Newsletter #11, February 6, 2017

Post date: Feb 7, 2017 3:34:28 AM

Dear Prairie Chess Club Families,

In this Newsletter

    • Today's Chess Lesson
    • Upcoming Chess Tournament
    • Iowa Scholastic Match-Play Tournament Report
    • T-Shirts
    • Prairie Chess Camp

Today's Chess Lesson

In today's lesson, we worked on endgames. For the older students, we went over two famous techniques applied in rook and pawn endgames (where one player has a rook, pawn, and king and the other has only a rook and pawn). In this newsletter are links to videos on the lesson and to practice on Please share with your students.

The Lucena Position is a techique to force a win with extra pawn and the Philidor Position (exit to YouTube) is a technique applied to force a draw when down the pawn. The position of the King determines which technique applies. If the defending King can get in front of the pawn, he can draw using the Philidor. If the defending King is cut off, then the Lucena technique can be used to win.

Lucena Position Philidor Position

Students may practice these positions on

​​In the King and Pawn endgame lesson, we learned about the concept of "opposition." When two kings are facing each other, the one who moves first is often at a disadvantage. The player not on move is then said to have the advantage of "opposition." Having opposition often leads to a win when it is a King and Pawn versus a lone King. If you do not have the opposition, then it is often only a draw. (Exit to YouTube Video.) We practice opposition with the position below.

Students can practice this position on ChessKid.Com

Upcoming Chess Tournaments:

2017 Iowa Girls Championship:

This coming Saturday (2/11) is the Iowa Girls State Champion ​ in Wellsburg, Iowa (just west of Waterloo)​.. I will be directing​ the event​ and my daughter ​, Regan,​ will be playing. We have some amazing young talented female chess players ​ at Prairie.. I hope Prairie is well represented!​

Click here for tournament and registration information.

Prairie Chess Series #2: ​

In two weeks (2/18) we host the second installment of the Prairie Chess Series, back at the Prairie Point cafeteria (Number 3 is March 11). You may play in Tournament #2 regardless of whether you played in Tournament #1. We had 25 Prairie Chess Club players compete in Tournament #1, January 7. We do have medals for all 1st time tournament players!

Click here for tournament and registration information.

Iowa Scholastic Match-Play Championships

​Congratulations to our Prairie Team Championship winners. Last Saturday, 20 Prairie Chess Students competed in the 2017 Scholastic Match Play Team Championships. They all did great. Here is a quick summary of how they did.

    • K-9 Open: 3rd Place; AJ Kozich, Eli Copeland, Cameron Gilbertson, and Austin Groff
    • K-6 Open: 3rd Place: Ben Kleiman, Audrey Sellon, Mason Kimm, Angell Ortega
    • K-6 Reserve: 1st Place: Catherine Yang, Connor Groff, Elliott Bourgeous, Laiken Geary
    • K-6 Reserve: 2nd Place: Ethan Strecker, Colin Sellner, Damon Kelso, Kyle Sellner
    • K-6 Reserve: 5th Place: Maya Kelso-Bailey, Melanie Buresh, Sasha Postnikov, Emily Kleiman

Here is a link to a photo album from the event. You can add pictures if you would like to share


I will place our second and final order for T-Shirts on Friday. There is still time to place your order. Go to to fill out the online form. You may pay via PayPal or by check.

Prairie Chess Camp

Registration for the Prairie Chess Camp opened this week. Go to to fill out the online registration form. In three days, we have already received 10 registrations. We close registration at 64. So, if you are interested, please register soon, before all spots are taken. Once you sign up, you may complete your registration with a check or online via PayPal.

Take care,