Guidelines for the tournaments organized by Rama Gitananda:
Byes: Half-point byes must be requested before the close of the registration period before each game - otherwise they may not be granted. Check the tournament announcement for restrictions on byes in later rounds. Players who have never before played rated games may not be accorded byes if that prevents then from playing at least four rated games (the minimum to get their first rating).
Equipment: Unless stated otherwise in the tournament announcement it is the responsibility of each player to bring three kinds of equipment to the playing site: Something to play the games with, something to time the games with and a means of recording the moves of the games. Of course the equipment must all be 'tournament standard'. Experienced players know what this means but if you have never played in a rated tournament before then just bring a pen/pencil + paper and an ID.
Free Entry: A player rated 2200 or over or an unrated player who receives
a free entry retains all the rights and responsibilities of a full paid entrant.
The following pertains to a free entrant rated under 2200 (unless otherwise stipulated by the organizer):
1. The player must arrive before the pairings are made for each
round and inform the TD of their desire to play in that round.
2. Priority is always given to full paid entrants.
3. Amongst free entrants priority is given according to their rating.
4. If at least one half point is scored in the tournament
then the player may not become a full paid entrant.
5. If no points have been scored in the tournament then
the player may elect to become a full paid entrant.
6. If the player has lost any games played as a free entrant
and decides to become a full paid entrant then the score/s
for the round/s lost will count towards the standings.
7. The player is not eligible for any prizes (unless the player
becomes a full paid entrant).
ID: Every player should bring some kind of ID. Your USCF membership card will suffice for this.
If you do not have it then please bring some other means of establishing your identity.
No-show: It is disrespectful to your opponent and seriously disruptive to a tournament if you do not show up to play your scheduled game before an hour from it's start or your initial time elapses - whichever comes first. Please notify the TD as soon as you know that you are going to be late or can't make it at all for your scheduled game. Voice call is best but if you can't make direct voice contact then please text your cancellation. Email is third best but it is only acceptable before the day of the tournament - and is still not valid until it is confirmed. Voicemail is not acceptable as a method for cancellation. Remember that you are responsible for making the tournament director aware of your cancellation before it affects the tournament. The tournament director will respond with a confirmation as soon as possible (generally after 3:00 p.m. local time); please continue to try to make contact until it is confirmed. Never assume that your message has been received until you get a confirmation reply from the TD.
If you receive a forfeit loss and don't contact the TD, you will be considered to have voluntarily withdrawn from the tournament and will not be paired for any more games. If you did not intend to withdraw from the tournament then you may consider yourself ejected from the tournament. A player who forfeits a game in this manner is not eligible for a refund and may be liable for financial penalties per section 13G of the official rules. If you would like to be readmitted to the tournament then make a request to the TD/Organizer as soon as possible; the TD/Organizer has the discretionary power to readmit or not and to set conditions for re-admittance.
Odd-man out: Every effort will be made to ensure that everyone who wants a game will be able to get one - including the use of a 'house player'. However if there is an odd number of players available to play a round and there is no house player available to make an even number of players then the player with the lowest ranking (not necessarily the TD if s/he is playing) will be 'out' and receive a full point bye for that round. However if the lowest ranked player has already received a bye then a higher ranked player may be designated as the 'odd-man out'. Ranking is determined by score. If more than one player has an equally low score then the lowest rated player within that score-group is considered the lowest ranked.
Refunds: You are guaranteed a 100% refund upon request until you have made your first move in a rated game. After that, no refund is possible. If you withdraw from a tournament for any reason - either explicitly or implicitly (by just not showing up) after you have participated in a rated game then no refund is possible.
Rules: The current official rules in effect are the United States Chess Federation's Official Rules of Chess, Sixth Edition. This reference is available in both paperback and digital formats. It is in every player's interest to be thoroughly familiar with the official rules since some rules cannot be enforced by the TD unless one of the players makes a claim. This has sometimes meant extra half or full points by players who took the trouble to learn the rules.
Unrated: Unrated players are eligible for place prizes only, they are not eligible for any ratings based prizes. Unrated players who have trouble keeping score may, upon request to the TD, be excused from keeping score but will have some of their available thinking time deducted from their clock.
Withdrawal: Please notify the TD of your decision to withdrawal from the tournament before the close of the registration period before each game in order to maintain good standing with the organizer; otherwise your absence will be treated as a 'no show'. Best is to speak to the TD in person or by phone. If there is no answer to your phone call, do not leave a message by voice mail - instead follow up by email and text if possible. If you leave an email and/or text never assume that your message has been received until you get a confirmation reply from the TD. Remember that regardless of a player's score, per 32C1 of the official rules: 'players who fail to complete the tournament are not entitled to prizes.'