Kindred’s Special: 39th annual Continental Open, the good and the bad

Welcome to the world of modern chess fairs. Yes, I say “fairs” because that is really what the modern chess tournaments have evolved into and been carried over since the Fischer Boom.  The mastermind behind this series of national open tournaments is Bill Goichberg who registers these well organized and run tournaments, making them first class events where those so inclined usually finds the menu to include a most hospitable and vacation mecca under the banner Continental Chess, Box 249, Salisbury Mills, NY 12577. Hence, the 39th in this long series takes place from August 13th thru August 16th with a projected $30,000 prize fund with a $24,000 minimum!

The prize fund is impressive and covers a wide range of ratings with the open section listing $3000 lst, $1500–700–400; top under 2300 rating/unrated is $1800–1000. FIDE rated. 150 Grand Prix Points (enhanced). If not brave to go for the Open, you have a section that fits your rating class from Under 2100–1900–1700–1500–1300–1000, all with handsome prizes to vie for.

Where is this event taking place?  Host Hotel at Cedar Lake, 366 Main St. (Rte 20 west) Sturbridge, MA 01566 (I-84 Exit 3, near I-90). This is a historical early American site where you can experience 1790-1840 America at Old Sturbridge Village, swim in the lake, visit the many shops and galleries. So, while Pop and Kids who play at chess are engrossed in such duels, the rest of the family can partake of such enjoyments away from chess.

Cards detailing additional info are mailed to USCF members. If interested you can contact Continental Chess at the above address. I do not want to give details other than above because of the host of conditions and variations of entry information and would not want to misguide you should I make an error.

Hotel rates: $84-84-84-84 daily for the 4 day event. You can phone 800-582-3232 to reserve by 7/30 or rate may increase.

Now, to the good!  Any Continental Chess event is exceptionally well organized, with experienced TDs.  Bring your own sets, boards, clocks is a standard request for all chess tournaments. For the serious student, class player, master, IM, or GM, the event is an excellent opportunity to show your mettle against others as in any Swiss Style tournament. If you want to grow your rating, this event will provide you the opportunity.

What are the bad vibes to experience from such national play? Well, you have to take into consideration COST. The entry fees are not cheap so that the prize fund is huge enough to entice the ardent chess practitioner some hope of  financial reward.  You have to be willing to gamble if your bank account beckons care in expenditures. Of course if you won the lottery–no problem!  Looking at the entry fee, the cost is reasonable topping out at $150 maximum per entry. All players must become USCF members and a special rate at $30 if paid at on line at or $40 if mailed, phoned, or paid at site.

Have a great vacation, tournament, and enjoy yourselves. After all, remember that you can’t take it with you.  And you will get a chance to most likely see some of the top players competing with special activities perhaps thrown in.


3 Responses to “Kindred’s Special: 39th annual Continental Open, the good and the bad”

  1. kindredspiritks Says:

    This was held in 2009.

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