2023 Prairie Chess Camp

July 10 - 14, 2023

Registration is currently full 

Please contact James Hodina at james.hodina@chessiniowa.org for the current waitlist status and options.

You won't believe how much fun learning chess can be until you ATTEND the Prairie Chess Camp!


The Prairie Chess Camp is an all-day camp, Monday through Friday, July 10 through July 14.   The camp runs from 8 am to 4:30 pm.  Parents may drop off and pick up 30 minutes prior to and after the camp hours.


The Prairie Chess Camp will be held again at the Prairie Point Middle School (next door to The Kirkwood Hotel) at 8015 Kirkwood Blvd, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404. 

Instruction is provided by FIDE Master's Alex Betaneli and Erik Santarius of the Wisconsin Chess Academy and Iowa's own Joseph Wan (Master) and Gokul Thangavel (Expert).


Please complete the registration to reserve your spot.  The registration fee is $290, which includes lunch, morning snack, and an afternoon snack. 


Transportation to/from Iowa City West High School will also be made available. A College Community School District (a.k.a. Prairie) school bus will pick up at Iowa City West High School at 7:30 am, arriving at Prairie Point at 8:00 am.  The bus will leave Prairie Point at 4:30 pm and drop off back Iowa City West at 5:00 pm. This service is available for a 5-day price of $40 per person.  You may register for these transportation services with your camp registration for a total of $330. 

2023 Prairie Chess Camp Participants and Staff

 Senior Master 

Alex Betaneli   

International Master

Erik Santarius

National Master

Joseph Wan

National Expert

Gokul Thangavel

 Alex was the Wisconsin State Champion in 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2012. He frequently writes for the most widely read American chess magazine Chess Life. Alex’s students consistently win titles at both state and national levels.

Joseph achieved the national master title in 2016. 2011 K-3 and 2014 K-6 National Champion; 2014 Nebraska State Champion, 2018 Iowa State Champion, as well as reigning Iowa Blitz Champion. 

Trevor Magness is the 2022 Iowa Co-Champion.  He achieved the National Master title in 2010 and was the Illinois High School National  Championship Qualifier in 2009 and 2011.  In 2022, Trevor won the Carl Dunn Memorial Open defeating GM Timur Gareyev

Gokul is a National Expert and has a longtime presence in Iowa Scholastic Chess.  Gokul has had numerous top finishes in state and national events including 6th place in the 2017 US Open Blitz Championship.