Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter
March 23, 2016
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org 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 9, 2016 at Fork Union Military Academy in Fluvanna County.
Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, April 7.
This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. All sections are US Chess-rated, and all players in the tournament
must be current US Chess members.
Players are divided into four sections based on their grade in school:
The entry fee is $10 for advance (online) registrations, or $15 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.
Other Upcoming VSCA Tournaments
Three additional VSCA tournaments are scheduled before the end of the school year: April 30 at Meadowdale Library (Chesterfield County), May 21 at Grafton Middle School (York County) and June 4 at the Richmond Public Library Main Branch. Each of these tournaments will have K-5 Not-rated and K-12 Not-rated sections for new players (first three tournaments) and K-5 Open and K-12 Open sections for experienced players (US Chess membership required). The Meadowdale tournament will have Scholastic Quads for advanced K-12 players, and the Grafton and Richmond tournaments will have Open Quads for adults as well as advanced K-12 players.
A calendar of VSCA events as well as other scholastic events in Virginia is 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 tournament is April 2, 2016 at the Richmond Public Library Main Branch. For more information, visit the RCI website at
State Scholastic Tournament Results
A number of our VSCA players and schools participated in the Virginia Scholastic Championships, held March 4-6 at Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn (Loudoun County). The tournament was organized by the Virginia Chess Federation. Congratulations to the following award winners:
- Natasha Rousseau, K-3 18th Place
- Ritvika Palani, K-3 2nd Under 800
- Bao-Quan Pham, K-3 3rd Under 800
- Providence Elementary School (Virginia Beach), K-3 12th Place Team
- Kemps Landing/Old Donation School (Virginia Beach), K-3 14th Place Team
- Sudarshan Sriniaiyer, K-5 3rd Place
- Kyle Phillips, K-5 13th Place
- Franklin He, K-5 22nd Place
- Nick Failon, K-8 13th Place
- Zain Quader, K-8 3rd Under 1200
- Joshua Yu, K-8 2nd Under 1000
- Robbie Danforth, K-8 3rd Under 1000
- Elijah King-Bond, K-8 2nd Under 800
- Grace Academy Homeschool Co-op (Virginia Beach), K-8 6th Place Team
- Moody Middle School (Henrico County), K-8 12th Place Team
- William Kang, K-12 Top Under 1200 and Top Upset
- Eric Campbell, K-12 Top Under 1000
- Grace Academy Homeschool Co-op (Virginia Beach), K-12 3rd Place Team
- Maggie L. Walker Governor's School (Richmond), K-12 6th Place Team
- Grace Academy Homeschool Co-op (Virginia Beach), K-12 Blitz 1st Place Team
Complete tournament results are available at
- Ryan and Nic Balser, K-12 Bughouse 3rd Place
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 include training as well as rated tournaments. For more information, visit the chess club's Facebook page at
Maggie L. Walker Summer Chess Camp
Dragon Chess Camp, organized by the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School Chess Club, will be held at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School in Richmond the week of July 11-15, 2016, followed by a VSCA tournament at the school on July 16. The camp is open to rising 3rd-9th graders. For further information, visit the chess club's Facebook page at
www.facebook.com/MLWGSChess and the camp website at
Richmond Chess Initiative Free Chess Training
The Richmond Chess Initiative (RCI) and the Richmond Public Library host weekly chess training sessions, free and open to the public. Sessions are 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
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 an extremely interesting game from the Virginia Scholastic Championships in Ashburn.
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
email@example.com. 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.
Support Isaac Steincamp on the Road to New Orleans
Isaac Steincamp is a longtime VSCA player, volunteer, tournament organizer and recent board member. As president of the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School Chess Club, he revitalized the chess team, organized free monthly chess clinics for the community, and coordinated the Dragon Chess Camp the past 3 summers. His current US Chess rating is 2142. Now a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, his goal is to win the 2016 U.S. Junior Open in New Orleans.
Isaac needs your support for his training and travel. For more information, and to find out how you can support Isaac's quest, visit
Also check out Isaac's blog at
chesssummit.com, which features a free game analysis section. If you would like Isaac to analyze one of your tournament games, email him at
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. Entry fees
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; entry fees may be higher for late entries. 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.
Please note that the above information applies to most Virginia Scholastic Chess Association tournaments. Some tournaments may have different registration schedules and/or entry fees.
To help start our tournaments on time, we have 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 (US Chess) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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
US Chess Membership
Current membership in the U.S. Chess Federation (US Chess) 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 US Chess at
Please do not mail a paper application form or check to US Chess, 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 US Chess members.
Please visit our website at
www.vschess.org for the latest news and information.