Club Updates


Coolidge Elementary Chess Club Meet-up

posted Nov 29, 2017, 3:25 PM by James Hodina   [ updated Nov 29, 2017, 4:57 PM ]










Newsletter #06

posted Nov 20, 2017, 8:28 PM by James Hodina

K-4 Chess Match with Cedar Rapids Coolidge Elementary (11/28)

We have a fun opportunity for our K-4 chess players, Tuesday, November 28, to play the ch so far and could really use your participation. The Coolidge Chess Club has 25 players, so we are a bit short at the moment. We will meet at Prairie Creek after class dismissal (just like Mondays) and take a bus to Coolidge Elementary. Parents will need to provide permission to participate by completing the online sign-up sheet.

https://goo.gl/forms/POSQSTBrVHXQ1M3D2

We will still have a regular chess club on Monday.  If however, two days of chess is one day too much, then please choose to join us in our Tuesday match at Coolidge.


T-Shirts

I have handed out most of the t-shirts.  I will continue to bring them to chess club until they are all picked up.  For those that did not get an order, I have a few extras from past years and will happily offer them to those who missed the order this year.


Today’s Lesson

Our lesson for both groups was about pawns.  Pawns move so differently than other pieces:  they can’t move backwards, they capture differently (diagonal) than their regular move (forward), and they can promote to a queen (knight, rook, or bishop) when they reach the other side of the board.  We discussed the strengths and weaknesses of pawns by introducing  the concept of pawn chains, doubled pawns, and backward pawns.  Finally we concluded with some puzzles with the theme of “pawn promotion” (attached).


Prairie Fall Classic Chess Tournament

We had a fabulous turn out at the chess tournament Saturday.  Forty-two Prairie chess players participated among a field of 107 students from Des Moines, Ames, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Marion.  We even have two high school seniors obtain their US Chess Tournament Director Certification and helped direct the event.  You can find the US Chess Rating report online (click here) or going to the tournament webpage: www.chessiniowa.org/prairie-fall-classic.  The next Prairie tournament is January 27, 2018.


Newsletter #05

posted Nov 13, 2017, 8:31 PM by James Hodina

In This Newsletter

  • Today’s Lesson

  • Prairie Fall Classic Chess Tournament, 11/18

  • T-Shirt Status

  • K-4 Match with CR Coolidge, 11/28


Today’s Lesson

Today we had lessons on checkmate patterns.  For the Creek and Point players, we examined checkmate patterns with 1) rook and bishop and 2) knight and bishop, and 3) queen and pawn.  Examples are attached.  For our K-4 elementary students, we focused on an important checkmate pattern called the “back rank checkmate.”  The K-4 students worked on some thematic puzzles on this subject, also attached.


We then continued our Prairie Chess Club Tournament with two sections: Grades 5-9 and Grades K-4.  Current results are posted on the chess club webpage (please note that some players have played more games than other players):


Prairie Fall Classic Chess Tournament (11/18)

Thank you to the 24 Prairie Chess Players who have already signed up for the tournament this Saturday. There is still plenty of time to register and play.  When registering, with a few exceptions, I recommend signing up based on your grade.  K-3 players play in the K-3 Open or, if you’re in K-1, the K-3 Unrated may be a good option.  For K-6 players, play in the K-6 U1000, and for the Point and HS students, play in the K-12 U1400.  Also, do not purchase a USCF membership (just type “new” if you do not have a member ID).  The Prairie Foundation will be purchasing them for us.


T-Shirts

I will be getting the t-shirts this week.  I will have them available at the chess tournament so that you can change or pull them over.  For those that did not get an order, I have some extras from past years and will happily offer them to those who missed the order this year.


