2015 Denker Tournament of High School Champions

The Denker Tournament of High School Champions, is an annual event held in conjunction with the U.S. Open, in which the 51 high school champions of each state affiliate and the District of Columbia compete to determine who will be crowned the Denker Champion of Champions.

2015 Denker Information & Rules
2015 GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions
Information & Rules
(Revised June 24, 2015)

General Information

The GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions invites the winners of the US Chess Federation state affiliate championships to compete for the title of Denker Champion of Champions. In case of ties, co-champions shall be recognized. This year’s invitational tournament will be held from August 1 to August 4 during the 2015 U.S. Open. The location will be the Arizona Biltmore Resort, 2400 E. Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85016. Hotel Reservations: 1-800-950-0086, Rate: $99.00 Single/Double/Triple/Quad.

The Executive Board of the U.S. Chess Federation has added the Denker Champion to its list of qualifiers for the World Youth Championship. The qualifying student in case of a tie will be the highest finishing player on tie-breaks who meets the eligibility requirements of the World Youth event for the U.S. Chess Federation delegation.


Each state (which shall include DC for purposes of this Tournament) shall be allowed one Representative as determined by their USCF state affiliate. The exception is California, which sends two players, one representing Northern California and the other Southern California. We strongly encourage each state affiliate to identify a tournament to determine its High School Champion. If no tournament is held, rating or some other criterion may be acceptable. If the official representative is unable to compete, the state may substitute its next most qualified player, etc. Each state affiliate should make every effort to send a representative to this prestigious event. Jon Haskel, Denker Committee Co-Chair will mail the Denker Nomination Form to the authorized state affiliate official. The official needs to email the form back to Jon by July 5th. The Denker Committee reserves the right to appoint a representative for any state affiliate that fails to meet this deadline. To eliminate byes, the host state (state in which the tournament is held) may provide an alternate who will only play in rounds that have an odd number of players. The alternate is eligible for prizes.


All participants must be residents of the state affiliate they represent. They must be under the age of 20 on September 1 of the year in which the tournament is held. In the recently completed school year, they must have taken at least 50% of their educational instruction in an approved 9-12 curriculum, during which the Representative may not be listed as a full-time student at any college or university. Proof of eligibility shall be the responsibility of the players and the USCF state official certifying the Representative or Alternate.

Playing Schedule

The Opening Ceremony and 6-round Swiss will consist of the following dates and times:
Opening Ceremony-3 PM Saturday, August 1, 2015 (REQUIRED ATTENDANCE AND CHECK-IN). All participants, including the host state alternate, are required to attend.

  • Round 1-Saturday, August 1, 2015 7 PM Same time as the round of the US Open.
  • Round 2-Sunday, August 2, 2015 12:00 Noon.
  • Round 3-Sunday, August 2, 2015 7 PM Same time as the round of the US Open.
  • Round 4-Monday, August 3, 2015 12:00 Noon.
  • Round 5-Monday, August 3, 2015 7 PM Same time as the round of the US Open.
  • Round 6-Tuesday, August 4, 2015 – 10 AM.
  • Denker Awards Ceremony – Tuesday, August 4, 2015 4 PM.
    Following Tuesday’s Award Ceremony, players who complete all six rounds may compete in the US Open with a 50% discount. The host state alternate is eligible if s/he was available throughout the tournament.


Players are required to play all six rounds. Players unable to play because of illness or other emergency need to notify the TD staff so that the host state’s alternate can be substituted. Players who withdrawal or are expelled forfeit all prizes. Each player is required to furnish a complete and legible scoresheet at the conclusion of each round. The time control will be 90 minutes per player with a 30 second increment added after each move.


During the Opening Ceremony, each participant will receive a Gold Medallion provided by American Chess Equipment Inc. Cash Prizes and gift certificates are awarded during the Closing Ceremony. Cash prizes are given for the purpose of reimbursing players for expenses incurred in the participation of this tournament. Players must be in attendance to receive their prizes. An additional award to the first place finisher will be a $750 College/University scholarship in memory of Erik Patchell (KY) who played in this event in 2006 & 2008. The Patchell College/ University scholarship may be used at a school of your choice.

1st place – $800, 2nd Place – $500, 3rd Place – $400, 4th Place – $300, 5th Place – $200. All players tied for 5th Place will receive a minimum of $200.

Gift Certificates

These can only be redeemed with the 2015 US Open Bookstore vendor before August 9, 2015. They will be awarded in the following categories:
Best Game, Biggest Upset overall, Biggest Upset in each of the other rounds and State vs State.

State versus State Championship

There are three special tournaments running concurrently at the US Open. Besides the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, we also have the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions and the National Girls Invitational Tournament. This year we will recognize those states whose representatives had the highest combined score. If the host state has two representatives for any of the three events, only the primary representatives’ scores will count for purposes of the state team totals. Gift Certificates will be awarded to each player from the three highest scoring states (Open to all states). In addition, Gift Certificates will be given to each player of the top state whose average rating of its players is from 1900-2099, 1700-1899, and U1700. States must have at least two players to be eligible for team prizes.

Internet Chess Club Membership (ICC)

Each of our participants will receive a free two year ICC membership and if a current participant is already a member then they will receive an extension of two years on their current ICC membership. This two year ICC membership will become available upon completion of the six rounds.

Ursula Foster Award

There will be a $500 Ursula Foster Award presented by the Chess Trust to the highest finisher under the age of 16 (as of the first day of the tournament). If there are fewer than two eligible participants, the award will go to the top finisher under the age of 17. There must be at least two eligible players for the award to be given. This award will not be split. In the event of ties, the recipient will be the player with the highest tie-break score.


The sponsors are the Denker Family, The U.S. Chess Trust, The United States Chess Federation, the Ursula Foster family, Dwight Barber, American Chess Equipment, Inc., The Internet Chess Club (ICC), Frank Niro and Chess Magnet School.

Travel & Accommodations

Players are responsible for their own travel and accommodations. Players sharing rooms should make their arrangements carefully, as neither the USCF nor the tournament is responsible for any consequences arising from such arrangements. Please note that registration in a hotel room will require a person 18 years of age or older to be present.

Contact Information-Confirmation of Participation

Each state affiliate needs to request and complete the Nomination Form from the Denker organizer (Jon Haskel). Each player must provide the Denker Co-Chair/Representative with a phone number of a parent or other responsible adult in case of an emergency. Parents are required to confirm participation with Jon Haskel – jon@bocachess.com.
Denker Organizer/Co-Chair: Jon Haskel, 2385 Executive Center Dr. #100, Boca Raton, FL 33431 (561) 479-0351 E-Mail: jon@bocachess.com

Visit the Denker website at www.denkerchess.com