The Scholastic Chess Divide

When the new website of the GCA came online one of the headers was “Non Scholastic.” It was obvious chess in my home state had been divided into Scholastic chess and anything other than Scholastic chess. I sent an email to the lady in charge, Katie Hartley, questioning the division. The website was soon changed with the “Non” eliminated.
While researching state organizations I found what looked to be two completely separate organizations in Mississippi. Upon sending an email to the President of the Mississippi Chess Association, Ralph McNaughton replied with this:
They are two separate organizations. Below is their contact information.
Ralph McNaughton
I found this on the MSCA website (
The Mississippi Scholastic Chess Organization was formed in 1996 when a number of parents of young chess players felt a separate organization was needed. Dr. Michael LeBlanc was it’s president from then until 2003 when his youngest chess player graduated from high school. It was in the capable hands of Albert Hinson until January 2010, followed by Connie Newcomb until February 2013. Today the president of the MSCO (now renamed MSCA) is Rick Cook.
In 2003 the MSCO was changed to the Mississippi Scholastic Chess Association to help align the two groups and make things more uniform and less confusing. MCA members have been invaluable to MSCA in coaching and helping with tournaments.
Today I surfed to the website of the Wisconsin Chess Association via, “the world’s most private search engine.” This is what I found:
Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation: WSCF – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight Bringing Chess to Kids in Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
Tournament Schedule – Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight Here is the list of upcoming WSCF hosted tournaments and …
Wisconsin Chess Association – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight Jun 9, 2013 … The official site of the Wisconsin Chess Association.
The official state organization is listed third, behind the WSCF and the tournament schedule of the Wisconsin Scholastic Federation. How widespread is the practice of dividing the chess world into separate entities? How many other states have split into two separate groups? Is this a good thing? Will this movement be followed by the United States Chess Federation? How long until the USCF officially changes its name to reflect the current reality?
To paraphrase the President of the Divided States of America, the dishonest devil Abe Lincoln, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this United States Chess Federation cannot endure, permanently, half Chess and half Scholastic Chess. I do not expect the USCF to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of scholastic chess will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”