USCF History And Info
USCF (United States Chess Federation) is the authority body in the United States on regulating and setting rules and administering tournaments in the states. It was created in the year 1939 when two different organizations merged to form a national group. It did not become a very popular entity until Bobby Fischer’s rise to fame by winning the World Championship in 1972. This was called the “Fischer Boom”, and membership peaked at around 59,000. Numbers grew steadily until his virtual complete withdrawal from the game, then numbers dropped slowly but steadily until another massive jump. The current count is estimated at around 80,000.

The USCF is a non-profit organization, but due to low membership costs and the rather large prizes for tournaments, they rarely have enough money to stay afloat. They typically break even by the end of the year, which makes expanding the organization a bit difficult.

There are over 20 national tournaments yearly held by the USCF. Two of the largest are the US Open and the US Championship. They are both round robins and have been hosted for many years. The US Open is the older one of the two, and arguably the most popular. Prize money is immense; in 2006 the first place prize was $40,000 and the second place prize was $8,000. The tournament, being as large as it is, normally takes quite a few days, with the 2006 tournament taking nine days. This alone may seem daunting to new players, and with good reason. The best players come to participate in this tournament, as the stakes are high, and the potential prize is immense.