Crossroads Open series 2020-

Crossroads Invitational 2020 Tournament series on Lichess

Welcome to the home of the Crossroads Invitational Tournament chess series.

Crossroads Mall is located in Bellevue, Washington. Every Friday night, chess players meet to play 5-minute blitz chess in the gaming area near the mall entrance. Play usually starts in the early evening and goes on until the mall closes at 9 PM.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020, the mall was temporarily closed. Public gatherings were not permitted. Washington imposed a stay-at-home order that could last well into the summer. Our normal Friday night chess meet-ups at Crossroads took on a different format.

Friday night chess at Crossroads is now hosted on from 7 PM – 9 PM PST. The time controls are 3 minutes + 2 second increments per move. This online format cannot replicate the in-person experience of over-the-board chess but provides the opportunity to play others both familiar and new. Many of the players who came to Crossroads play online and we hope this continues even though the COVID-19 crisis is behind us. Until that happens, everyone is invited to play in our event. Here are the instructions:

  1. You need a Lichess account to play. Join for free at
  2. If you would like to be added to the Crossroads e-mail list, send your name and email address to

Tournament format

We started playing tournaments using the Arena format. This was nice as it allowed for quick pairing of opponents without waiting for everyone to finish their games. Tournament players could pause their participation at any point and rejoin the tournament later without penalty. Arena doesn’t have rounds like a traditional tournament. You just continuously get paired with other people until time runs out. Whoever has the most points wins the event.

The problem with Arena is that players can play the same opponent repeatedly. In one case, I was paired with someone six times in a row! Additionally, there were cases when players had to wait in the lobby for long periods before getting paired. This never made sense but we have learned to live with it.

Sometime in May 2020, we tried using the Swiss system. This is the format that most people are used to when they play in a USCF or FIDE chess tournament. Swiss tournaments require punctual attendance. Unlike Arena, players only play their opponent once in the tournament. A round-based system is used. The planned number of rounds may be reduced depending upon participation. For example, we can plan for a 10 round event but if only 5 people show up, we can only have a maximum of 4 rounds. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the final round.

Lichess does not have the option to host round-robin or double round-robin events, at least not yet.

Feedback and suggestions

Do you have some ideas of how to improve the tournament experience? If so, please send an email to me, I will see what we can do to accommodate your request. Please feel free to invite other chess players to play with us. If they have any questions, you can refer them to this page or have them contact me directly. My handle on Lichess is Innerpiece.

Tournament Archives for Crossroads Open 2020

If you are interested in analyzing previous tournament games, you’ve come to the right place.

Below is the folder where all the archived games are stored. Each file is in PGN format. Copy the tournament file you are interested in to download it.

CrossRoads Open Games Archive

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