- Knows basic piece moves
- Knows check and checkmate
- Knows what is win, lose, and draw
S/he must be able to take instructions and advises from the Tournament Director. As long as s/he is school-ready, s/he is tournament-ready.
To achieve better results, i.e. maintaining his/her interest and not getting discouraged, wait until s/he can play games with ease. Ease can come after 3 to 6 months of play, or after 100 casual games. The older the child, the quicker s/he becomes ready. Child's maturity also helps.
Do NOT expect much from first few tournaments, rated or unrated. S/he just goes there to taste the experience. Keep encouraging him/her. This is like the first hundreds of steps of an infant. S/he will fall often, but s/he has made the move. The willingness to take the step is the most important.