Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

August 3, 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.

Colonial Trail Summer Scholastic Tournament (Grades K-8, Advanced Grades 9-12 and Adult)

Registration is now open for the Colonial Trail Summer Scholastic tournament, to be held Saturday, August 18, 2012 at Colonial Trail Elementary School in Henrico County. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, August 16.

This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 8th grade, advanced players in grades 9-12, and adult players. Scholastic players are divided into 3 sections, based on the grade that the player attended in the PAST (2011-2012) school year: The Open Quads sections are 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.

All sections are USCF-rated and all players in the tournament must be current members of the U. S. Chess Federation.

The entry fee for the scholastic sections is $7 for advance (online) registrations, or $14 for onsite registrations. The entry fee for the Open Quads is $20 for all players, whether registered online or onsite.

Trophies will be awarded to the top 3 individuals in each GRADE in each of the three scholastic sections. Younger players who play up in the K-5 section will compete for fourth grade trophies, and younger players who play up in the K-8 section will compete for sixth grade trophies. There is no team competition at our summer tournaments; players from the same school may be paired against each other. There are cash prizes (no trophies) for the Open Quads.

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

Summer Chess Camp for Kids

A summer chess camp for scholastic players of all experience levels will be held Thursday, August 2 through Saturday August 4, 2012 at Brookland United Methodist Church in Henrico County (near Richmond). The camp is organized and conducted by VSCA vice-president Kate Brown and VSCA secretary Mike Callaham. For more information, please see the camp flyer at

Grafton Summer Scholastic Results

61 scholastic and adult players participated in the Grafton Summer Scholastic tournament on July 21 at Grafton Middle School in York County.

In the K-3 Not-rated section, Sudarshan Sriniaiyer won the first-place trophy by tiebreaks over Rishan Biju and Michael Tu. Sudarshan, Rishan and Michael each finished with a score of 3.0 points in 4 rounds. Albert Roldan won the first-place trophy in the K-12 Not-rated section with a perfect score of 4.0 points. In the K-5 Open section, Carter Patten won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points. Rakshith Raghu won the first-place trophy in the K-12 Open section with a perfect score of 4.0 points. There is no team competition at our summer tournaments. The winners in the Open Quads were Mr. Keith Carson and Mr. Dexter Wright (tie), Denis Liu, Mr. Srini Aiyer, and Samuel Washburn.

Congratulations to these players and schools, 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 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 at Mr. Callaham has just posted a great new instructional column for all skill levels, Earning Secret Weapons.

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.

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 scholastic 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.

The entry fee for Open Quads sections is $20 for both advance registrations and on-site registrations.

Please note that the above information applies only to Virginia Scholastic Chess Association tournaments, and does NOT apply to the Virginia Scholastic and Collegiate Championships or other 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.