GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions

The US Chess Trust has supported this event since its inception. Tax-deductible donations are accepted and earmarked for the event.


 Revised November 7, 2018

General Information

The GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions invites the winners of the US Chess State Affiliate championships to compete for the title of 2019 GM Denker Champion of Champions. In case of ties in the Denker, co-champions shall be recognized. This year’s invitational tournament will be held from August 3 to August 6 during the 2019 U.S. Open.

The location will be the Rosen Centre Hotel, 9840 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819 Phone:  (407) 996-9840 or (800) 204-7234.  The hotel rate will be $129 Single/Double/Triple/Quad.  Please mention “US Chess” when you call, website at:

The Executive Board of U.S. Chess has added the GM Denker Champion to its list of qualifiers for the World Youth Championship and the US Junior Closed 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 delegation and the US Junior Championship. The qualifying person needs a US FIDE flag to be eligible to represent the US in the World Youth and US Junior Championships. 

State Affiliate Requirements

Each State Affiliate (which shall include DC for purposes of this Tournament) shall be allowed one Representative as determined by its US Chess 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. State Affiliates must permit all players who are in 9th through 12th grade to participate. If no open tournament is held, then a State Affiliate invitational composed of the highest rated 9-12 players may be used. If that is not possible then the highest rated 9-12 player should be offered the opportunity to play by the State Affiliate.
If the official representative is unable to compete, the State Affiliate 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, GM Denker Committee Chairman, will mail the Denker Nomination Form to each authorized State Affiliate official. The official must then email the form back to Jon by June 20th. 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 Affiliate (State Affiliate 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 and if s/he does not play a round, s/he will receive free entry into a side event and/or will be given a pairing into the US Open for that round.


All participants must be residents of the State Affiliate they represent for 30 days prior to the date of their qualifying tournament. They must be under the age of 20 on September 1 of the year in which the tournament is held.  The players must be enrolled in an approved9-12 curriculum pursuing a high school diploma for a minimum of 30 school days prior to the qualifying event. The Representative may be taking classes concurrently at any college or university prior to the qualifying event.

Proof of eligibility shall be the responsibility of the players and the US Chess State Affiliate official certifying the Representative or Alternate. Current US Chess membership is required during this event.

Playing Schedule

The Opening Ceremony and 6-round Swiss will consist of the following dates and times:

Opening Ceremony-3 PM Saturday, August 3, 2019 (REQUIRED ATTENDANCE AND CHECK-IN).  All participants, including the host state alternate, are required to attend.  At the Opening Ceremony boys are expected to wear a collared shirt and slacks, no tie.  No shorts, T-shirts or tank tops.  Girls are expected to wear a blouse and slacks or blouse and skirt or dress.  A number of photos will be taken, some of which will appear in your state chess publication and/or Chess Life.  Dress smart and look great.  This dress code applies only to the Opening Ceremony.

Round 1–Saturday, August 3, 2019–7 PM Same time as round of the US Open.

Round 2–Sunday, August 4, 2019–12:00 Noon.

Round 3–Sunday, August 4, 2019–7 PM Same time as round of the US Open.

Round 4–Monday, August 5, 2019–12:00 Noon.

Round 5–Monday, August 5, 2019–7 PM Same time as round of the US Open.

Round 6–Tuesday, August 6, 2019–10 AM.

Denker Awards Ceremony – Tuesday, August 6, 2019–4 PM.

Players who complete all six rounds of this tournament may enter the US Open with a 50% discount. This discount will be available for onsite registrations at Chess Control Tuesday after completion of the Denker sixth round. To avoid online registration fee refunds, please register onsite. In addition, the host State Affiliate’s alternate may receive this discount as long as he or she was available during all rounds of the GM Denker tournament.


Players are required to play all six rounds. Players unable to play because of illness or other emergency must notify the TD staff so that the host State Affiliate’s alternate can be substituted, if needed. Players who withdraw 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. This event will be FIDE rated.



The US Chess Trust, a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization and major sponsor of the GM Denker tournament has authorized the creation of a $5,000 College/University Scholarship as an award to the 1st Place finisher on tie-break in the 2019 GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Championship in Orlando, Florida. The winner may use this award at any school of higher learning of his or her choice. If there is a tie for 1st Place, the Scholarship will be awarded to the highest finisher on tie-breaks. To redeem this Scholarship, the recipient must present proof of enrollment in a school of higher learning.
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.

1st place – $800, 2nd Place – $500, 3rd Place – $400, 4th Place – $300, 5th Place -$200.  If players are tied for 5th all will receive $100.

Gift Certificates

These can only be redeemed with the 2019 US Open Bookstore vendor before the end of the US Open. They will be awarded in the following categories: Best Game, Biggest Upset overall, Biggest Upset in each of the other rounds and State versus State.

State Affiliate versus State Affiliate Championship

There are three special tournaments running concurrently at the US Open. Besides the GM Denker Tournament of High School Champions, we also have the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, and the National Girls Tournament of Champions. This year we will recognize those State Affiliates whose representatives had the highest combined score. Gift Certificates will be awarded to each player from the three highest scoring State Affiliates (open to all State Affiliates). In addition, Gift Certificates will be given to each player of the top State Affiliate whose average rating of its players is U2100, U1900 or U1600. State Affiliates must have at least two players from the three events listed above to be eligible for team prizes. If the host State Affiliate has two representatives for any of the three events, only the primary representatives’ scores will count for purposes of the State Affiliate team totals.

Internet Chess Club Membership (ICC)

Each of our participants will receive a free two year ICC membership.  If a current participant is already a member then, they will receive an extension of two years.

Ursula Foster Memorial Award

There will be a $500 Ursula Foster Memorial Award presented by the US 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 participants under 16, 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. If there are ties, the winner will be decided by tie-breaks as the award will not be split.


The sponsors are the Denker Family, the US Chess Trust, US Chess, the Ursula Foster family, Dwight Barber, American Chess Equipment, Inc., the Internet Chess Club (ICC) 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 US Chess 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 must request and complete the Nomination Form from the Denker organizer, Jon Haskel. Each player must provide Jon Haskel, Denker Chairman 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 –

GM Denker Organizer/Chairman: Jon Haskel, 2385 NW Executive Center Dr. #100, Boca Raton, FL 33431 Cell-(561) 302-4377.

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