I'm at the point I'd like to throw my hat in the ring and see what happens. What is the most basic and affordable tournament I should be looking at that still counts for a rating? Would that be FIDE? USCF? Something else? Do I have to do one of those very expensive multiple day competitions or are there cheaper one day events that still come with official ratings?

  • You can join a chess club.
    – Zistoloen
    Mar 1, 2013 at 16:15

3 Answers 3


A "real" rating is gained by joining the USCF and playing rated tournaments. You can get a rating from any USCF sanctioned tournament. They don't have to be all-weekend tournamants; I've played in several G30 tournaments that had 3 rounds in one evening. In addition, you and an opponent can play a rated match if a USCF tournament director approves it.

You can also get a (non-USCF) rating by playing on one of any number of internet sites.

EDIT - here are some clubs in Orlando. I recommend you join one and mingle. The first one here has USCF tournaments...

ORLANDO FL 32810 FL. CENTRAL FLORIDA CHESS CLUB (USCF ID A6007091). Affiliate Type: Club. Call for information. Call for information, ORLANDO FL 32810. Contact: HARVEY LERMAN. Contact Phone: 407-644-3542. Club Phone: 407-629-6946. Address: C/O HARVEY LERMAN, 921 N THISTLE LANE, MAITLAND, FL, 32751-3736. email: [email protected]. Web Site: www.centralflchess.org, Club Membership Not Required, Casual Play, USCF Rated Events, Blitz Events, Club Championships, Private Lessons Offered, Under Age 18 Welcome, Prison chess support. (Crosstables from past rated tourneys for this affiliate)

ORLANDO FL. ORLANDO CHESS & GAMES CENTER (USCF ID A6018039). Affiliate Type: Club. 10AM-10PM MON-SUN. 8853 COMMIDITY CIRCLE, ORLANDO FL 32819, ORLANDO. Contact: ALEX ZELNER. Contact Phone: 407-248-0818. email: [email protected]. (Crosstables from past rated tourneys for this affiliate)

from this page.

  • What is a G30 tournament? If this is long I'd be happy to make it its own question.
    – Ryan
    Mar 2, 2013 at 2:55
  • @Ryan G30 = game in 30 minutes = each player has 30 minutes to finish the game. That makes each game consume at most an hour.
    – Tony Ennis
    Mar 2, 2013 at 3:08
  • Thanks, I found tournaments on the USCF site. If you have a minute main.uschess.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=199 looking at Orlando Autumn Open what should I be entering? It all looks gibberish to me
    – Ryan
    Mar 2, 2013 at 3:37
  • I'd find clubs in your area first. I edited my answer.
    – Tony Ennis
    Mar 2, 2013 at 3:43
  • I'm pretty sure the second one is scholastic only but I did see that too on the USCF site and emailed Alex before posting the last reply. Didn't see the other one so I'll look into it. Thanks for all the help
    – Ryan
    Mar 2, 2013 at 3:50

1) any tournament sanctioned by the uscf is rated. For the first 23 (IIRC) games your rating will be provisional, meaning it's calculated using a different formula than normally. After that point the rating will be calculated as usual.

2) uscf sanctioned tournaments can run for a week or more, or they can be over in a matter of hours. The most prevalent format seems to be 5games in a weekend, but I used to run a one-day seven-round event (and was asked once to make it 10 rounds in a day).

3) aside from the separate events, most clubs run tournaments that have anywhere from 1-4 games in an evening, and continue weekly for several weeks.

I guess the short answer to your question is "it depends."


There is also an International rating body FIDE. In some tournaments, you can get both a USCF and FIDE rating.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.