Volume 2, Issue 5 May-June 2002

over 1,500 readers

Edited by Bob Ferguson, Member of USCF Scholastic Council 

** Story Hour with the Grandmasters **

GM Joel Benjamin and GM Arthur Bisguier along with their moderator, Stephen Shutt, entertain and inform their audience by sharing little-known chess anecdotes in this 90 minute video.


Greetings to All Chess Folks,

Welcome to the eighth issue (Volume 2, Number 5) 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

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.

  • A Parent's Guide to Chess

  • 2002 Scholastic Committee Report

  • Fresh

  • Thank You to Lance Eck for Creating Logo

  • Cindy Tsai & Hikaru Nakamura Finish First

A Parent's Guide to Chess
By Jack C. Mallory


Dan Heisman, National Master and noted chess coach, and author of "Everyone's 2nd Chess Book", has just published "A Parent's Guide to Chess" through Russell Enterprises, Inc., 234 Depot Road, Milford CT 06460. More information is available at


"A Parent's Guide to Chess" answers the questions parents raise when their young child gets interested in chess and especially when their child wants to play in chess tournaments. Heisman, calling on his personal experience coaching young players, presents guidelines to determine when a young player is ready for tournaments. He then addresses how USCF tournaments are run, what equipment and memberships will be necessary, etc.


This is primarily a reference book for interested parents. Although it contains advice on how to play and how to behave, it is not a chess instructional manual.


Hopefully, USCF will carry this very useful guide in its bookstore.


!!! Castle Chess Camp !!!

Sorry, there is no more space available.  We have been turning folks away for the past month.  If you would like to be placed on our mailing list for the 2003 camps, please email us at [email protected].

2002 Scholastic Committee Report
Submitted by Pat Hoekstra, Chair

Greetings from the wonderful world of scholastic chess!

In 2000 a plan to form a group of five people known as the Scholastic Council was approved by the Executive Board.  The Scholastic Council functions as the head of the Scholastic Committee and directly represents the scholastic chess community to the Executive Board.  The Scholastic Committee elects the scholastic Council members.

The Scholastic Council/Committee members have been communicating with one another via email, telephone, and meetings at tournaments.  We have had Council representation at each national tournament and scholastic meeting held at these tournaments.  Parents/coaches have offered various suggestions for tournament changes which Council members have noted and reported to the office.

As a result of countless dedicated hours from volunteers in the scholastic chess community, there has been a huge surge of interest in scholastic chess this year. Three national scholastic tournaments set new attendance records this spring: Elementary Tournament in Portland, OR (2138), Jr. High Tournament in Milwaukee, WI (1458), and High School Tournament in Louisville, KY (1434).  As most of us know, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to organize and have a successful tournament.  The three mentioned tournaments were well run and enjoyed by all. Thanks to each person who helped make the tournaments successful and to everyone who has given their time to the promotion of scholastic chess.  


1.       Creation of a Web Site    

To help the scholastic council/committee become unified and organized, Bob Ferguson graciously donated, created, and has maintained a web site for us. This information will be transferred to the USCF web site eventually.  This web site is used to provide information regarding the purpose of the council, names of council/committee members, projects, news events, and council meeting minutes/reports.  Bob has created a GREAT web site.  Please visit at the following address:

2.       Development of a National Network System

Beatriz Marinello with teammates De Knudson, Jay Stallings, and Ralph Bowman have developed an extensive plan designed to support the entire chess community. Please refer to   Actions to implement this plan include establishing communication with each state scholastic coordinator, to support existing chess programs, assist in the development of new clubs, and support existing chess clubs.

3.       Completion of a Tournament Check List

Ralph Bowman, who organized a successful SuperNationals II in Kansas City, Mo. last year, has written a TOURNAMENT CHECKLIST which provides helpful information to folks planning to organize a tournament.  The check list is not available through USCF yet but anyone wanting a copy, please visit the Scholastic Council web site: 

4. Listing of Colleges Offering Chess Scholarships

Kelly Jacobs compiled a list of colleges currently offering chess Scholarships.  The list is available on USCF�s web site or on the Scholastic Council�s web site.

5. Evaluation of  Scholar Chess Player Applicants

Each year USCF in partnership with the Chess Trust gives SCHOLAR-CHESSPLAYER awards. The availability of these scholarships is advertised in Chess Life and School Mates with high school students who are either juniors or seniors eligible to apply.  These Awards are based on particular criteria including chess rating, SAT/ACT scores, GPA, chess achievements, academic achievements, chess service, essay, and references.  Bob Ferguson formulated a rating system that is used to evaluate each applicant.  This year Jack Mallory, Steve Shutt and Pat Hoekstra evaluated applicants with 7 awards being given.  The names of the recipients were announced at the National High School Tournament in Louisville, KY in March 2002.

Scholastic Council/Committee members would like to give a huge sincere �THANKS� to all members of the Chess Trust who unanimously voted at the U S. Open August, 2001 to increase the monetary amount of each Scholar Chess Player award as well as provision for an additional Award. 

6.   Review of Scholastic Tournament Bids

The scholastic council reviews all scholastic tournament bids/contracts and provides feedback/suggestions to Tom Brownscombe and Diane Reese.


1.  Writing a Coaching Manual designed for the �entry-level� coach.

2.  Visiting colleges to meet with administrators to present information that will demonstrate the valuable contributions that an outstanding chess player can bring to their academic arena.  Hopefully, we can solicit additional chess scholarships from various colleges.

3. Continuing to work with the Chess Trust to identify sponsors and funds in order to increase the monetary amounts given for Scholar Chess Player Awards.

** Submit Articles For the Update **

We need your help to provide articles to chess folks.  Please consider submitting an article.


by Daniel Eisenberg, Ph.D.

I thought of you Friday night when watching another movie (on Cinemax) that turned out to have a strong role for chess and a young boy - "Fresh."  Chess is about the only thing the boy's father has going for him, and you don't realize he's his father at first. It's the only type of relationship the father and son can have, but it's the means his dad teaches him about life. A movie that really has something to say and isn't after cheap thrills.

Here's a review:

Thank You to Lance Eck for Creating Our New Logo
Bob Ferguson


Lance Eck, Webmaster for the American Chess School and all-around computer whiz, designed the above logo for us.  I think it looks really sharp. Visit the AmChess Website at to see more of Lance's handiwork.

Cindy Tsai & Hikaru Nakamura Finish First in Pan-American Junior!
By FM Tom Brownscombe, Director of Scholastic Programs 


Cindy Tsai took clear first (in the girls section) and Hikaru Nakamura tied

for first place in the Pan-American Junior (under age 20) Chess

Championship. See for more information. This is

quite an accomplishment, especially considering that these players are only

16 and 14 years old, respectively.

The Scholastic Chess Update is a newsletter created to help coaches, parents, teachers, and others promote scholastic chess. It is read by over 1,500 chess aficionados.

The contents of this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of USCF Scholastic Council.  The Council makes no warranties about the contents of the Scholastic Chess Update.

To unsubscribe, just reply to this email with "remove" in the subject.

Copyright 2001-2002 American Chess School

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