The Minnesota State Chess Association is the registered state affiliate of the United States Chess Federation (USCF), and its charter is to regulate and conduct Minnesota title events recognized by the USCF and the Federationale Internationale des Esches (FIDE).

The MSCA has been in continuous operation since its founding in 1894. The Minnesota Open has been conducted on an annual basis since that time. In 1900 the MSCA organized and conducted, what was called at the time the Northwestern Open Chess Championship. Later called the Western Open, and in 1939 the Western Chess Association merged with the American Chess Federation to form the USCF. The Northwestern Open and Western Open was renamed to the US Open. Hence, Minnesota, through the efforts of George Barnes, and Wisconsin and Illinois, through Arpad Elo formed the basis of the USCF.

The MSCA is a non-profit organization with a volunteer board of directors conducts and sanctions tournaments throughout the year, and is dedicated to the promotion, education and mentorship in the game of chess.

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