Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

June 26, 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.

Maggie L. Walker Summer Scholastic (Rising Grades K-12)

Registration is now open for the Maggie L. Walker Summer Scholastic tournament, to be held Saturday, July 13 at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School in Richmond. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, July 11.

This tournament is open to students who will be in kindergarten through 12th grade in the upcoming school year, 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 entry fee is $7 for advance (online) registrations, or $14 for onsite registrations.

Trophies will be awarded to the top 5 individuals in each section, plus trophies to the Top 3 K-3 players in the K-5 Not-rated and K-5 Open sections, and the Top 3 K-8 players 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. There is no team competition at our summer tournaments. Players from the same school may be paired against each other.

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

Other Upcoming Events

Three different groups are sponsoring summer chess camps for scholastic players in the Richmond area. The Maggie L. Walker Governor's School Chess Club is hosting a camp for rising 3rd-9th graders on July 8-12. Mike Callaham and Kate Brown are hosting camps on July 25-27 and August 15-17. Championship Chess is hosting camps during the weeks beginning July 8, July 15, July 22, July 29 and August 5. Please visit the VSCA home page at for links to information about each of these camps.

The Virginia Chess Federation is sponsoring a scholastic tournament on Saturday, August 31 in conjunction with the Virginia Closed State Championship. The scholastic tournament will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Richmond-Innsbrook in Glen Allen. The tournament will include K-5 and K-12 Rated and Not-rated sections. Trophies are provided by the Capital One Asian Network. For more information, please visit the event web page at

A scholastic chess calendar of Virginia and national events 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. 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 Smithfield Elementary School in Smithfield. 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.

Thompson Middle School Tournament Results

56 scholastic and adult players participated in the Thompson Middle School Chess Celebration, held at Thompson Middle School in Richmond on June 8, 2013. The event was organized by the VSCA, the Richmond Chess Initiative and Thompson Middle School.

The K-5 Not-rated and K-12 Not-rated sections were combined, with separate awards. In the K-5 Not-rated section, Alexander Pegram won the first-place trophy by tiebreaks over Andy Allums. Both players finished with 3.0 points in 4 rounds. Tyric Elias won the trophy for the Top K-3 player in K-5 Not-rated by tiebreaks over Aiddan Hedrick. Collette Charles won the first-place trophy for the K-12 Not-rated section with a score of 3.5 points in 4 rounds.

In the K-5 Open section, Joshua Yu won the first-place individual trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds, and Bryce Phillips won the trophy for the Top K-3 player in K-5 Open with a score of 3.0 points. Shady Grove Elementary School from Henrico County won the K-5 Open first-place team trophy.

Jenny Baranker won the first-place individual trophy in the K-12 Open section with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. Peyton Hedrick won the Top K-8 trophy in K-12 Open by tiebreaks over Kwintel Evans. Tabb Middle School from York County won the K-12 Open first-place team trophy, and the host team from Thompson Middle School won the second-place team trophy.

The winners in the two Open Quads were Mr. Thomas Laaman and Mr. Srini Aiyer.

Congratulations to all of these players and to all of our other 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 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.