Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter
February 6, 2019
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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Veritas Winter Scholastic (Grades K-12)
Registration is now open for the Veritas Winter Scholastic tournament, to be held Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Veritas School in Richmond.
Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM THURSDAY MORNING, February 21.
This tournament is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and includes both
rated and non-rated scholastic sections. There will be no Open Quads at this event.
The annual VSCA membership meeting will be held during this event (see the news item below).
Coach Mike Callaham will be on hand to offer free game analysis and notation training, as well as moderately-priced chess books for all skill levels.
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 entry fee is $10 for advance (online) registrations, and $15 for onsite registrations.
Please read our
Tournament Check-in Policy.
Trophies will be awarded to the top 5 individuals and the top 3 school teams in each section.
Please visit the VSCA website at
vschess.org for more tournament information and to register online.
What If It Snows?
Snow and other winter weather is always a possibility at this time of year. We make every effort to hold our tournaments as scheduled, but occasionally we need to postpone an event due to safety concerns.
If we have to cancel or reschedule a tournament, we will post a notice on the VSCA website
vschess.org as soon as a decision is made, and we will also email a notice to everyone who has registered.
Please register with an email address that you check regularly in case we need to contact you. If you have already paid your entry fee online, we will refund your payment if the event is postponed, or if you let us know that you will not be able to attend.
VSCA Board of Directors Election
Nine candidates for the 2019 VSCA Board of Directors were elected in online voting held January 12–26, 2019. Nailya Plaskey (Louisa County) was elected as a new Board member. Re-elected Directors are Mike Callaham (Richmond), Jeff Forbes (Virginia Beach), Brian Garbera (Chesterfield County), Cheryl Havens (Chesapeake), Mike Hoffpauir (York County), Bart Mebane (Middlesex County), Christina Schweiss (Virginia Beach) and Julie Wells (Virginia Beach). Congratulations to the elected Board Members, and thank you to the VSCA Members who voted in the election.
VSCA General Membership Meeting
The annual VSCA membership meeting will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 during the Veritas School tournament in Richmond. VSCA members are parents or guardians of VSCA scholastic players, and other interested individuals age 16 and older who have done significant volunteer work for the VSCA. During the meeting, VSCA president Mike Hoffpauir will outline future plans and answer questions, and members will be able to bring up any concerns that they wish to discuss.
Virginia Scholastic & College Championships
Registration is open for the 2019 Virginia Scholastic & College Championships, to be held Friday–Sunday, March 8–10, 2019 at Monticello High School in Charlottesville. The Main Event, this year featuring additional "Under" sections and 5 rounds rather than 6, will be held on Saturday (3 rounds) and Sunday (2 rounds). The Blitz tournament will be held Friday Evening, and the Parents & Friends tournament will be held on Saturday (2 rounds) and Sunday (2 rounds).
For complete information, and to register online, please visit the
HRCA State Championship Warm-Up Tournament
The Hampton Roads Chess Association (HRCA), headed by VSCA Board Member Christina Schweiss, is hosting a State Championship Warm-Up tournament on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, in Virginia Beach. The tournament will include feature US Chess-rated sections for experienced players and not-rated sections for new players. Details and online registration will be available soon on the HRCA website 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 Sunday, March 3, 2:00-5:00 pm at Candela's Pizzeria & Ristorante Italiano, 14235 Midlothian Turnpike, Midlothian. 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
Stemtree Open Tournament
Scholarship Chess Business Center (SCBC), a new US Chess affiliate headed by VSCA Secretary and Board Member Mike Callaham, is hosting a US Chess-rated tournament for all ages at Stemtree Glen Allen, 10921 W Broad Street, Glen Allen 23060 on Saturday, March 30. The SCBC calendar and event information is available at
Virginia Beach Tournament Results
101 scholastic players and 6 adult players participated in the Virginia Beach Groundhog Challenge tournament, held at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach on February 2, 2019.
There were four scholastic sections: K-5 Not-rated, K-12 Not-rated, K-5 Open and K-12 Open. There was also a Quad and a Small Swiss section for adults and advanced scholastic players.
In the K-5 Not-rated section, Tyler Chen and Prahas Mamillapalli tied for first place with perfect scores of 5.0 points in 5 rounds. Tyler won the first-place trophy based on tiebreaks. The first-place team in K-5 Not-rated was Old Donation School from Virginia Beach.
In the K-12 Not-rated section, Arthur Hill won the first place trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. The first-place team in K-12 Not-rated was Saint Gregory the Great Catholic School from Virginia Beach.
In the K-5 Open section, Wyatt Riley won the first place trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. The first-place team in K-5 Open was Old Donation School from Virginia Beach.
In the K-12 Open section, John Hill 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 Old Donation School from Virginia Beach.
Mr. Tom Belke and Tyson Brady (seventh grade) tied for first place in the Quad with scores of 2.5 points in 3 rounds. The first-place winner in the Small Swiss section was Mr. Joshua Glessner with a score of 2.5 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-Thursday, 6:30-9:00 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
richmondchessinitiative.wordpress.com/clubs-and-places-people-meet. 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
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.
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
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 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:
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
vschess.org for the latest news and information.