Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter
April 27, 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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Meadowdale Spring Scholastic and K-12 Quads (Grades K-12)
Wednesday is the last full day to register for the Meadowdale Spring Scholastic and K-12 Quads tournament, to be held Saturday, May 2, 2015 at Meadowdale Public Library in Chesterfield County.
Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, April 30.
This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade 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 K-12 Quads sections are USCF-rated sections open to advanced scholastic players only (USCF rating 1000+). There are no adult quads at this event. 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 Quads is $20 for all players, whether registered online or onsite.
Please read our
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 Quads, with no trophies or team competition.
Please visit the VSCA website at
www.vschess.org for more tournament information and to register online.
Other Upcoming VSCA Tournaments
The next VSCA tournament will be Saturday, May 30, 2015 at Grafton Middle School in York County. The Grafton event will include Open (rated) and Not-rated K-5 and K-12 sections, as well as Open Quads for adults and advanced scholastic players. More details are available at
www.vschess.org. Online registration will be available beginning May 12. A calendar of VSCA events as well as other scholastic events in Virginia is available at
Fork Union Tournament Results
42 scholastic players participated in the Fork Union Spring Scholastic tournament, held at Fork Union Military Academy in Fluvanna County on April 18, 2015.
In the K-3 section, Yash Saxena won first place with a score of 3.5 points in 4 rounds. Twin Hickory Elementary School from Henrico County won the K-3 first-place team trophy.
In the K-5 section, Jackson Kennedy won first place with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. The first-place team in K-5 was Twin Hickory Elementary School from Henrico County.
In the K-8 section, Alexander He won first place with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. Henley Middle School from Albemarle County won the K-8 first-place team trophy.
In the K-12 section, Nitin Kanuri, a fifth grader playing up, won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. The host team from Fork Union Military Academy won the first-place team trophy in K-12.
Congratulations to all of these players and to all of our other tournament participants.
Complete tournament results are available at
Richmond Metropolitan Grand Prix Tournaments
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, May 16 at the Belmont 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
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 (April 28 only) or Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach (beginning May 5). 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 28. 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 recently posted his analysis of three outstanding games from the Virginia Scholastic Championships in Charlottesville, and a very interesting game from the April 18 Fork Union Spring Scholastic.
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.