Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Newsletter
July 26, 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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North Courthouse Summer Scholastic & Quads (Rising Grades K-12 and Adults)
Registration is now open for the North Courthouse Summer Scholastic & Quads Tournament, to be held Saturday, August 10, 2019 at North Courthouse Road Library in Chesterfield County. We are very grateful to the library and staff for hosting the tournament. Advance registration is online only, and closes at 7:00 AM Thursday MORNING, August 8.
This tournament is open to students who will be in kindergarten through 12th grade in the next school year, and includes both rated and non-rated sections. Players who have graduated from high school are not eligible for the scholastic sections, but are welcome to play in the adult quads.
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 (grades K-5) 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 (grades K-5) 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.
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 7 individuals in each of the scholastic sections. There are no team awards at our summer tournaments, and players from the same school may be paired against each other. 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 Meadowdale Fall Scholastic & Quads tournament will be held at Meadowdale Library in Chesterfield County on Saturday, October 5. 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
Virginia Beach Tournament Results
74 scholastic players and 4 adult players participated in the Virginia Beach June Scholastic & Quads tournament, held at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach on June 1, 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 were also two Quad sections for adults and advanced scholastic players.
In the K-5 Not-rated section, Sophia Brown 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, Sama Patel won the first-place trophy with a score of 3.0 points in 5 rounds. There were no teams in the K-12 Not-rated section.
In the K-5 Open section, Leo Chang won the first-place trophy with a perfect score of 5.0 points in 5 rounds. Old Donation School from Virginia Beach won the K-5 Open first-place team trophy.
In the K-12 Open section, Ky-Quan Pham 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.
The winners in the two adult and advanced scholastic Quads were Tyson Brady (seventh grade), Mr. Carlos Zepeda Matal (tie) and Mr. Mike Anliker (tie).
Congratulations to all of these players and to all of our other tournament participants.
Complete tournament results are available at
SCBC Saturday Swiss
Scholarship Chess Business Center (SCBC), formerly Richmond Chess Initiative, a US Chess affiliate headed by VSCA Secretary and Board Member Mike Callaham, hosts monthly tournaments for all ages at Scholarship Chess Business Center, 607 Wickham Street, Richmond, featuring free parking and many nearby restaurants. All games are US Chess-rated. The next tournament will be held on Saturday, July 27. 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 rising grades K-9 on Sunday, August 25, 2:00-5:00 pm at Mathnasium Westchester Commons #3, 15604 WC Commons Way, Midlothian 23113. 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
Championship Chess Richmond Summer Chess Camps
Championship Chess Richmond, headed by VSCA Board Member Brian Garbera, is hosting camps throughout the summer months at several locations across the Richmond metro area. For complete information and registration, visit the Championship Chess Richmond website at
HRCA Summer Chess Academy
The Hampton Roads Chess Association (HRCA), headed by VSCA Board Member Christina Schweiss, is hosting the HRCA Summer Chess Academy on Tuesday evenings, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, all summer at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach. Classes run from June 18 to August 27, 2019, except July 23, and are open to players in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. To find out more and to register, visit the
Maggie L. Walker Summer Chess Camp and Tournament
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. The Maggie L. Walker Chess Club is also hosting a chess tournament on August 17, the Saturday following the camp. Attendance at the camp is not required to participate in the tournament. For complete information and registration, visit the camp website at
Scholarship Chess Business Center Workshops
The Scholarship Chess Business Center (SCBS), formerly Richmond Chess Initiative, headed by VSCA Secretary and Board Member Mike Callaham, meets for chess every Monday-Thursday, 6:30-9:00 pm, at the Scholarship Chess Business Center, 607 Wickham Street, Richmond. Optional chess lessons are 6:30-7:00 pm Monday-Thursday, 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 SCBC 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
Scholarship Chess Business Center (formerly Richmond Chess Initiative) and the coordinator and head coach of the Richmond Middle School Chess League. Mr. Callaham 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
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.
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 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
vschess.org for the latest news and information.