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Sacramento Valley Scholastic Chess League

Who We Are

The Sacramento Valley Scholastic Chess League (SVSCL) was begun by Bill Bynum and Cathy Mueller in 2002 in order to provide students in Northern California the opportunity to play competitive chess. Today it has evolved into a chess league of students from schools located in Butte, Tehama, Yuba, Plumas, and Sutter Counties. The league recently received recognition from the United States Chess Federation (USCF) as the 9th largest scholastic chess league in the nation! 

The SVSCL is an organization that fosters the understanding that numerous benefits exist for children participating in chess programs.


Chess is a mental exercise that can improve cognitive skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and concentration. These skills are not only valuable in chess, but they also transfer to other areas of life, such as school or work. Children who participate in chess may see improvements in their grades and academic performance as a result of these enhanced cognitive skills.


In addition to the mental benefits, chess can also promote social and emotional growth in children. Participating in chess tournaments and matches can help children develop teamwork, sportsmanship, and social skills as they interact with their opponents and teammates. Chess can also teach children how to cope with both victory and defeat in a healthy and constructive way.


Furthermore, chess can be a great way for children to relieve stress and promote relaxation. It allows them to engage in a focused and challenging activity, which can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. This can be particularly beneficial for children who may be struggling with stress or anxiety.


Finally, joining the SVSCL can provide a sense of community and belonging for children. They can make new friends and connections with others who share a passion for chess.


The SVSCL is committed to providing a fun and supportive environment for children to learn and grow through the game of chess. We encourage all interested children to join us and discover the numerous benefits of playing chess!

A combined membership in the SVSCL and United States Chess Federation (USCF) costs $35 and is good for one year. Check with your child’s teacher, school, or school district for potential scholarship options.

The current SVSCL Director is Steven Oberlander. We are always available to answer questions or assist you in any way! Our contact info is at the bottom of this page. We look forward to hearing from you!


League Tournaments

Rated chess tournaments are held once a month during the school year at various member schools. A total of 3 games are played per tournament using 10 minute time controls.

Students may participate as members of a school team or as unattached individuals. A group of three or more players constitutes a team. Perpetual team trophies are awarded to the top two teams from each of our three grade categories. These include K-3, 4-6, and 7-12.

Tournament play begins at 4:00 and concludes by 5:30. Arriving at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of play is highly encouraged!

Below is the tournament schedule and grade level winners of the upcoming season:

September 20, 2023

Neal Dow Elementary


K-3 Winner: Neal Dow Elementary

4-6 Winner: West Street Elementary

7-12 Winner: Palermo Middle School

October 18, 2023

Franklin Elementary School

Yuba City

K-3 Winner: Palermo Middle School

4-6 Winner: Franklin Elementary

7-12 Winner: Neal Dow Elementary

November 29, 2023

Palermo Middle School


K-3 Winner: NeaL Dow Elementary

4-6 Winner: West Street Elementary

7-12 Winner: Palermo Middle School

January 24, 2024

Marsh Jr. High


K-3 Winner: Citris Elementary

4-6 Winner: Franklin Elementary

7-12 Winner: Palermo Middle School

February 28, 2024

West Street School


K-3 Winner: TBA

4-6 Winner: TBA

7-12 Winner: TBA

March 27, 2024


Neal Dow Elementary


K-3 Winner: TBA

4-6 Winner: TBA

7-12 Winner: TBA

Links and Downloads

SVSCL Membership Application

US Chess Federation

Chess Player Rankings

Geri's Game - Pixar

Bughouse Chess

Membership applications and fees can be brought to tournaments or mailed to the following address at least one week prior to a tournament:


1235 Neal Dow Ave.

Chico, CA


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