Guide to Organizing Online Chess Tournaments | LeagueSpot

How to Host an Online Chess Tournament

February 2, 2023
Chess Hero

Chess is a game that has stood the test of time. This long lasting board game is a favorite across age groups, and offers a near identical experience between playing in-person and using an online chessboard.

Getting Started with Chess

Chess is commonly played as a timed battle between two players who take turns moving their pieces across an 8x8 checkered board in a quest to 'check' the king. Other versions have been created with alternate boards and rules.

Each player has 16 pieces arranged the same way every game. There are six different chess pieces:

  1. Pawns: 8 per player
  2. Rooks: 2 per player
  3. Knights: 2 per player
  4. Bishops: 2 per player
  5. Queens: 1 per player
  6. Kings: 1 per player

Each chess piece has its own rules for movement, including the number of squares and direction a piece may move.

How to Host A Chess Tournament


The most important element of a chess tournament is the official ruleset, providing all of the necessary information for participation. Topics range from registration, scenarios that can occur during match play, and how the final winner is determined.

Chess tournament rulesets commonly include:

  • Eligibility (age limits, previous experience, rankings)
  • Player Conduct
  • Phases and Bracket Types
  • Seeding
  • Match Format
  • Time Limits
  • Tie Breaking
  • Game Win Conditions


There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating a chess tournament bracket. Once you've finalized your ruleset, use a bracket generator to easily build your bracket and inform participating players on how the competition progresses.

  • For beginners, casual competitions, or early phases, consider using round robin or Swiss brackets for your chess tournament to give players more opportunities for play.
  • For advanced players and culminating events, use an elimination bracket to quickly progress the competition or place higher stakes on each match played.
Chess Tournaments with LeagueSpot

Planning your next chess tournament? LeagueSpot can host tournament brackets for any online and in-person chess event, complete with:

  • Customizable tournament design for 1v1 and team chess formats, including round-robin, single and double elimination, and swiss brackets
  • AutoMatcher, our swiss-based match assignment system that cuts down on forfeit rates and guarantees matches on game day
  • challenge links populated directly on match pages, getting players into their matches sooner and more directly
  • Secure data privacy and domain-based email verification for youth and scholastic chess leagues
  • and more!

Schedule a call with a member of our team or reach out at and let us know how we can help bring your event to life. Be sure to join LeagueSpot on Discord or sign up for our newsletter to keep up with the latest platform releases and gaming news!

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Written by Sam Anton
Published on February 2, 2023