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The USCF is the United States Chess Federation, is the institution in charge of representing the U.S. in FIDE. Also, it confirms the team with the responsibility of arranging chess tournaments and competitions.
They have their own ELO rating system for national tournaments, and they grant the National Chess Master title (NM).
This the federation you have to attend if you want to be part of chess competitions and tournaments if you are in the U.S.
The federations are the main organizers of international chess competitions, and also are responsible for selecting the players for these competitions.
They arrange more than 20 national chess championships per year and coordinate the material for the chess clubs. They have a register of every rated player of the U.S. and information.
They also are the ones behind interesting chess foundations and magazines like Chess life, and Chess life for kids.
This is a non-profitable organization that is always working to bring chess to all parts of the country, allowing anyone to play chess. There are few requirements to be part of the USCF, you have to be part of a chess club and have played against a rated player in a national competition.
What is the purpose of the USCF?
Whenever an international tournament is going to be held, the USCF, as every chess federation of the world, needs to take measures. Normally, many great chess tournaments are held in the United States so the USCF needs to get their hands to work!
Also, they make a lot of different competitions of different categories to get a selection of players to go to international competitions. The representatives of the nation in worldwide competitions normally are selected by previously winning a championship in the U.S.
They also encourage and found programs and courses for chess clubs or schools for everyone to learn to play chess. They usually arrange lectures or simuls with NMs to teach people the beautiful art of this game.
The USCF is the federation that makes possible the healthy and constant presence of chess competitions in the country. They are also the ones that determine your national rating and create the classificatory chess tournaments that could throw you to chess professionalism.
You can also visit their official site if you want to have more information about it, or if you want to join.
What is the national rating?
Different from the international ELO rating, the national ELO rating is your chess rating to measure your level following the national federation rules.
The national rating system it’s pretty similar to the international rating system, but it’s not valid all around the world. That is the reason why the FM, IM, and GM titles are awarded only by FIDE.
This national rating system is to calculate on average your level in function to your performance in national competitions, just with American players. They could decide on awarding you the national master for an excellent performance.
However, the fact that you have an incredible performance in your country. It doesn’t mean it will be worldwide.
Having a certain amount of national rating can give you several benefits. For starters, having a certain amount of national rating will allow you to participate in the experts and NMs tournaments.
These are the first steps to go on a trip and play in international competitions!
Being part of the chess federation of your country is the first step to take if you are a serious chess player who really wants to take it seriously.
USCF rating lookup
The USCF rating system always takes note of every game you play in their federation. The federation is also the one that controls and calculates your rating increase and decrease.
You can look up your results in the federation and your progress curb in the official USCF. Of course, this only applies to the ones that are part of that country’s federation.
If you are not from the U.S., you should get in touch with the staff of your country or the correspondent chess federation.
The draft is a really useful feature for chess players, it allows them to see their results and their progress, to compare them to others. This is also a factor that the USCF takes into account to select players for invitational competitions.
They also have a system that will include you in one of the groups of players all around the country. The system is based on the national rating you have and is like this:
- Senior Master 2400 points and up
- National Master 2200–2399 rating points
- Expert 2000–2199 rating points
- Class A 1800–1999 rating points
- Class B 1600–1799 rating points
- Class C 1400–1599 rating points
This continues so on, and on until you reach the class J, but these groups are usually understood.
The international rating system
Now, the international ELO rating system is completely different, and it has far more benefits. For starters, this rating can only be obtained in international chess competitions, they normally include a vast amount of players.
Also, the resulting chart, the progress, and all of your data are manages directly by FIDE. This means that your international rating will be displayed on the official FIDE webpage.
This is a little more complex system that takes into account far more aspects of your game. When it’s about giving a real rating approximation this is the best.
It may seem like the same, but there is a great difference between national competitions and international competitions. You can really feel the difference in the level of play.
This is why a separate system for international players and national players was created. Also, the international and national chess tournaments follow different rules, depending on the federations.
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