Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

March 27, 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. Please email to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address.

Rivers Edge Scholastic (Grades K-12, USCF-rated)

Wednesday is the last full day to register for the first annual Rivers Edge Scholastic tournament, to be held Saturday, March 31, 2012 at Rivers Edge Elementary School in Henrico County. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday morning, March 29.

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.

Lunch, snacks and drinks will be sold at the tournament.

Please visit for information and to register online.

Upcoming Events

The 17th annual Fork Union Scholastic tournament for grades K-12 will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at Fork Union Military Academy in Fluvanna County. The Fork Union tournament will have four sections, all USCF-rated: K-3, K-5, K-8 and K-12. Advance registration will be available on the VSCA website beginning in early April.

The Eastern Shore Scholastic and Adult Tournament, organized by the Virginia Chess Federation (VCF), will be held Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Nandua High School in Onley, Virginia. The Eastern Shore tournament will feature K-5 and K-12 Not-rated sections for beginning players (USCF membership not required), K-5 and K-12 Rated sections for more experienced scholastic players (USCF membership required), and Open Quads for adults and advanced scholastic players. Advance registration will be available on the VSCA website beginning April 2. For more information, please see the event flyer at

The 2nd annual Spratley Scholastic tournament for grades K-8 will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at the Spratley Gifted Center in Hampton. The Spratley tournament will have three sections, all USCF-rated: K-3, K-5 and K-8. Advance registration will be available on the VSCA website beginning in early May.

A scholastic chess calendar of Virginia and national events for the 2011-2012 school year is 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 and legible 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, visit the VSCA website at The most recent game posted on the website is Kaustav Rajesh vs. Joshua Felton from the February 18 Hampton Sports Festival Scholastic. Be sure to read Mr. Callaham's analysis of this game.

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 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.

Virginia Scholastic & Collegiate Championships Results

615 scholastic and collegiate players participated in the Virginia Scholastic & Collegiate Championships, held in McLean, Virginia on March 17-18, 2012. The event was organized by the Virginia Chess Federation.

The K-3 state individual champion was Bryant Lohr with a perfect score of 6.0 points. Colvin Run Elementary School from Fairfax County were the K-3 state team champions. Elijah Kirtley won the K-5 state individual championship with a perfect score of 6.0 points and Bull Run Elementary School from Fairfax County won the K-5 state team championship. Vignesh Rajasekaran from Moody Middle School in Henrico County won the K-8 state individual championship with a perfect score of 6.0 points, and the Moody Middle School team of Vignesh Rajasekaran, Vikas Rajasekaran, Abhishek Penumala, Harish Tekriwal, Apurv Shah, Ankith Laichetty, Nikhil Bharani, Akhil Bharani and Olivia Yang won the K-8 state team championship. K-12 state individual co-champions were Kevin Zhou, Andrew Freix, Quentin Moore and Aravind Ponukumati, each finishing with a score of 5.5 points in 6 rounds. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology from Fairfax County won the K-12 state team championship. The collegiate state individual co-champions were Daniel Clancy, Andrew Miles, Jonathan Bode and Nathaniel Ostapovicz, each finishing with 3.0 points in 4 rounds. The collegiate state team co-champions were Virginia Tech and George Mason University. Complete tournament 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 the above information applies only to Virginia Scholastic Chess Association tournaments, and does NOT necessarily apply to Virginia Chess Federation events.

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 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.

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.