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August 16, 2019

Steve Szirom
(360) 676-2260

USCF Chess Tournament in Bellingham

After a 15 year hiatus, United States Chess Federation (USCF) tournament play returns to Bellingham, with the first rated event hosted by the formed Bellingham Knights Chess Club. The all-day event will be held on September 28, 2019 at Bellingham Youth Chess, 4120 Meridian St., #270, Bellingham, Washington. The event is open to all ages and skill levels in Whatcom County and the Northwest.

The tournament is organized into one section: Open. To participate in this tournament, entrants must be members of the USCF which is the official governing body for chess players in the United States. The tournament will run from 8:15 a.m. to 6:20 p.m. in four rounds of chess play. The Swiss System will be used for pairing the matches. The Time Control will be 60 minutes/5 second delay (G/60 5d) for each player. A cash prize will be awarded for first and second place finishers. Local chess coach, Tanner Feemster, will be the Tournament Director for the event.

Steve Szirom, the club’s organizer, said "Chess is a 1,500-year old game as well as a language that is spoken in every country. I believe playing chess enhances creativity, problem solving, character, co-operative skills, patience, reading skills and even IQ scores."

Chess has proven educational benefits. There are numerous studies showing improved concentration and cognitive development among students, and engages the adult brain in a highly stimulating way to keep it sharp. Szirom stated that chess is relatively easy to learn but takes a lifetime to master. He said that Bellingham has many fun events but none of them have been of a “strategic, thinking” nature. Szirom is hoping to make chess a more important part of the local community and encourage more players to become USCF members.

Advance registration is strongly recommended. The on-line registration fee is $20.00. Registration at the door on the date of the event is $30.00, if space permits.

Online registration and tournament details are available at

About the Bellingham Knights Chess Club:
The Bellingham Knights Chess Club was founded in November, 2015 to foster chess play in the Whatcom County area offering opportunities for all ages and skill levels to meet others and play the world’s most strategic game for challenge, fun and skills improvement.. Regular chess play takes place at various venues in Bellingham on selected Sundays at 2:00PM. Drop-in players are welcome although registration on the club’s website is free and comes with benefits. The club is free join as it relies on volunteers, donors and sponsors.

The club’s current sponsors are (Lynden, Wash.), an on-line retailer of chess-related products; Bellingham Youth Chess (Bellingham, Wash.), focused on coaching students and hosting scholastic chess events; and (Lynden, Wash.), a network of licensed therapists and psychologists committed to helping people receive the best mental health care available.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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