Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

May 24, 2011

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 Spring Chess Festival (Grades K-12)

Wednesday is the last day to register for the fourth annual Grafton "Spring into Chess" Festival, to be held Saturday, May 28, 2011 at Grafton Middle School in Yorktown. In addition to a VSCA scholastic tournament, the Grafton Festival will also include an adult quads tournament, hosted by the Virginia Chess Federation (VCF).

Advance registration for the scholastic tournament is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday morning, May 26. Players are divided into three 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. Current membership in the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) is required for all players. Please visit for information and to register online.

The entry fee for the adult quads tournament is $20, with cash prizes for 1st place ($45) and 2nd place ($30) in each quad. Current USCF membership is required. Online registration is not available for the quads event. To enter, email VCF president and tournament organizer Mike Hoffpauir, or sign up at the Registration Desk on the day of the tournament.

More information for both the scholastic and adult tournaments is available in the event flyer.

Other Upcoming Events

The Virginia Chess Federation (VCF) will host a scholastic tournament for grades K-8 on Saturday, June 11, 2011 at the Spratley Gifted Center in Hampton. Please note that this is a new date. Details and online registration will be available soon on the VCF website.

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

Play Chess With the Astronauts

Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on Monday, May 16. NASA astronauts Greg Chamitoff and Greg Johnson have challenged everyone back on earth to a chess game during their 14-day flight to the International Space Station. The U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) is hosting the match. You can read more about the game, discuss strategy and vote on Earth's next move by visiting the USCF 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.