K-4 Chess Match with Cedar Rapids Coolidge Elementary (11/28)

We have a fun opportunity for our K-4 chess players, Tuesday, November 28, to play the chess club at Coolidge Elementary School in Cedar Rapids. We will meet at Prairie Creek after class dismissal (just like Mondays) and take a bus to Coolidge Elementary. Parents will need to provide permission to participate by completing the online sign-up sheet.  

https://goo.gl/forms/POSQSTBrVHXQ1M3D2





Prairie Chess Club Fall Tournament -- Grades 5 - 9

posted Nov 13, 2017, 4:57 PM by James Hodina   [ updated Nov 13, 2017, 5:01 PM ]

Prairie Chess Club Fall Tournament -- Grades 5 - 9          Wall Chart, Page 1

      Name/State ID               Group  Rate  Rnd 1   Rnd 2   Rnd 3   Rnd 4   Rnd 5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   1. Ainesworth, Gavyn               5 |nnnn | B 42  | W 19  | B 36  |  W 2  | B 41  |
         IA                             |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.5  |  2.5  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   2. Beightler, Chase                5 |nnnn | W 33  | B 18  | W 32  |  B 1  | W 21  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  1.0  |  1.5  |  1.5  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   3. Brown, Kirk W                   5 | 100 | B 24  | W 23  | B 41  | W 15  | B 22  |
         IL  13549632                   |     |  1.0  |  1.5  |  1.5  |  1.5  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   4. Burns, Fiona J                  5 | 103 |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  | B 10  | W 31  |
         IA  15581827                   |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   5. Chadima, Sarah                  6 |nnnn |  BYE  |  ---  |  ---  |  B 9  | W 23  |
         IA                             |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   6. Ciha, Madelyn                   6 |nnnn | W 41  | B 35  | B 19  | W 36  | W 33  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |  4.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   7. Clayton, Spencer                6 |nnnn | B 19  | W 26  | B 28  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   8. Copeland, Eli                   8 |1037 |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
         IA  14999994                   |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   9. Crock, Ayden                    8 |nnnn | B 12  |  ---  |  ---  |  W 5  | B 32  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  10. Dehaven, Desiree                7 |nnnn | B 15  |  ---  |  ---  |  W 4  | W 29  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  11. Dietze, Casey                   8 |nnnn | B 39  | B 21  | W 34  | W 41  | B 14  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  12. Ellsworth, Sarah                5 |nnnn |  W 9  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  13. Endicott, Joseph M              5 | 107 | W 35  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
         IA  15612026                   |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  14. Fisher, Kaelan                  6 |nnnn | W 34  | B 38  | W 33  | B 37  | W 11  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  15. Geary, Laiken Jo                7 | 368 | W 10  |  ---  |  ---  |  B 3  | B 36  |
         IA  15060968                   |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  16. Gilbertson, Cameron             8 | 791 |  ---  | W 36  | B 23  |  ---  |  ---  |
         IA  15581833                   |     |  0.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  17. Haroun, Mayada                  9 |nnnn |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  18. Kaliniwa, Amadi                 8 |nnnn | B 36  |  W 2  | B 24  |  ---  |  ---  |
         IA                             |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  19. Kimm, Mason Pryor               7 | 816 |  W 7  |  B 1  |  W 6  | B 33  | W 37  |
         IA  16187462                   |     |  1.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |  4.0  |  5.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  20. Kleiman, Benjamin               6 |1140 |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
         IA  15059371                   |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  21. Klemm, Ian T                    6 | 175 | B 30  | W 11  | B 26  | W 30  |  B 2  |
         IA  15304112                   |     |  0.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.5  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  22. Koopman, Natalie A              6 | 105 | B 44  |  ---  |  ---  | W 39  |  W 3  |
         IA  15922095                   |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  23. Mitchell, Ryan                  9 |nnnn | W 32  |  B 3  | W 16  | B 43  |  B 5  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.5  |  1.5  |  2.0  |  3.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  24. Petersen, Kurtis                6 |nnnn |  W 3  | B 34  | W 18  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  26. Peterson, Liam                  6 |nnnn |  ---  |  B 7  | W 21  |  ---  |  B27 |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  27. Peterson, Logan                 6 |nnnn |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  | W 25  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  28. Peterson, Logan                 6 |nnnn |  ---  | B 41  |  W 7  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  29. Reu, Jonathan                   5 |nnnn |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  | W 42  | B 10  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  30. Riehle, Austyn                  7 |nnnn | W 21  | B 33  | W 38  | B 21  | W 43  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |       |  1.5  |  2.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  31. Riehle, Jayson                  5 |nnnn | W 37  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  B 4  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  32. Roelfs, William                 5 |nnnn | B 23  | W 43  |  B 2  | B 38  |  W 9  |
         IA                             |     |  0.0  |  0.5  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  33. Ruehle, Annalie                 7 | 393 |  B 2  | W 30  | B 14  | W 19  |  B 6  |
         IA  15876328                   |     |  1.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |  3.0  |  3.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  34. Sankot, Zachary                 5 |nnnn | B 14  | W 24  | B 11  | W 44  | B 42  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  35. Sawicki, Felix                  5 |nnnn | B 13  |  W 6  | B 43  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  36. Sellner, Colin                  6 | 293 | W 18  | B 16  |  W 1  |  B 6  | W 15  |
         IA  16234487                   |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.5  |  1.5  |  1.5  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  37. Sellon, Audrey Mar              7 | 831 | B 31  |  BYE  |  ---  | W 14  | B 19  |
         IA  15064784                   |     |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |  3.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  38. Sivaprakash, Rithvika           6 |nnnn | B 43  | W 14  | B 30  | W 32  | B 44  |
         IA  16217834                   |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |       |  2.0  |  2.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  39. Speltz, Sawyer                  5 |nnnn | W 11  |  ---  |  ---  | B 22  |  BYE  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  40. Stark, Taggart                  6 |nnnn |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  41. Strecker, Ethan                 7 | 344 |  B 6  | W 28  |  W 3  | B 11  |  W 1  |
         IA  15721170                   |     |  0.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  42. Wheeler, Parker                 5 |nnnn |  W 1  |  ---  |  ---  | B 29  | W 34  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |       |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  43. White, Jensen                   6 |nnnn | W 38  | B 32  | W 35  | W 23  | B 30  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.5  |  1.5  |  2.0  |  2.5  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  44. Younger, Cole                   5 |nnnn | W 22  |  ---  |  ---  | B 34  | W 38  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Prairie Chess Club Fall Tournament -- Grades K-4

