Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

May 1, 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.

Spratley Gifted Center Scholastic (Grades K-8)

Registration is now open for the Spratley Gifted Center "End of School" tournament, to be held Saturday, May 19, 2012 at Spratley Gifted Center in Hampton. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, May 17.

This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 8th grade only, and includes both rated and non-rated sections.

The K-3 Not-rated and K-8 Not-rated (grades 4-8) 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 300 (K-3) or 500 (K-8) may play in the Not-rated sections if they wish.

The K-3 Open and K-8 Open (grades 4-8) sections are USCF-rated sections. All players in these sections must be current USCF members.

Trophies will be awarded to the top 5 individuals in the K-3 Not-rated and K-8 Not-rated sections, and to the top 7 individuals and the top 4 teams in the K-3 Open and K-8 Open sections.

Please visit for information and to register online.

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 games posted on the website are Akhil Bharani vs. Atesh Camurdan from the March 31 Rivers Edge Scholastic, and Anthony Wang vs. Arvind Manohar from the March 17-18 Virginia Scholastic & Collegiate Championships. 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. Mr Callaham has recently visited chess clubs at Westside Elementary School in Smithfield and Echo Lake Elementary School in Glen Allen. 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. This is a wonderful opportunity for your school to benefit from the help of an experienced chess player and teacher.

Fork Union Scholastic Results

39 scholastic players participated in the 17th annual Fork Union Scholastic tournament on April 21 at Fork Union Military Academy in Fluvanna County.

The K-3 and K-5 sections were combined, with separate awards. In the K-3 section, Bryce Phillips won the first-place individual trophy with 3.0 points in 4 rounds. Colonial Trail Elementary School from Henrico County won the K-3 first-place team trophy. Ritvik Kumaran won the first-place individual trophy in the K-5 section with a perfect score of 4.0 points, and Colonial Trail Elementary School from Henrico County won the K-5 first-place team trophy. The K-8 and K-12 sections were combined, with separate awards. Kyle Phillips, a first grader playing up, won the K-8 first-place individual trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points. Norview Middle School from Norfolk won the first-place team trophy in K-8. Robert Brown won the first-place individual trophy in K-12 with a score of 3.0 points in 4 rounds, and the host team from Fork Union Military Academy 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.