Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

October 23, 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.

Maggie L. Walker Scholastic Tournament (Grades K-12)

Wednesday is the last full day to register for the Maggie L. Walker Scholastic tournament, to be held Saturday, October 27, 2012 at the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School in Richmond. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, October 25.

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

Other Upcoming Events

The Echo Lake Mixed Doubles Scholastic tournament will be held November 17 at Echo Lake Elementary School in Henrico County. In addition to K-3 and K-8 individual scholastic sections, the Echo Lake tournament will include K-5 and K-12 mixed doubles sections of boy-girl teams, from either the same school or different schools. All players must be U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) members.

The Hopkins Scholastic at Hopewell tournament will be held December 8 at Hopewell High School in Hopewell. The event is named in memory of VSCA founder and longtime president Peter Hopkins. The tournament is open to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, with K-3, K-5, K-8 and K-12 sections. All players must be U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) members.

The online calendar at will be updated as additional dates are confirmed.

VSCA Membership Meeting

The Virginia Scholastic Chess Association membership meeting originally scheduled for October 27 has been rescheduled. The meeting will be held during the Hopkins Scholastic at Hopewell tournament on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 10:00 am. The primary purpose of the meeting is to elect new board members and to discuss the tournament schedule for the 2012-2013 school year. The parents of all players who have participated in one or more VSCA events during the past 12-month period, including the December 8 Hopewell event, are VSCA members and are eligible to vote in the election. For more information, visit the VSCA website 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 recently posted three games which he played against scholastic players (with surprising results) at the Charlottesville Open in July 2012: Scholastic Means Young – Not Weak!

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.

Old Donation Center Tournament Results

90 scholastic and adult players participated in the Old Donation Center Fall Scholastic tournament, held at Old Donation Center (elementary school) in Virginia Beach on October 20, 2012.

In the K-5 Not-rated section, Kieran Morales won the first-place trophy for grades K-3 with a perfect score of 5.0 points. Michael Johnson won the first-place trophy for grades 4-5 in the K-5 Not-rated section by tiebreaks over Jason Wieder. Michael and Jason tied with 4.0 points in 5 rounds. The host team from Old Donation Center won the first-place team trophy in the K-5 Not-rated section.

Clayton Hill won the first-place trophy for grades K-8 in the K-12 Not-rated section by tiebreaks over Caitlyn Guthrie and John Lanzilotta. The three players each finished with 3.0 points in 5 rounds. Also in the K-12 Not-rated section, Hank Turner won the first-place trophy for grades 9-12 by tiebreaks over Jacob Harris and Casey Gringer. Hank, Jacob and Casey tied with 4.0 points in 5 rounds. Smithfield High School from Isle of Wight County won the K-12 Not-rated first-place team trophy.

In the K-5 Open section, Bryce Phillips won the first-place trophy for grades K-3 with a perfect score of 5.0 points. Daphne Zhao won the trophy for the top player in grades 4-5 in the Open section by tiebreaks over Carter Patten. Daphne and Carter tied with a score of 4.0 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, Duncan Guthrie won the first-place trophy for grades K-8 by tiebreaks over Albert Roldan. Duncan and Albert each finished with 4.0 points in 5 rounds. Alex Bustillos won the first-place trophy for grades 9-12 in the K-12 Open section with a score of 3.0 points in 5 rounds. Nandua Middle School from Accomack County won the first-place team trophy in K-12 Open by tiebreaks over Old Donation Center, with two players playing up.

Winners in the two Open Quads sections were Mr. Ilya Kremenchugskiy and Mr. Dexter Wright (tie); Nicholas Gu, a fifth grader, and Mr. Leonid Kukharev (tie).

Congratulations to all of these players, and to all of our tournament participants. 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 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.