Portland Chess Association (PCA)
Currently hosts casual chess
Director Park in Portland
Hosts casual chess. Has a giant chess set.
Vancouver Chess Club
Hosts casual chess
Firstenburg Community Center Chess Club in Vancouver
Hosts casual chess for players age 50+
Oregon City/West Linn Chess Club
Currently hosts casual chess. The first four editions of the Oregon Senior Open were held at the Oregon City/West Linn chess club from 2011-2014.
Oregon Chess Federation (OCF)
The US Chess state affiliate for Oregon. Runs, sanctions, or sponsors the annual Oregon Closed (Championship and Challengers), Oregon Open (usually the largest non-scholastic tournament in Oregon each year), Oregon Class Championships, Oregon Senior Open, and Oregon Junior Closed (Championship and Challengers). All of these tournaments have often been held in the greater Portland area and all of the tournaments except the Oregon Open (since it’s too big) have been held at the PCC facility. The PCC often co-sponsors and helps run the Oregon Open. All of the current two and three day annual PCC tournaments are qualifiers for the Challengers section of the Oregon Closed. Two of the current PCC board members are also on the OCF board.
Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation (OSCF)
Runs the annual OSCF State Championship in Seaside, OSCF K-12 School Team Championship, OSCF All-Stars Invitational in Salem, scholastic side event at the Oregon Open, and promotes scholastic chess of all levels. See the OSCF website for many local scholastic clubs/organizations. Most tournaments in Oregon, including most PCC events, are qualifiers for the OSCF State Championship, the premier scholastic tournament in the state which crowns the High School, Middle School, Elementary School, and Primary School state champions and is usually the Oregon qualifier for the Denker National Tournament of High School State Champions, Barber National Tournament of Middle School State Champions, and Rockefeller National Tournament of Elementary School State Champions. The tournament is now usually the largest tournament in Oregon each year.
Oregon High School Chess Team Association (OHSCTA)
Runs the annual OHSCTA State Team Championship, which rotates among different areas of the state, for high school and middle school players
Washington Chess Federation (WCF)
The US Chess and Northwest Chess state affiliate for Washington. Most of the tournaments WCF sanctions are usually in the greater Seattle area but in the greater Portland area they run the annual Vancouver Open. Other tournaments WCF runs, sanctions, or sponsors are the Washington State Championship, Washington Open, Washington Class Championships, Seattle Chess Classic, Washington Winter Chess Classic, Washington Challengers Cup, Washington Presidents Cup, Washington G/60 Championship, Washington G/20 Championship, Washington Blitz Championship, Washington Senior Open, Washington Women’s Championship, Intermat and Intermat Candidates, Washington Junior Closed, Washington Junior Open, Washington High School State Individual Championship, Washington State Middle School Championship, Washington State Barber Qualifier, and Washington State Girls Championship. They also run the Clark Harmon Memorial Open, which rotates between Oregon and Washington, every other year. (Note: the link takes you to the Northwest Chess website where a lot of WCF information is posted. The WCF doesn’t currently have it’s own website.)
Washington State Elementary Chess Championship (WSECC)
Oversees the annual Washington State Elementary Chess Championship, usually the largest tournament in the Northwest each year by a large margin. The tournament rotates between different regions of the state. The Washington Middle School Championship is now usually run alongside the Elementary Championship.
Washington High School Chess Association (WHSCA)
Runs the annual Washington High School State Team Championship and Mini-Teams Championship, usually in the greater Seattle area. Along with the WCF, they give monetary support to the Washington representative of the Denker Tournament of High School Champions to attend that tournament.
Publishes the Northwest Chess magazine.
Northwest Scholastic Rating System (NWSRS)
Most scholastic tournaments in Oregon and Washington (and a few in Idaho and British Columbia) are rated in this system. The idea behind rating scholastic tournaments in the NWSRS instead of US Chess is that it prevents new and lower level players from having to pay for US Chess membership and the organizers from paying a US Chess rating fee. Many scholastic tournaments that have multiple sections based on skill level also rate the higher level sections in US Chess since these players are generally more experienced and serious about chess and have no problem in paying the US Chess membership fee. The PCC currently rates the Friday Scholastic Quads, Friday Open Quads, and Sunday Quads in the NWSRS (in addition to rating them in US Chess) as these are the PCC events that attract more lower level scholastic players. The Friday Open Quads and Sunday Quads are two of the small number of open (“adult”) tournaments that are currently rated in the NWSRS. The calendar located on the NWSRS site is usually the best place to find information about scholastic events in Oregon and Washington.
