NATO Championships Set for Quebec in September
February 7, 2014
If you are interested in playing in the NATO Championship from 8-12 September in Quebec, Canada, please contact Colonel David Hater at dhater1@aol.com.  Note that the Department of Defense no longer funds participation in this tournament so players should expect to pay all their own transportation and tournament expenses.  Eligibility rules and details on how the team are below.  Colonel Hater is also available to answer any questions. 

The deadline to self-nominate for consideration for a spot on the team is June 1st, 2014.  We expect the team would be announced no later then the end of June and acceptance and payment of entry fee would be due not later than July 20th, 2014.

Memorandum for:  Active Duty, Reserve, and Select Retired Member of the US Armed Forces, and DoD Government Civilians
Subject:  The U.S. Team for the annual NATO Chess Championships (Draft #2)

1.    Purpose.  To prescribe the procedures the U.S. military chess community will use to identify and select the 8-Player team that represents the U.S. Armed Forces in the annual NATO Chess Championships (NCC).  The NCC usually occurs in September or October.
2.    Team Composition.
a.    Team Size.  Under current NCC rules, each NATO nation’s Armed Forces team may consist of a maximum of 8 players.  Additionally, each team may send up to three (3) more players who meet the criteria described in paragraph 2b.
b.    SPECIAL EXCEPTION.  An exception to the rule in paragraph 2a occurs when a player has participated in at least eight (8) previous NCCs.  Players meeting this criteria are eligible to participate, if allowed by the Event Organizer (e.g. the host nation).  This “exception” can vary from year-to-year, as it is the Event Organizer’s prerogative based on the venue (size of the playing area) and other factors.  The rules are the same for all NATO nations.  Players meeting this exception do not count against the 8-player size of a nation’s contingent, nor are they required to meet the specifications of paragraph 4 (Selection of Players).
c.    Team Captain.  The US contingent will select its own Team Captain by agreement among the participating players.  The Team Captain may or may not be the most “senior” person in military rank, as another player may have significantly greater NCC experience.  The Team Captain will identify him/herself by email to the Chair of the Military Chess Committee no later than 60 days before the next NCC.

3.    Player Eligibility.  Players should be expected to be asked to provide proof of their eligibility.

a.    USCF Membership.  All players must be current members of the USCF at the time they are selected for the tournament, and must maintain their membership through the date of the NCC.  Players also must have a FIDE ID number, which usually is obtained from having participated previously in a FIDE-rated tournament.  Players without a FIDE ID number can request a number by contacting the FIDE Associate in the USCF Office (see www.uschess.org).

b.    Employment.  All players must be members of the Active Component or Reserve Component of the U.S. Armed Forces.  Retirees also are eligible if their retirement date was no more than one year before the NCC.  DoD Civilian employees are eligible, and retired DoD Civilians have the same retirement criteria as military players.

4.    Selection of Players. 
The intent of these procedures is to facilitate selecting and fielding the strongest possible U.S. Armed Forces team.  The U.S. team will contain up to eight (8) players identified using the criteria below. 

a.    USCF or FIDE Rating.  This criteria will be used to determine up to 6 of the 8 positions on the U.S. Team.  A player’s “rating” is the highest of his/her FIDE or USCF Regular Rating within the previous year that ends three months before the next NCC.  For example, if the next NCC Tournament begins in September, then the “Rating Year” is from July of the previous year through June of the current year.  For FIDE ratings, the rating is the rating shown on a player’s “Monthly Progress Chart” on the FIDE web site (www.fide.com).  For USCF ratings, the rating is the rating published in the monthly USCF Rating Supplement (www.uschess.org/msa).  Ratings after the 3-month cut-off date cannot be used to bump another player from the Player List.  Blitz or Quick Ratings do not count. 

b.    Team Captain / Military Chess Committee Nominations.  The Team Captain and Military Chess Committee reserve the right to appoint the remaining two (2) positions on the U.S. Team.  If this appointment process is not used, then the rating criteria above will apply to determine the remaining 2 players. 
c.    Participation in the annual US Armed Forces Open (USAFO) Chess Tournament.  The USAFO is held Columbus Day weekend each October.  Participation in the USAFO demonstrates a player’s commitment to Military Chess. 
d.    Service-level Chess Championships.  If a military service holds its own Service-level championship tournament (e.g. the Air Force Open Chess Championships), participants are eligible for the same 50 point bonus described above.  The Military Chess Committee Service-level Championships be “open” as opposed to “invitational.”
e.    BONUS POINTS for Player’s USCF or FIDE Ratings.  Because the intent of the selection criteria is to “reward” players who are active in tournaments, especially military tournaments, the following “bonus points” can be added to each player’s rating.
  The maximum number of points any player can receive is 150.  A player’s “Adjusted Rating” becomes the rating used for selection purposes.  Players are responsible for identifying their eligibility for all Bonus Rating Points.
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5.    How to get Selected.
  The Military Chess Committee does not select the players.  Rather, the process is one of self-nomination among colleagues who desire to play in the next NCC. 
a.    Who to contact.  The best way to self-nominate is to contact the Team Captain of the previous year’s U.S. NCC team.  That person probably knows who is assembling the coming year’s team.  To find last year’s NCC team captain, contact the USCF Membership Services and ask for the contact information of the Chair of the Military Chess Committee.  The Chair can assist a player in contacting the right person involved with building the team.
b.    Self-Nomination and Cut-off Date.  Players must self-nominate and provide proof of their eligibility and rating (including Bonus Points), by the 1st of the month that is three (3) months before the next NCC.  For example, if the NCC is scheduled for September, then eligible players must self-nominate by June 1st. 

c.    List of Selected Players. 
1)    No later than 60 days before the NCC, the Team Captain will provide the Chair of the Military Chess Committee with his/her list of players (see example format below).  The Military Chess Committee recommends the Player List contain several Alternates to cover instances where a primary Team Member decides to withdraw his/her name. 
2)    The Team Captain will sort the Player List according to FIDE/USCF Rating or Adjusted Rating sequence.  Players who meet the Special Exception criteria in paragraph 2a (8-time or more participant in the NCC) will be shown at the bottom of the Player List, regardless of their rating.
Player List (example)

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3)    The Chair of the Military Chess Committee will arrange to have the Player List published on an appropriate page of the USCF Web Site.  The list is considered final unless changed by agreement between the Team Captain and the Chair of the Military Chess Committee.  The Chair is obligated to “validate” the Team Captain’s proposed change(s) and to have the published list update on the USCF web site.

6.    Costs.  There is no guaranteed source of funding from the USCF or any DoD organization.  Eligible players should assume they will fund their own travel and entry fees.  The Entry Fee for the NCC usually includes lodging and meals. 

a.    Entry Fee Deadline.  The U.S. Team Captain will establish and notify players of the deadline for payment of required NCC entry fees.  Normally, these fees are payable directly to the Team Captain; s/he has the responsibility to get them to the Event Organizer.  Players should expect that Entry Fees are non-refundable except in the most extreme cases (e.g. military deployment, family emergency).
 
7.    Appeals Process.  Players who wish to appeal their eligibility requirements or the names on the Players List should contact the Chair of the Military Chess Committee.  Appeals received less than 45 days prior to the start of the NCC probably cannot be acted upon, especially if they impact the travel and costs of a player already on the list.

8.    Point of Contact.  The point of contact for this document is the Chair of the Military Chess Committee.  S/he can be reached through the USCF Office at 931-787-1234.