Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

May 13, 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.

Grafton Springtime Scholastic and Quads (Grades K-12 and Adult)

Registration is now open for the Grafton Springtime Scholastic and Quads tournament, to be held Saturday, May 30, 2015 at Grafton Middle School in York County. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, May 28.

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.

Beginning with this tournament we have a new entry fee scale (our first fee increase since 2003). The entry fee for the scholastic sections is $10 for advance (online) registrations, or $15 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 5 individuals and 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 for more tournament information and to register online.

Meadowdale Tournament Results

44 scholastic players participated in the Meadowdale Spring Scholastic tournament, held at Meadowdale Public Library in Chesterfield County on May 2, 2015.

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 Open section had awards for the top players in grades K-8 and grades 9-12. There were no entries in the K-12 Not-rated section.

In the K-5 Not-rated section, Jack Ullmann won first place for grades K-3 with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. Alagappan Sellappan won the first-place trophy for grades 4-5 by tiebreaks over Katie Ullmann. Alagappan and Katie each finished with a score of 2.5 points in 4 rounds. Twin Hickory Elementary School from Henrico County won the K-5 Not-rated first-place team trophy.

In the K-5 Open section, Ritvika Palani won first place for grades K-3 with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. Josh Havens won the first-place trophy for grades 4-5 with a score of 3.0 points in 4 rounds. Grace Academy Homeschool Co-op from Virginia Beach won the K-5 Open first-place team trophy.

In the K-12 Open section, Zain Quader won the first-place trophy for grades K-8 with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. Trey Johnson won the first-place trophy for grades 9-12 with a score of 3.0 points in 4 rounds. Maggie L. Walker Governor's School from Richmond won the first-place team trophy in K-12 Open.

The winners in the two K-12 Quad sections were Aaron Osborne and Santosh Dasari.

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 next tournaments are May 16 at the Belmont Library branch, May 30 at the North Avenue Library branch, June 6 at the Richmond Main Library branch and June 20 at the Westover Hills 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 branch and the Westover Hills branch, and every Wednesday evening 6:00-7:30 pm at the Main branch and the Belmont branch. The CEO and founder of RCI is VSCA secretary Mike Callaham. For more information, visit the RCI website 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 Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach. 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, May 19. For more information, visit the chess club's Facebook page at

Summer Chess Camps

Three chess camps will be held in the Richmond area during the summer months.

Dragon Chess Camp, organized by the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School Chess Club, will be held at the school the week of July 6-10. .

Maurice Ashley Summer Chess Camp, organized by Maurice Ashley Teaches Champions (MATCH), will be held at Collegiate School the week of July 27-31. .

Championship Chess RVA Summer Camp, organized by Championship Chess RVA, will be held at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church in Chesterfield County the week of August 10-14.

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 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 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 $10 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 $15. 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.