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GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions
Rules & Information

(Revised 17 March 2014)

General Information

The GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions invites the winners of the US Chess Federation state affiliate championships to compete for the title of Denker Champion of Champions. In case of ties, co-champions shall be recognized. This year’s invitational tournament will be held from July 26 to July 29 during the 2014 U.S. Open. The location will be the Rosen Centre Hotel, 9840 International Dr., Orlando, FL 32819, Hotel Reservations: 1-800-204-7234, Rate: $109. The Executive Board of the U.S. Chess Federation has added the Denker Champion to its list of qualifiers for the World Youth Championship. The qualifying student in case of a tie will be the highest finishing player on tie-breaks who meets the eligibility requirements of the World Youth event for the U.S. Chess Federation delegation.


Each state (which shall include DC for purposes of this Tournament) shall be allowed one Representative as determined by their USCF state affiliate. The exception is California, which sends two players, one representing Northern California and the other Southern California. We strongly encourage each state affiliate to identify a tournament to determine its High School Champion. If no tournament is held, rating or some other criterion may be acceptable. If the official representative is unable to compete, the state may substitute its next most qualified player, etc. Each state affiliate should make every effort to send a representative to this prestigious event. Jon Haskel, Denker Committee Co-Chair will mail the Denker Nomination Form to the authorized state affiliate official. The official needs to email the form back to Jon by July 5th. The Denker Committee reserves the right to appoint a representative for any state affiliate that fails to meet this deadline. To eliminate byes, the host state (state in which the tournament is held) may provide an alternate who will only play in rounds that have an odd number of players. The alternate is eligible for prizes.


All participants must be residents of the state affiliate they represent. They must be under the age of 20 on September 1 of the year in which the tournament is held. They must have taken at least 50% of their educational instruction in an approved 9-12 curriculum. The Representative may not be listed as a full-time student at any college or university. Proof of eligibility shall be the responsibility of the players and the USCF state official certifying the representative or alternate.

Playing Schedule

The Opening Ceremony and 6-round Swiss will consist of the following dates and times:

  • Opening Ceremony-3 PM Saturday 26 July 2014: (REQUIRED ATTENDANCE AND CHECK-IN). All participants including the host state alternate are required to attend for awarding of Medallions, introduction of dignitaries and photo session.
  • Round 1 - Saturday 26 July 2014 7 PM Same time as the evening round of the US Open.
  • Round 2 - Sunday 27 July 2014 12:00 NOON
  • Round 3 - Sunday 27 July 2014 7 PM Same time as the evening round of the US Open.
  • Round 4 - Monday 28 July 2014 12:00 NOON
  • Round 5 - Monday 28 July 2014 7 PM Same time as the evening round of the US Open.
  • Round 6 - Tuesday 29 July 2014 10:00 AM
  • Denker Awards Ceremony - Tuesday 29 July 2014 4:00 PM

Following Tuesday's Award Ceremony, players who complete all six rounds may compete in the six-day schedule of the US Open with a 50% discount.

Rules Players are required to play all six rounds. Players unable to play because of illness or other emergency need to notify the TD staff so that the host state's alternate can be substituted. Players who withdraw or are expelled forfeit all prizes. Each player is required to furnish a complete and legible scoresheet at the conclusion of each round. The time control will be 90 minutes per player with a 30 second increment added after each move.

Scholarship Details

The Denker Tournament of High School Champions is proud to announce that the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has once again given a scholarship to be awarded to the winner of the 2014 Denker tournament. This scholarship covers the complete cost of tuition and mandatory fees through eight semesters (four years) of enrollment. In addition, the Chess II Scholarship provides a $1,000 per semester contribution toward housing expenses.

The Chess Program Scholarship guidelines apply with regard to GPA requirements and probation. UTD has been a leader in the promotion of Scholastic Chess for many years. You can see their campus and chess program at the following locations: www.utdallas.edu and www.utdallas.edu/chess.

Also check out the video of the UTD Chess Team at www.utdallas.edu/chess/chess-team/team-video.html. This will give you a look into what UTD is all about and what players can expect when they attend UTD. The eligible winner, decided by tie-breaks, must meet UTD entry requirements and have been in grades 9-11 during the previous spring.


During the Opening Ceremony, each participant will receive a Gold Medallion provided by American Chess Equipment Inc. Cash Prizes and gift certificates are awarded during the Closing Ceremony. Cash prizes are given for the purpose of reimbursing players for expenses incurred in the participation of this tournament. Players must be in attendance to receive their prizes.

  • 1st place - $800
  • 2nd Place - $500
  • 3rd Place - $400
  • 4th Place - $300
  • 5th Place - $200
All players tied for 5th Place will receive a minimum of $200.

Gift Certificates

These must be redeemed with the 2014 US Open Bookstore prior to the end of the US Open. They will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Best Game
  • Biggest Upset overall
  • Biggest Upset in each of the other rounds
  • State vs State.

State versus State Championship

There are three special tournaments running concurrently at the US Open. Besides the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, we also have the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions and the National Girls Invitational Tournament in which each state is represented by its top girl. This year we will recognize those states whose representatives had the highest combined scores. If the host state has two representatives for any of the three events, only the primary representatives’ scores will count for purposes of the state team totals. Gift Certificates will be awarded to each player from the five highest scoring states. In addition, Gift Certificates will be given to each player of the top state whose average rating of its players is Under 1900, Under1700, and Under 1500.

Internet Chess Club Membership

Each of our participants will receive a two year free membership and if a current participant is already a member then they will receive an extension of two years on their current membership. This two year membership will become available upon completion of the six rounds.

Ursula Foster Award

There will be a $500 Ursula Foster Award presented by the Chess Trust to the highest finisher under the age of 16 (as of the first day of the tournament). If there are fewer than two eligible participants, the award will go to the top finisher under the age of 17. There must be at least two eligible players for the award to be given. This award will not be split. In the event of ties, the recipient will be the player with the highest tie-break score.


The sponsors are the Denker Family, The U.S. Chess Trust, The United States Chess Federation, the Ursula Foster family, Dwight Barber, American Chess Equipment, Inc., The Internet Chess Club (ICC), Frank Niro, and Sunil Weermantry of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation.

Travel & Accommodations

Players are responsible for their own travel and accommodations. Players sharing rooms should make their arrangements carefully, as neither the USCF nor the tournament is responsible for any consequences arising from such arrangements. Please note that registration in a hotel room will require a person 18 years of age or older to be present.

Contact Information-Confirmation of Participation

Each state affiliate needs to request and complete the Nomination Form from the Denker organizer (Jon Haskel). Each player must provide the Denker Co-Chair/Representative with a phone number of a parent or other responsible adult in case of an emergency. Parents are required to confirm participation with Jon Haskel - jon@bocachess.com.

Denker Organizer/Co-Chair:
Jon Haskel
2385 Executive Center Dr. #100
Boca Raton, FL 33431
E-Mail:  jon@bocachess.com