2019 PRO Chess League Qualifier
How can you join the PRO Chess League? Find out here.

2019 PRO Chess League Qualifier


Do you want to join the biggest team competition in the chess world?

On November 3, you will have your chance! Here is the link to join

There are eight spots open in the PRO Chess League and you and your city's team will have the chance to take one of those spots in November. Face off against the best players and cities in the world, and maybe if you play well enough, you'll have the chance to take part in the second live eSports event in Chess history!

All information on how to join is below.

2019 PRO Chess League Qualifier Rules

Team Formation: 

  • Sign up for the 2019 PRO Chess League Qualifier here
  • The qualifier will be held on November 3rd and will begin at 8 AM Pacific Time.
  • 8 teams will qualify from this event into the 2019 PRO Chess League Season
  • To join you will create a team centered around one city. 
  • Each team is made up of four players, 3 of whom must be "local" players and one who can be a "free agent". You are not required to use a free agent, and can instead use all four local players.
  • A free agent is a player from anywhere in the world
  • A local player is a player who is from the same region as your team. In all countries except for the United States of America, China, Russia and India, a local player will be someone who either lives in the same country as your team, or has lived there at some point for a continuous period of three full years. 
  • If your team is from The United States of America, China, Russia or India, your country is broken into sub-regions, which can be found at the end of this article. The location of your sub-region determines which players are considered local for your team. 
  • If your team qualifies for the PRO Chess League, anyone who played on your team is required to play on your team during the 2019 PRO Chess League Season, and cannot play for any other team. If your team does NOT qualify, everyone who played for your team in the qualifier is free for play on any team they wish.

Team Ratings:

  • The September 2018 Rating List will be used to determine ratings for the Qualifier. These ratings will ALSO be used for the 2019 PRO Chess League Season
  • The minimum rating per team is 2400 
  • The maximum average rating must be under 2500 (2499.75 is legal, 2500.00 is not)
  • Teams can potentially have a higher rating than 2500 as follows:

1. There are bonuses available for players above 2700 (their rating only counts as 2700 towards the average rating). This is to encourage more top players to participate in the league
2. There are bonuses available to female players (their rating = rating-100). Therefore a 2500 rated female would count as 2400 towards the average. This is to encourage more females to participate in the league.
3. Keep in mind however that anyone rated under 2000, will be considered as rated 2000 towards the team's average rating. So an 1800 is treated as a 2000 rated player. A woman rated 2050, is treated as a 2000 rated player (and not a 1950 rated player).

Event Format:

The event will be a 15-round Swiss event that is played on the Chess.com Server. The time control will be 3 minutes with a 2 second increment. 
All four team players must play in the event. Their total scores will be tallied at the end of the event, and that will be your team's final score
We reserve the right to make changes to the event format, with advance notice, depending on the number of teams that enter. (if either many more or many fewer enter than expected).

Qualification to the PRO Chess League:

  • The top five scoring teams will automatically qualify to join the PRO Chess League.
  • The sixth and seventh place teams will play an immediate death match at the conclusion of the Qualifier.

  • The seventh team will be chosen by the League Commissioner Office from the teams that finished in 7th-10th place

  • The eighth team will be chosen by the League Commissioner Office from the teams that finished in 7th-15th place

  • If you want to increase your chances to be chosen by the Commissioner's Office, the following could help:

    1. Be very active and engaging on Social Media.
    2. Get fun and exciting players committed to your team.
    3. Time Zones and our current league makeup will also have an effect (we may need teams to fill out certain divisions)

The Commissioner's Office will not be looking very closely at results from the qualifier when they choose the final two PRO Chess League teams, so if you want to guarantee a spot, make sure to finish in the top five!

1. The team with the highest scoring player
2. The team with the second highest scoring player
3. The team with the third highest scoring player
4. The team with the highest rating
5. If necessary, an impromptu match will be played to break the tie, or in the case of ties for 10th or 15th place, we will consider both teams to have finished in 10th/15th.


1. United States Regions:

Region 1: New York, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey
Region 2: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, District of Columbia, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware
Region 3: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky
Region 4: Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska
Region 5: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas
Region 6: Northern California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska
Region 7: Southern California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii

(This map shows the borders of Northern and Southern California that will be used in the PCL)

2. Russia Regions:

Region 1: Central District
Region 2: Volga District
Region 3: North Caucasian and Southern Districts
Region 4: Northwestern District
Region 5: Urals, Siberian and Eastern Districts

3. India Regions:

Region 1: Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Haryana, Delhi
Region 2: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Dadra&Nagar Haveli
Region 3: Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala
Region 4: Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Asom, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Aunachal Pradesh

4. China Regions:

Region 1: Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu, Ningxia
Region 2: Hainan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Chongqing, Hunan, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi
Region 3: Hubei, Anhul, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu
Region 4: Henan, Shandong, Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia

Death Match Rules:

This match will be conducted using a last-man-standing format:

  • You win the Death Match by eliminating all four players from the opposing team.
  • Board Four from Team A will play Board Four from Team B. The team that finished higher will have White in this game.
  • The loser of this match will be eliminated and replaced by Board Three from their team. Colors will reverse
  • Both players are eliminated on drawn games. The only exception is that when both teams are down to just one player, the players continue to play until there is a winner.
  • You CAN eliminate the opposing team's final player on a draw if your team is not down to it's final player.