Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

April 1, 2015

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.

Fork Union Spring Scholastic (Grades K-12)

Registration is now open for the Fork Union Spring Scholastic tournament, to be held Saturday, April 18, 2015 at Fork Union Military Academy in Fluvanna County. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, April 16.

This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. All sections are USCF-rated, and all players in the tournament must be current USCF members.

Players are divided into four sections based on their grade in school: The entry fee is $7 for advance (online) registrations, or $14 for onsite registrations.

Trophies will be awarded to the top 5 individuals and to the top 3 school teams in each of the four sections.

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

Spring Furry Friends Chess Tournament (Pets Only)

The first annual VSCA Spring Furry Friends Chess Tournament will be held on Tuesday, April 1, 2015 at the home of VSCA President Mike Hoffpauir. This event is for pets only. USCF membership is not required. Players will be divided into five sections based on their species: The tournament will also feature a Quads event for advanced players. Four legs are required to play in Quads.

Boards and sets will be provided. Please bring your pet's chess clock if he/she has one. Time controls are G/40 for all sections except Turtles (G/4320). Outdoor boards will be provided for oversized players and players troubled by fleas.

The following special rules will be in effect: Advance registration is not required for this event. Snacks, water and lunch choices will be available at the tournament.

Other Upcoming VSCA Tournaments

The Meadowdale Scholastic and Quads tournament will be held on May 2 at Meadowdale Public Library in Chesterfield County. The Meadowdale tournament includes Open (rated) and Not-rated K-5 and K-12 sections, as well as K-12 Open Quads for advanced scholastic players. A spring scholastic and quads tournament is tentatively planned at Grafton Middle School in York County. Watch the VSCA website for details. A calendar of VSCA events as well as other scholastic events in Virginia is available at

Richmond Metropolitan Grand Prix

The Richmond Chess Initiative (RCI) and the Richmond Public Library are hosting a series of Saturday tournaments for scholastic and adult players. The first tournaments are May 2 at the Richmond Main Library branch, May 9 at the Westover Hills Library branch and May 30 at the North Avenue Library branch. Weekly training sessions, free and open to the public, are also scheduled every Monday evening 6:00-7:30 pm at the North Avenue and Westover Hills branches and every Wednesday evening 6:00-7:30 pm at the Main branch. The CEO and founder of RCI is VSCA secretary Mike Callaham. For more information, visit the RCI website at

State Scholastic Tournament Results

409 scholastic and collegiate players participated in the Virginia Scholastic & Collegiate Championships on March 13-15, 2015 in Charlottesville. The VSCA would like to sincerely thank Monticello High School and Mr. Barry Keith, the school chess sponsor, for hosting the event. Many of our VSCA players and schools participated in the tournament. Congratulations to the following award winners: Complete tournament results are available at

Greater Richmond High School Chess League

The Greater Richmond High School Chess League (GRHSCL) recently concluded their regular season matches. The league champion is Mills Godwin High School with an undefeated 7-0 season. Maggie L. Walker Governor's School edged out Deep Run High School and J. R. Tucker High School for second place, with all three teams finishing at 5-2. Congratulations to all of these teams. The league director is Mr. James Steincamp, past president of the VSCA. Complete standings and results are available at

Maggie L. Walker Chess Team Heads to National Tournament

The Maggie L. Walker Governor's School chess team (Richmond), headed by senior Isaac Steincamp, will compete in the USCF National High School Championship on April 10-12 in Columbus, Ohio. The team are the defending K-12 Under 1200 National Champions, and many of the same players will compete in the Under 1600 section this year. Maggie Walker recently took second place in the K-12 section at the Virginia Scholastic Championships in Charlottesville. The VSCA commends the Maggie Walker team for their hard work in raising funds and training for the tournament, and we wish them success in Columbus. To follow their progress, visit the chess club's Facebook page at

Maggie L. Walker Free Chess Clinics

The Maggie L. Walker Governor's School Chess Club in Richmond holds chess clinics at the school on one Monday evening each month from 5 to 7 pm. The clinics are free to scholastic players of all experience levels, from beginner to advanced. The next clinic is scheduled for Monday, May 4. For further information, visit the chess club's Facebook page at

Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club

The Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club, organized by VSCA Board Member Christina Schweiss, has merged with the Hampton Roads Chess Club and the Virginia Beach Chess Club, and meets on Tuesday evenings at Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad Station #8. Scholastic players meet from 5:00 to 7:30 pm, and adults and advanced scholastic players meet from 7:00 to 10:30 pm. Meetings feature rated tournament play and/or instruction. The next meeting is Tuesday evening, April 7. For more information, visit the chess club's Facebook page 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. For complete details, visit the VSCA website at Mr. Callaham has just posted his analysis of three outstanding games from the Virginia Scholastic Championships in Charlottesville.

Mr. Callaham is the CEO and founder of the Richmond Chess Initiative, the coordinator and head coach of the Richmond Middle School Chess League, and currently coaches chess clubs at Binford, Boushall, Lucille Brown, Thomas Henderson, Albert Hill, and Thompson Middle Schools in Richmond, J. B. Fisher Elementary School in Richmond, and Tuckahoe Elementary School in Henrico County. Coach Callaham has also met with chess clubs at many other Virginia schools, and 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

To help start our tournaments on time, we recently implemented a new check-in policy. Players who pay online do not need to check in at the tournament, but must let us know if they are not coming. 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 not-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.