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The Ray Joiner
CHESS Tournament

General Information, Rules & Schedule

Tournament Location
Sierra Madre Middle School
160 North Canon Ave, Sierra Madre 91024
Multi-purpose Room

Check-in begins at 8:00 am.
The Award Ceremony ends at 3:30 pm.

See schedule for details. Arriving promptly to check-in is important to ensure all players are ready and in place to begin on time.


Enter the school’s parking lot off N. Canon Avenue.  If the lot is full, please use street parking.


Look for check-in tables in the lobby of the multipurpose room just inside the entry gate.

Refreshments and Lunch

Coffee, water, and light snacks are available for a suggested donation all day. Pizza and salad will be provided to players free of charge, and to all others for a suggested donation. You may also bring your own snacks. Be sure your child eats and drinks.

Parent Supervision

Players K-5th grade need a parent or other guardian present on site all day. Students grades 6 and up are permitted to attend without a parent.

Parent Observation

Parents are not permitted to watch the chess games in the tournament room. They may observe from outside only. Thankfully, Sierra Madre Middle has large windows and ample seating right outside of the multipurpose room.

Things to Do

You may wish to bring reading material, games for younger siblings, or other ways to pass the time between and during rounds. The library “cafe” will be open for quiet reading and work. The Ray Joiner Reading Corner will feature several elementary titles that younger children may enjoy reading. Please note that there is no WiFi so bring your own hotspot if you need it.

Questions? Contact Nancy Carol Inguanzo ncinguanzo@pasedfoundation.org or call 626.396.3625


The Ray Joiner Chess Tournament: Schedule  

Time What Where
7:30 Volunteer Check-in Tables in lobby of multipurpose room
8:00 -8:55 Player Check-in. Get your name badge! Tables in lobby of multipurpose room

Welcome and Introductions

  • Garrett Newsom, Principal SMMS
  • Patrick Conyers. PEF Executive Director
  • Daniel Jarashow, Head of Tournament

Group photo

Players are asked to sit on the Quad steps for the photo following remarks.

Parents are asked to stand behind.

9:20-25 Tournament Rules

Multipurpose room

(players only)

9:30-10:10 Round 1 Multipurpose room
10:20- 11:00 Round 2 Multipurpose room
11:10-11:50 Round 3 Multipurpose room
11:50 -12:40

Lunch Break

Pizza, salad, and water are free to players.

A suggested donation is asked from others.

Seating is outside in the Quad
12:50-1:30 Round 4 Multipurpose room
1:40-2:20 Round 5 Multipurpose room
2:20-3:00 Break (During scoring) Outside in Quad
3:00-3:30 Awards Multipurpose room
All Day Refreshments (suggested donation) Outside in Quad
All Day Quiet Reading and Work Area Library upstairs across from multipurpose room
All Day PEF Information Table Outside in Quad

The Ray Joiner Chess Tournament:  Rules


  • Divisions

Make sure your child is registered in the correct division. If you would like to change their division, you MUST inform PEF by Friday September 7 via email to Nancy Carol Inguanzo ncinguanzo@pasedfoundation.org or call 626.396.3625

Novice:     No “castling”, “en passant”, “touch move” rules. Adult monitors may assist/adjust the game pieces to resolve any extended “in-check” scenarios to allow game-play to continue. Games will use a 40-minute running clock for the entire game.

Advanced:     Competitive play that includes “castling”, “en passant”, and all competitive chess rules. This will NOT be “touch-move.” Players CAN touch a piece, then if not moved, release it and play another piece.  Players should be able to negotiate their own solutions to game play complications. Games will use a 40-minute running clock for the entire game.

Elite:      Competitive play rules with no age restrictions. This is a “touch-move” division where once a piece is touched, it must be played.  Players will use a chess clock where each player has 15 minutes of play time. if one of the players runs out of time, that qualifies as a loss.

  • Commitment

Once committed to a tournament, a player needs to show up, or let the tournament organizer know ahead of time if you must cancel. A no-show of any player leaves another player without an opponent in the first round.

  • Rounds

Players will play all 5 rounds so that everyone will get chances to play. Opportunities to play require that both players participate in each round.

At the start of each round, players will shake hands. Then, one person will hold a white pawn in one hand and a black pawn in the other hand. The other player will gently tap one hand to select their piece color to play for that round.

When players finish their round, they will quietly take their score card to the scorekeeper table to be tallied. They may then proceed outside to talk, snack, and relax. Players need to stay nearby between rounds.

  • Pairings

Pairings are pre-organized for the first few rounds of the tournament. Rounds 4 and 5 will be based on ratings and the win/loss record during the tournament. The system of pairings means that in the first couple of rounds, opponents will vary in skill. Rounds 4 and 5 should be better matched to your skill (something to look forward to!)