Classical Night – September 7th, 2023

Ten players came out for Classical Chess Night on Thursday, September 7th. USCF rated, totally free!


Go to our Events Page to catch the next one, and all the other events we put on down in Des Moines, WA!

Classical Chess Night - Des Moines
Classical Chess Night – Des Moines

September Events are Up!

Click the Events Page in the menu to see what we have to offer – both unrated and USCF rated as well!

Note: A ton of Washington Chess Federation Events have been added to NWChess – take a look at them here:

Special mention to the Veteran’s Day Open on November 11th!

Veteran's Day Open - Seattle Chess
Veteran’s Day Open – Seattle Chess

Events for June 2023 are up!

The Events Page has the tournaments for the first four weeks of June – give them a look and be sure to pre-register before showing up!

With summer break just around the corner, we expect more and more scholastic players to show up as well as college-aged people headed home for the break. We’ll lift the cap of 24 players as we get more equipment and ensure we can run our tournaments correctly as-is.

Thanks so much for making the club a great success!

See you this week for classical!

Events Rules

Dual-Rated Events – New Time Control

Our Dual-Rated events that count towards USCF Regular and Quick ratings have had their time controlĀ reduced from G/40; d15 to G/30; d15.

This means that it is no longer 40 minutes base time, but 30 minutes. We are making the change to shorten up these events, as the 2nd round depends on the 1st round’s results and the last event went longer than usual.

They will still be “close ratings” meaning that you will play someone close to your rating in the first round guaranteed. In the second round, we pair by the first round results (win/lose/draw) but also try to keep the ratings close as well. Unrated or provisionally rated players may be paired with rated players of similar skill as per USCF recommendations.

Chess Study

Master the Chessboard: Top 3 Essential Opening Principles for Beginners and Intermediate Players

Chess is a fascinating game of strategy, skill, and patience. If you’re a beginner or intermediate player, understanding the fundamental opening principles can give you a competitive edge.

It’s time to discuss the top 3 opening principles, why they’re essential, and how you can learn them with ease. Get ready to elevate your chess game!

Control the Center

Why it’s valuable:

The center of the chessboard is critical for launching your attacks and defending your pieces. By controlling the center (the d4, d5, e4, and e5 squares), you can maneuver your pieces more effectively and limit your opponent’s options.

How to learn it easily:

To control the center, place your pawns on the central squares and develop your knights and bishops to support them. Avoid moving the same piece multiple times unless it’s necessary and focus on occupying the center with your pieces.

Develop Your Pieces

Why it’s valuable:

Piece development is key to a strong opening. Properly developed pieces can help you control the board, create threats, and capitalize on your opponent’s mistakes.

How to learn it easily:

Prioritize moving your knights and bishops before the queen and rooks. Aim to move each piece once in the opening and place them on active squares where they control central squares and support your other pieces.

Protect Your King

Why it’s valuable:

King safety is essential to prevent checkmates and avoid losing material. Ensuring your king is safe from early threats allows you to focus on other aspects of the game.

How to learn it easily:

A common way to protect your king is by castling, either kingside (O-O) or queenside (O-O-O). Castling not only safeguards your king but also connects your rooks, increasing their mobility. Avoid moving the pawns in front of your king to maintain a solid pawn structure and minimize vulnerabilities.


By mastering these top 3 opening principles, you’ll be well on your way to improving your chess game. Remember to control the center, develop your pieces efficiently, and protect your king. With practice and patience, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your gameplay. Now it’s time to put these principles into action and conquer the chessboard!