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C.J. presents Chess in the Hill Country – Llano 2023 Scholastic Chess Tournament


An hour west of Austin the asphalt turns to lush hills and sparkling waters.  Llano is located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country – only 72 miles northwest of Austin and 90 miles northwest of San Antonio!

The Llano Chess Club was started November 2022 by C.J. Ares, a 5th grader at Llano Elementary.  Currently the club teaches chess at the Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday from 4-5:30 at the First Presbyterian Church,

CJ Ares is sponsoring the club’s inaugural Llano Scholastic Chess Tournament! The event will be organized by Rocks & Rooks. This is a USCF rated chess tournament on November 11, 2023 in three RATED scholastic sections: K-3, K-5, and K-12. 5SS; G/25, +5. 

View the Advance Entry List!

Thank you for playing! Visit our final standings page. The event has been rated by the USCF.

This is a Swiss-system tournament, so everyone plays all day—there is no “elimination.” Players must know how to play the game of chess! We follow USCF rules including: touch-move, mandatory clocks if available, and notation. K-3 and younger sections are excused from taking notation. Please review the Parent/Coach Responsibilities before registering.


First Baptist Church of Llano
Fellowship Hall
907 Berry St
Llano, TX 78643


This is a rated tournament. You must have a USCF ID and your membership (can be purchased/renewed at check out or online with the USCF in advance of registration) . You can verify your USCF membership ID and expiration by visiting the USCF’s Member Services Area. Anyone can become a USCF member. Players new to tournament chess are welcome to play. Your USCF membership cannot expire before November 30, 2023. USCF memberships can be renewed/purchased at check-out. (New players in 3rd grade and below may request a non-member ID as a part of USCF’s Junior Tournament Player program during registration. JTPs ok in K-3 sections only.)

Each sections is named based on it’s grade level criteria – and is for students meeting that age range. Players do not need to have any previous tournament experience. (Look up your player’s rating here. Please email the registrar or ask your chess coach for placement information.
If your 6th grader attends an Elementary School, please contact the registrar for options. Organizer reserves the right to add or combine sections based on entries.

Please note: NOVEMBER 2023 ‘Regular’ OTB ratings will be used for pairing purposes. If no regular rating is available, then other USCF ratings (quick, blitz, online) can and will be considered for section placement.  FYI: Any event that takes place after October 18th will not affect your November supplement rating, as those events takes place after November ratings are calculated.

All players in this event must be in 12th grade (or lower). Adults, please register for the open event.


No check-in necessary for preregistrations. We will make every attempt to contact you in advance if we see a problem with your registration. Verify your entry ONLINE!
Onsite Registration 8-8:30am only IF space is available.
8:30 a.m Announcements
begin in the scholastic playing room. Players and coaches/parents should be present.
9:00 a.m. Rd 1 begins.
Scholastic sections have 5 rds, G/25, +5.
9:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Problem desk open. No changes for round 1 (bye or section) allowed after online registration closes. Requests for section changes, byes, withdrawals, etc. go in effect immediately if made via email before the close of online registration. Changes requested onsite go into effect as of round 2. Onsite registrations may receive a 1st round bye if arriving too close to the start of the tournament. Please arrive to register onsite no later than 8:15am!

Approximate Round Times

Scholastic Sections:
round 1 – 9:00am, rd 2 – 11:00am, rd 3 – 12:45 pm, rd 4 – 2:30 pm, rd 5 – 4:00 pm


There will be some “down time” between rounds since many games will finish early. We will provide an area (outside the tournament room) for casual “skittles” chess and/or other indoor activities. Parents and/or coaches, please provide age-appropriate activities during the time between rounds. The organizers cannot baby-sit. No child should be left unattended!

Concessions TBA.  Only water bottles allowed at the chess board.

Proper handwashing and adherence to COVID 19 exposure guidelines mandatory!


Trophies & Medals to Top Contenders! Ribbons to all participants!

Trophies to the top individuals in each scholastic section. Number of trophies will depend on number of entries. Chess medals will go to all players that finish the tournament with a positive score (3.0 & 3.5 points). Trophies to players scoring 4.0 and above.

Registration Information

Entry fees are staggered and we’d like for you to register early! Online registration is now closed, so please register onsite!

  • $15 if received by Saturday, 10/28/2023, 11:59 p.m. CST.
  • $25 thru Thursday,11/9/2023, 12:00 noon CST.
  • $30 On-site

Withdrawals requested via email before online registration closes are eligible for a refund (minus a $5 service fee to cover CC processing fees).

No refunds for USCF memberships after purchased from the USCF. NO email/phone entries.


Please request byes when you register if possible. First bye receives 1/2-point. Further byes receive 0-points. Email the registrar to make changes to your requested byes. Deadline to add or remove a 1st round requested bye is 9am Friday 11/10/2023. All 1/2-point byes must be requested/removed before the end of round 2.


For registration questions – contact  Lori Balkum, registrar (  No phone calls, please. Emails will be returned promptly.

For questions about Llano and the chess venue – contact JoLeigh Ares, sponsor (