to collide with other similar events.
  • Promotion and invitation. The next step is to reach out to players, send tournament proposals or promote the tournament on the internet, using leaflets, contacting chess clubs, etc.
  • Preparation of the place and equipment. It is necessary to arrange and book suitable space where players have a peaceful atmosphere to play the game. Another important thing is to provide enough tables, chairs, chess boards, chess clock and so on. – Prize. You have to determine the prize for the tournament winner or other prizes - the price for the best game, the price for the oldest player for example, etc..
  • Catering. Besides preparing the conditions for the game itself, it is appropriate to ensure at least a basic catering for players. We recommend to have the food and drinks in a separate room. The basic catering should contain some light meals, water, coffee and some additional snacks.
  • Referees. There should be at least one referee present on every tournament. If you do not have a referee you should designate someone with this authority.
  • Tournament. During the tournament, you will need responsible and helpful people who help you to ensure that the tournament is going well.

Chess tournaments are usually organized by people who love the game of chess. When you are organizing a tournament, you are free to participate, however it is recommended for the main organizer not to take part so that he can solve occassional complications and oversee the whole run of the tournament.