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Northwest Chess Chess News from Washington, Oregon and Idaho

Northwest Chess is a non-profit corporation registered in Washington State.
Address: NWC c/o Orlov Chess Academy, 4174 148TH AVE NE BLDG I STE M, REDMOND, WA 98052-5164.
See magazine section for subscription and advertising information.
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Northwest Chess Foundation


Important Changes (Rev. Oct. 2020) - Please Read
  • If you are a resident of Washington State, your Northwest Chess subscription includes a state chess membership. For WCF (Washington) membership options, please continue to use this website. All WCF memberships are considered "Premium," and include benefits such as free registration to certain seminars.
  • If you are a resident of Oregon, your Northwest Chess subscription to paper copies includes a "Premium" OCF state membership. You can also choose a "Basic" OCF membership with online-only access to NWC magazine. You should contact OCF directly if you want this option, or choose this option when registering for the Oregon Class Championships. Also see the OCF website.
  • For Idaho (ICA) membership options, please visit the ICA website. These options include a "Premium" membership with a NWC subscription.
  • For new subscriptions and renewals, NWC no longer guarantees that there will continue to be 12 printed magazines each year. There could be fewer editions, and/or publication could be in an online format. At present, we expect that printed magazines will continue to be available through at least 2023.
  • In 2018, the NWC board decided to add "Foundation" to its corporate name, becoming the Northwest Chess Foundation. We will completely update the website once this name is officially registered with the State of Washington and the IRS. This does not affect the name of the magazine - it's still Northwest Chess!

Northwest Chess magazine is published monthly by Northwest Chess, a non profit corporation registered in the State of Washington. Northwest Chess is managed by a board with members from Washington, Oregon and Idaho and includes the business manager and publisher of the magazine. Northwest Chess is the official monthly publication of the Washington Chess Federation, the Oregon Chess Federation, and the Idaho Chess Association (although ICA memberships are separate as noted above). Magazine and website NWC, All Rights Reserved (except for public domain information and news such as calendar listings).

NWC also collects dues for the WCF and OCF, and helps to promote chess in the Northwest (including promotion via this website).

Q: Please explain how subscriptions and memberships work for Idaho residents

A: From Jan. 2014 until Feb. 2018, all ICA memberships (except additional family) included a subscription to NWC magazine, and you could either pay NWC or ICA the same amount. However, ICA ended this arrangement (see note above), and you will now need to purchase NWC subscriptions and ICA memberships separately. The ICA does offer optional "premium" memberships which include a NWC magazine subscription. Please visit the ICA website.

Q: What about Oregon?

A: The Oregon Chess Federation (OCF) decided to leave Northwest Chess, effective Apr. 2019, but rejoined in Oct. 2020. Northwest Chess paper subscriptions purchased by Oregon residents include a "Premium" state membership, and "Basic" membership options with an online-only subscription are available directly from OCF.

Q: Please explain how the subscriptions and memberships work.

A: If you are a Washington or Oregon resident, your subscription to Northwest Chess includes an individual membership in your state chess federation, and vice versa. (This does not apply to schools, libraries, clubs, etc.) Family memberships are also available at an additional cost. There is no such thing as a separate NWC membership; you are either a WCF/OCF member (with a subscription), or just a NWC subscriber. (Out of state subscribers may still play in WCF/OCF membership-required chess events, but do not have voting rights.) Please make all checks payable to NWC (not WCF/OCF) unless you are entering a tournament and including the membership with your entry fee, or paying the OCF directly for a "Basic" membership. You are encouraged to use PayPal to avoid writing/mailing a check.

The current total cost for a WCF/OCF membership and monthly magazine subscription to paper copies is $30 per year for adults. For other membership categories and three-year discounts, see NWC magazine information. These so-called "Premium" memberships also includes benefits such as free online seminar registration, when offered. A number of online seminars were held in 2020, and more are expected.

Q: What about chess ratings?

A: Most major tournaments in the United States are rated by the United States Chess Federation (US Chess). Some major events also have sections rated by the International Chess Federation (FIDE). There is no such thing as a separate WCF, OCF or ICA chess rating system, although there is a separately-administered Northwest Scholastic Rating System. Also, some chess clubs maintain their own ratings for games played among club members. If you have an idea what your chess rating might be from Internet or computer play, you should realize that these ratings are unofficial and may be inflated compared to over-the-board ratings. More information about chess ratings is available on the US Chess and various other websites, and in various books and articles.

Q: What memberships do I need?

A: If you intend to play in WCF/OCF chess events, or in weekend tournaments run by certain chess clubs (Seattle, Tacoma, Portland) you will need a US Chess membership and a WCF/OCF membership, or a valid membership from another state or provincial chess federation if you are visiting. For chess club events, a club membership may qualify you for a discounted entry fee, but is normally not required for weekend tournaments.

Most scholastic tournaments do not require any of these memberships, however advanced scholastic players are encouraged to take advantage of the junior rate to join WCF/OCF and receive the magazine. (There's a lot of good instructional content!)

There are a number of chess club events (often held on Friday nights or other weeknights) that may require club membership, but often not US Chess and WCF/OCF memberships. Please inquire with a local chess club about these events ... they can be a good way for beginners or inexperienced players to get started!

Q: Are temporary or trial memberships available?

A: Temporary memberships (often called tournament memberships) and trial membership may be available from the US Chess, the WCF/OCF, as well as from some individual chess clubs. In the case of the WCF/OCF, $12.00 tournament memberships (valid for one month) can be accepted on-site. This is a courtesy to new players who may face significant expense when they need to pay for entry fees and memberships at the same time, although the option is available to all players. These tournament memberships are not guaranteed to include a magazine (although they usually do if you give your mailing address); please try to obtain a sample magazine copy on-site if available.

Q: Are multi-year memberships available?

A: Yes! 3-year discounted memberships are available (2-year memberships for juniors). See the magazine page for more information.

Q: Are senior memberships available?

A: Yes! Discounted senior memberships (ages 65+) are available to residents of Washington/Oregon, and also for subscriptions outside of this area. See the magazine page for more information. Proof of age may be required.

Q: Are life memberships available?

A: Yes! Life memberships are available to residents of Washington. Please inquire for rates. Note that continued publication of a monthly print magazine is not guaranteed. Refunds will not be available if the magazine switches in the future to online-only and/or less frequent publication.

Q: I am interested in chess instruction or coaching. Can you help me?

A: Northwest Chess can help you locate a suitable chess coach. Please see the links page and also the scholastic page if coaching is intended for a junior chess player. If you would like to discuss this or other topics, please email info@nwchess.com.

Q: Can I make a donation?

A: Yes See Northwest Chess Knights. Donations are currently not tax deductible, however NWC is planning to apply for tax-deductible status.

Q: What is the relationship between Northwest Chess and The Chess Store?

A: Northwest Chess currently has a marketing affiliates agreement with The Chess Store, located in Hillsboro, Oregon, but otherwise the two businesses are completely separate, and Northwest Chess has nothing to do with processing or filling orders placed with The Chess Store (and vice versa). By clicking on one of the advertising banners on this website when ordering from The Chess Store, Northwest Chess will receive a portion of the sale. You can also see a list of other chess vendors on the links page.

Q: Does Northwest Chess have a showroom, store or office open to the public?

A: No We're too low-budget for that, however, you can inquire and often obtain a sample copy of Northwest Chess magazine at major chess tournaments and chess clubs in the Pacific Northwest.

Have any additional questions? Please use the feedback form on the homepage, or call the business manager.