Chess Tournaments for Children in Utah

By chess teacher Jonathan Whitcomb

Do you know of a child from kindergarten through ninth-grade who likes to play chess and lives in central Utah? This can include children in families living in the Salt Lake Valley, for Mona, Utah, is not too far for a Saturday drive south.

I’ll be directing the first chess tournament to be held at the Young Living Lavender Farm: October 28, 2017, (lasting until about 2:00 p.m.). You can call me for more information: 801-590-9692.


Utah Elementary Chess Championship Tournament of 2017

I was an unofficial photographer for the State Elementary Championship this year, held at Brigham Young University this past March. The following are the top-scoring players in the top two school grades:

Sixth Grade

Zichen Zeng, first place, 6-0

Oliver Dias Moore, tied for second, 5-1

Brendon Young, tied for second, 5-1

Benjamin Watanabe, ”  ”  “, 5-1

Jackson Kunz, ”  ” “, 5-1

Adam B. Coates, ” ” “, 5-1

Yashwanth Sai Muddam, ” ” “, 5-1

The sixth-grade division of the chess tournament had 80 participants.

Fifth Grade

Tristan Cohen-Rider, first place, 5½-½

Chloe Lin Parke, tied for second 5-1

Tommy Carter, ” ” “, 5-1

Otto Kooreman, ” ” “, 5-1

Adam Talmadge Day, ” ” “, 5-1

Seiji Aoki, ” ” “, 5-1


How to Prepare to Play in a Chess Tournament

Take note of the registration deadline. Even if it is not an absolute deadline, there may be a higher entry fee for late registration, especially if it is at the door.

Be sure that you know the rules of chess completely. This includes knowledge of en passant pawn capture and castling. Some chess tournaments enforce the touch rule, meaning that when it is your turn to move and you touch one of your pieces then you must move that piece (if possible); if you touch one of your opponent’s pieces then you must capture it (if possible).

If the tournament is rated in the United States, you will need to be or become a member of the USCF (United States Chess Federation) to play in that competition. It’s also good to know if check clocks will be required and if you need to bring your own clock.


chess tournament for children in Utah in 2016

Young competitors in the 2016 Utah state elementary chess tournament



Chess Tournaments in Utah in 2017

I’m looking forward to directing the first annual Young Living Chess Tournament for children . . . near Mona, Utah, on October 28, 2017. All kids are invited . . . kindergarten through sixth grade . . .


Chess tournament at the University of Utah early in 2016

Of the five players with ratings over 2000, four of them were among the eight who won their first two games. The highest-rated competitor, before this chess tournament began, was Brandon Clarke: 2335.


Utah Chess Tournaments (UCA)

  • Farewell Bobby Fischer X
  • 2017 Utah Blitz Championship
  • 2017 Nifty Under Fifty
  • etc.