posted Nov 13, 2017, 4:21 PM by James Hodina

Prairie Chess Club Fall Tournament -- Grades K-4              Wall Chart, Page 1

      Name/State ID               Group  Rate  Rnd 1   Rnd 2   Rnd 3   Rnd 4
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   1. Brown, Hailey                   3 |nnnn |  W 2  |  ---  | B 20  | B 15  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   2. Burns, Maxton                   4 |nnnn |  B 1  |  ---  |  ---  | W 20  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   3. Criswell, Henry                 3 |nnnn | W 33  |  ---  |  ---  | B 23  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   4. Criswell, Violet                1 |nnnn |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  W 5  |
         IA                             |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   5. Deimerly, Zachary               3 |nnnn |  ---  |  ---  | W 11  |  B 4  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   6. Dusek, Calum                    4 |nnnn | W 28  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   7. Dusek, Trevor                   K |nnnn | B 27  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   8. Geckhart, Niko                  4 |nnnn | B 21  | B 26  | W 34  | W 12  |
         IA                             |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   9. Higginbotham, Alexander         4 |nnnn | W 31  |  ---  |  ---  | B 34  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.5  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  10. Hobbs, Malachi                  4 |nnnn |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  | B 16  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  11. Hoovik, Aidan Jame              4 | 178 |  ---  |  ---  |  B 5  | W 21  |
         IA  15922074                   |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  12. Kelso-Bailey, Maya              4 | 150 | W 22  |  ---  | B 24  |  B 8  |
         IA  15875985                   |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  13. Kleiman, Emiily                 3 |nnnn | W 23  |  ---  |  ---  | B 33  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  14. Leech, Jessica                  3 |nnnn |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  15. Mai, Dane                       3 |nnnn | B 19  | B 24  |  ---  |  W 1  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  16. Marshall, Liam                  3 |nnnn | B 34  |  ---  |  ---  | W 10  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  17. Millard, Xander                 4 |nnnn | B 25  |  ---  | W 27  | W 30  |
                                        |     |  0.5  |  0.5  |  0.5  |  0.5  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  18. Myers, Max                      3 |nnnn | W 32  |  ---  | B 22  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  19. Parker, Sydney                  4 |nnnn | W 15  |  ---  | B 23  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  20. Phillips, Sam                   3 |nnnn | W 26  | B 21  |  W 1  |  B 2  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  21. Powell, Shayla                  4 |nnnn |  W 8  | W 20  |  ---  | B 11  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  22. Presler, Kelso                  3 |nnnn | B 12  |  ---  | W 18  | B 31  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  23. Puetz, Logan                    3 |nnnn | B 13  |  ---  | W 19  |  W 3  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  24. Roelfs, Owen                    3 |nnnn | B 30  | W 15  | W 12  | B 32  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  25. Sawicki, Eli                    3 |nnnn | W 17  |  ---  |  ---  | B 28  |
                                        |     |  0.5  |  0.5  |  0.5  |  1.5  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  26. Schmitz, Nicholas               4 |nnnn | B 20  |  W 8  |  ---  | B 27  |
         IA  16311654                   |     |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |  3.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  27. Schulte, Holley                 3 |nnnn |  W 7  |  ---  | B 17  | W 26  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |  2.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  28. Stahlberg, Emma                 4 |nnnn |  B 6  |  ---  |  ---  | W 25  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  29. Stark, Harrison                 4 |nnnn |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |  ---  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  30. Taylor, Adaline                 4 |nnnn | W 24  |  ---  |  ---  | B 17  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  2.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  31. Lopez-Vileta, Johanan           4 |nnnn |  B 9  |  ---  |  ---  | W 22  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  32. Taylor, Will                    3 |nnnn | B 18  |  ---  |  ---  | W 24  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  33. Thomson, Joshua                 4 |nnnn |  B 3  |  ---  |  ---  | W 13  |
                                        |     |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |  0.0  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  34. Winborn, Thomas                 3 |nnnn | W 16  |  ---  |  B 8  |  W 9  |
                                        |     |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.0  |  1.5  |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Newsletter #4

