Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

May 22, 2013

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.

Thompson Middle School Chess Celebration (Grades K-12 and Adult)

Registration is now open for the Thompson Middle School Chess Celebration tournament, to be held Saturday, June 8 at the Thompson Middle School in Richmond. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, June 6.

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 800 (K-12) may play in the Not-rated sections if they wish.

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

The Open 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 by rating. Each group of 4 (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) 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 5 individuals in each scholastic section, plus trophies to the Top K-3 player in the K-5 Not-rated and K-5 Open sections, and the Top K-8 player in the K-12 Not-rated and K-12 Open sections. Medals will be awarded to other high scores, plus participation ribbons for all other players. Trophies will be also be awarded to the top 2 school teams in the K-5 Open and K-12 Open sections. There are cash prizes for the Open Quads, with no trophies or team competition.

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

Upcoming VSCA Events

The Maggie L. Walker Summer Scholastic tournament will be held Saturday, July 13 at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School in Richmond. The Maggie L. Walker tournament will feature K-5 and K-12 Not-rated sections for beginning players (USCF membership not required) as well as K-5 and K-12 Open (USCF-rated) sections. Online registration will open in late June at

A scholastic chess calendar of Virginia and national events is available at

Other Upcoming Events

Three different groups are sponsoring summer chess camps in the Richmond area. Please visit the VSCA home page at for dates and links to complete information.

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. Mr. Callaham has recently issued a Checkmate Challenge to all scholastic players, based on one of his own games. Win a chess book if you can find all the checkmates! For complete details, visit the VSCA website at

Mr. Callaham currently coaches chess clubs at J. B. Fisher Elementary School, J. E. B. Stuart Elementary School, Thomas H. Henderson Middle School and Thompson Middle School in Richmond, and he has visited many other Virginia schools - most recently Norview High School in Norfolk. 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. This is a wonderful opportunity for your school to benefit from the help of an experienced chess player and teacher.

Tournament Results

We would like to congratulate the award winners and other tournament participants at 3 recent VSCA tournaments. The first-place winners are:

Fork Union Scholastic
April 20, 2013, Fork Union Military Academy (Fluvanna County)
K-3 individual: Franklin He, 4.0 points (perfect score)
K-3 team: Waddell Elementary School (Lexington)
K-5 individual: Gunateja Guruvelli, 3.5 points
K-5 team: Springfield Park Elementary School (Henrico County)
K-8 individual: Zoey Lamb, 3.0 points
K-8 team: Hungary Creek Middle School (Henrico County)
K-12 individual: Avijith Rajan, 4.0 points (perfect score)
K-12 team: Fork Union Military Academy (Fluvanna County)

Westside Spring Chess Festival
April 27, 2013, Westside Elementary School (Isle of Wight County)
K-5 Not-rated individual: Hayden Shaffer, 5.0 points (perfect score)
K-5 Not-rated team: Westside Elementary School (Isle of Wight County)
K-12 Not-rated individual: Casey Gringer, 4.0 points (perfect score)
K-12 Not-rated team: Renaissance School of the Arts (Isle of Wight County)
K-5 Open individual: James Ye (tiebreak winner) and Matthew Bustillos, 3.5 points
K-5 Open team: Old Donation Center (Virginia Beach)
K-12 Open individual: Zoey Lamb, 4.0 points (perfect score)
K-12 Open team: Yeates Middle School (Suffolk)
Quad 1: Mr. Keith Carson, 3.0 points (perfect score)
Quad 2: Mr. Carlo Gonzalez and Mr. Brian Williams, 2.5 points

Mary Munford Scholastic
May 4, 2013, Mary Munford Elementary School (Richmond)
K-5 Open individual: Alexander He (tiebreak winner), Gunateja Guruvelli, Aaron Osborne and Jason Morefield, 4.0 points
K-5 Open team: Shady Grove Elementary School (Henrico County)
K-12 Open individual: Ryan Balser, 5.0 points (perfect score)
K-12 Open team: None

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 online through PayPal (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 payed online. 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.