TD Volunteer


TD (Tournament Director)

Typically, we have a small pool TD's who attend events regularly.  Without at least one TD present, there could be no rated play.   
  One of the most common difficulties of almost any chess club is finding and keeping people around who are willing to TD the events on a regular basis.  Usually a club can find only one or two people to do this and almost invariably, they burn out.  Through the late 80s and early 90s, the MCC had typically two people who would share TD duties.  Time and time again one would burn out and replacement would have to be found.  This cycle continued for many years until we hit upon a solution that to our knowledge is very unique in the world of chess clubs. 
  At the MCC we have created a pool of TDs.  For any event, all TDs present are "on duty".  This allows the TDs to share the work and reduces the stress significantly.  The impact of getting things organized and dealing with all the issues that typically arise has a much smaller impact on our individual games and feels significantly less.  It allows us to enjoy our night of chess just like the rest of our fellow club members and has eliminated the feeling that we must sit out the night or event because we are TDing.  It also results in a much stronger social bond between the TDs adding another dimension to the social aspect of the club.
  Since this approach went into action, we've suffered virtually no burn out and we retain our TDs for as long as they are managing to play chess.  (Sometimes life gets in the way and people have to put the game aside for a time.)
As a benefit for our TDs since they are not paid but certainly take on a greater responsibility for the good of the membership, it is club policy that for every round that you are a TD or an assistant TD, you get credited with a free round.  Basically, TDs play for free since they're always on duty.
  Getting certified as a TD is actually very simple.  All it requires is that you read the rule book, understand the rules, and sign a form that says you have read and understand the book.  We will help you with the practical aspects of being a TD and how to use the pairing software.
  Should you decide that becoming a TD is more than you can do at this time, you can still volunteer to perform some of the related tasks, such as room preparation, greeting new players to the club or helping with registration.

How to get started as a TD for the club

  1 Decide on which of the three TD Coverage categories listed further below you wish to do
  2 Inform one of the TDs at the club you are interested in becoming a TD.  This will allow us to schedule and start your training while you work on the other steps listed here.
  3 Obtain a copy of "U.S. Chess Federation's Official Rules of Chess, 5th Edition" and read Chapters 1 through 8 then fill out the TD certification form, sign it and send it to the USCF.

The USCF website is often in a state of flux and things can be hard to locate.  Current as of 2012-07 they have collected all their forms in one central location.  The URL below may not continue to work but it is presented here anyway.,com_uscf_dirlist/Itemid,412/

The two items on the forms page you should look at are:

  4 If you plan to operate the computer, then
      Download the pairing program, SwissSys from
      Learn the program by going through its tutorial.
      Test your readiness by using a past MCC event's crosstable from the club website to try and recreate the pairings for the first three rounds of just one section.  The software will only allow you to do three rounds without the registration key.  In entering the players and making corrections to recreate the events first three rounds you will have become well versed in the majority of its operations.

TD Coverage Categories

  With the exception of filing the final event report to the USCF to have the event rated, all of the tasks of the TDs described below occur on just Tuesday nights.
  Due to the fact that we play on a weeknight, it is often difficult for some TDs to be present early enough to assist in opening the club as well as to stay late enough to close the club.   The doors open at approximately 6:15 when the first TD with Keys to the building may happen to arrive.   Since a round that starts on time begins at 7:30 PM, the building closes after the last game completes and the necessary closing computer work completes, sometime between 11:30 and hopefully 12:00 PM.  Due to this stretch of time from Opening to Closing, TDs generally settle into being one of the following categories for "coverage".
    Opening TD A TD who regularly arrives at the club in time to open the building or who arrives no later than about 7:00 when activities to get the round started on time must begin.
    Assistant TD A TD who is available to resolve issues while present at the club.  Ideally this TD would not leave the club if there was only one other TD present and that TD was still playing.  This is to provide coverage in the event that the TD who is playing has something happen that requires a TD and to handle any other incidents so that the playing TD can concentrate on his own game.
    Closing TD A TD who can regularly stay until the building is fully secured or who can stay long enough after the round is completed to do the non-compulsory computer work while another TD does the compulsory computer work.
    Opening and Closing TD A TD who can regularly perform as both an Opening and Closing TD.

Opening TD role

A TD who serves in the role of an Opening TD is trained and will perform the following duties associated with the following roles:
    Registration Desk Registers players, collects entries, issues credits, takes information for club membership or USCF renewals
    Meet and Greeter Provides information to those new to the club, takes information for club membership, USCF joining or renewals.
    Computer operator Enters players into the pairing software and creates pairings for the round.  Updates USCF database
    Floater Retrieves messages from the phone and prepares phone registration and bye information, assists all other roles
    Room Prep Sets up tables and chairs in both main room and skittles room.  Puts out table numbers.
    TD Is on call during the event to serve as the TD to resolve player issues or as an assistant to another TD.  Performs general observation of rules and conditions present in the facility.

Closing TD role

    TD Is on call during the event to serve as the TD to resolve player issues or as an assistant to another TD.  Performs general observation of rules and conditions present in the facility.
    Room Prep Performs physical activities associated with preparing the facility to be closed.  These activities are detailed elsewhere.
    Computer operator Creates projected pairings, hard copy backups and file backup to removable storage devices.  Updates the credit sheet information to be current for that round.  Updates other records both paper and computer based.