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Chess players take to the turf for 2020 Halloween Chess Tournament

MADISON – In its premiere year, the 2020 Halloween Chess Tournament will gather ghastly competitors for diabolical plays at Madison City Schools Stadium, 211 Celtic Drive on that horrific day – Halloween, Oct. 31 at 10 a.m.

“We’re excited to announce a first in Madison — an outdoor chess tournament held at MCS Stadium on the new turf field! I have always wanted to host a chess tournament on a football field,” Ranae Bartlett said. She is Executive Director for Madison City Chess League.

“Organizers are keeping their fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate. Our kids miss playing chess over-the-board and holding a chess tournament outdoors observing MCS safety protocols will make this a fun, unique event in more ways than one,” Bartlett said.

Parents and family members can observe the chess games from the stands, as if they were seated at a football game. Families must sit six feet apart.

“Normally, parents are not allowed inside a tournament playing room, but here parents can even bring binoculars and watch the games as they are played,” Bartlett said. “Kids also can run along the end zones or designated areas around the field in between rounds.”

Mei Wei will sell lunches by the concession stand. Spectators and players cannot take food on the turf field.

“Another unique aspect of the event is the Costume Contest that will include categories for ‘Best Mask’ and ‘Scariest Gloves,’ acknowledging the unique circumstances we find ourselves in with COVID-19,” Bartlett said. Other prize categories will include “Best Chess-Themed Costume” and “Most Creative Costume.”

MCCL thanks Sullins Eye Care Center for sponsoring the 2020 Halloween Chess Tournament.

In this tournament, students in grades K-12 can play in either non-rated or rated sections. In the rated sections, players will (compete) in Quick time control of 20 minutes per side with a five-second delay. Quick-rated games do not require players to record their moves, as with regular rated games.

The league will provide chess sets and clocks. Volunteers will sanitize with an ion sprayer after each round. Players must wear a mask during their rounds.

Rated Sections will have K-3, K-5, K-8 and K-12 categories. Players in rated sections only must hold membership in U.S. Chess Federation. Non-rated sections will be available for K-2 and K-5.

Approximate round times will be 10 and 11 a.m. and 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Time Control is Game 20/d5.

Officials will present awards places 1-10 in rated sections and for places 1-5 for non-rated sections.

Registration fee is $20 for MCCL members or $25 for players who aren’t members. To register online, visit madisonchess.com.

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