Northern Schools Chess League

Results after the first meet are in the results-2018-2019 page.

NOTES for first meet:

Our first meet of this school year is on Columbus day at Santa Fe High. Please bring teams of 4 players. Bring extra players too. If you only have 3 players they can be a team and we will find an extra player to join them. Teams may be High school - grades 12 and under, Mid School, - grades 9 and under or Elem - grades 6 and under. We need you to email to both of us to tell us how many teams you are bringing and whether they are HS, MS or Elem, by Friday October 5th.

Santa Fe High will be in session on Columbus expect some congestion if you arrive around 8:30 or leave at 3:30. The school is on a huge campus between Siringo, Zia and Yucca. You need to enter from Yucca Road. We play in the main Gym. There is a bus parking area, teacher student and visitor parking areas. SFHS will run a concession stand.

Times Check in at 9:30

The Northern Schools Chess League holds a series of meets between any school in northern New Mexico which wants to participate. We then declare champions in the high school, middle school and elementary school categories. The meets are well attended with up to 160 students showing up at each one. The events have a fun festival atmosphere, with students really enjoying meeting and playing against other kids from schools all over the state.

Please send email to

Mark Galassi and Jim Johnston

if you wish to participate.

We are about to start the 2018/2019 season!

Meets will be:

  • Monday October 8th, 2018 (a school holiday in some districts, not all): Santa Fe High School
  • Friday November 9th, 2018: Santa Fe Prep.
  • Monday January 21 (a school holiday): St. Michael's High School.

More information will come soon, but here is the announcement email with details:

NSCL 2018/2019 info

Dear coaches,

We invite you to bring your school teams to the Northern Schools Chess League. This school year our league meets will be:

Meet 1 at Santa Fe High on Monday October 8th

Meet 2 at Santa Fe Prep on Friday November 9th

Meet 3 at St. Mike's HS on Monday January 21st 2019

You can bring as many teams as you wish. Each team has 4 players who should all attend your school. Last year 50 teams competed. Teams are either High school,

Mid school (grades 9 and under) or elementary (grades 6 and under) If you only have 3 guys you can call them a team and we will find a 4th from the extra players. Similarly you should bring any extra players and we will pair them up for extra games.

At the first 2 meets all the teams compete against each other in an 8 round swiss system tournament. At the 3rd meet the 3 different age groups play just the others in their age bracket. The top 6 teams compete for championship trophies and the teams 7th and below play for reserve section trophies.

Times at each meet

Check in 9:30

Round 1 10

Round 2 11:30

Round 3 12:50

Round 4 2:10

We do not stop for a lunch break. There is usually a concession stand where players can buy snacks as and when they finish their game.

League fees

Fees are $25 per team. This covers all 3 meets and the Regional tournament which usually takes place in March at the SF Indian School.

Please bring cash or checks made out to Santa Fe Rooks to the 1st meet. We don't take POs.

Your next move

We will send you a reminder some 10 days before each meet. By the 1st meet we hope you will know the relative strengths of your players so that you can play the strongest on board 1 of your A team and so on. In an ideal world they will have some knowlege of chess rules and notation. By Friday October 4th we will need you to email us the number of teams you will be bringing.


If you have any queries or comments please send us an email to or


Jim Johnston and Mark Galassi League directors

You can see the results-2016-2017 Quick summary is:

  • 2016/2017 High School co-champions: Academy for Technology and the Classics and Los Alamos High School
  • 2016/2017 Middle School champions: Mandela International Magnet School
  • 2016/2017 Elementary School champions: Carlos Gilbert Elementary

You can look at the 2015-2016 results and standings. Quick summary is:

  • 2015/2016 High School champion: Santa Fe Prep
  • 2015/2016 Middle School champions: Taos Middle School
  • 2015/2016 Elementary School champions: Carlos Gilbert Elementary, Santa Fe

You can view the 2014-2015 results and standings

You can also view the 2013-2014 season

We have dates for the 2015/2016 season! Dates are Columbus Day (Monday 2015-10-12), Saturday 2015-12-05 and Friday 2016-01-15. You can search for NSCL in the scholastic chess events calendar:

The Northern Schools Chess League is a series of meets between schools (and sometimes clubs) in northern New Mexico. The league has divisions for middle school and high school teams, although elementary school teams can also play.

In the 2015/2016 season we will be using the following format:

  • There will be three meets:
    • Monday 2015-10-12 at West Las Vegas High School, Las Vegas, NM
    • Saturday 2015-12-05 at Santa Fe Prep School, Santa Fe (the Saturday after Thanksgiving)
    • Friday 2016-01-15 at Northern New Mexico College, EspaƱola
  • Teams will consist of 4 players. A school can present many teams.
  • We want you to participate and bring as many people as you can, so:
    • If you have only 3 players, bring them along! We will add a house player to complete the team.
    • If you have more than 4 but less than 8 (or more than 12 but less than 16...), bring them all along: everyone will get a chance to play games.
  • Each team of 4 players will have a registration of $25 to offset organizational costs.
  • Please send email to Jim Johnston <> and Mark Galassi <> to ask questions or let us know that you will be coming along. You may also phone us at (505) 629-0759 if you have questions.

We hope you will be able to join us and make this a strong event and a fun trip for your students.

When you contact us please send the following information:


Number of teams... HS or Mid

Sponsor's Name email and phone #

More detail on the tournament format:

  • Each team has players for board 1, board 2, board 3, board 4, in approximate order of strength.
  • In a round two teams are paired and their players will play by board number.
  • The first two meets will be an 8-round (4 rounds/meet) Swiss System tournament ( with all teams participating in one big section.
  • The final meet will award a final winner: the teams will be sorted into groups of 6 high school and 6 middle school teams and each group will have a 4-round Swiss tournament. Overall winners will be determined in the top groups of six.
  • Time controls will be "Game in 35 minutes with 5 second delay".
  • We do not require that players be USCF members.
  • But if in a game both players are USCF members we will rate that game.