Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

April 4, 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.

Fork Union Scholastic (Grades K-12, USCF-rated)

Registration is now open for the 17th annual Fork Union Scholastic tournament, to be held Saturday, April 21, 2012 at Fork Union Military Academy in Fluvanna County. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, April 19.

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.

Please visit for information and to register online.

Eastern Shore Scholastic and Adult Quads (Grades K-12 and Adult)

Registration is now open for the Eastern Shore Scholastic and Adult Quads tournament, to be held Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Nandua High School in Onley (Accomack County). The Eastern Shore tournament is organized by the Virginia Chess Federation.

There are two ways to register in advance: This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and also adult players, 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 700 (K-12) may play in the Not-rated sections if they wish.

The K-5 Rated and K-12 Rated (grades 6-12) sections are USCF-rated sections. All players in these sections must be current USCF members.

The Adult Quads sections are USCF-rated sections open to advanced scholastic players (USCF rating 1000+) and adult players. Quad entries will be divided into groups of 4 (quads) by rating. Each quad will play a 3-round round robin with a time control of G/60.

The entry fee for the scholastic sections is $7 for advance (online or mail) registrations, or $12 for onsite registrations. The entry fee for the adult quads is $20 for advance (online or mail) registrations, or $25 for onsite registrations. All entry fees must be paid at the door, cash only.

Trophies will be awarded to the top 5 individuals in each scholastic section. There is no team competition at this event. There are cash prizes for the adult quads, with no trophies or team competition.

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

Upcoming VSCA Events

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.

Rivers Edge Scholastic Results

71 scholastic players participated in the first annual Rivers Edge Scholastic tournament on March 31 at Rivers Edge Elementary School in Henrico County.

In the K-3 section, Ankit Agrawal won the first-place individual trophy with 4.5 points in 5 rounds. The host team from Rivers Edge Elementary School won the K-3 first-place team trophy. Kaustav Rajesh won the first-place individual trophy in the K-5 section with 4.5 point in 5 rounds, and Colonial Trail Elementary School from Henrico County won the first-place team trophy. The K-8 and K-12 sections were combined, with separate awards. Nicholas Xie, a fourth grader playing up, won the K-8 first-place individual trophy with a score of 3.5 points in 5 rounds. Moody Middle School from Henrico County won the first-place team trophy in K-8. Gordon Weitz won the first-place individual trophy in K-12 with a perfect score of 5.0 points, and Henrico High School won the K-12 first-place team trophy.

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 (VSCA) tournaments, and does NOT necessarily apply to Virginia Chess Federation (VCF) 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.