Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter

September 5, 2018

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 Chess Festival (Grades K-12 and Adults)

Registration is now open for the Grafton Fall Chess Festival, to be held Saturday, September 22, 2018 at Grafton Middle School in York County. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, September 20.

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. This tournament will also feature a new chess puzzle-solving competition for scholastic players. Details will be announced on our website soon.

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 for the scholastic sections. Quad players should plan to eat between rounds.

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 Tournaments

The Meadowdale Fall Scholastic & Quads tournament will be held at Meadowdale Library in Chesterfield County on Saturday, October 6. The Meadowdale 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 (1200+) scholastic players.

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

Championship Chess Richmond Cross-round Tournament

Championship Chess Richmond, headed by VSCA Board Member Brian Garbera, is hosting a "cross-round" tournament for grades K-8 on Saturday, September 8, 12:00 noon-3:00 pm at One Eyed Jacques, 3104 West Cary Street, Richmond. The tournament features Quick-rated play for U.S. Chess Federation members and Non-rated games for non-members. Quick-rated Quads for adults and advanced scholastic players are also available. For more information, visit the Championship Chess Richmond website at

North Courthouse Tournament Results

33 scholastic and 5 adult players participated in the North Courthouse Scholastic and Quads tournament, held at North Courthouse Road Library in Chesterfield County on August 11, 2018. This was our first tournament at this location, and we sincerely thank the library for hosting the tournament.

There were three scholastic sections: K-5 Not-rated, K-5 Open and K-12 Open. There were no K-12 Not-rated players registered. There was also a Small Swiss section for adults and advanced scholastic players. There is no team competition at our summer tournaments.

In the K-5 Not-rated section, Tom Liu won the first place trophy with a score of 4.0 points in 5 rounds. Tom and William Etu were tied at 3.0 points after 4 rounds, and Tom won a playoff game to take the trophy.

In the K-5 Open section, Alan Plaskey won the first place trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. In the K-12 Open section, Peter Wood won the first place trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds.

The first-place winner in the Small Swiss section was Nick Failon (eleventh grade) with a perfect score of 3.0 points in 3 rounds.

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

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

Richmond Chess Initiative Workshops

The Richmond Chess Initiative (RCI), headed by VSCA Secretary and Board Member Mike Callaham, meets for chess every weeknight, Monday-Friday, 6:00-9:00 pm, at Createspace, 607 Wickham Street, Richmond. Chess lessons are 6:30-7:00 pm daily, followed by free play from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Sets and clocks are provided, and there is free onsite parking. For more information, visit the RCI website at If you plan to arrive later than 7:30 pm, please call 804-426-6058 to let Mr. Callaham know.

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.

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.