Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

October 28, 2009

This newsletter is sent to families who participate in Virginia Scholastic Chess Association tournaments. The VSCA is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to promoting scholastic chess in central and southeastern Virginia. Please email to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address.

Grafton Fall Chess Festival

Registration is now open for the 3rd annual Grafton Fall Chess Festival, to be held Saturday, November 14, 2009 at Grafton Middle School in York County, Virginia. In addition to the VSCA scholastic tournament, the Grafton Festival will also include an adult quads event, hosted by the Virginia Chess Federation (VCF).

The scholastic tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Players are divided into 2 sections based on their grade in school: Trophies will be awarded to the the top 5 individuals and to the top 3 school teams in each section. Advance registration for the scholastic event is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday morning, November 12. Current membership in the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) is required for all players.

The entry fee for the adult quads event is $20, with a $50 cash prize for 1st place and $25 for 2nd place in each quad. USCF membership is required. Online registration is available only for the VSCA scholastic tournament. To enter the quads event, email VCF president Mike Hoffpauir, or sign up at the Registration Desk on the day of the tournament.

Please visit for information and to register online for the scholastic tournament.

Other Upcoming Events

Two VSCA tournaments are scheduled for December. On Saturday, December 5, the 3rd annual Echo Lake Scholastic for grades K-5 will be held at Echo Lake Elementary School in Henrico County. The Hopewell Scholastic tournament for grades K-12 and adults will be held on Saturday, December 12 at Hopewell High School in Hopewell. In addition to K-3, K-5, K-8 and K-12 scholastic sections, the Hopewell tournament will include an Open section for adults and advanced scholastic players. Online registration for both events will open November 18. A complete VSCA event schedule is available at

Twin Hickory Scholastic Tournament Results

112 scholastic players participated in the 4th annual Twin Hickory Scholastic tournament, held at Twin Hickory Elementary School in Henrico County on October 17, 2009.

In the K-3 section, Rajit Tummala won the first-place trophy with a score of 4.5 points in 5 rounds. Colonial Trail Elementary School won the K-3 first-place team trophy.

The K-5 section had a 5-way tie for first place. Charles Yang won the first-place trophy by tie-breaks over Matthew Hunderup, Atesh Camurdan (a first grader playing up), Drew Chafin and Aneesh Kotnana. Each of these players finished with 4.0 points in 5 rounds. Colonial Trail Elementary School won the K-5 first-place team trophy.

The K-8 section had a 4-way tie for first place. Ajitha Balasubramanian, a fourth grader playing up, won the first-place trophy by tie-breaks over Jonathan Willing, Jonathan Yu (a fourth grader playing up) and Mounikasai Talari. Each of these players finished with 4.0 points in 5 rounds. Moody Middle School won the K-8 first-place team trophy.

In the K-12 section, Andrew Luo (an eighth grader playing up) won the first-place trophy with a score of 4.5 points in 5 rounds. Moody Middle School, with 3 players playing up, won the first-place team trophy in K-12.

Congratulations to all of these players and to all of our tournament participants. Complete tournament results are available at

Tournament Registration and Entry Fee

Advance registration for VSCA tournaments is ONLINE ONLY at, and closes at 7:00 AM on the Thursday before the tournament. In order to accurately process entries, we cannot accept mail, phone or e-mail registrations. The advance registration entry fee of $7 may be paid by mail (preferred) or at the tournament. Players who do not register before the 7:00 AM Thursday deadline can register at the tournament between 8:00 and 8:45 am on Saturday, but they will need to pay the late entry fee of $14. Players who register after 8:30 am on Saturday may not be paired for the first round, depending on the number of late registrations.

Tournament Check-in

In order to help us complete registration and start our tournaments on time, please check in at the registration desk by 8:45 am, even if you have mailed in your payment. This will minimize the number of names that we have to call in order to check attendance, and will also allow our volunteers to close registration and balance the books earlier. Players arriving after 8:45 am (8:30 am if you have not registered in advance) will risk not being paired for the first round.

If you have registered online, but later find that you will not be able to attend, please email by Friday night so that we can withdraw your name. If you have to change your plans at the last minute and will be absent or late, please try to let someone else know so they can tell us at registration.

USCF Membership

Current membership in the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) is REQUIRED in order to play in VSCA tournaments, except for sections specifically designated as non-rated. In order to avoid delays on Saturday, please join or renew directly with USCF at Please do not mail a paper application form or check to USCF, since this may cause delays in processing your membership. If you are unable to join or renew online, please plan to fill out a membership application at the tournament. You can check membership status at The U.S. Chess Federation maintains a national database of ratings (relative playing strengths) for adult and scholastic players. In order to update the ratings following each tournament, all players in the tournament must be current USCF members.

Please visit our website at for the latest news and information.