Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter
May 4, 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.
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Grafton End of School Countdown Scholastic and Quads (Grades K-12 and Adults)
Registration is now open for the Grafton End of School Countdown Scholastic and Quads tournament, to be held Saturday, May 21, 2016 at Grafton Middle School in York County.
Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM THURSDAY MORNING, May 19.
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 (US Chess) and players do NOT need to be US Chess members.
The K-5 Open and K-12 Open (grades 6-12) sections are US Chess-rated sections.
All players in these sections must be current US Chess members.
The Open Quads sections are US Chess-rated sections open to advanced scholastic players (US Chess 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.
The entry fee for the scholastic sections is $10 for advance (online) registrations, and $15 for onsite registrations. The entry fee for the Open 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 Open 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 last VSCA tournament of the current school year is June 4 at the Richmond Public Library Main Branch. This tournament is jointly hosted by the VSCA, the Richmond Chess Initiative and the Richmond Public Library, and will have K-5 Not-rated and K-12 Not-rated sections for new players (first three tournaments), K-5 Open and K-12 Open sections for experienced players and Open Quads for adults as well as advanced K-12 players. US Chess Federation membership is required for the Open scholastic sections and the Open Quads.
The first summer tournament will be July 16 at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School in Richmond. The Maggie Walker tournament features a special K-12 Championship section for scholastic players with a US Chess rating of 1200 and above. At last summer's tournament this section attracted a number of players rated above 1500 and was very competitive. The tournament also includes K-5 Not-rated and K-12 Not-rated sections for new players (first three tournaments) and K-5 Under 1200 and K-12 Under 1200 sections for experienced players (US Chess-rated). Sections are based on the grade the player will attend beginning in the fall (2016-2017 school year).
A calendar of VSCA events as well as other scholastic events in Virginia is available at
Meadowdale Tournament Results
29 scholastic players participated in the Meadowdale Spring Scholastic, held at Meadowdale Library in Chesterfield County on April 30, 2016. Sections were K-5 Not-rated, K-5 Open, K-12 Open and one K-12 Quad for advanced players.
In the K-5 Not-rated section, Blake Garrett won the first-place trophy by tiebreaks over Momen Mohamed. Blake and Momen each finished with 3.5 points in 4 rounds. Marguerite Christian Elementary School from Chesterfield County won the first-place team trophy in K-5 Not-rated.
There was a three-way tie for first place in the K-5 Open section. Cade Petrus won the first-place trophy by tiebreaks over Grace Calapati and Anusree Marikkannan. Cade, Grace and Anusree each finished with 3.0 points in 4 rounds. Colonial Trail Elementary School from Henrico County won the K-5 Open first-place team trophy.
In the K-12 Open section, Darren Wu won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. The first place team in K-12 Open was Providence Elementary School from Virginia Beach, with two players playing up.
The winner in the K-12 Quad was Zain Quader with a perfect score of 3.0 points.
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 tournament is May 7, 2016 at the Richmond Public Library Main Branch. For more information, visit the RCI website at
Tournament Director Seminar
National Tournament Director (NTD) Ernest Schlich, assisted by NTD and VSCA president Mike Hoffpauir, will present a free two-day seminar for current Tournament Directors (TDs) and anyone interested in becoming a TD. The seminar will be held at the Old Dominion University Regional Education Center in Virginia Beach on Saturday June 11 and Sunday June 12. For more information, visit
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
Championship Chess RVA Summer Chess Camps
Championship Chess RVA, headed by VSCA Board Member Brian Garbera, is hosting camps throughout the summer months at many locations across the Richmond metro area. The camps are open to rising 2nd-8th graders. For complete information and registration, visit the Championship Chess RVA website at
Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club Summer Chess Camp
The Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club, organized by VSCA Board Member Christina Schweiss, is hosting a summer chess camp the week of July 25-29 at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach. The instructor is FIDE Master James Schuyler (2400). The camp is open to both club members and non-members. For further information, email Tina 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 include training as well as rated tournaments. For more information, visit the chess club's Facebook page 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
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.
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 2121. 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 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
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.