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.
  • Scholastic Chess for the New Year 2015 IOWA SCHOLASTIC CHESS NEWSLETTERJanuary 2015  Iowa State Chess Association  | Google Scholastic Chess Calendar  |  Like Scholastic Chess on Facebook KEEP CHESS GOING IN 2015!Hundreds of scholastic chess players have ...
    Posted Dec 29, 2014, 7:41 PM by James Hodina
Showing posts 1 - 1 of 5. View more »

Tournament & Event Announcements

  • Team Standings for Prairie Chess Series Posted The Team Standings (as well as individual standings) have been posted on the Chess in Iowa website.  Click on the following link to view details.  Feel free to let me ...
    Posted Dec 14, 2014, 7:36 PM by James Hodina
  • 2014 Iowa Blitz Championship Date:Description:Location:Time ControlRoundsPrizesEntry FeeUSCF MembershipIASCA MembershipMembershipsRegistrationsSend early entriesDirectionsAdditional InformationContactDec 13 20149 round Swiss G5; d2 ...
    Posted Dec 8, 2014, 9:20 PM by James Hodina
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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

2012-2013 Scholastic Report

Among many hats, I serve by appointment as the Scholastic Director for the Iowa State Chess Association. The following attendance and financial summary is provided for the information and benefit to the scholastic chess community.

Overall attendance was down at the IASCA scholastic championship by about 10% from last school year but remains slightly up from two years ago. Financially, scholastic chess raised $625 that will go to the IASCA Scholastic Account used to support the stipends for our student  champions to participate at the USCF National Scholastic Championships. These events are held concurrent with the US Open, July 27-August 3 in Madison, Wisconsin.  Iowa's representatives are Kushan Tyagi as the High School Champion, Ziwen Zhou as the K-8 Scholastic Champion, and Teresa Knecht as the Girls Champion. 

2013 Scholastic Financial Statement

2013 - 2014 Scholastic Championship Calendar

While some of the facility locations are being worked on, the following scholastic chess calendar is proposed for the 2013-2014 school year.

 Date  Tournament  City
 December 14, 2013  Iowa Individual Grades Championship  Ames
 January 11, 2014  Iowa Girls State Championship  Iowa City
 February 1, 2014  Iowa High School and K-8 State Championships  Des Moines
 February 8, 2014  Iowa Elementary Team Championship   Iowa City
 February 22, 2014  Iowa High School and Iowa Junior High School Team Championships  Iowa City
 March 8, 2014  Iowa K-12 Open Championship and K-9, K-6, and K-3 Sectionals  Cedar Rapids

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