Chess In Iowa Home Page

Welcome Chess Players and Families

My name is Jim Hodina and I am an organizer for chess in Iowa.  I have created this website to provide additional information on chess tournaments and chess clubs in Iowa that you might not find on other websites such as

I continue to add links and resources for your own scholastic and all ages chess club.  Check on the quick links on the left panel to find internet learning resources for your chess club, for information on the Cedar Rapids Chess Club and other chess clubs in our area.

If you are still stumped, send me an email and I'll be happy to help you. Click to email me, Jim Hodina at .




Scholastic Newsletter

  • Missed the latest scholastic newsletter? Click below to view.
  • March 19 2015   2015 Iowa K-12 Scholastic Championships   Iowa State Chess Association   | Like Scholastic Chess on Facebook  Four Sections K-12 Open Section with 3 sections for Grades K-8, K-5 ...
    Posted Mar 19, 2015, 7:53 PM by James Hodina
Showing posts 1 - 1 of 6. View more »

Tournament & Event Announcements

  • Upcoming Nebraska Tournaments Hello chess players and friends! We just finished the Omaha Chess Camp, where over thirty-five young players worked on their games with some of Omaha's best teachers. Now ...
    Posted Jun 11, 2015, 11:38 AM by James Hodina
  • Burlington Open and Burlington Blitz, June 5-7, 2015 Jun 5.  Burlington Bed and Breakfast Blitz9-SS. G/5; d2.  Mississippi Manor Bed and Breakfast, 409 N 4th St Burlington, IA 52601. Reg: 6:00PM to 6:45PM ...
    Posted Jun 3, 2015, 4:56 AM by James Hodina
Showing posts 1 - 2 of 43. View more »



Iowa scholastic players made a strong showing at the National Junior High School Championships last weekend. Held in Atlanta April 24-27, the event included over 1300 players representing 38 states and 405 teams competing in six different sections:

  • K-9 Championship

    • K-9 Under 1250

    • K-9 Unrated

  • K-8 Championship

    • K-8 Under 1000

    • K-8 Under 750

Iowa had 10 players enter the event chasing both individual and team titles.  Iowa City’s Northwest Junior High School fielded four players to compete in the K-8 Championship Section. The team consisted of none other than our current Iowa Barber representative Arshaq Saleem, our K-12 Open Champion, Gokul Thangavel, the highly rated Pranav Krishnamurthy, and our Iowa Girls Champion, Teresa Knecht.  Cedar Rapids Prairie competed in the K-9 U1250 section and its first national competition that included a team of Regan Hodina, Andre Vongpanya, Mason Zastrow, and Pete Lande.  Joining them in the K-9 U1250 section as individual competitors were Ana Denison of Ames Middle School and Sanmati Thangavel of Horn Elementary.

In the K-8 Championship Section, Iowa City Northwest Junior High School won three of four games  in the 7th and last round to finish with 18.5 points and to capture the 8th place trophy.  Arshaq Saleem went 5-0-2 to tie for third, claiming the 9th place individual trophy in the K-8 Championship section and Gokul Thangavel went 5-0-3 to finish in a tie for 25th.

In the K-9 U1250 Section, Cedar Rapids Prairie scored 15.5. points to finish 12th in the K-9 U1250 section. .Ana Denison of Ames went 6-0-1 to finish 7th in the K-9 U1250 and Prairie's Regan Hodina finished 5-1-1 to capture the 9th place trophy.

Find complete standings here and the rated cross tables on MSA.

Thursday, prior to the main event, bughouse and speed chess tournaments were held.  In the K-9 Bughouse Tournament, Ashaq and Gokul place second out of 43 teams.  They then repeated their strong performance in the K-9 Blitz Tournament where Arshaq finished in tie for first, Gokul finished in 10th, and Pranav placed 28th.   Although only fielding three players, the three boys collected the 7th place team trophy for the Blitz event.

Northwest Junior High School Summary

K-8 Championship - (298 participants)

  • Individual

    • Arshaq Saleem ( 6/7 points). Tied for 3rd place. 9th place trophy on tie-breaks.

    • Gokul Thangavel ( 5/7 points). Tied for 25th place

    • Pranav Krishnamurthy ( 4.5/7 point).

    • Teresa Knecht( 3/7 points)

  • Team (43 Teams)

    • 8th place with 18.5 points

K-9 Bughouse Championship - 43 teams

  • Arshaq Saleem - Gokul Thangavel  - 2nd place team out of 43 teams.

K-9 Blitz Tournament

  • Individual- 192 players

    • Arshaq Saleem ( 11/12 points). Tied for 1st place. 2nd place trophy on tie-breaks.

    • Gokul Thangavel ( 10/12 points). 10th place.

    • Pranav Krishnamurthy ( 8.5/12 points). 28th place

  • Team - 23 Teams

    • 7th place team trophy with just 3 players, maximum 4 person in a team

Cedar Rapids Prairie School Summary

K-9 U1250

  • Individual - 212 players

    • Regan Hodina (5.5/7 points) 9th Place

    • Andre Vongpanya (4/7 points)

    • Mason Zastrow (3.5/7 points)

    • Pete Lande (2/7 points)

  • Team - 35 Teams

    • 12th place (15.5 points)

Individual Iowa Players

  • Ana Denision, (6/7 points) 7th place, K-9 U1250

  • Sanmati Thangavel (3/7 points), K-9 U1250

Jump to Tournament Flyers