Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter
May 2, 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.
firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address.
Meadowdale Spring Scholastic and Quads (Grades K-12 and Adults)
Registration is now open for the Meadowdale Spring Scholastic & Quads tournament, to be held Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Meadowdale Library in Chesterfield County. We sincerely thank the library and staff for hosting the tournament.
Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, May 16.
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.
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.
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
vschess.org for more tournament information and to register online.
Other Upcoming VSCA Tournaments
The Virginia Beach June Scholastic & Quads tournament will be held at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach on Saturday, June 1. Registration will open May 15.
The Virginia Beach tournament will be open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as adults, and will include rated and non-rated scholastic sections, and Open Quads for advanced scholastic players (US Chess rating 1200+) and adults.
The North Courthouse Summer Scholastic & Quads tournament will be held at North Courthouse Road Library in Chesterfield County on Saturday, August 10. Registration will open in late July. The North Courthouse tournament is open to students who will be entering kindergarten through 12th grade in the coming school year, as well as adult players, and includes rated and non-rated scholastic sections, and quads for adults and advanced (1200+) scholastic players. There is no team competition at our summer tournaments.
A calendar of VSCA events as well as other scholastic events in Virginia is available at
Anna Julia Cooper Open Tournament
Scholarship Chess Business Center (SCBC), formerly Richmond Chess Initiative, a US Chess affiliate headed by VSCA Secretary and Board Member Mike Callaham, is hosting a US Chess-rated tournament for all ages at Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School, 2124 N 29th Street, Richmond 23223, on Saturday, May 11. US Chess membership is required. The SCBC calendar and event information 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, May 25, 2:00-5:00 pm at Maglio's Pizza, 7220 Hancock Village Drive, Chesterfield 23832. 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
Virginia Beach Tournament Results
86 scholastic players and 4 adult players participated in the Virginia Beach April Scholastic & Quads tournament, held at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach on April 6, 2019. As always, we are very grateful to Eastminster Presbyterian Church for hosting the tournament and to Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club for their invaluable assistance.
There were four scholastic sections: K-5 Not-rated, K-12 Not-rated, K-5 Open and K-12 Open. The K-5 Not-rated section and K-12 Not-rated section were combined with separate awards. There was also a Small Swiss section for adult players and advanced scholastic players.
In the K-5 Not-rated section, Lucian Gutierrez won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 5.0 points in 5 rounds. The first-place team in K-5 Not-rated was Old Donation School from Virginia Beach.
In the K-12 Not-rated section, Saahas Parasa won the first-place trophy with a score of 3.0 points in 5 rounds. The first-place team in K-12 Not-rated was Old Donation School from Virginia Beach.
In the K-5 Open section, there was a five-way tie for first place. Lena Erickson, Timothy Fuller, Nicholas Kokhan, Varsha Padmanabhan and Jack Toomer each finished with a score of 4.0 points in 5 rounds. Lena won the first-place trophy by tiebreaks. Old Donation School from Virginia Beach won the K-5 Open first-place team trophy by tiebreaks over Kingston Elementary School, also from Virginia Beach.
In the K-12 Open section, Sean Beavers won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 4.0 points in 4 rounds. Old Donation School from Virginia Beach won the K-12 Open first-place team trophy.
In the Small Swiss section, Tyson Brady, a seventh grader, and Mr. Michael Williams tied for first place 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
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 August 12-16. The camp is open to rising 3rd-9th graders. For complete information and registration, visit the camp website 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.