Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

December 30, 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.

We wish all of our players and families a Happy New Year!

Cavalier Scholastic Tournament (Grades K-12)

Registration is now open for the 2nd annual Cavalier Scholastic tournament, to be held on Saturday, January 16, 2009 at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday morning, January 14.

This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and features both rated and non-rated sections. The K-5 Open (grades K-5) and K-12 Open (grades 6-12) sections are USCF-rated sections. All players in these sections must be current USCF members. The K-5 Unrated (grades K-5) and K-12 Unrated (grades 6-12) sections are for beginning tournament players. Games in these sections WILL NOT BE RATED by the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) and players do NOT need to be USCF members. USCF members may play in these sections only if they are listed as unrated in the official January ratings (which include tournament results through December 4). Trophies will be awarded to the top 5 individuals and to the top 3 school teams in each of the four sections.

Please visit for information and to register online.

2010 State Championships

The Virginia Scholastic & Collegiate Chess Championships, hosted by the Virginia Chess Federation, will be held on Friday March 12 through Sunday March 14, 2010 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. The state tournament will feature two separate events: the blitz championships at 6:30 pm Friday evening, and the main tournament on Saturday and Sunday. The blitz tournament will have five double-blitz rounds and three sections: K-5, K-12 and Collegiate. The main event will have six rounds and five sections: K-3, K-5, K-8, K-12 and Collegiate. Details and online registration will be available soon at the Virginia Chess Federation website,

A complete scholastic chess calendar of Virginia and national events is available at

Hopewell Scholastic Results

107 scholastic players and 10 adult players participated in the December 12 Hopewell Scholastic tournament at Hopewell High School.

In the K-3 section, Rajit Tummala won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 5.0 points. Collegiate School won the K-3 first-place team trophy. In the K-5 section, Nishanth Sajja won the first-place trophy with a score of 4.5 points in 5 rounds. Twin Hickory Elementary School won the K-5 first-place team trophy. In the K-8 section, Ryan Hansen won the first-place trophy by tie-breaks over Nathan Wu (a 2nd grader playing up). Ryan and Nathan each finished with 4.5 points in 5 rounds. Three Chopt Elementary School, with 4 players playing up, won the K-8 first-place team trophy. In the K-12 section, William Stoots won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 5.0 points. Fork Union Military Academy won the K-12 first-place team trophy. In the Open Section, Dr. Peter Abramenko won first place with a perfect score of 4.0 points.

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

National Grade Championship Results

Eight VSCA players participated in the National K-12 Grade Championships in Dallas, Texas on December 11-13. Congratulations to Akshita Gorti (tied for 4th in the nation in 1st Grade), Yuktha Penumala (tied for 91st place in 4th grade), Abhinay Dommalapati (tied for 11th place in 5th grade), Vignesh Rajasekaran (tied for 8th place in 6th grade), Tip Wolfe (tied for 20th place in 6th grade), Abhishek Penumala (tied for 27th place in 6th grade), Vikas Rajasekaran (tied for 27th place in 6th grade) and Eric Most (tied for 14th place in 11th grade). Special congratulations to the Moody Middle School team of Vignesh Rajasekaran, Tip Wolfe, Abhishek Penumala and Vikas Rajasekaran who finished 2nd in the nation in the 6th grade team competition.

Complete results are available at

Tournament Registration and Entry Fees

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 later than 8:30 am on Saturday may or may not be paired for the first round, depending on the number of late registrations.

Please note that this registration and fee information does NOT apply to the Virginia Scholastic & Collegiate Championships in March, which are hosted by the Virginia Chess Federation,

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.