I blog in the hopes of at least a couple of readers/players (or more than a couple!) have the interest in participating in an organized chess club in northwest Indiana. Specifically, it meets at the Meijer store in Highland, IN, inside the store's cafe area (enter the store from the main entrance, and immediately turn right.)
Here's some information about our club:
We meet Tuesday nights. Players generally show up at 7pm and leave around 10pm or even later! It is a chess club for adult players only. If we have enough players, the club director (not me, although I run it in his absence) will hold a 3 round, Quad-style tournament with a time control of G/20 (no time delay or increment). I call it "quad-style" because players are paired based on similar skill, but it is not always a quad (see below for usage of ratings). It is not USCF rated but USCF rules are enforced (i.e.: touch and strike move, cannot "run down the clock" in a drawn endgame). Tournaments always begin at 7:30 and there must be 8 players minimum to begin the tournament. If there is an odd number, a player may be asked to take a Bye for a round (sometimes a 4th round will exist for players with byes).
There is a rating system, but it is not comparable with any ELO-like rating (it is mainly used to compare players within the club and to help pair participants in tournaments). However, I know most of the players' USCF ratings and it would be fair to say that most of the current club players are B-class strength (USCF 1600-1799) with a couple players falling just outside that range.
Unfortunately, we do not always hold a tournament, due to a lack of players. That is exactly why I'm blogging: in hopes of raising the number of regular players in our club! The good thing is, no tournament does not mean "no chess!" Players generally stick around and play casual games at a G/20 or even some blitz if there is no tournament.
If you have a perfect score (3 wins out of 3 games) by the end of a tournament, you may receive an award by the next time the director updates the ratings (usually every 3 tournament periods). The award is a certificate acknowledging your performance (although some of the awards are meant to be humorous, even if your score is well-deserved!)
Other information about our club: No matter what time of year it is, it is usually colder inside the store. It may be a good idea to bring something long-sleeved if you plan on participating in the club. Chess sets are provided, but not clocks (it's a good idea to bring your own set anyways).
All of this information is readily available at the club without trouble. I generally arrive between 6:30-7pm and can help welcome a new player.
I hope to see an increase in the number of quality players at our club! We are a friendly bunch who always welcome new players. A lot of us use humor to make the evening more social (some of the humor is at the expense of other players). I find it enjoyable every time I attend.
Disclaimer: Sometimes the words "strong player" or "weak player" are used to classify ratings. "Weak player" is not meant to insult the player in reference. When the director uses the term "weak player", he is comparing that player's strength to the relative strength of the top players in the club. If you are a new player to the club who may not play at the same level as the other players, try not to feel offended by the term "weak player". (I try to avoid this term, but I am not the director).