Illinois Chess Tour – Rules


The purpose of the Illinois Chess Tour is to provide a fun and engaging benefit to members of the Illinois Chess Association. Its goals include an increase in participation in Illinois chess tournaments; an increase in ICA membership; and an increase in travel to tournaments, in order to build a stronger social network of players facing a greater diversity of opposition in over-the-board play.


The Board of the Illinois Chess Association shall appoint a Tour commissioner to a two-year term. The Tour commissioner shall appoint assistants as necessary, including, but not limited to, a statistician and a marketing director. All Tour positions will be volunteer positions without compensation.

Amendments to the these rules, as well as the yearly approval of the Tour schedule, Tour awards, and Tour budget, as outlined below, will be made by majority vote of the ICA Board. The commissioner shall make recommendations to the Board on an annual basis, but shall not have the authority to amend rules, or set the schedule, awards, or budget, without Board approval.

Event Selection

To be considered for inclusion as a Tour event, a tournament must be open to all USCF members, without any minimum or maximum rating requirement. Events must have a minimum of four rounds and be played at a time control of Game/60 or slower. New events will not be eligible during their first year.

In choosing Tour events, preference will be given to prestigious, long-running, weekend events. Events should be spaced a minimum of two weeks apart, with a wide geographic distribution.

The Commissioner will recommend a schedule to the ICA Board for ratification by majority vote, no later than three months before the beginning of the Tour year.


The Tour will award both performance and participation prizes on the basis of a simple scoring system. Performance points will be awarded per event on the basis of the tournament score earned (1 point for a win, ½ point for a draw, with byes included) plus a one point participation bonus per tournament. Participation awards will be based simply on the number of tournaments played.

To earn the participation bonus, at least one-half of the scheduled rounds must be played (byes not included).

The first tiebreaker for performance awards will be the number of tournaments played. The second tiebreaker will be wins. The third tiebreaker will be the biggest upset at a Tour event as measured by rating difference at the time of the match.

Membership Requirement

Tour events require USCF membership. The Tour itself will not require ICA membership but Tour events may require ICA membership independently.

To qualify for either performance or participation awards, individuals must become ICA members by the end of the Illinois Open Tour event, and maintain membership throughout the balance of the Tour. Membership will also be required to be listed in the Tour standings, and in any other articles or promotional materials associated with the Tour.


A list of awards will be presented by the Commissioner to the ICA Board for ratification by majority vote on a yearly basis. In determining the quantity and value of awards, performance and participation will be weighted approximately equally.

When possible, prizes will be awarded at the ICA’s annual banquet.


The Tour will seek sponsorship outside of the ICA to cover annual Tour expenses, with the goal of self-sufficiency. In addition to sponsorship, the Tour may supplement revenue through the sale of promotional items such as t-shirts.

In the case of a budget shortfall, the ICA, to the extent practicable, will cover expenses to maintain the Tour’s viability. ICA also reserves the right to contribute to the Tour budget on a voluntary basis as it sees fit.

The Commissioner will submit an annual budget to the ICA Board for approval.


The Tour recognizes and acknowledges the contributions of the many individuals involved in the drafting of these rules, including ICA Board members, and members at large. Also, thanks go to the inspiration and guidance offered by the rules of other state chess association tours, especially our neighbors in Wisconsin, and also West Virginia, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, North Carolina and Delaware; the previous Illinois tour; and the USCF Grand Prix and Junior Grand Prix.

Michael Cardinale
ICA Metro VP
June 30, 2011

Amended December 13, 2012