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Sacramento Valley Scholastic Chess League

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Who We Are

The 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 Sacramento Valley Scholastic Chess League (SVSCL) is an organization that fosters the belief 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 Sacramento Valley Scholastic Chess League 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 Sacramento Valley Scholastic Chess League 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 USCF (United States Chess Federation) 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 the page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Home: Who We Are

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!

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September 21, 2022

Shasta Elementary


K-3 Winner: Neal Dow Elementary

4-6 Winner: Neal Dow Elementary

7-12 Winner: Pleasant Valley High

October 12, 2022

Franklin Elementary School

Yuba City

K-3 Winner: Neal Dow Elementary

4-6 Winner: Franklin Elementary

7-12 Winner: Palermo Middle School

November 9, 2022

Pleasant Valley High School


K-3 Neal Dow Elementary

4-6 Franklin Elementary

7-12 Pleasant Valley High School

January 18, 2023

Palermo Middle School


K-3 Winner: Lakeview Charter

4-6 Winner: Franklin Middle School

7-12 Winner: Franklin Middle School

February 8, 2023

Little Chico Creek Elementary


K-3 Winner: Neal Dow Elementary

4-6 Winner: Franklin Middle School

7-12 Winner: Pleasant Valley High

March 8, 2023


Neal Dow Elementary


K-3 Winner: Neal Dow Elementary

4-6 Winner: Neal Dow Elementary

7-12 Winner: Pleasant Valley High

April ?
Biggs High School

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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