New youth coach and apprentice.


Giovonnie Pearson of Boushall Middle School adds himself to the proud list of RCI coaches and apprentices.  Giovonnie is a serious chess enthusiast that studies and wants to seriously master the game.  When he heard about the apprentice program he said, “Now I don’t have to beg people for odd jobs anymore, I’ve got a real one.”  There are a lot of kids just like, “G-Man” in our Richmond Public Schools, that want to learn and want to earn.  RCI offers the perfect, eat as much or as little as you want, chess buffet.  You can just play or you can take your game to the next level, your chess personality to the next levels, or even your wallet to the next level with no age requirements.  That is a freedom seldom known!  We still need coaches, volunteers, and apprentices.  Contact Mike @ 804-426-6058 for more details!!  Chess opens doors… make a move!

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