Greater Peoria Chess Foundation

The Greater Peoria Chess Foundation is a 501(c)3 non profit organization dedicated to encouraging chess in our community and school systems. Chess helps students to develop many life skills that will help them as they navigate with challenges that lay ahead.

Peoria Championship


Due to the coronavirus, the Championship scheduled dates are subject to change.
Please re-visit the schedule as the time nears.

Peoria Championship History

Although the Peoria Championship has been held for many years, there are times when the tournament was inactive and times where the records of previous champions have been lost. Since 1997, the Greater Peoria Chess Federation has run a championship every year and recorded the list of champions here.

The Championship is an invitational event. Invitations are given to the defending champion & runner-up from the previous year and to top finishers in club & weekend tournaments. Since the list was started in 1997, Mike Leali is the leader with 8 titles. Qualifications are listed here.

The Peoria Championship Tournament Qualifications.

Participation is limited to those who live and/or work in the Greater Peoria area and/or are regularly involved in Greater Peoria chess. 12 players qualify by various means (previous finalsists are automatically seeded, qualifying tournament winners & winner of the 3 major wekend tournaments qualify and the remainder are chosen by committee selection). Tournament qualifiers must have a even tournament score or better in the qualifying tournament (byes not counted). Committee seelections are based on playing strength (rating) and participation in GPCF, USCF, IHSA or college events or other committee defined criteria.

Adhering to Tournament Schedule:

Players who qualify or are invited to participate in the City Championship are expected to play all games. Agreeing to participate in the tournament is a commitment to play all scheduled games. Prior to the beginning of the tournament, if a player is unable to play in more than one scheduled game, they should notify the committee so an alternate can be selected.

If after the tournament begins, a player becomes unable to play on a scheduled date, they must notify the opponent and the committee prior to the scheduled date in order to select a new date that is agreeable to all parties. If at all possible the the new date should be a date prior to the scheduled date.The new date must not be more than two weeks from the original date. Failure to do so will result in the game being ruled a forfeit.

Any player who agrees to participate in the City Championship and withdraws will be barred from participation in the following year's tournament. Any player who forfeits more than one round will be withdrawn from the tournament and subsequently barred from participating in the following year's tournament.

Player Section Assignments

Players are first listed in rating order and then divided into 2 sections of 6 players each. Our goal is to have two reasonably even groups based on average rating. We do this by first selecting players in order of their rating and assigning them to Section A or Section B.

For the first two players, we arbitrarily assign the highest rated player to Section A and the second to Section B. So Section A received the highest player in position 1 of the six selections. If we continue to alternate Section A and Section B (ABABABABABAB) in this way, then, for each of the six selection pairs, Section A will always get the higher rated playerm guaranting that Section A will be the stronger Section. To make it more fair and even out the ratings between the groups, we instead allow Section B to have the higher rated player in every other pair of selections (ABBAABBAABBA). This guarantees a more even and fair spread of players between the two groups.

Each section plays a round robin and the section winners then meet in a match to determine the winner. To find the current qualifiers click here.

The Finals Match

The winners of the two sections meet in a final match. To win the match and become the new Peoria Champion, it takes at least 2 points and a lead in score to win the match. Possible scores are 2-0, 2-1, 2.5-.5, 2.5-1.5. If the score is tied at 2-2, we again go to a possible 2 games at G30+5 and if still tied, 2 more games at G5+3. All fast games played in a single meeting. The higher rated player receives White in the first game in each set, colors are alternated thereafter.