Newsletter #3, November 8, 2016

Post date: Nov 9, 2016 4:59:32 AM

Dear Prairie Chess Families,

In preparation for our upcoming chess events, this Monday we learned how to write "chess notation," the short hand for keeping track of chess moves in a game. This is an important skill when participating in chess matches. It is also necessary for reviewing a student's play and improving (much like a pre-test for spelling). For those who already know chess notation, we did some "visualization" drills like this one you can do on

Outside of our Monday Chess Club meetings, there will be many "extra" chess events throughout the school year. These chess activities are starting to pick up as we move further into the school year. Here is a run down of what is on the calendar for the next month. I will be at these events and always able to help the students and parents with questions and coaching. They are very kid friendly and we will have many students that will be playing in their first chess match or tournament.

  • Chess Match at Coralville Central Elementary, November 14th: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
  • Free Scholastic Tournament, Iowa City Public Library November 19th, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
  • Chess Match versus Independence St John's Elementary at Prairie Creek, December 3, 10 am to Noon.
  • Iowa Individual Grades Chess Championships, Coralville's Northwest Junior High School, December 10, 10 am to 4 pm.

Coralville Central Elementary, Monday 11/14

This is our first match in the Eastern Iowa Elementary Chess League. We are adding the Junior High Schools from Point and Northwest. This event is for all our chess players including Point and HS. We will be playing both Coralville Central and Northwest Junior High School chess clubs. Someone described this to me as a chess "field trip" which is an excellent description. This is friendly meet up and not a competition where we will keep a score of wins and losses. We leave Monday at 5 pm after our regularly scheduled chess club. We will load a school bus at 5 pm for Coralville Elementary School, play for 2 hours, and leave for home at 7:30 pm. I need parent permission for your child's attendance. You may register online at: Please register by Sunday at 6 pm so that I have time to put our roster together. We will have pizza on sale for $1.50 per slice. Drinks will be provided.

Iowa City Public Library "Totally Tweens" Chess Tournament, Saturday 11/19.

This a free chess tournament for students Grades 3 - 6 (e.g. tweens) only. The event is held at the Iowa City Public Library. You may register with the tournament organizer, Eric Vigil at or at the IC Public Library from 12 -12:45 pm prior to the start of the tournament. A flyer is attached. Each student will play 5 games, win or lose. No one is ever eliminated in our chess tournaments because of one or more losses. Rather, players are always matched up with other players who have the same record of wins and losses.

I will send more information on these next two events in my next newsletter.

Prairie Creek, Saturday 12/3, Match with St. John's Elementary (Independence)

This is our second match in the Eastern Iowa Elementary Chess League. We are the host (so no bus ride). We will play in the cafeteria where our club meets from 10 am to noon. I will post a sign up after our match next Monday with Coralville Central.

Iowa Individual Grades Chess Championships at Coralville's Northwest Junior High School, December 10.

This is the first of our "official state championships." There is a registration fee for this event. We have online registration for this and future tournaments at

2017 Scholastic Tournaments

As we move into 2017. Prairie Point will be hosting the Prairie Chess Series (Jan 7, Feb 18, Mar 11) and the Scholastic Team Championships (Feb 4). All scholastic tournaments are posted online at, website of the Iowa State Chess Association.

Take care,