Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

August 20, 2014

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.

Meadowdale Scholastic and Quads (Grades K-12 and Adults)

Online registration is now open for the Meadowdale Scholastic and Quads tournament, to be held Saturday, September 20, 2014 at Meadowdale Library in Chesterfield County (Richmond area). Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, September 18.

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 designed for beginning tournament players (first, second or third chess tournament, with exceptions on a case-by-case basis). Games in these sections are NOT RATED by the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) and players do NOT need to be USCF members.

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 (quads) by rating. Each 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.

Please read our New Tournament Check-in Policy.

Trophies will be awarded to the top 3 individuals in grades K-3 and to the top 3 individuals in grades 4-5 in the K-5 Not-rated section and the K-5 Open section. Trophies will be awarded to the top 3 individuals in grades K-8 and to the top 3 individuals in grades 9-12 in the K-12 Not-rated section and the K-12 Open section. Trophies will also be awarded to the top 3 school teams in each of the scholastic 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.

Other Upcoming Tournaments

Two VSCA tournaments are tentatively planned for October. We will announce the dates and locations as soon as they are confirmed. The next confirmed event is the Maggie L. Walker Fall Scholastic (grades K-12) on November 15, 2014 at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School in Richmond. For more information, visit the VSCA website at

Grafton Tournament Results

42 scholastic and adult players participated in the Grafton Summer Scholastic and Quads tournament, held at Grafton Middle School in York County on August 9, 2014.

The K-5 Not-rated section and the K-5 Open section had awards for the top players in grades K-3 and grades 4-5. The K-12 Not-rated section and the K-12 Open section had awards for the top players in grades K-8 and grades 9-12. There are no team awards at our summer tournaments. The K-5 Not-rated and the K-12 Not-rated sections were combined, with separate awards.

In the K-5 Not-rated section, Ethan Wu won first place for grades K-3 with a score of 3.0 points in 4 rounds. There were no Not-rated players in grades 4-5.

In the K-12 Not-rated section, Daniel Boachie won first place for grades K-8 by tiebreaks over Samuel Anderson. Daniel and Samuel each finished with a score of 3.0 points in 4 rounds. Kimberly Yu won the first-place trophy for grades 9-12 with a score of 2.0 points in 4 rounds.

In the K-5 Open section, Logan Schaefer won first place for grades K-3 by tiebreaks over Jacob Brittain. Logan and Jacob each finished with 3.0 points in 4 rounds. Franklin He won the first-place trophy for grades 4-5 with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds.

In the K-12 Open section, Aaron Osborne won the first-place trophy for grades K-8 with a score of 3.5 points in 4 rounds. Zach Wojcik won the first-place trophy for grades 9-12 with a score of 1.5 points in 4 rounds.

The winners in the two Open Quads and the Small Swiss section were Mr. Brian Williams, Jenny Gu, a 9th grader, and Luke Knoll, also a 9th grader.

Congratulations to all of these players and to all of our other tournament participants. Complete tournament results are available at

Updated VSCA Tournament Rules

The VSCA Board of Directors recently voted to adopt a revised version of the VSCA Tournament Rules, effective September 1, 2014. The revisions align the rules with current practice at VSCA tournaments. The major changes include: (1) home-schooled players, (2) responsibilities of the VSCA and tournament organizers, (3) tournament sections, (4) registration procedures, and (5) electronic notation devices.

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 complete details, visit the VSCA website at Mr. Callaham has recently posted an analysis of his own games in the June 2014 Virginia Senior Open.

Mr. Callaham currently coaches chess clubs at Thompson Middle School in Richmond and Tuckahoe Elementary School in Henrico County, and he has visited many other Virginia schools. 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.

Visit Us on Facebook

Check out the VSCA Facebook page at, managed by parent and board member Christina Schweiss.

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 9:00 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 start our tournaments on time, we are implementing a new check-in policy on a trial basis. Players who pay online do not need to check in at the tournament. Please read the following brief instructions:

All Players: If you are registering and/or paying at the tournament: If you are paying online:

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 rated sections of a tournament must be current USCF members.

Please visit our website at for the latest news and information.