Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter
January 31, 2012
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address.
Manchester Scholastic (Grades K-12, USCF-rated)
Wednesday is the last full day to register for the 5th annual Manchester Scholastic tournament, to be held
Saturday, February 4, 2012 at Manchester Middle School in Chesterfield County.
Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday morning, February 2.
Players are divided into four 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. All sections are USCF-rated.
- K-3 section (kindergarten - 3rd grade)
- K-5 section (4th - 5th grade)
- K-8 section (6th - 8th grade)
- K-12 section (9th - 12th grade)
Food and drinks will not be available at the tournament. Please plan to bring your own lunch and snacks or visit a nearby take-out restaurant.
www.vschess.org for information and to register online.
What if it Snows?
Snow and other winter weather is always a possibility at this time of year. We make every effort to hold our tournaments
as scheduled, but occasionally we do have to cancel an event due to safety concerns and school regulations.
If we have to cancel a tournament, we will post a notice on the VSCA website
www.vschess.org as soon as a decision is made, and we will also email a notice to everyone who has registered.
If you have mailed a check in advance we will refund your payment.
Please be sure your email address is correct when you register in case we need to contact you.
Hampton Sports Festival Scholastic (Grades K-12, USCF-rated and Non-rated sections)
Registration is now open for the Hampton Sports Festival Scholastic Championships, organized by the Virginia Chess Federation (VCF), to be held
on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia. The scholastic tournament will feature K-5 and K-12 Not-rated sections for beginning players (USCF membership not required) as well as K-5 and K-12 Open (USCF-rated) sections. For more information, and to register online, please visit the VSCA home page,
www.vschess.org or the VCF home page,
www.vachess.org and follow the links for the Hampton Sports Festival.
The Hampton Sports Festival offers two other chess events in addition to the scholastic tournament:
A Simultaneous Chess Exhibition by International Master Oladapo Adu on Friday evening, February 17,
and the Hampton Sports Festival Chess Championship (USCF-rated, USCF membership required) on Saturday-Sunday, February 18-19.
Grafton State Championship Warmup (Grades K-12, USCF-rated and Non-rated sections)
The Grafton State Championship Warmup, organized by the VSCA, will be held at Grafton Middle School in York County on Saturday, March 10, 2012. The Grafton tournament will feature K-5 and K-12 Not-rated sections for beginning players (USCF membership not required) as well as K-5 and K-12 Open (USCF-rated) sections. Advance registration will be available on the VSCA website beginning February 22.
Virginia Scholastic & Collegiate Championships (Grades K-12 and Collegiate, USCF-rated)
Registration is now open for the Virginia Scholastic and Collegiate Championships, organized by the Virginia Chess Federation (VCF), to be held March 16-18, 2012 at the Best Western Tysons Westpark Hotel in McLean, Virginia. The Blitz Championships will be held Friday evening March 16, with the main tournament on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, and to register online, please visit the event web page,
www.vachess.org/scholastics/11-12 State Ch/Home11-12.html.
Other Upcoming Events
A scholastic chess calendar of Virginia and national events for the 2011-2012 school year is available at
Old Donation Center Winter Scholastic Tournament Results
139 scholastic and adult players participated in the Old Donation Center Winter Scholastic, held in Virginia Beach on January 21, 2012.
In the K-5 Not Rated section, Joseph Cagle won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 5.0 points. Colin Murray won the trophy for the top K-3 player in the Not Rated section by tiebreaks over Katherine Shi and Caleb Childres. Colin, Katherine and Caleb each finished with a score of 3.5 points in 5 rounds. The host team from Old Donation Center won the K-5 Not Rated first-place team trophy. Caleb Clark won the first-place trophy in the K-12 Not Rated section with a perfect score of 5.0 points. Nandua Middle School won the K-12 Not Rated first-place team trophy. In the K-5 Open section, Kyle Phillips won the first-place trophy with a score of 4.5 points in 5 rounds. Daniel Zhou won the trophy for the top K-3 player in the Open section by tiebreaks over Ankit Agrawal. Daniel and Ankit each finished with a score of 3.5 points in 5 rounds. The host team from Old Donation Center won the K-5 Open first-place team trophy. In the K-12 Open section, Nicholas Gu, a fourth grader playing up, won the first-place trophy with a score of 4.5 points in 5 rounds. Poquoson Middle School won the first-place team trophy in K-12 Open. Winners in the four Open Quads were Mr. Franco Jose; Mr. Ernest Schlich and Mr. Ilya Kremenchugskiy (tie); Vadim Barnakov, a ninth grader; and Nathan Wu, a fourth grader.
Congratulations to all of these players, and to all of our tournament participants.
Complete tournament results are available at
It's Your Move!
VSCA secretary and Class A player Mike Callaham has generously offered to analyze and comment on VSCA tournament games which players send him. If you have a game that you're proud of, or a game where you feel you could have played better, and would like Mr. Callaham to take a look at it, all you need to do is send him a copy of your complete scoresheet (game notation). He will respond by email, and games which are especially interesting or instructive will be published on the VSCA website. For more information, and to see Mr. Callaham's commentary on one of his own more memorable games, visit the VSCA website at
www.vschess.org/chess-resources/games. Two games have already been submitted and are posted on the website: Dennis Burke vs. Divij Rajesh (2011 Eastern Open) and Atesh Camurdan vs. Ankith Laichetty (2011 Virginia Closed). Be sure to read
Mr. Callaham's analysis of these games.
Mr. Callaham currently coaches chess clubs at J. B. Fisher Elementary School and J. E. B. Stuart Elementary School in Richmond. He would like to visit as many other school chess clubs as possible on behalf of the VSCA. Parents and coaches, if you would like to have Mr. Callaham visit your school club for a free simul, chess clinic or lecture, please contact him at
email@example.com. Be sure to provide contact information for the school chess sponsor/coach. The schools that Mr. Callaham visits will be featured on the VSCA website. This is a wonderful opportunity for your school to benefit from the help of an experienced chess player and teacher.
Tournament Registration and Entry Fees
Advance registration for VSCA tournaments is ONLINE ONLY at
www.vschess.org, 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.
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,
firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible 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 email or let someone else know so they can tell us at registration.
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
www.uschess.org/msa. 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
www.vschess.org for the latest news and information.