posted Nov 10, 2017, 3:19 PM by James Hodina

Dear Prairie Chess Club,


This week we introduced the chess tactic call “forks.”  I have attached the puzzle handouts.  Some are harder than others, depending on the experience of the chess player.  Students did not have a lot of time to work on these in club, so I encourage any ambitious chess player to try these at home.


We then played one or two more rounds (depending on grade) of our club chess tournament.  After next Monday chess club, I will post the results on www.chessiniowa.org/prairiechess.


Hopefully, this gets us ready for the Prairie Fall Classic Chess Tournament next Saturday (11/18).  The tournament is at Prairie Point in the cafeteria.  The first game starts at 10 am and, including a lunch break, we will be done around 4 pm.  It sounds like a long time, but trust me, it goes fast. I have received and answered a lot of questions already and I am happy to keep doing so.  Here are a bunch of details:

  • You may register online at https://onlineregistration.cc/CII/2017PFC.  I readily admit that this site is not the most user-friendly.  But it’s the only one we got.  Advanced registration is extremely helpful and much  better than not using it.  It really does help cut down on the data entry and, most importantly, it greatly speeds up the morning registration process, getting us started (and finished) on time.

  • When registering, you will be prompted for a US Chess Federation (USCF) ID.  Simply type “new” in this field and move on.  Do not purchase a USCF Membership.  The Prairie Chess Club will pay for this through a donation from the Prairie Foundation.  At the tournament, I will ask you to fill out a membership application that includes your mailing address and your child’s birthdate (memberships are age dependent).

  • I recommend that our chess club members register for either the K-6 U1000 or the K-3 Open based on your grade.

  • If you prefer, you may send payment to chess club on Monday.  Please put payment in an envelope with your child’s name...especially if you pay in cash.

  • If something comes up at the last minute and you cannot attend, please contact me before the start of the tournament and you will be issued a full refund.

  • Finally, I have a FAQ sheet at http://www.chessiniowa.org/faqs


Please let me know if you have any other questions.


Take care,

Jim


Newsletter #3

posted Oct 30, 2017, 6:22 PM by James Hodina

Dear Prairie Chess Families,


Please find enclosed our third Prairie Chess Club Newsletter.


