About The Founder

Scholarship Chess logo  King PhilidorThe Founder of the Scholarship Chess Business Center is Michael (Mike) Anthony Callaham.  Mr. Callaham learned how to play chess from a friend of his mother’s husband at the age of 14.  Having to work after school to pay his tuition and help support his family, made it impossible to participate at his high school chess club.  After leaving school Mr Callaham picked up chess again at the age of 17 during down time while working at a car wash.  He has never put it down again.

Mr. Callaham’s chess career spans 30 years, on 2 continents.  Mr. Callaham is a total chess package.  The has meaningful contributions to chess as a player, coach, referee, theoretician, analyst, and organizer. Mike has been elected to serve the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association and the Virginia Chess Federation!

As a player, he is ranked within the top 10% of all the active players in the country. While stationed in Germany he played on the  Deitzenbach City and Offenbach City teams.  He has scored tournament wins against the state champions and/or former state champions of VA, West VA, and SC.  His most rapid period of growth saw his rating go from 1628 to 1903 in just 48 games!!  This created the basis for his exponential learning system!

Director:  While stationed in Germany he was the chief tournament director for the European Chess District. He was the Chief Tournament Director for the 7th Corp and Army Europe Championships.

Coaching:  Coach Callaham does all types of coaching for pupils of all ages and groups of all sizes.  Coach Callaham is one of only 24 United States Chess Federation, District Chess Coaches in the America.  ” Everyone can teach you how to move!  Our training teaches you how play, and how to win… you should have taught yourself how to move!”  100% of our training comes from post round analysis at scholastic tournaments, game analysis, and inaccurate chess puzzles!!

Columnist and Analyst.  Mike has distinguished himself as a writer and columnist. Mike was the staff analyst  for the European Chess District for over 18 months.  He created and wrote a column for the Dover Post of Dover DE, is the saff f analyst for the VSCA’s newsletter column, “It’s Your Move”, and is author of SCBC’s “Knight Moves”!

Theoretician.  “Annotators are constantly quoting variations that do not work under critical scrutiny, even when reporting on the world championships!”  His analysis was 1st published in August and then September of 1986 in Chess Life Magazine.  In 2010 Mike blew the lid off Philidor Defense opening theory!  In his 6 page article, he reviewed the available books on the Philidor’s Defense, destroyed the Pickett line that had been the standard in the opening for over 50 years!  His insights lead to the discovery of an entirely off the grid gambit attack that he’s used successfully against experts and masters!

Philanthropist;  Over the last 8 years Coach Callaham has donated and used his own money to increase and/or improve chess activities throughout central Virginia. Coach Callaham has performed volunteer services for Richmond Public Schools, The Richmond Public Library, The Virginia Scholastic Chess Association, VSCA, Henrico County Schools, Chesterfield County Schools, Nandua, Smithfield, Fork Union, Newport News, Va Beach, Williamsburg, Hopewell, Norfolk etc.

VSCA-Secretary  Mike Callaham is the Secretary of the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association.  The VSCA is non-profit group of volunteers that oversees, directs, and encourages children’s chess.  In addition to his other duties as secretary, Coach Callaham provides free analysis at VSCA tournaments, free analysis of any games sent to him by the members, free simultaneous exhibitions to school clubs, free coach training, and free classes to school clubs throughout central VA.!

Mike has served as a VCF Board Member, VCF Vice President, and VCF Schoalastic director. The VCF is a non-profit group of volunteers that for more than 80 years has been helping to educate and promote chess across VA.

Author:  Coach Callaham is in the process of finishing 2 books.  One is a collection of corrections, the other a legacy guide to the game and life.

Thank you for your time.  I hope you found this to be interesting reading.  Please find one way you can help RCI put a kid on the road to scholarship!

3 thoughts on “About The Founder

  1. Can’t say enough wonderful things about Mike Callaham. My son recently submitted a game for review while at the National Elementary Championships in Nashville. Mr. Callaham completed a thorough review with suggested variations and commentary within a matter of a couple of hours. The review came back so fast that my son was actually able to read it and take some of the insights into his next round!

    This is a guy that pours his heart and soul into scholastic chess. He cares about the game, and about the kids, and it shows!

    Thanks so much for all you do for scholastic chess Mike!

    …Mike Rousseau, Forest, VA

  2. I have recently gotten to know Mike and observed him patiently teaching kids. “In this position, how many ways can the king be checked? If you mone there as white, what are the next moves-black, white, black, white, black. Be patient. Listen to me.” Yes, he is definitely a coach that cares. He’s authentic.

  3. Mr. Callaham is certainly very knowledge about how to play chess and how to train kids playing chess. I was very impressed to watch him teaching my son how to think, visualize and analyze each move in the game. As my son said to me:”Coach Mike didn’t just teach me what to do, he showed me how to think.”

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