Newsletter #10, January 30, 2017

posted Jan 30, 2017, 8:28 PM by James Hodina

In this newsletter

Iowa Match Play Scholastic Chess Championship

This Saturday, Prairie Point is hosting the Iowa Match Play Scholastic Chess Championship.  This event is played like a tennis match where we place our four players against another school’s four players and whichever team wins the most games wins the match.  This is different than everyone playing individually and taking the four best scores at the end and adding them up.  It really is a unique and fun experience for the kids.  They really seem to enjoy the head to head match ups and rooting for their teammates.


The match play format does also come with the challenge of assembling exact teams of 4 players each.  So, if you are interested in playing, please let me know so I can group everyone into teams.  I would like to know by Wednesday so that I can figure something out if we are a little short to fill out a team.


We will have multiple teams playing in one of three sections (a section is a “tournament within a tournament”).  We have a team of Prairie Point students playing in the Junior High section.  Our four highest rated players at Creek will form a team in Elementary Open section.  We will then have at least one team and hopefully two competing in the Elementary Reserve section in elementary school, which does not allow players with a US Chess Federation rating over 600 to enter (this is most of us). This would make a friendly section for younger or less experienced players.


The tournament is in the Prairie Point Cafeteria.  Please arrive around 9:30 am to check in. We should be done around 4 pm with trophies soon afterward. We will play four or five games depending on the section the kids are in.  We will have concessions including food for lunch.  If you would like to help with concessions (it doesn’t need to be the entire day) please let me know.



Junior High School

Grades K-6 Open

Grades K-6 Reserve (U600)

  1. AJ Kozich

  2. Eli Copeland

  3. Cameron Gilbertson

  4. Austin Groff

  1. Ben Kleiman

  2. Audrey Sellon

  3. Mason Porter

  4. Angell Ortega

  1. Connor Groff

  2. Laiken Geary

  3. Ethan Strecker

  4. ???


  1. ???

  2. ???

  3. ???

  4. ???



Today’s Lesson

Today we worked on some of the more difficult checkmate skills.  For the Creek and Point students we practiced the technique of checkmating with a King + 2 Bishops versus a King.  Those who could master that skill then attempting checkmating with a King + Bishop + Knight versus a King (the hardest).  Students again paired up and worked together to play the instructors and demonstrate this skill.


For our K-4 students we learned to checkmate with a King + Rook versus a King.  Here we logged on to our ChessKid.com account.  Students completed the video lesson King + Rook Checkmate.  We then queued up the ChessKid.com King + Rook workout and practiced against the computer.  High school assistants and I came around and helped students along the way.  We wrapped up with a review of the skill before shutting down the PC’s and going to the cafeteria for snacks and free play.


Students can practice these endgames on ChessKid.com against the computer.



Need more instruction.  Watch these videos to see how its done!


Last Call for T-Shirt Orders


T-Shirt Image.PNG

We placed our first T-Shirt order on Friday.  We will place one more order next Monday.  Both Youth and Adult sizes are available.  All shirts are $6.25 with the exception of 2XL and 3XL, which are $7.25 and $8.25 respectively. To place your t-shirt order, go to our website at www.chessiniowa.org/prairiechessclub.


You may place your order and pay through the PayPal / Credit Card option or you may complete the online form and send a check to chess club or by mail to me at 3411 Blue Pointe Ct. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.  Thank you Parrish Copeland for this great design!


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