Chess Tournament Etiquette

If this is your first 'formal' chess tournament, then here are a few handy tips to start you off on the right path.

Have fun!  Though it may not always be obvious when looking around a chess tournament, chess is fun.  This is how we spend our weekends, and a lot of our free time - so we should try to enjoy it. Play the openings you enjoy, try a few wild combinations, marvel at how difficult even apparently simple endgames can be.

It is always touch move.  If you touch one of your own pieces you are committed to moving that piece.  If you just want to adjust it on the square, do it on your own time and do say "adjust" before touching it.

It is always touch take.  If you touch one of your opponents pieces then you are committed to capturing ('taking') that piece, somehow. If you just want to adjust it on the square, do it on your own time and do say "adjust" before touching it.  You get the idea.

In FIDE rated rapidplay and blitz games, completed illegal moves lose, if claimed. This is more complicated - when an event is rated ('graded') by FIDE, the international body that oversees the game of chess at a higher level, then you play by these rules in certain fast time controls - where you have up to half an hour per player for the whole game, for instance.  Your opponent may not claim it - they may not see it - but if they do claim it then you will lose the game.

Do not talk to your opponent during the game at all, except to offer them a draw, and even then you should offer the draw in the correct manner (see below).

Always shake your opponents hand at the beginning of the game, and at the end of the game.

If you would like to offer your opponent a draw, then the correct way to do this is 1) do it when it is your move, 2) write the equals sign on your scoresheet if you are writing the game down, 3) verbally offer your opponent a draw and make your move, 4) press your clock so that your opponent can think about your draw offer in their own time. DO NOT put your hand out to offer a draw.  Put your hand out to ACCEPT a draw.  Once you have offered a draw, you can't change your mind.  Your opponent may decide to reject your offer by saying 'no thank you', or making a move in reply.

Always set your board back at the end of the game.  This is just polite.

Please help us to help you by volunteering to help pack up at the end of the tournament.

If you think you've won a prize and have to leave, then just email me your bank account (8 digits) and sort code (6 digits) and the name of the account holder, and I will transfer the money to your account as soon as possible.




Here is a list of FIDE registered tournaments in England. There will be a separate entry for each section of each event (e.g. Golders Green Rapidplay = 4 sections, 4 registrations). If you see any of mine missing, do let me know! 

Scroll down to the bottom to access the archive of events. 

Only games where at least one of the players has a published standard FIDE rating will be rated, and included in the rating calculations of the unrated player. Where both players are rated, the game will affect both players and will be included in the calculations for both players.

previously on chess circuit...

Chess in Hampstead