Newsletter #5, November 22, 2016

Post date: Nov 23, 2016 4:48:20 AM

Dear Prairie Chess Club,

In this Newsletter:

    • Monday Lesson
    • Sign-up for Match with Independence School
    • 1st Chess Tournament
    • Tournament FAQs
    • Words of Encouragement

Monday Lesson


We had a wonderful chess day, Monday. We started out with a lesson on the principle of "force." We looked at examples of how to assess the number of attackers and defending against a single target, how to defend, and how to remove the defended. Attached are problems that we worked on during our lesson. We did not get through them all at club and for those ambitious chess players, working on these at home will be excellent time spent.


Sign-up: Independence St. John Match


Our next Match will be against Independence St. John Elementary on December 3, 10 am to Noon, at Prairie Creek Cafeteria. This event is limited to K-6 students. The sign-up closes December 1st.


1st Chess Tournament of the Year! Individual Grades Championship


Our first chess tournament of the year is closely approaching on December 10th. It is the Iowa Individual Grades Chess Championship. This scholastic chess championship is the only tournament of the year where students play only against opponents in their own grade. The event will be held in Coralville at Northwest Junior High School. You may register and pay online at or by simply emailing me to register and paying at the event.

I am also attaching the Scholastic Tournament Calendar. Print this one-pager our for your refrigerator!

Encouraging the Tournament Player - Just Have Fun and Play

There a many things about chess tournaments regarding registration, memberships, rules, and how the day goes. Fortunately, I organize/help organize most of these events and can likely answer just about all of your questions. One thing important for Prairie Chess. There are two fees for tournaments: (1) The registration fee that covers the cost of the tournament including trophies and (2) an annual membership fee with the US Chess Federation. The Prairie Foundation will pay for #2, the annual membership fee. The tournament registration fee is typically $15 with an advance registration and $20 on-site. The US Chess Membership is $11.

Tournament FAQs

I have created a Frequently Attached Questions page on Chess in Iowa that may be helpful:

Words of Encouragement

I have instructed our Prairie Chess Clubs for a dozen years. It is common that parents and students are hesitant about playing in a chess tournament for their first time. Let me assure you that we have a great chess club and our students are prepared to compete in these events. Yes, we will lose many games but we will also win games too. That is the process for chess improvement. I am one of the top ranked players in Iowa and have a 60%-40% win-loss is very hard to accept a 50% score as good. But in chess, that is common. Winning one game in your first tournament is a success. Chess is a competition of individuals, but we all play a team and there will many team successes this year. I hope that you join in and be apart of it.

Have a great Thanksgiving. It was 13 years ago this holiday that my daughter, Regan, a Kindergartner, checkmated my brother in a game of chess. To this day, I have never let him forget.