k-3 student picks up 1132 points in just 65 games!

From 107-1010 in just 65 games.

Playing an average of just 5 tournament games a month, Saket Sambaraju has raised his rating from 107 – 1010!!  With help RCI coaching, the best chess mom a coach could ask for, and being tough when it counted Saket has learned how to improve and win at chess!  Saket became an RCI student last year just before the Commonwealth Games on July 23rd.   At the time, his tournament record was 1 – 9.  When I went over for the orientation, I just remember how happy and playful he was with the chess pieces at the board.  He was doing fake combinations, setting up pawn walls, and just generally goof balling.  Believe it or not, this is a good sign!  Stacking pieces to see how high you can get them… that’s another story!  When he and I played, he changed immediately into a serious thinker.  He had intensity.  I knew then and there he was going to be a great student. Just 5 weeks later he played in the VA Closed.  He played 5 games, and received best performance under 600 with a score of 3 – 2.  His rating jumped from 107 to 307.  He just kept smiling from ear to ear.  In total, Saket played 17 games in September and brought his rating up to 580.  Yes, that was 107 – 580 in just 17 games. His RCI record, 12 – 5.  Saket was proof that if you want your kids to really feel good about themselves when it comes to chess, it’s never to soon to start taking them to tournaments!  In October he took 1st place in the k-5 at Meadowdale with a perfect 4 – 0, then went 2 – 2 at a k-8 2 weeks later.  His rating jumps to 891.  That’s 784 points in just 25 games.  His RCI record is 18 – 7!!  Remember… 600 points in 24 games or you get a refund!!

Let’s take a moment to get in the chess students and parents heads for just a moment.  It’s really important in chess to stay grounded after success.  Once the winning begins, parents and players quite often feel ready to take on the world.  Remember this, when you raise the age group, you are having your child play against more mature children that have had to get their rating against other more mature players.  A k-5 player that is at 500 is not playing a player of equal strength even if the k-8 or a k-12 player has a rating of 500.  That k-8 you can add 100 – 150 points and the k-12 you can add 150 – 250.  If you want your child to play up, entering them in the class section of a non scholastic chess tournaments is in my opinion a better way to go!  Holding their own with and beating adults is what will really begin to make your child look at themselves differently!

For those reasons, Saket took a ding in December and January and his rating fell down to 762!  What Saket does next is what separates the tournament player from the enthusiast and it’s why you must be rated to impress anyone outside of America when you claim to be a chess player.  Saket’s enthusiasm was at an all time low.  He said it was getting tiresome and boring.  Translation: ” I can beat all of my friends and family members… these strangers are too tough.”  What did we do to correct it?  I sat Saket and his parents down and showed them the tournament records of all of his opponents.  I showed Saket his 1st 50 games and we compared his performance to theirs.  Over 90% of his opponents had played worse and had lower ratings than him at the 50 game mark.  Many of his opponents had played 2, 3, and even 4 times as many games as he had played and were not even over 1000 yet.  Saket and his parents were shocked.  Saket said, ” Why do they play so many games without their rating going up?”  I said, ” It’s because they always want to play and never want to study.  The other mistake they make is they don’t review their games to stop repeating the same or similar mistakes!”  He said, “Teach me openings!?” I didn’t think he was 100% ready to study openings but we went to work on them and he did extremely well. Since then he is 21.5 out of 31!  A 66% win ratio will keep your rating going up at any level! Last year he was k-3.  Watch out this kid is dangerous!!!!!

Want to become a dangerous chess player??  Join us every Thursday from 6-10 or get some private lessons from the best coach in VA.  804-426-6058. Mike Callaham.

 

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14 year old coach gets title of National Master, 12 yr old accepts coaching position!!

File Photo. He’s taller and I’m smaller

Jason Morefield is now a National Master!  He took 1st place in the under 2200 section with an undefeated score of 6-0-2.  His performance rating for this event was 2435!  We are proud to have Jason on our staff and know he will keep up the amazing things he does!  Just imagine the future we could build if we could duplicate him over, and over, and over!?  I’m gonna keep trying, and he’s gonna keep helping me…. so who knows!!  A couple hundred Jasons running around… this world would surely be a better place!  Good luck at your other tournaments this summer.  2300 here he comes!  From now on, I’m going to have to keep getting him to autograph everything!

