Magna Charter Series

Promoting scholastic chess competition in our area!

What is the Magna Charter Series?

The Magna Charter Series of scholastic chess tournaments was begun in September 2017 by our chess club in conjunction with the National Eagles of Excellence chess club at the former Aloma D. Johnson Charter School, also in the City of Buffalo, New York.

While the sponsorship of both Elmwood Village and Aloma D. Johnson illustrate that charter schools have taken a leading role in scholastic chess in the Buffalo City School District, the series is open to all scholastic players in the grade ranges selected for each event, including players visiting from out-of-town who just happen to stumble upon it!

Since their inception, all Magna Charter competitions have been held on the Days Park-Allentown campus of the Elmwood Village Charter School, but we'll happily go on the road to your school, if you'd like to bring chess to your students or community! Just contact us to find out how.

When Are Magna Charter Tournaments?

Magna Charter events are be scheduled for early OCT (first or second weekend) and either Palm Sunday (the SUN before [Western] Easter) or the SUN following (Western) Easter.

Western Easter is, in case you are wondering why it bounces around so much (and you can win a bar bet with this tidbit), the first SUN following the first full moon (also known as the "Paschal" moon) following the vernal equinox (start of spring). Really.

What Makes Magna Charter Tournaments Distinctive?

First off, they are primarily scholastic, and offer the ONLY opportunities for local K-3 students to play in a U.S. Chess Federation Primary Junior Tournament. (We encourage all the other WNY-area chess tournament organizers to break up our monopoly.)

Secondly, the awards are generally limited to medals, no trophies. By doing this, the cost of registration (entry fee) is kept to a rock-bottom. That's a deliberate choice, intended to make participation as affordable as possible to families.

Thirdly, to expand on that imperative, if we sell food and refreshments at our events, we do so at break-even cost (and we even try to keep those costs down by bargain-shopping). If you want to brown-bag to save even more money, do so with our blessing!

Fourthly, one award is never "unexciting." Since JUN 2017, every chess tournament held at EVCS has awarded a USCF membership (Scholastic or Youth, as appropriate) for the best finish by a competitor who was not already a member of the USCF. Simply put, a player that good should be playing in the "majors."

There's more chess activity out there than you imagine. Check out our calendar of all the kid-friendly (and almost all are--kids play against adults all the time, often to great success) events in Erie and Niagara Counties.