Q1) Are there enough chairs? Can we bring table and chairs?
A1) The area outside the playing area has considerable sitting and play areas but you may need a blanket, sweater, or jacket depending on the weather. Roberto Clemente has an indoor area above the basketball court for onlookers, parents and coaches alike where quiet must be kept for the players to be able to concentrate. The indoor area is very small. You may not block the aisle indoors with tables/ chairs / blankets, etc.
Q2) Is it difficult to find the playing area for first- timers?
A2) Yes, indeed. Please consider visiting Roberto Clemente State Park before the tournament and get a ‘feel’ for the place and what it offers. Note especially the parking possibilities (very limited free parking; $13.50 all day parking) and public transportation opportunities (#4 train to Burnside Ave and transfer to the #42/40 bus to Cedar Ave., #18 Bronx Bus or take the Amtrak Hudson Line to Morris Heights from Grand Central or from 125th St.) .
Q3) Can we purchase food at the site?
A3) Yes, but very limited. Some soda and chips are available for sale on site. It is best to bring your own. Sandwiches, etc., are somewhat easy. Charcoal Barbecue Grills are available outdoors for family use if you wish to warm food you bring. You may decide to cook hotdogs, etc. (You need to bring charcoal, matches, etc.)
Q4) Do you have any advice for newcomers? (More than half of all players seem to be at their first or second tournament.)
A4) First, try to arrive early to check in and get familiar with the site and playing area. Learn where the list will be posted telling what table you are to sit at and the name of your opponent. This list changes after the completion of each round. Rounds are at 10:00, 11:30, 12: 55 and 2:15. Be ready to start play about 10 minutes before the start of each round. All players play four games. Awards at 3:30.
Q5) What is the pre-registered checked-in list? How can I get on the list?
A5) The pre-registered checked-in list contains the names of those with $5 fee paid to avoid having to check-in by 9:30. You can see the list here. You can join at the tournament by paying $5 to Marilyn at check-in. (This fee is refundable. It is available for all TRM tournaments unless the player checked-in fails to appear any round, especially round 1, causing an opponent to wait/ get a forfeit win / disrupt pairings with necessary changes.)
Q6) What is this USCF rating? How do I get one? What do I put if I don’t have one?
A6) The United States Chess Federation (USCF) keeps track of all games played by members. This USCF then assigns a numerical grade (called a rating) to players after they have played against rated opponents in a rated tournament. This rating is based on performance. The rating changes after each game but only the official rating list published monthly by the USCF is used at tournaments.To become a member you can visit www.uscf.org and register. To get a reduced fee you can join at sign-in for $10. This fee of membership is good for one full year. (When joining, make sure to be placed in one of the rated sections!!! Your official rating is “new”.) You can not get a rating unless you compete against rated players.
Q7) Can my son/daughter play in a higher rated section, e.g.- rating 456 (or new, unrated), can he/she play in the Queen section at G/45;d10?
A7) Yes. However the King section is more selective and restricted for highly rated players.