Kenneth Kiewra named Chess Educator of the Year



Kenneth Kiewra named Chess Educator of the Year

12 Feb 2020    

Kenneth Kiewra
Kenneth Kiewra

Kenneth Kiewra, professor of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has been named the 2020 Chess Educator of the Year by the prestigious University of Texas at Dallas chess program, which has made this award to honorees since 2004.

Kiewra’s research pertains to world-class talent development, particularly the roles parents play, and to learning strategies. He is being honored for applying his research to chess.

Kiewra’s chess roots extend to the early 1990s when he introduced his son, Keaton, to chess. At the time, Kiewra knew little about chess or talent development, so he turned to studying the game and interviewing parents of highly talented children in chess and other domains to understand how parents best help cultivate children’s talents. Keaton Kiewra is now an International Master, a prestigious title granted by FIDE, the International Chess Federation, and a leading chess coach.

Kiewra’s expertise has resulted in several chess-related talent development articles and interviews including, How to Parent Chess Talent: Classic and Modern Stories; Developing Young Chess Masters: A Collective Case Study; Developing Young Chess Masters: What are the Best Moves?; Researching Chess Prodigies: An Interview with Dr. Kenneth Kiewra; and More Chess Parenting: Nurturing the Talented Child.

His newly published book, Nurturing Children’s Talents: A Guide for Parents, chronicles the talent experiences of Olympic medalists, professional athletes and other champions of talent domains ranging from chess to rodeo, as well as their coaches and parents.

Kiewra said, “I never imagined when I introduced Keaton to chess that it would lead to all this: Keaton’s chess titles and coaching career, my study of talent development, and this wonderful award. It’s been my privilege to investigate the science and art of chess and those who master it.”

Kiewra will be honored during a ChessFest awards ceremony Feb. 25 in Dallas. He will also speak about “The Nurturing of Chess Talent: The Strong and Loving Moves Parents Play.”


College of Education and Human Sciences