Newsletter #07

Post date: Jan 9, 2018 1:57:43 AM

Welcome to 2018. Chess Club starts back up on Monday (1/8). The first of the year is the unofficial kick-off of the Iowa Scholastic Chess Championship Season. So, there is going to be a lot of activity the next few months. I want to start off getting you excited about the Iowa Scholastic Team Championships, January 13, in Ames. Too many competing obligations? I can help with rides...just let me know! Feel free to ask me any questions at club or by email.

January 13th, which just a week from Saturday, is the Iowa Scholastic Team Championships. This tournament will be held in Ames at the Elks Lodge on 522 Douglas Ave. It starts at 10 am and will be done around 4 pm. There are two sections: K-6 and K-12. There will be trophies for the top K-3 teams and K-6 teams from the K-6 section and team trophies for the top K-9 and K-12 teams in the K-12 section. The team event is a big deal. Prairie has placed in the Top 5 for many years. Our best finish has been a tie for second. So it is an exciting event and, the more that turn out, the better it goes for the Prairie Chess Team. The team standings work much like a cross country team event. Everyone plays a normal 5 round tournament (4 rounds for the K-12 section). Teammates never play each other. The top 4 results for each team is then totaled to make up the team score. The tournament awards a Team Trophy and individual trophies for the top 4 players that combined to make the team total. However, the Prairie Chess Club will purchase trophies for every player (if the team places) that participates. You may register with me (just send an email and pay when you can). If you'd like to register online and pay by credit card, you may do so at The Prairie Chess Club will purchase your USCF Memberships. So, don't buy one online.

So, you may think that you are not "one of the four best players in our club" and therefore, it is not worthwhile to participate. I have many legitimate reasons why this is bad logic.

    • Everyone has a bad day or someone could be sick. You could be that individual who steps in to help the team fill a gap should that happen. (Next person up! as the sports saying goes.)
    • Its not just about winning games...its about winning more games than the opponents. If you play and win against a member of another team, then that is one less point for the other team!
    • We support each other, win or lose, our teammates always need someone to lean on or celebrate with.
    • If the team wins, we each win. Remember, if the team wins, trophies for everyone!
    • Its fun! Cheering on your teammates, watching the games and the team score is an exciting part of the event.=

I apologize for getting this announcement out as late as I have. Admittedly, the holidays and other year end responsibilities caught me snoozing. So, for planning purposes, here are a couple more dates to put on your calendar for January.

    • January 20 (Saturday): The Iowa High School and K-8 Championships in Iowa City. The winner of each section represents Iowa at the national championships at the end of July. This year it will be in Madison. The Iowa State Chess Association provides a $400 stipend. More information and registration is online at:
    • January 27 (Saturday): Prairie Winter Classic. Same format as the Prairie Fall Classic. To be held at Prairie Point. You may register with me or online at
    • January 29 (Monday): Match with Coralville Central and Northwest Junior High Chess Clubs. This will be at Prairie and start at 4:30 pm and go for about 1 hour, following regular chess club. This is for all Prairie chess players K-9!