Call for Bids for 2018 Illinois Class Championship

The ICA is seeking bids for the 2018 Illinois Class Championship. We are expressing a strong preference for a one day event with slower time controls. Bids are due by January 29, 2018. The bid will be awarded on February 28, 2018. In order for a bid to be considered, the accompanying bid table must be completed.

The following points should be considered:

Date: The preferred date is Sunday, November 18th.

Sections: There should be seven sections: Master/Expert, Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, U1200, and U800.

Format: The preferred format is 4SS G/60; d5 for Master/Expert, Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D. The preferred time control 4SS G/45; d5 for U1200 and U800

Prize Fund: Minimum $2000 prize fund recommended. Trophies for U1200 and U800.

ICA Donation: It is suggested that the organizer donates $1-2 per participant to the ICA within 30 days.

Send completed bids to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call for Bids for 2019 Illinois K-8 State Championships

The ICA is seeking bids for the 2019 Illinois K-8 State Championships. Bids are due by February 21, 2018. The bid will be awarded on February 28, 2018. In order for a bid to be considered, the accompanying bid table must be completed.

The following points should be considered:

  • Dates: March 1-3 or March 8-10
  • *Suggested Entry Fee: Early Entry Fee, $40; Late Entry Fee: $55
  • Sections: 4; sections by grade: K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8
  • Number of days: 3
  • Number of rounds: 7 SS for all sections
  • Location: Downstate
  • Time control: For K-1, G/30; d5, for 2-3, G/45; d5, for 4-8, G/60; d5.
  • *ICA Donations: It is suggested that the organizer donates $5 per player to the ICA within 30 days.
  • Site: Most commonly a hotel or school
  • Residency requirements: Players must be Illinois residents or attend an Illinois school. Team champions must be Illinois schools.
  • Books and equipment: A bookstore/equipment vendor is strongly preferred.
  • Prizes: Trophies
    • 25 individual trophies for each section 
    • 10 team trophies for each section 
    • Medals or other keepsake item recommended for all other K-1 players

* The suggested entry fee has been raised $5 to compensate for the increase in the suggested ICA contributions.

Send completed bids to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ICA Guidelines for Bidders

The Illinois Chess Association (“ICA”) is the recognized state affiliate of the United States Chess Federation (“USCF”) for the State of Illinois. ICA is an Illinois corporation with not-for-profit status under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) §501(c)3. As the USCF state affiliate, ICA is responsible for conferring chess titles for the state of Illinois under USCF auspices.

Although the ICA is responsible for conferring USCF titles in Illinois and retains the right to organize a championship tournament itself, it may request and encourage other organizers to submit bids for state titled events. ICA may also confer a title based on an event run by another entity. For example, ICA has in the past recognized the title awarded by IHSA for the high school team title.

General bid and tournament guidelines are below. Current calls for bids, including event-specific requirements and bid deadlines will also appear on this page.

Bid and Tournament Guidelines

These are ICA’s tournament bidding guidelines (revised 5-9-13). Also available below are the two bid forms in Microsoft Word format.

Bid and Tournament Guidelines 2013-05-09 (PDF)

Conflict Disclosure Statement (Word)

ICA Bid Table (Word)

Sample tournament specs for past bids

Following are specifications for past tournaments that ICA has put out for bid. Note: These specifications may be out of date, and bidders are advised to make sure they have the current versions.

2011 Illinois Class Championships

2011 Illinois All-Grade Chess Championships

2011 Illinois K-8 Chess Championships

ICA Bid Committee

The ICA Bid Committee's task is to gather and review tournament bids and recommend a chosen bidder for ICA State Sanctioned Championship events to the ICA Board. Members of the ICA Bid Committee include:

Murrel Rhodes (Chairperson) has been active in the Peoria chess community for over 40 years. He has also been active in ICA, having served as editor of the Illinois Chess Bulletin, and in the USCF, where he has been a voting delegate from Illinois. Murrel is a chess Expert and currently helps run Peoria’s Hult Chess Club for kids in grades K-9 ( A retired businessman, he is also an active private coach.

Chris Merli has been playing chess since 1970. He earned a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Illinois in1997 and teaches Biology and Chemistry at Richland College in Decatur. His principal research focus is on the regulation of genes. Chris is an Associate National Tournament Director currently working on his National Tournament Director exam. He has directed a number of national tournaments and is heavily involved in high school chess, coaching the excellent University High School team in Urbana and serving as pairing chief at the IHSA State Championship. He also coaches elementary school players and promotes elementary school chess in central Illinois. He has served as the Missouri Chess Association Executive Director and as both the Vice President and President of the ICA. He is currently on the board of the Illinois Chess Coaches Association.

Jeff Wiewel’s mother taught him chess when he was eight. He was Board 1 on the Larkin High School team in Elgin, one of the district’s top teams, and around that time began playing at the St. Charles Chess club. He played in three Pan-Ams while attending the University of Chicago, and became an expert in 1984, peaking at 2137. Jeff has played in ten US Opens. In 1983 Jeff began helping Erv Sedlock's St. Charles team directing K-8 tournaments, which then had little competition. The K-8 state championship was then breaking records with approximately 100 kids. He became an NTD in 2002 and is one of the country’s most active tournament directors. In youth and scholastic chess, he’s directed at 26 national championships, 34 state championships, and more than 150 other events. He’s also directed at more than 20 major national and state open tournaments including four National Opens, and more than 100 club events. He is currently vice-chair of USCF's Tournament Director Certification Committee and became active in ICA in 2009, chairing a task force which drafted ICA’s comprehensive bid guidelines. As a service to coaches and organizers, he sends regular email updates of the schedule of Chicago-area scholastic tournaments.

Pending Bios:

Glenn Panner

Erik Czerwin

Rose Grandy

Bill Buklis

Rick Vincent