Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

October 26, 2010

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 4th annual Grafton Fall Chess Festival, to be held Saturday, November 13, 2010 at Grafton Middle School in York County, Virginia. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday morning, November 11.

This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and includes both rated and non-rated sections.

The K-5 Unrated and K-12 Unrated (grades 6-12) sections are strictly for fun, and are designed primarily for beginning tournament players. Games in these sections are NOT RATED by the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) and players do NOT need to be USCF members. There is no team competition in the Unrated sections. Trophies will be awarded to the top 5 individuals in each Unrated section.

The K-5 Open and K-12 Open (grades 6-12) sections are USCF-rated sections. All players in these sections must be current USCF members. Trophies will be awarded to the top 5 individuals and to the top 3 school teams in the K-5 Open and K-12 Open sections.

The Grafton tournament will also include an Open Quads event sponsored by the Virginia Chess Federation (VCF). Entry fee for the Quads event is $20, with a $50 cash prize to 1st place and $25 to 2nd place in each quad. USCF membership is required. Online registration is available only for the Scholastic tournament. To enter the Quads event, email VCF president and scholastic coordinator Mike Hoffpauir, or sign up at the Registration Desk on the day of the tournament.

Please visit for information and to register online.

Other Upcoming Events

Two VSCA tournaments are scheduled for December. On Saturday, December 4, the 4th 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 will be held on Saturday, December 11 at Hopewell High School in Hopewell. Online registration for both events will be available beginning November 17. A complete VSCA event schedule is available at

Also in December, the Greater Richmond High School Chess League (GRHSCL) will host a non-rated G/5 blitz tournament for grades 6-12 at the Tuckahoe Library in Henrico County on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 from 4:30 to 7:00 pm. An event flyer is available on the GRHSCL website.

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.

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.