Prairie Chess T-Shirts


I would like to remind everyone from our last newsletter that these are the last few days to sign up and purchase your Prairie Chess Club T-shirts..  You may order online now through October 31. You can go online at https://www.ironside-apparel.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1987 to order.  The online ordering is open through October 31 so that they are ready for the first Prairie Chess Tournament November 18th.  Short sleeve are $10 and long sleeve are $15.  ​Adult and youth sizes, are available. ​The following sizes are recommended by age.​

  • ​​Youth Small – 6/8

  • Youth Medium- 10/12

  • Youth Large- 14/16

If you missed out on the order, email me ASAP and l will see what I can do to help out.


Chess Club

Today, we kicked off  a Prairie Chess Club tournament.  We split the students up into two sections: Elementary and Creek/Point.  Before starting, we discussed how chess tournaments are ran, use of chess clocks and chess notation, and most importantly, how to avoid the dreaded “4 Move Checkmate.”  If you would like to learn about this beginner’s trap and help your child practice avoiding it, watch this YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YH2mQS_BSE


We only completed one game of our tournament, some may have played two.  We will continue our tournament over the next couple weeks.:Like all chess tournaments we will play the same number of games, win or lose.  I hope our lessons and the Prairie Chess Club tournament prepare us for some upcoming scholastic chess tournaments this month.  Our kids should feel comfortable playing at these events.  Participants are from other school clubs just like ours.   encourage one and all to try it out and play in at least one tournament.  They are very player friendly - especially at the beginning of the school year.  


Scholastic Chess Tournaments

The events Fees: Most tournaments have a registration fee of $10 to $15.  An annual US Chess Federation Membership is often required.  This will be purchased for you by the Prairie Chess Club through a generous donation from the Prairie Foundation.  Attached are flyer for the tournament at Drake and at Prairie.

ALL TOURNAMENTS DETAILS ARE ONLINE AT http://www.iowa-chess.org/scholastic.

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE AT: https://www.onlineregistration.cc/

November 4 - Iowa Individual Grades Chess Championship, Drake University, Olmsted Center: 2875 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311.  First round starts at 10 am and we should be done around 3 pm.  Please let me know if you are going to Des Moines for this event so that I can plan to be there with you (e.g. if no one from Prairie is going, then I will not make the trip either).

November 11 - Iowa Public Library Totally Tweens Tournament.  This is a free Tournament from 1pm to 5pm at the Iowa City Public Library for students in grades 3 through 6.

November 18 - Prairie Fall Classic.  This is held at Prairie Point Middle School in the cafeteria.  The first round starts up at 10 am and will run to 3-4 pm depending your grade and section.  This is one of three tournaments that will be hosted at Prairie this school year.  I am the tournament director/organizer for this event.


Newsletter #2

posted Oct 21, 2017, 7:26 AM by James Hodina

Find all club information including updates our club webpage: www.chessiniowa.org/prairiechessclub


Dear Prairie Chess Club Families,


The Prairie Chess Club is off and running and there are a lot of great things for your consideration as chess players and parents.


Prairie Chess T-Shirts

First off - we have Prairie Chess Club T-shirts that you can order.  You may order online now through October 31. You can go online at https://www.ironside-apparel.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1987 to order.  The online ordering is open through October 31 so that they are ready for the first Prairie Chess Tournament November 18th.  Short sleeve are $10 and long sleeve are $15.  ​Adult and youth sizes, are available. ​The following sizes are recommended by age.​

  • ​​Youth Small – 6/8

  • Youth Medium- 10/12

  • Youth Large- 14/16

If you cannot pay online, just sent a check to chess club and include student name and size. ​If anyone wants to go try one on for fit, they can stop in the store (its just off 6th Street and Wilson Ave).  I did not make a flyer but will send an email out to my students.

​I​ronside Apparel & Promotions

240 Prospect Place SW

Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

319.866.0000


Scholastic Chess Tournaments


We have several scholastic chess tournaments in November.  I encourage one and all to try it out and play in at least one tournament.  It can fun, tough, rewarding, and everything in between.  Prairie traditionally has a good presence at these event.  I would sure love to keep it going.  The one thing to remember is that it is okay if you have not played in a chess tournament before.  That is true for so many kids.  The events are very player friendly - especially at the beginning of the school year.  

Fees: Most tournaments have a registration fee of $10 to $15.  An annual US Chess Federation Membership is often required.  This will be purchased for you by the Prairie Chess Club through a generous donation from the Prairie Foundation.

