|USCF Invitational Requirements|
(Approved & Posted: Jan. 28, 2015)
1. Guidelines. The following pertain to players wishing to receive invitations to the events listed in Section 2:
a. USCF membership requirement. Every player must be a USCF member in good standing at the time of the invitation. Invitations are a privilege, not a right, and are not afforded to any player by virtue of his or her status as a USCF member.
b. FIDE Federation listed as USA. Players must be registered with FIDE as a USA player to participate in these events and the date of eligibility to participate under the USA flag must be prior to the date the invitation is issued.
c. FIDE Federation Transfers. In order to be eligible for participation in International events, transferred players must fulfill all FIDE transfer fee requirements prior to invitation to these events. See https://ratings.fide.com/fedchange.phtml for federation transfer information. Click on the appropriate year to show transfers approved, to include dates when players become eligible to participate in FIDE events under the USA flag and when they may represent the USA at International competitions without paying the transfer fee.
d. U.S. residency. Non-US citizens, including those who have an approved FIDE federation transfer, must provide documentation of U.S. residency. Documentation includes I-94, work, refugee or humanitarian visas. In accordance with ADM 14-31 approved at the 2014 Delegates Meeting, a student or tourist visa is not sufficient for eligibility to play in USCF Invitational events. Students and tourists desiring invitation to such events must demonstrate their commitment to the U.S. by providing a Green Card or properly processed Green Card application.
2. Invitational Events:
a. U.S. Championships. In even-numbered years, players must meet all the requirements listed in Section 1, with the exception of transfer fees (required for USA representation at International Championships). Players must still be listed as USA Federation in FIDE. In odd-numbered years, when the U.S. Championships are also the Zonal Championships, players must also meet the transfer fee requirements as explained in 1.d above.
The following will be automatically seeded into the U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship:
1) Previous year’s respective champions.
2) U.S. Open Champion
3) U.S. Junior Champion
4) U.S. Junior Girl’s Champion (for U.S. Women’s Championship)
5) U.S. Senior Open Champion (Recommended)
Other players will be selected utilizing the Invitational Rating list (USCF ratings with appropriate adjustments as defined in 5 and 6 below) posted on the USCF website. At the discretion of the organizer, wild-card entries may be added. These players (rating and wild-card) must also meet the requirements of Section 1.
b. Olympiad and World Teams. The U.S. Champion and U.S. Women’s Champion qualify automatically for the respective team, but foreign players must also meet the requirements in 1.d. Other participants are selected by using the appropriate Invitational Rating List (combined USCF-FIDE ratings with appropriate adjustments as defined in 5 to 7 below). The use of this combined list also applies to the Zonal Championships (U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship in odd-numbered years) since they lead to qualification to the World Championship cycles. Team Captain and Coaches are selected by the players.
The selection of team members, captains and coaches for one event is independent from the selection of teams for subsequent events. For example, the members of the Olympiad teams will not necessarily be the same for subsequent events such as the World Team Championships.
3. Invitational Cut-off Dates:
a. U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship. Cut-off dates depend on the schedule of the events. The USCF Office will determine the invitation date which will be approximately three months prior to the event.
b. Olympiad and World Team Championships. Invitation dates will be after the preceding U.S. Championships (including play-off games) are rated, unless the dates for submitting the team rosters precludes from using the U.S. Championships results. In such case, the USCF Office will determine the invitation date which will be about three months prior to the event.
4. Invitational Rating List. The rating of matches and private tournaments will not be included in the Invitational Rating calculations (see definitions in Section 8). Only established USCF ratings will be used for invitational purposes. Provisional ratings will not be used. Players found to be inappropriately manipulating their results may face sanctions, including ineligibility for invitations for USCF Invitational events.
a. For the U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship the USCF rating list will be used, with adjustments as noted below.
b. For the World Olympiad and World Team the invitational rating list will be computed by taking the average of the USCF and FIDE ratings, as noted in Section 3 above, with adjustments as noted below.
5. Peak Rating Bonus.
a. Player currently at lifetime peak USCF rating, or was at lifetime peak rating within the 90 days prior to invitation: 20 Invitational Bonus Points.
b. Player’s lifetime peak USCF rating was achieved more than 90 days, but not more than three years prior to invitation: 10 Invitational Bonus Points.
c. Player’s lifetime peak USCF rating was achieved more than three years prior to invitation: no Bonus Points.
6. Activity Adjustments
a. The “Activity Period” is defined as the 12-month period ending 120 days before the date of invitation.
1) Each player must play at least 30 regular rated USCF games against certain strength opponents as defined below.
2) Games must be rated by the invitation cut-off date. Games that are Quick or Dual rated do not count.
3) Games played in matches and “private tournaments” do not count.
4) For games to be counted as “activity” they must be against players of strength as noted below:
Event Strength (USCF Rating)
U.S. Championship 2200
U.S. Women’s Championship 2000
b. Any player who fails to play at least 30 games as defined above during the Activity Period will be penalized one (1) Invitational Rating Point for each game fewer than 30 played.
7. Medal Bonuses Adjustments for Olympiad and World Team: A player will receive an Invitational Rating Point bonus for an individual or team medal from the previous Olympiad or World Team, as indicated below:
Team Performance Individual Performance
Gold = 30 Points Gold = 30 Points
Silver = 20 Points Silver = 20 Points
Bronze = 10 Points Bronze = 10 Points
8. Private Tournament and Match Restrictions. Results from matches and private tournaments will not be used in invitational rating and activity calculations.
a. Private Tournament. A tournament is considered to be private unless is has at least one of the following features:
1) A TLA which appears on Chess Life magazine at least two weeks before the tournament.
2) The tournament is FIDE rated, registered as such with FIDE at least 30 days in advance, open to the public to spectate, and adequately publicized at least two weeks in advance.
b. Matches. Usually, a two-players event is considered to be a match and does not count in invitational rating and activity calculations, however:
1) The USCF Executive Director may allow a match to count if it is FIDE rated, registered as such with FIDE at least 30 days in advance, open to the public to spectate, adequately publicized at least two weeks in advance, and neither player has been on a rating floor during the past 24 months.
2) Segments of knock-out match tournaments in which the pairings are determined by a system for Round 1 and by results after that are not considered matches.
3) Play-off matches for a title prize, if specified in the advance tournament publicity, are not considered matches.
4) The USCF rating program considers some events with more than two players to be matches, for example events in which players face each other more than twice or some events in which one player plays more games than others. Events considered to be matches by the rating program do not count.
9. Tie-break Rules. If after invitational ratings are calculated there is a tie among players, the following tie-breaks will be used to decide order of invitation:
a. The highest number of eligible USCF rated games played during the activity period. This includes FIDE games that are USCF rated also.
b. The highest number of eligible USCF rated games played in the U.S. during the activity period.
c. The higher FIDE rating from the current FIDE rating list at the time of invitation.
d. The greatest USCF rating gain during the activity period.
e. If multiple players are still tied, the USCF shall have a drawing of lots to break the tie.
- These guidelines will be adjusted as necessary and posted on the USCF website.
- The invitation dates and rating supplement or tournaments that will be used will also be posted on the USCF website.
- The USCF reserves the right not to issue invitations to any particular event or to change these criteria without advanced notice.