Volume 2, Issue 3 


MARCH 2002

Edited by Bob Ferguson, Member of USCF Scholastic Council

If you prefer, you may read this news online at www.chess.isgenius.com.  The direct link for the Scholastic Chess Update is http://www.geocities.com/chess_camp/update.html.  The American Chess School funds this eNewsletter.  Please visit our sponsor’s website at www.amchess.org and read the details for the 2002 Castle Chess Camps.  If you submit an idea before the end of March that we include on the www.chess.isgenius.com Website, you will receive a $50 scholarship!*

In this issue:

1.   Champions League Starting

2.   Scholarships for Chessplayers!

3.   What is a chess camp?

4.   Bringing The Stronger Players Back To Scholastic Chess

5.   Congratulations to WIM Jennifer Shahade!

6.   FREE Chess Research Summary & More

7.   Questions From the Executive Board

Greetings to All Chess Folks,

Welcome to the sixth issue (Volume 2, Number 3) of the Scholastic Chess Update.  One of the Scholastic Council’s goals is to improve communication among members of the scholastic community.  This e-Newsletter is the second step towards reaching this goal.  Our first step was the creation of a Scholastic Chess Website to communicate what the Scholastic Council is and what goals are being pursued.  For details, please visit www.chess.isgenius.com.

If you are NOT interested in scholastic chess, please click the reply button and type “remove” in the subject line.  If you know others who would like to receive this information, please forward the URL for the website to them.  If you are receiving multiple copies, please let us know so we can correct our error.

Champions League Starting

by Ruth Ann Fay [[email protected]]

ICCF is starting a Champions League.  This will be 4-player teams playing by email against 6 other teams.  If your chess players are interested, they should look for the information at www.iccfus.com. Membership in USCF, APCT, and CCLA includes the ICCF membership also.

Amici Sumus.
Ruth Ann Fay
ICCF-US Ass't Sec'y
1642 N. Volusia Ave
Suite 102
Orange City, FL 32763

Information and order form at www.iccfus.com

Scholarships for Chessplayers!

by Kelly Jacobs [[email protected]]

If you know of another, please let me know so that I can add it to this list. If you would like to have your local college offer scholarships, there is more material about this subject below my signature. Thank-you for your help, especially Dr. Alexey Root, (Senior Lecturer Teacher Education, Associate Director Chess Program, University of Texas at Dallas) who updated my list.

Colleges offering Chess Scholarships

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University ($500.00 yearly Scholarship),

Louisiana State University
in Baton Rouge for chess scholarships for the year

The University of Maryland at Baltimore

1. Ole Miss in Oxford
Two $500 scholarships for the top girl and top boy winners of the Dexter Visits the 2nd Tiger Scholastic Chess Tournament.

2. Mississippi State University in Starkville Two $500.00 scholarships for the top boy and girl chess players at the MS State Chess Championships for 2002 and 2003.

3. Jackson State University in Jackson Two $500.00 scholarships for the top boy and girl chess players at the MS State Chess Championships for 2002 and 2003.yes they get to choose their college!

Rose State College

Rhode Island
Rhode Island College

Tennessee Technical University 
in Cookeville, awards a scholarship to the Tennessee State High School Champion each year, 4 years valued at $12,000.

1. University of Texas--Dallas

Academic Excellence Scholarship -- waiver of all tuition and mandatory fees plus $1000 per year toward housing for each of 4 years. Scholarship will be upgraded if student has an excellent academic record. Approximate value $18,000+.

2. Texas A&M University--Kingsville,
Housing Scholarship -- this is a four-year scholarship and is valued at $7,500.

3. University of Texas--Brownsville
President's Chess Scholarship -- UTB will offer two four-year scholarships to top students in South Texas. These scholarships will include tuition, books, and fees with a value of over $10,000 each.

4. Southwest Texas State University,
San Marcos Optimist International Scholarship - $1,000 scholarship.

5. Del Mar College
President's Chess Scholarship -- a two-year scholarship to include tuition, books, and fees with a value of over $4,000 for a student within the local five-county area.

6. Incarnate Word Academy, Corpus Christi
President's Award - one semester scholarship for a boy or girl entering 6th through 8th grade for the 2002-2003 school year. Value $2,500.

What is a chess camp?

Theme camps are becoming very popular.  There are baseball camps, soccer camps, and even chess camps.  A chess camp is a summer camp where kids can go to learn about and play chess.  Some chess camps are day camps, and other chess camps are sleepover camps.  Most chess camps offer some other activities such as swimming, soccer, tennis, etc. in addition to chess.  For information about chess camps, visit http://www.uschess.org/org/sources.html#Camps.

Bringing The Stronger Players Back To Scholastic Chess

I have received so many responses to Bob Lakata’s article that I decided we should

do a point/counterpoint article on this topic for the March issue.  The following comments are from Bob Lakata <[email protected]> and Bob Ciaffone <[email protected]>.  Bob Ciaffone’s comments are noted by >.  Please copy both on your comments.  Thanks.