ALL TOURNAMENTS DETAILS ARE ONLINE AT http://www.iowa-chess.org/scholastic.

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE AT: https://www.onlineregistration.cc/

November 4 - Iowa Individual Grades Chess Championship, Drake University, Olmsted Center: 2875 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311.  First round starts at 10 am and we should be done around 3 pm.  I will be in attendance and can help coach. Can’t make the trip?  Let me know and we can carpool.

November 11 - Iowa Public Library Totally Tweens Tournament.  This is a free Tournament from 1pm to 5pm at the Iowa City Public Library for students in grades 3 through 6.  I will not be able to attend this tournament.

November 18 - Prairie Fall Classic.  This is held at Prairie Point Middle School in the cafeteria.  The first round starts up at 10 am and will run to 3-4 pm depending your grade and section.  This is one of three tournaments that will be hosted at Prairie this school year.  I am the tournament director/organizer for this event.


Club Activities


Snacks:  You may bring individually packaged ready to eat foods or you may make a monetary donation where I will then use the funds to make bulk purchases at Sam’s Club.  To make a monetary donation, you may visit our Prairie Chess Club page at www.chessiniowa.org/prairiechess and make a donation through PayPal (credit card).   Due to severe nut allergies of some of our students, we will not serve any snacks with nuts.


Lesson:  Each group (K-4 & 5-9) had a 30 minute lesson this week.  For the younger kids we reviewed the mate and stalemate lesson one more time.  Several students turned in their worksheet that they took home on our first club, which was fantastic.  For the older kids, we reviewed a couple of the trickier checkmate problems from first week and then moved on to “pins.”  We will learn about pins in our K-4 group this Monday.  Just a word for the parents.  A few of the students expressed that they just want to play and skip the lesson. A lesson is something I will generally do every week.  I understand that may create some frustration for those just looking to hang out with friends.  But I also see kids get frustrated when they don’t learn and improve.  So, it is bit of a balancing act.  Hopefully, I find the right spot (and of course it is not the same spot for all students) but I always looking for feedback to improve the club.


Newsletter #1

posted Oct 10, 2017, 9:04 PM by James Hodina   [ updated Oct 21, 2017, 7:26 AM ]

Dear Prairie Chess Club Families,


Welcome to the Prairie Chess Club
We are off to an exciting start for our chess club.  Although we were missing several or students on our first day, it otherwise went very smoothly. If your child did miss Monday, do not worry, we still welcome them with open arms next week.  If you have changed your mind, however, please drop me a note.


Many of our students know how the pieces moved.  Those that needed review of the rules were given some additional attention.  But, overall, it was apparent that many of our students have come to Prairie Chess Club enthusiastic and having played the game before.  


This Week’s Lesson

For our lesson, we discussed checkmate patterns.  With our older group, we spent time on some chess puzzles where students and to calculate one, two, and sometimes three moves ahead to checkmate.  With our younger group, we discussed the difference between checkmate and stalemate.  As with the older students, we worked on some puzzles that asked if the position was checkmate, stalemate, or if there was a legal move for the king. If you would like to view these puzzles, please click here.



Club Snacks

We will be providing snacks each week at chess club.  With 70 students, this is not a simple task.  So, we are looking for voluntary donations.  Due to severe nut allergies of some of our students, we will not serve any snacks with nuts. You may bring individually packaged ready to eat foods or you may make a monetary donation where I will then use the funds to make bulk purchases at Sam’s Club.  We do have storage at the school.  So there is no need to sign up.  Just make your donation and I will maintain an adequate inventory of snacks throughout the year.  To make a monetary donation, you may visit our Prairie Chess Club page (www.chessiniowa.org/prairiechess) and make a donation through PayPal (credit card).  


Chess at the Cedar Rapids Library

Also, I would like to tell you about another opportunity to join other school age chess players in the Cedar Rapids area.  We meet at the Cedar Rapids Ladd Library on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month.  The Cedar Rapids Chess Club hosts this scholastic meeting on the  from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm.  Our next meeting is this Sunday, October 18th. I lead this meeting with a lesson and then an extended period to play other kids from around the area.  This meeting is part of series of Sunday afternoon scholastic chess events that meet every week, rotating from Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Marion, and Coralville. Click here for more details.


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