North Florida Chess Experience


Coaches Corner
About Us
The North Florida Chess Experience is a USCF affliate formed in March 2016.

Our history begins in September 2014. Three chess players, Bill Waite, Mike Ward and Tim Staley
were meeting weekly with other players at Books a Million, Gainesville Florida.

Many of our players were frustrated and discouraged at the lack of local non-scholatic chess
tournaments in Gainesville and Northern Florida. It had been years since anyone could recall
a tournament in Gainesville or any Northern Florida city.

People were travelling to Orlando, Florida or out of state for tournaments. There were no tournaments in
Gainesville, Palatka, Jacksonville, Lake City etc.

Tim Staley had recently retired and moved to Gainesville from Atlanta. Tim was a TD with no tournaments to direct.
Bill Waite was the president of our local chess club. Mike Ward was a sucessful business entrepreneur. We discussed
our predictament and decided to organize our own local tournaments. Four Friends for Chess, was the  affliate that
sanctioned us.

Our first tournament, the Gainesville Winter Open,was held in Gainesville, January 2015.  The tournament was a great
success drawing 43 players from various Northern Florida cities and some from Georgia.

Shortly after,  Jacksonville Chess Club, came back to life and also started up a series of tournaments.

In total, we organized and directed in 2015 5 more tournaments in Gainesville as well as Palatka.

We organized and directed a 2 day tournament, Palatka Winter Open, in  January 2016. This tournament drew 50 players
including 2 FM's. (FIDE Masters).