We understand that playing in your first tournament can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be! We are a friendly club that meets on one of the busiest streets in the French Quarter. We are easy-going and used to newbies, tourists, casual players, and undercover experts! You don't need to bring anything your first time, but check out our FAQs and read our example first visit below.

Your first visit!

You arrive early to the club on a Monday (at Turtle Bay) or a Thursday (at Cafe Envie) since registration opens at 6:45 PM and you want to make sure you find parking okay. Parking was easier than you expected: there were plenty of free and metered spots in the French Market, next to the Jazz Museum, and even along Barracks and Ursulines.

You look for someone with a chessboard and they point you to the Tournament Director (TD). The TD will likely be a person hunched over a laptop with chess gear next to them. They will ask if you are an up-to-date USCF member, and if you're not, they will help you purchase your annual membership. Once you have a membership, you give the TD $1 (or $2 if you don't plan on buying anything from the cafe!) for the rating fee and find a place to sit before the first round begins at 7:00 PM. If you have a chess set with you, you set it up.

At 7:00 PM the TD walks around with their laptop or cellphone and tells people who they're playing. If you don't know anyone, they will personally introduce you to your next opponent. The TD will also let you know what color you're playing.

You shake hands with your opponent and one of you will start the clock. You play chess!

The game ends and you have a result. Go find the TD and, if they're not playing a game themselves, you let them know the result. Once the TD has compiled all results, they'll let you know who you're playing next. This happens a total of four times—once for each round.

About two hours have passed and your final game is complete, nice work! Before you leave, make sure to let the TD know the result of your final game. After that, you're free to leave, play some skittles, or just hang out and watch the other games wrap up. Thanks for coming!