Chess Tournaments

Play with the best scholastic players in New Jersey!

Princeton Day School hosts monthly scholastic chess tournaments, designed to welcome the most novice of tournament players and to inspire the most accomplished. Chess players from more than 30 elementary and middle schools from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware compete as individuals and as school teams, with a typical attendance of over 130 students.

Chess News

At the five-round New Jersey Elementary & Junior High Chess Championship tournament in Linwood, NJ last Sunday, the PDS Primary Team K-3 placed second and the Elementary Team K-6 placed fourth in the overall standings. Several PDS players won or placed near the top in their segments, including PDS's sole Junior High representative, Eric Wu '24.

[...] about 18 PDS Chess Players Battled the Best in NJ Elementary and Junior High Championship


Nine student sections are offered so that each player can find the right level of challenge and satisfaction:

  • No Score (K-1 new players)
  • K-1 (must know how to checkmate)
  • Novice 1 (K-6 beginners)
  • Novice 2 (K-8 U-600)
  • Reserve (K-12 U-800)
  • Open (K-12 U-1000)
  • Closed (K-12 1000-1200)
  • Future Masters (K-12 over 1200)
  • Near Masters (K-12 over 1400)

US CHESS FEDERATION MEMBERSHIP is required for players in the RATED sections. The link for joining the USCF is Membership is inexpensive and your player will receive a rating, which after playing in several tournaments is a measure of tournament skill and helps place your player in an appropriate section.

Rounds and Time Controls

All sections for players rated Under 1000 have four rounds, G25/d5 or G/30 (30 minutes per player per round), SS (Swiss System pairings) starting at 12:30 pm (players meeting at 12:20).

Sections for players OVER 1000 will start at 10:30. Please check in at 10:15. The Closed section has 3 rounds, G55/d5, pre-registration required. The Future Masters has 3 rounds, G55/d5, pre-registration required. Near Masters has 3 rounds, G55/d5 pre-registration required. In the case of a small section, players may be paired with an opponent twice. The Closed, Future Masters, and Near Masters sections may be merged, depending on enrollment.

BYES: A half point bye is available if requested in advance. Request the bye by email to


Registration & Schedule
Please note: preregistration closes at 6:00 p.m. Friday evening prior to the tournament.

No Score, K-1, Novice I (K-8 beginners), Novice 2 (U-600), Reserve (U-800), Open (U-1000).
Pre-Registration preferred
On-site registration: 11:00 a.m. to Noon
Check-In (if pre-registered) by Noon
Players meeting: 12:20 p.m.
First Round start time: 12:30 p.m.

Closed (K-12 1000-1200), Future Masters (K-12 1200-1400) Near Masters (K-12 over 1400)
Pre-Registration required
On-site registration: n/a
Check-In (if pre-registered) by 10:15 a.m.
First Round start time: 10:30 a.m.

REGISTRATION FEE: If you preregister, you pay your registration fee at the door when you check-in. Fee for pre-registered players is $40; on-site registration fee is $50. Entry fees for the Greater Princeton Championship are $45 and $55. Cash or check to "CHESS TEACH 2".


AWARDS: Round times will be accelerated when possible and awards will be presented as soon as a section is finished to minimize your wait time. The tournament usually ends before 5 p.m.

All participants will receive a prize, either a chess medal or a plaque. Plaques will be given to the top eight players and the top three teams in each scored section, with the exception of players in the over 1000 sections, which will not offer team plaques and will initially offer only six individual plaques. (If more than one player has a perfect 4-0 score in any section, they will share first place and an additional first place plaque will be given.

At the Greater Princeton Championship in December trophies will be given to all players.

TEAMS: A team must consist of at least two players from the same school or club. The top three scores by players from the same school or club count toward the team total. sections: for players rated under 1000 and for unrated players.

At the GREATER PRINCETON CHAMPIONSHIP in December, trophies will be presented to all individual winners, plaques to teams, and there will be a souvenir trophy for all players.

Additional Information and Snowdays

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION – Please do not park in the fire lanes. Parental supervision is required for the duration of the tournament and children are asked not to roam through the school. Pizza, sandwiches and snacks are sold onsite and parents may access our wireless internet service from the Campus Center.

START TIMES - 10:15 a.m. for Over 1000 sections, 12:00 p.m. for Under 1000 and unrated sections

SNOWDAYS - If it is necessary to postpone the tournament because of snow, there will be an early morning announcement at Early registration online will be transferred to the tournament make up day (usually one week later) unless you email to cancel.

Register to Compete