Getting Ready for the Scholastic Championships with RCI

Scholastic Championship Chess Training

RCI is about saving you trips by making your children better at chess faster than anyone. You have 7 weeks to get ready for the Championships! Your child’s choice of opening will determine if this will be a fun and successful event or if it will be 4-5 rounds of everyone knowing what they are going to play before they do! If your child’s main arsenal is the Four Knights and the Fried Liver Attack, their opponents have already outgrown those openings! Phase 1 is what to play for white if you like 2.Nf3 or 2.Bc4. We will expose the student to 5 choices of a, “need to study” opening! They just pick 1 and begin preparing for the championship!! Phase 2 is what to play as black against 1.e4. If …e5 is the 1st move, learning a reply to the King’s Gambit is mandatory. It is the 1st gambit players choose to explore as an alternative to the Four Knights! They should then pick 1 of the 2 remaining systems and prepare. Phase 3 is the Queens Gambit Accepted. The main lines create a foundation for understanding all 1.d4 openings and the queen supported battle for control of the center! Lastly, camp participants will get instructions on what to do in the weeks leading up to the tournament and some special things they can do to stay fresh and alert during play!

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Phase 1

The Scotch, Goering, and Panziani, 7 Febuary 2015

Scholastics are Four Knights territory! Players with ratings as low as 800 can punish any mistake made in the 1st 15 moves! Why? Because that’s the only opening you can learn from experience alone! To go to the next level, you must force your opponents to study! I look at hundreds of scholastic games each year. Any one of these 5 openings would be an evolutionary step in becoming less and less predictable at the chess board!

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The Modern Bishops Opening and The Evans Gambit. Come see what they’re all about!

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Phase 2

The King’s Gambit Declined, Petrov, and the Universal. 21 February 2015

Gm’s beat other Gm’s by making them play unfamiliar middle games from familiar openings. Many players can tell you the names of these openings. Give them a multiple choice test on the next 5 moves and they will fail! Deception and preparation are weapons every player can use to increase their winning chances. These 3 fit the bill. The King’s Gambit Declined is not a declination, it is a counter gambit! The Petrov, ( a favorite of 5 time VA Champ, Danny Miller) is a central piece posting system that has no intention of copying white’s moves at all. The, “Universal” wants to play …e5 with pawn protection instead of piece protection. If white is using experience alone to navigate these openings, they will lose a pawn, a piece, or be on the run in as little as 10 moves! If you want to play …e5, right away or eventually, you must attend this camp!


Phase 3

Queens Gambit Accepted, Tournament Tactics and Strategy. 28 February 2015

As a culture, K-3 – K8 doesn’t play 1.d4. 1.d4 comes up when players get board with the repetition of the Four Knights! Most are learning 1.d4 systems through experience alone as well. If they study openings, black against 1. e4 openings must take priority since they see 1.e4 the most! Preparation, like conditioning is universal. Most eventually return to 1.e4 openings with better central skills and plans. Championships competitions are different from other tournaments. 6 rounds is grueling. Excitement, stamina, diet, fatigue, and pre-tournament preparation all affect a players disposition. We teach our campers how to understand the event and get the most from themselves at the board!

The Camp material selected is the result of interviews, coaching, simuls, and free analysis of scholastic tournament games throughout Central Virginia. No one knows the tournament habits, tendencies, and culture of our scholastic players better than RCI.

At each camp participants receive;

7.5 hrs of Original RCI Championship Tournament Instruction and Practice

RCI Championship Prep Camp guide


lunch (no pork or beef)


Email consultation through 3/16

Free game analysis through 3/23

Location will be announced, (Richmond, off Chippenham Parkway)

Hrs are 9:30 am til 5:00 pm

Cost Phase 1 = $125.00, Phase 2= $125.00, phase 3=$125.00. Discounts available for additional family members. RCI previous customers subtract $25.00 each. Ask about Richmond Middle School Chess League Discounts. Some payment arrangements are available!

Send your children to The Virginia Scholastic Championships prepared for fun and success! RCI knows the secrets and shortcuts that will help your child overcome the experience of this plaing field. Makes checks payable to:

Michael Callaham, 8712 Cherokee Rd, Richmond VA 23235. Have questions…. call 804-398-2310!

Register by email; Childs name, Parent name, phone number, age, and skill level.

Let’s Team up and see what we can do!


Mike Callaham

Founder and Ceo, Richmond Chess Initiative

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