Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

October 12, 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.

Old Donation Center Scholastic Tournament (Grades K-12)

Registration is now open for the Old Donation Center Scholastic tournament, to be held Saturday, October 29, 2011 at the Old Donation Center, an elementary school in Virginia Beach. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday morning, October 27.

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

The K-5 Not-rated and K-12 Not-rated (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. USCF members with a rating below 400 (K-5) or 800 (K-12) may play in the Not-rated sections if they wish.

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 each section. Additional trophies will be awarded in each of the K-5 sections to the top 3 individuals in grades K-3 who do not receive section trophies.

Food and drinks, including options for lunch, will be sold at the tournament.

Please visit the VSCA website at for more tournament information and to register online.

Peter Hopkins Scholastic Tournament Results

86 scholastic players participated in the Peter Hopkins Scholastic at Moody Middle School, held in Henrico County, Virginia on September 24, 2011.

The K-3 and K-5 sections were combined, with separate awards. In the K-3 section, Nithya Chintalapati won the first-place trophy by tiebreaks over Kapil Iyer. Nithya and Kapil each finished with a score of 4.0 points in 5 rounds. Colonial Trail Elementary School won the K-3 first-place team trophy. Miles Anderson won the first-place trophy in the K-5 section with a perfect score of 5.0 points. Colonial Trail Elementary School won the K-5 first-place team trophy. Five players tied for first place in the K-8 section. Ryan Balser won the first-place trophy by tiebreaks over Nicholas Xie ( a fourth grader playing up), Charles Yang, Chaitanya Ganti and Aalok Shah. Each of these players finished with 4.0 points in 5 rounds. Short Pump Middle School won the first-place team trophy in K-8. In the K-12 section, Jonathan Yu, a sixth grader playing up, won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 5.0 points. Deep Run High School 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

New VSCA Board and Officers Elected

New VSCA board members and officers were elected at a meeting of the VSCA membership on September 24, 2011. Newly elected Board members are Ram Dasari (Chesterfield County), Iowatha Davis (Henrico County), Christine Morales (Hampton), Arun Natarajan (Henrico County), Rajesh Pandit (Henrico County) and Suresh Penumala (Henrico County). In addition, Mike Hoffpauir (York County), Bart Mebane (Middlesex County) and James Steincamp (Chesterfield County) were re-elected to their positions on the Board. Newly elected officers are Mike Hoffpauir (York County), President; Kate Brown (Henrico County), Vice President; Mike Callaham (Henrico County), Secretary; and Gopal Bhagavatula (Chesterfield County), Treasurer.

Other Upcoming Events

A scholastic chess calendar of Virginia and national events for the first half of the 2011-2012 school year is available at Some events have been tentatively scheduled, but not confirmed, and are listed in gray on the calendar. We are currently working with the host schools to confirm these dates, and we will be updating the calendar accordingly.

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.