k-3 student picks up 1032 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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RCI Owner Becomes The Virginia Chess Federation Vice President

On 2 September, by a vote of 3-2 by the board of directors of the Virginia Chess Federation, Michael A Callaham became the Vice President of the Virginia Chess Federation! Mr Callaham has a long history of service to chess players and deserves the opportunity to define this new position for the board and the organization as a whole. The VCF by-laws had been completely overhauled this year by Mr Callaham, and the other management of the VCF. The Vice President replaces dated Chairman and Vice Chariman positions that weakened the board and slowed both the acceptance and denial process. Mr Callaham’s duties read as follows: “In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall preside at all meetings of the Membership or the BOD and shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the BOD. The Vice President may sign in the name and on behalf of the corporation, any contracts or agreements authorized by the BOD.” Mr Callaham stills serves on the Board of Directors and is still the Commonwealth’s Scholastic Director. Mr Callaham also serves as the Secretary of the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association. He is a field liason for both organizations offering free training in all areas of how to run a club, train coaches, organize events, improve at the game of chess, fundraising, and marketing! We’re excited and anxious to see what standard of performance he will bring to this new position that is so important to chess in Virginia!

RCI finds a friend at Deep Run Roadhouse

   

 Paul Hubbard is the owner of Deep Run Roadhouse. He’s a chess enthusiast and believes that chess should be in every school. When we shared our mission with Paul he didn’t hesitate 1 second to begin to offer ways he could help our kids and their families! Mr. Hubbard has 2 locations; 1 on Gayton Road and the other on North Laurel Street. He’s got a menu that doesn’t leave anyone out and it’s literally an award winning barbecue joint! The 1st thing Mr Hubbard did was become a commercial finance customer. When you are tops in your field expansion is always a top priority. 2nd thing Mr Hubbard did is offer our chess community employment. Up to 15 people each weekend to help with his catering operations!  Any RCI verified chess player has the opportunity to earn as much as $100.00 a day on Fridays, Saturdays, and/or Sundays. For a child and parent, that’s a real nice way to spend time together, especially when school is starting and the holidays won’t be far behind!  If you play chess and need work, call Mr Callaham first!  All chess applicants must be verified as active in the community and/or somehow involved in the mission! It’s not over yet. Mr Hubbard has extended his community day to the Richmond Chess Initiative. All day Thursday the 24th is Chess Day. RCI will receive a portion of the proceeds of the day. Please stop by either location, enjoy some of the best barbecue in the country (yes it’s that good) and place your receipt in the chess box. Ordering out for your next party, luncheon or get together, call Deep Run Roadhouse and tell them you want the, “chess rate” for a deep discount!  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Deep Run Roadhouse at their stores, website, or on facebook and tell Mr Hubbard how much you appreciate him making opportunity for children, families, and adults of all ages that play chess in the Richmond area!!

Young folks do battle at the Boy and Girls Club of Greater Richmond

On Saturday July 29th children from the Boys and Girls club of Greater Richmond.  The 4 contestants were Christopher Collins, Anton Wilson, Iyana Scroggins, and London Rise.  The play format was a Quad.  This is an everyone plays everyone setting.

Here, 12 year old Head Coach for Boushall Middle School, Giovonnie Pearson watches the board as an assistant referee. G-Man as he is called is ensuring that the game is recorded and that if a piece is touched and the player wants to make a claim, there will be no disputes.

3x weighted pieces, vinyl board, and quiver are winners choice.

Books, clocks and hats were also for the taking for winners

What a selection!

After 2 rounds of grueling battle Alton has 1.5, Christopher has 1.5, Iyana has 1, and London has 0.  What’s always good recovery food after a couple games of tournament chess?  That’s right ……… Pizza

Papa John’s pizza is comfort food!

When the battle is done, Alton and Christopher are tied for 1st, Iyana get’s second and London takes 3rd!

Christopher and Alton tied for 1st and were both allowed to pick a 1st place prize

the whole happy gang

Get your kids involved with RCI!  We have it all.  World class instruction, free weekly workshops at our own office, work and community service opportunities for the kids, and tournaments to test and document their skill.  Hope to see you at our, “Fearless Tournament Openings” camp, August 14th – 18th right here at Create Space.  Your tournament player will definitely thank you.