U.S. Open Chess Championship
|This section requires expansion. (April 2007)|
Through 1938, the tournaments were organized by the Western Chess Association and its successor, the American Chess Federation (1934–1938). The United States Chess Federation (USCF) has run the tournament since 1939.
In the early years of the tournament, the number of entrants was small, and play was conducted as round robins with preliminaries, Championship Finals, and Consolation Finals. Starting in 1947, the Swiss system has been used to accommodate a large number of players. Through 1966, the tournaments had 12 or 13 rounds and lasted nearly two weeks. The 2006 tournament had nine rounds in nine days.
Tournament participation grew through the 1950s and 1960s. Milwaukee 1953 had 181 entrants, setting a new record for the tournament. Cleveland 1957 had 184 players, and San Francisco 1961 set another attendance record with 198 players. The 1963 Open at Chicago had 266 entries, making it the largest chess tournament held in the United States to that time. The tourney was slightly smaller at Boston in 1964, with a field of 229. In 2005 and 2006, the fields were over 500.
The cash prizes awarded were large for their time and added to the tournament's popularity. In 1962, the entry fee was $20, with a first prize of $1000, second prize $500, third $300, fourth $200, fifth $100, sixth through tenth $50 and eleventh through fifteenth $25. The Women's Open Champion won $200, and the Women's runner-up $100. Additional cash prizes were awarded to the top women, the top junior, and for the best scores in the Expert, A, B, and C classes. The 2006 guaranteed prize fund was $40,000, with $8000 for first place.
- Harkness, Kenneth (1967), Official Chess Handbook, David McKay, pp. 276–278, LCCN 6613085 (History and winners list of the tournament through 1966.)
- USCF (2007), "2006 Yearbook", Chess Life, April 2007 (winners list)
- Verber, Richard (1979), "The U.S. Opens A Rich Tradition", Chess Life & Review, July 1979: 400 (winners and location list 1939-1979)
- Chess Life 17 (6), June 1962: 128–129 (details of the 1962 Open)
- 2007 results at uschess.org