Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

September 6, 2017

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 Fall Scholastic and Quads (Grades K-12 and Adults)

Registration is now open for the Grafton Fall Scholastic and Quads tournament, to be held Saturday, September 23, 2017 at Grafton Middle School in York County. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, September 21.

This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade as well as adult players, and includes rated and non-rated scholastic sections, and quads for adults and advanced scholastic players.

Food and drinks will not be sold at this tournament. Please bring your own lunch and snacks, or plan to visit one of the fast food restaurants in the area. We will have a lunch break during the tournament.

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 1200+) 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;d5. All players registering for Open Quads are expected to play all three rounds.

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 for more tournament information and to register online.

Other Upcoming VSCA Events

The next VSCA event following the Grafton tournament is the Meadowdale Library tournament on National Chess Day, October 14, in Chesterfield County. This tournament will include K-5 and K-12 Not-rated scholastic sections and K-5 and K-12 Open (rated) scholastic sections, as well as Open Quads for adults and advanced scholastic players.

The Veritas School in Richmond will host a VSCA scholastic tournament on November 4, featuring K-5 and K-12 Not-rated sections, and K-5 and K-12 Open (rated) sections. There will be no Open Quads at the Veritas event.

A calendar of VSCA events as well as other scholastic events in Virginia is available at

Championship Chess RVA Cross-round Tournament

Championship Chess RVA, headed by VSCA Board Member Brian Garbera, is hosting a "cross-round" tournament on Saturday, September 30, 1:00-4:00 pm at the Children's Museum of Richmond, 2626 West Broad Street, Richmond 23220. The tournament features Quick-rated play for U.S. Chess Federation members and Non-rated games for non-members. For more information, visit the Championship Chess RVA website at

Virginia Beach National Chess Day Festival

The annual Virginia Beach National Chess Day Festival will be held outdoors at Virginia Beach Town Center on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The event is organized by the Hampton Roads Chess Association and sponsored by the City of Virginia Beach. The all-day festival will include a tournament with US Chess-rated sections for experienced players and not-rated sections for beginners, a simultaneous chess exhibition by five-time Virginia State Champion and National Master Dan Miller, free chess lessons for beginners, a giant chess board, and other chess activities. Spectators are welcome. Many of the activities are free; there is an entry fee of $10 per player for the tournament and $5 per player for the simul. There is no charge for spectators. Advance registration for the tournament and the simul will be opening soon at

Maggie L. Walker Tournament Results

59 scholastic players participated in the Maggie L. Walker Summer Scholastic Tournament, held at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School in Richmond on July 15, 2017.

There were four scholastic sections: K-5 Not-rated, K-12 Not-rated, K-5 Under 1200 and K-12 Under 1200. The K-5 Not-rated and K-12 Not-rated sections were combined with separate awards. There are no team competitions or team awards at our summer tournaments.

In the K-5 Not-rated section, Aaron Kuhn won the first-place trophy by tiebreaks over Abhijit Somala. Aaron and Abhijit each finished with a score of 3.0 points in 4 rounds. Sean Beavers won first place in the K-12 Not-rated section with a score of 3.0 points in 4 rounds.

In the K-5 Under 1200 section, Kate Caulfield won the first place trophy by tiebreaks over Micah Kuester. Kate and Micah each finished with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. In the K-12 Under 1200 section, Arvind Manohar won the first place trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds.

Congratulations to all of these players and to all of our other tournament participants. Complete tournament results are available at

Chess Club of the Year!

The Hampton Roads Chess Association (HRCA) was recently named 2017 Chess Club of the Year by the U.S. Chess Federation. Only one club in the nation is recognized each year. HRCA hosts weekly meetings in Virginia Beach with instruction and rated play (see the announcement below), as well as tournaments, summer camp and other chess activities. The president of HRCA is VSCA Board Member Christina Schweiss. Congratulations to Tina and to all of the officers and members!

Hampton Roads Chess Association

The Hampton Roads Chess Association, organized by VSCA Board Member Christina Schweiss, 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

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 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 Boushall, Lucille Brown, Thomas Henderson and Thompson Middle Schools in Richmond; Armstrong High School 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.


The VSCA is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. We welcome volunteers of all interests and experience levels to help with tournaments and other scholastic chess activities, or to assist with planning by serving on the VSCA Board of Directors. There is one vacancy on the Board of Directors for the remainder of the current year, and voting for all nine Board positions will be held during the coming winter. Parents of scholastic players who have participated in one or more VSCA tournaments in the past 12 months, and individuals age 16 or older who have done significant volunteer work for the VSCA in the past 12 months are eligible to serve on he Board and vote in elections. If you are interested in volunteering as a Director candidate or in any other capacity, please contact VSCA President Mike Hoffpauir at

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. 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.

Tournament Check-in

To help start our tournaments on time, we have implemented the following check-in policies:

Players who pay online do not need to check in at the tournament, but they 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:

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 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 for the latest news and information.