Najei Rodwell: RCI’s newest Coach

On Saturday June 10th Najei Rodwell accepted a position as coach for RCI.  Najei is 12 years old and attends Lucille Brown Middle School in Richmond.  Najei has been an enthusiastic part of our chess team all year.  He has competed in tournaments and helped Lucille Brown earn it’s 1st place team award at the Meadowdale Spring Classic that was held in May.  Now his efforts are going to pay off with a some cash, a bolstered high school application, college application, and resume.  Keep building, the sky’s the limit!

RPS Chess Teams Sweeps K-12 Section at Meadowdale Spring Scholastic Chess Tournament!

On Saturday, May 20th, 51 players from across Central Virginia came together to play chess at the Meadowdale Library in Chesterfield County. 3 RPS Teams coached and sponsored The Richmond Chess Initiative were entered into the top section. Brown and Boushall Middle Schools are part of Next Up RVA. The 3rd team was from Armstrong High School where they participate in A.C.E

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Our players were fighting for their lives as early as round 1. Giovonni, (right) is playing the # 1 seed and Leonardo, (left) is playing the # 2 seed! The day is going to turn out really interesting because for 8 of our 11 RPS players, this is their 1st tournament!

Individual Honors were had by Iceon of Brown 5th Place, Venniecia of Armstrong, 4th place, and Noah of Armstrong, 3rd place!


1st Place Team honors went to Brown’s team of Iceon, Najei,(sitting) Isaac, and Xavier!  2nd Place Team honors went to Armstrong’s team of Venniecia,(sitting) and Noah!  3rd Place Team went to went to Boushall’s team of Giovonni, Amari,(sitting) Xzavian, and Leonardo!


The real team picture. All team honors go out to the players, parents, coaches, Next Up RVA, A.C.E., RCI, and The Virginia Scholastic Chess Association. Changing “hobbies and interest” to “Accomplishments” one child and tournament at a time! Congratulations to all the Rated Tournament Chess Players! Enjoy your new title and continue to pursue being the complete chess personality!

Camps, The RCI Difference!

RCI is a local, full time, tournament chess, training company.  What does that mean?  Let’s go 1 at a time.

Local: If the people that run your camp are not from this area, how can they be customizing the training you will get?  RCI knows on day 1 of the camp what the graduates will be facing if they play in Virginia.  The most important thing about being local is after camp support.  Our Thursday night meetings are specifically designed to support the private, school, group, and camp training that RCI customers are receiving throughout all of Virginia.  This gives students congruence!  Translation, no matter who they ask a question, they will get the same answer from everyone.  When that happens, the student will stop asking questions and get to work!!  Even if you fell in love with another camp and wanted to have a private one for your friends, school, or group, that won’t be possible because these vultures only come around once a year!

Full Time:  If your lessons are coming from a Master or above, they have more core knowledge than a lot of coaches can study.  If they are not a master, what are the tournament ratings and frequency of participation of their students?  How many days a week are they living, eating, drinking, and breathing chess?  When was the last time they went to a tournament?  Come on people, these strangers are asking for $300 – $400 for a week of chess instruction.  How current are their teaching skills?  Are they US Chess Certified?  There’s actually a chess coaching outfit in Richmond that hires part time chess instructors, and advertises, “no experience necessary”!

Tournament Chess:  Notation, 3 time repetition, 50 move rule, the clock, ratings, pairings, en passant, touch move, draws by material, not announcing check, time trouble rules, the title system, etc.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the only way to measure the success of chess instruction is by playing in tournaments.  I saw one instructor advertise how they had brought their rating up to 1700 in just 14 months, but when I checked their US Chess record, they were getting ready to play in their 3rd Annual Scholastic Chess Championship in a row?!  I saw a company in Virginia advertise that it had over 103 active coaches but they were advertising to every affiliate in Virginia looking for a tournament director!!  I saw one person charging $60.00 per hour for lessons claiming to have 14 years of tournament experience. He forgot to mention that for 8 of those years, he had not played a single tournament game.  To this day, he does not have a category! It means that in his entire playing career, he has never had 5 tournament results that would be considered impressive for someone rated 1200!!

Training Company:  The Richmond Chess Initiative is a chess company!  We have training offices, meeting space, are licensed and insured for chess.  No 1 exposure to any chess idea is going to make any difference unless the student has people, places, and events that are in place for them to be nurtured and grow.  The phrase, “Too many cooks spoil the pot!” is as true for chess training as it is for anything else.  RCI is and will continue to be the total package when it comes to, “Tournament” and “Total Chess Personality” training in Virginia.  Invest your chess dollars with us!  We have and will continue to earn it!?

Thanks, Mike C