US Chess Federation (US Chess-formerly known as USCF)
The official national chess organization in the United States. Among other things, US Chess administers the national rating system, awards national titles, publishes the Chess Life (monthly) and Chess Life for Kids (bi-monthly) magazines, sanctions over twenty national championships annually, publishes a rulebook, and represents the US in FIDE. For various reasons, the PCC receives several copies of each edition of the magazines and these are free for people to take (some US Chess membership options come with a printed copy of at least one of the magazines and all members get online access to the magazines). Annual tournaments US Chess sanctions or runs include the US Championship, US Open, National Open, US Class Championships, US Masters, US Amateur Team Championships (North, South, East, West), US Senior Open, National Senior Tournament of Champions, US Women’s Championship, Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Championship, US Junior Closed, US Cadet Championship, US Junior Open, Denker Tournament of High School Champions, Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, National Girls Tournament of Champions, National High School Championship, National Junior High Championship, National Elementary Championship, National K-12 Championships (grade level nationals), and US Girls Junior Closed Championship. US Chess also helps sponsor the All-Girls Nationals run by the Kasparov Chess Foundation. Once every four years the SuperNationals, which puts the National High School, Junior High, and Elementary Championships at the same time and location, is held. The Portland Chess Club is a US Chess affiliate. The PCC helped bring the 1987 US Open and 2002 National Elementary Championship to Portland. The 2012 US Open was held in Vancouver. The Players & Ratings section of the US Chess website allows you to see, among other things, a players US Chess ratings, titles, rankings, and tournament history. It also allows you to estimate your new rating after a tournament. Currently, all PCC tournaments except the Portland Rapid and Blitz Championships are US Chess rated.
Continental Chess Association (CCA)
Runs tournaments throughout the US, most of which are big tournaments with substantial cash prize funds. In addition, some of the tournaments give players the possibility of earning IM and GM norms. Tournaments CCA runs include the annual World Open, North American Open, Chicago Open, and Philadelphia Open.
World Chess Federation (FIDE)
The official international chess organization. FIDE (French acronym for World Chess Federation; the organization was founded in France) sanctions, runs, or sponsors the various world championships (overall, rapid, blitz, olympiad, team, senior, junior, youth, women, etc.). FIDE also administers the official international rating system and awards the Grandmaster (GM), International Master (IM), FIDE Master (FM), Candidate Master (CM), Woman Grandmaster (WGM), Woman International Master (WIM), Woman FIDE Master (WFM), and Woman Candidate Master (WCM) titles. A few tournaments in the Northwest are FIDE rated.
Professional Rapid Online (PRO) Chess League (formerly United States Chess League, USCL)
After eleven seasons as the USCL, the USCL became the PRO Chess League in 2017. The PRO Chess League is a team vs. team event played online. Each week during the season, each team chooses four of its players and they each play a rapid game at G/15;inc2 against each of the four players chosen from another team. Any city in the world can apply to join the PRO Chess League and you will likely be approved if you are a good fit for the league. Most of the players that play are at least a National Master and some of the best players in the world compete in it. Thousands of dollars are awarded in prizes. The PCC created a team in Portland for the inaugural edition of the PRO Chess League in 2017 called the Portland Rain and they played their matches at the PCC on chess.com. Check out the Portland Rain fan club page here.
There are numerous places to play chess online and some of the most popular sites are currently Chess.com, Chess24, ChessAnyTime, ChessCube, ChessFriends.com, ChessOK Playing Zone, FIDE Online Arena, Free Internet Chess Server (FICS), Internet Chess Club (ICC), lichess, and Playchess. ICC hosted a match in 2012 between the PCC and the Mechanics Institute Chess Club located in San Francisco.