> I totally disagree with everything stated in the Lakata article, except the

> fact that the stronger players do depart from scholastic programs involving

> their peers. I wish to make the following points:

   The E-Mails I am reading universally agree that stronger players are

abandoning the local scholastic tournaments.  Except for Bob Ciaffone,

everybody agrees that this is not a desirable situation. And some,

especially from the state of Illinois, are actively trying to do

something about this situation. Regarding Bob Ciaffone's points: 


> (1) To enjoy a game of chess to the fullest, it is desirable to play someone

> close to your own strength. That is the main reason the strong do not wish

> to play the weak, not the fact they can lose rating points.


   Instead of trying to establish who is correct as to the reason why

stronger scholastic players are avoiding local scholastic tournaments,

perhaps we should ask the players themselves. Perhaps a questionnaire

handed out at a state or national tournament asking why the players are

not participating in local tournaments would be useful in ascertaining the



> (2) It is not true that a player learns more from playing someone way

> stronger than he is. A little stronger is good, perhaps 50-200 rating

> points, but the lower player in a mismatch is deprived of the chance to use

> most of his arsenal of ideas.


  Even attracting back players "200 rating points" higher than the

current average of those currently participating would be a big improvement.


> (3) The weak love to play against the strong, whether it is a 600 against a

> 1200, a 1200 against an 1800, an 1800 against a 2200, or a 2200 against a

> GM. But those misguided individuals who put pressure on the strong to play

> the weak simply ignore the feelings of the strong.


   Yes, the "weak love to play against the strong". Let's not "pressure" the

strong to play the weak. Like the people in Illinois, let's just try to

give the stronger players more of an incentive to play in local

scholastic tournaments.

Congratulations to WIM Jennifer Shahade!

Congratulations to Women’s International Master (WIM) Jennifer Shahade (USCF rating 2352), who is a graduate of the Bradford Castle Chess Camp and currently resides in New York, for becoming the 2002 U.S. Women’s Champion with a final score of 5 out of 9.

Registration pages on www.chess.isgenius.com are now active!

Thanks to George John our registration pages are now working properly.  Please suggest to your scholastic colleagues that they visit the following links to be added to our mailing lists.



FREE Chess Research Summary is available at www.amchess.org/research.  Educators around the world acknowledge that chess is a powerful tool for developing higher order thinking skills, creativity, numerical and verbal aptitudes, and memory.  Now, you can have the documentation to support your belief in the positive value of chess.  If you need more documentation, a 200+ page manual is available for a fee.  Contact [email protected] for further information.

Questions From the Executive Board

1.      Do you think Youth and Scholastic Members will continue to use US Chess Live if it charges for service?

2.      Do you think the new Internet only membership will become popular among Scholastic and Youth members?

3.      Do you think many schools in your area will sign up to compete in the Scholastic League competition should the technical problems be solvable?

4.      Can the scholastic and youth players afford the higher rates for membership?

5.      And perhaps more important, would they?  And would scholastic organizers continue to support USCF sponsored events?

6.      Should School Mates be continued as a separate issue, be included as a series of features in a quarterly Chess Life, or abandoned completely?

7.      If produced, should the magazine be hardcopy or on-line?

8.      Should the magazine be targeted for kids or coaches?

9.      Should the names of the ratings classes be changed from alpha to numeric?

10. Should ratings class names be granted as titles?

11. How useful do you think an auto sensory board would be for young children?

12. Do you favor the development of a Regional Qualifier for the National Scholastic Championships?

13. Which format would you prefer?

14. Should the title of National Champion be reserved for Open Section winners only?

15. For which fundraising goals do you think you could be of assistance?

Please send your comments to Tom Brownscombe at [email protected] and Steve Shutt at [email protected].  Thanks!

How do you contact your scholastic representatives?







[email protected]




[email protected] 




[email protected]




[email protected]




[email protected] 




[email protected]




[email protected]


* Tom and Steve are ex-officio members. 

A message from our sponsor:

Details for the 2002 Castle Chess Camps are available at www.amchess.org. The Bradford Castle Chess Camp will be held July 21-28 and the Atlanta Castle Chess Camp is scheduled for June 9-16.  Both camps feature current U.S. Champion Joel Benjamin.

*Coaches who submit ideas for Coaches’ Corner in March are eligible to receive a $50 scholarship towards the Castle Chess Camp in Pennsylvania.  Coaches may use the scholarship for themselves or as an award for a top student who is not already registered for the camp.

Registration info is at http://www.amchess.org/camp/registration.html. The full camp fee for residents at the Bradford camp is $739, but the early bird price is only $599.  Fees increase $20 per month after the early bird deadline. For more info, please visit the www.amchess.org website and click on Joel’s photo or the "Castle Chess Camp" button.


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