"Champion of Champions" for U.S. Qualification

THE America's Foundation for Chess, the United States Chess Federation and the Internet Chess Club are pleased to announce a new online event of US State Champions, the winner of which will go forward as the final competitor in the 64-player field for the 2005 Chessmaster US Championships in San Diego.

First held in 1845, the US Championship is rightly regarded as one of the world's oldest and most famous national titles. Yet, in its long and illustrious history, there has never been a way to recognize the State Championship structure by finding a way for the best-of-the-best to directly win through for a coveted spot at the US Championships.

Now, thanks to the cooperation of our online partners the ICC, the AF4C will hold a Champion of Champions event that will see State Champions from as far as Alaska through California to Hawaii, and from Maine through New York to Florida coming together in an innovative new online event that will run 18-19 September, with the top four going forward to the knockout finals 25-26 September.

Apart from the lure of a lucrative spot for the US Championships for the winner, thanks to the ICC and
Erik Anderson, co-founder and president of AF4C, there will also be a $1,000 prize fund ($500 to the winner, $250 to the runner-up and $125 each for 3-4 place) on offer to the four players going forward to the knockout final.

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The first stage of the new event will be a 9-round Swiss-styled tournament split into two sections of East and West. On Saturday, 18 September at 15.00 ICC Time (EST), the East coast State Champions will battle it out to find their top two players, and the following day Sunday, 19th September at 15.00 ICC Time (EST), the West coast will do likewise to find their top two. Both of these events will operate under a fast time control of 3 minutes plus one second per move to successfully whittle down the numbers.

All four will then go forward to the grand knockout finals the following week with a time control of Game 60 minutes and with official independent observes on hand to ensure fair play with so much at stake.

On Saturday, 25 September at 15.00 ICC Time (EST), the winner of the East coast stage will meet the runner-up of the West coast stage and vice-versa. The two winners will then go forward to the grand final on Sunday, 26 September starting at 15.00 ICC Time (EST), the winner of which will be crowned Champion of Champions and will go forward to the US Championships in San Diego as a representative of all the states.

Over Labor Day Weekend of 3-6 September, almost half of the 50 states within the US held their individual State Championships - and the field is now ready to take part in this new online event.

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With the world's top prize fund on offer of $253,600, the 2005 Chessmaster US Championships will take place 24 November through December 5 at the Hilton Torrey Pines in La Jolla, San Diego, Calif. "The national title championship is a prestigious event in the world of chess," said
Erik J. Anderson, president and co-founder of AFC4. We have always looked at ways we could bring all of America together to take part in the US Championships " and thanks to the help of our online partners the ICC, this new event helps us work towards that goal.

This will be the fourth year that AF4C has hosted the US Championships and its first year doing so in conjunction with the NTC Foundation in San Diego. Added Mr. Anderson: Since taking over the US Championships in 2000, we have found new ways to help revamp and reenergize this sleeping giant by continually moving forward. From opening the field up with our cycle of qualifying tournaments to having all sexes do battle as one, and now to this exciting new online event, we've strived to show that change can be good for all " the Championship, its players and the sponsors.

The Internet Chess Club is proud to join with America's Foundation for Chess and the United States Chess Federation to present the 2004 Champion of Champions online tournament. "ICC is excited to be hosting this first ever online qualification tournament," said
George MacDonald, General Manger of ICC. "We host hundreds of tournaments for our members every week, but this event is unique. It offers USCF State Champions a chance to compete for a slot in the 2005 United States Chess Championships. ICC wishes all the participants good luck!"

For further information contact
John Henderson at the AF4C on 206-229-9233 or George MacDonald of ICC at 408-363-0701

Full rules and regulations for the event will be posted on the AF4C site at www.af4c.org and on the ICC site at www.chessclub.com.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 10 September 2004