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.
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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.
- K-3 section (grades K-3)
- K-5 section (grades 4-5 and advanced younger players)
- K-8 section (grades 6-8 and advanced younger players)
- K-12 section (grades 9-12 and advanced younger players)
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
www.vschess.org 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.
- A warning will be issued to any player who eats one of his/her opponent's pieces. A player eating a second piece will forfeit the game. Players may eat their own pieces if they wish.
- A two-minute time penalty will be enforced for licking the board or the opponent.
- Notation is not required, but is encouraged. Please bring your own pencils. Chewing the opponent's pencil is not good sportsmanship and is strictly prohibited.
- Cats will not be allowed to play up in the Bird section.
- In case of disputes, players should call a Tournament Director to their board, and not resort to biting, scratching, squawking, pecking or other anti-social behavior.
- A player who needs to use the restroom does not need to raise his/her paw. Just get outside as quickly as possible.
- Mating immediately ends the game.
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:
- Rishabh Kumaran, K-3 7th Place
- Andrew Rousseau, K-3 9th Place
- Sriharsha Sambangi, K-3 16th Place
- Bryce Phillips, K-3 17th Place
- Lane Downing, K-3 Top Under 400
- Natalie Xie, K-3 Top Unrated
- Twin Hickory Elementary School, K-3 7th Place Team
- Waddell Elementary School, K-3 8th Place Team
- Grace Academy Homeschool Co-op, K-3 10th Place Team
- Sudarshan Sriniaiyer, K-5 9th Place
- Kyle Phillips, K-5 10th Place
- Nitin Kanuri, K-5 15th Place
- Franklin He, K-5 16th Place
- Daniel Zhou, K-5 21st Place
- Tyler Burch, K-5 2nd Under 800
- Jackson Kennedy, K-5 2nd Under 600
- Waddell Elementary School, K-5 5th Place Team
- Rivers Edge Elementary School, K-5 11th Place Team
- Jason Morefield, K-8 8th Place
- Ritvik Kumaran, K-8 2nd Under 1200
- Virginia Peng, K-8 Top Unrated
- John Ryan Sedovy, K-8 3rd Under 800
- Moody Middle School, K-8 5th Place Team
- Lylburn Downing Middle School, K-8 10th Place Team
- Henley Middle School, K-8 15th Place Team
Complete tournament results are available at
- Matthew Shih, K-12 8th Place
- Isaac Steincamp, K-12 15th Place
- Jeffrey Song, K-12 Top Under 1400
- David Normansell, K-12 2nd Under 1200
- Yaoquan Song, K-12 Top Under 1000
- Avery Gagne, K-12 2nd Under 1000
- Maggie L. Walker Governor's School, K-12 2nd Place Team
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 grhscl.org.
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
www.vschess.org/chess-resources/games. 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
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
www.facebook.com/vascholasticchess, managed by parent and board member Christina Schweiss.
Tournament Registration and Entry Fees
Advance registration for VSCA tournaments is ONLINE ONLY at
www.vschess.org, 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.
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:
If you are registering and/or paying at the tournament:
- Check your payment status in the online Registration List
- Check to be sure your U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) membership is current if you are playing in a rated section.
- Check to be sure your grade and school are listed correctly.
- If you have any changes or questions, email us at email@example.com
If you are paying online:
- The Registration Desk is open 8:00-9:00 am
- Check in and pay by 9:00 am in order to be paired for Round 1
- Orientation for new players and parents is at 9:00 am, and the first round begins at 9:30 am
- Pay by 5:00 pm Friday so that we can record your payment and update the Registration List
- If you are marked Paid on the Registration List, you will be paired, and you do not need to check in at the Registration Desk
- Orientation for new players and parents is at 9:00 am, and the first round begins at 9:30 am
- If you are not coming, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text 804-387-5689 by 9:00 am on Saturday (no voice calls, please), and we will refund your entry fee
- If you don't come and don't tell us, your opponent will be left without a game, your entry fee will not be refunded, and you will need to check in at future tournaments
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
www.uschess.org/msa. 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
www.vschess.org for the latest news and information.