Chris Torres’ Chess Résumé

January 24, 2018

Chris Torres teaching chess (summer 2017)

 

Chris Torres

(209) 323-0197

chesslessons@aol.com · chessmusings.wordpress.com

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California.

Experience

1998 – 2000

Chess Coach, Weibel Elementary School

During his first year as a chess coach, Chris Torres helped Weibel to win the state championship and also coached his first state champion student.

2000 – 2005

Director of Instruction/Vice President, Success Chess Schools

At Success Chess, Chris Torres designed curriculum for all levels of chess players, trained over 50 instructors, established programs at 60 Bay Area schools. Chris established a strong coaching reputation by training several individual state champions each year.

2005 – Present

President, Torres Chess and Music Academy

Through the Torres Chess and Music Academy, Chris Torres has brought world class instruction to California’s most talented young chess minds. Some of his accomplishments included running a “Chess Study” with the Kern County Superintendent of the Schools and U.C. Berkeley from 2006-2008. In addition to the study, Chris was able to educate the children in Kern County’s migrant farm worker community in chess and even coach them to prestigious Southern California regional chess titles. In the Bay Area, Chris was able to instruct several individual National Chess Champions as well as coach for the Mission San Jose Elementary School chess team, which in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018 took first place at the USCF National Elementary Chess Championship. Before 2009, no school from California had ever won the Elementary Championship section at the USCF Nationals.  In 2015 and 2016, the Torres Chess and Music Academy organized the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys which awarded over $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to the top youth chess players in the United States. In 2016, the Torres Chess and Music Academy accomplishments were officially recognized by FIDE (the world chess organization) and the TCAMA was awarded the title of FIDE Academy.

Chess Titles

2015

Correspondence Chess Master, United States Chess Federation

2015

Arena International Master, FIDE

Skills

·         Event Planning

·         Individualized Curriculum Development

·         Program Management

·         Tournament Game Analysis

·         Tournament Selection and Preparation

·         Using Chess as a Confidence Building Tool

So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 35

January 22, 2020

Black just played Bxf3. How should white respond?

Black just played Bxf3. How should white respond?

Basic Chess Strategy

January 12, 2020

Question: What are some common chess strategies?

Answer: Below is a list of chess strategies known as Reuben Fine’s “Thirty Rules of Chess”. Chess is a complicated game and there will always be exceptions to any rule. However, it is a good exercise to understand why each item below is generally recognized as good chess strategy and to employ these rules in your own games.

TEN OPENING RULES

  1. OPEN with a CENTER PAWN.
  2. DEVELOP with threats.
  3. KNIGHTS before BISHOPS.
  4. DON’T move the same piece twice.
  5. Make as FEW PAWN MOVES as possible in the opening.
  6. DON’T bring out your QUEEN too early.
  7. CASTLE as soon as possible, preferably on the KING SIDE.
  8. ALWAYS PLAY TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE CENTER.
  9. Try to maintain at least ONE PAWN in the center.
  10. DON’T SACRIFICE without a clear and adequate reason.

For a sacrificed pawn you must:
a)
 GAIN THREE TEMPI,
b)
 DEFLECT the enemy QUEEN,
c)
 PREVENT CASTLING,
d)
 BUILD UP a strong attack.

TEN MIDDLEGAME RULES

  1. Have all your moves fit into definite plans.
    Rules of Planing:

a) A plan MUST be suggested by SOME FEATURE IN THE POSITION.
b) A plan
 MUST be based on SOUND STRATEGIC PRINCIPLES.
c) A plan
 MUST be FLEXIBLE,
d)
 CONCRETE, and
e)
 SHORT.

Evaluating a Position:

1) MATERIAL,
2)
 PAWN STRUCTURE,
3)
 PIECE MOBILITY,
4)
 KING SAFETY,
5)
 ENEMY THREATS

  1. When you are material AHEAD, EXCHANGEas many pieces as possible, especially QUEENS.
  2. AVOID serious pawn WEAKNESSES.
  3. In CRAMPED POSITIONS free yourself by EXCHANGING.
  4. DON’T bring your KING out with your OPPONENT’S QUEEN on the board.
  5. All COMBINATIONS are based on DOUBLE ATTACK.
  6. If your opponent has ONE or MOREpieces EXPOSED, look for a COMBINATION.
  7. IN SUPERIOR POSITIONS, to ATTACKthe ENEMY KING, you must OPEN a file (or less often a diagonal) for your HEAVY PIECES (QUEEN and ROOKS).
  8. IN EVEN POSITIONS, CENTRALIZE the action of ALL your PIECES.
  9. IN INFERIOR POSITIONS, the best DEFENSE is COUNTER-ATTACK, if possible.

TEN ENDGAMES RULES

  1. To win WITHOUT PAWNS, you must be at least a ROOK or TWO MINOR PIECESahead (two knight excepted).
  2. The KING must be ACTIVE in the ENDING.
  3. PASSED PAWNS must be PUSHED (PPMBP).
  4. The EASIEST endings to win are PURE PAWNendings.
  5. If you are ONLY ONE PAWN ahead, EXCHANGE PIECES, not pawns.
  6. DON’T place your PAWNS on the SAME COLOR SQUARES as your BISHOP.
  7. BISHOPS are BETTER than KNIGHTS in all but BLOCKED pawn positions.
  8. It is usually worth GIVING UP A PAWN to get a ROOK ON THE SEVENTH RANK.
  9. ROOKS belong BEHIND PASSED PAWNS (RBBPP).
  10. BLOCKADE PASSED PAWNS with the KING.

Source: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-common-chess-strategies/answer/Chris-Torres-13?ch=10&share=a594e89b&srid=i4Sz

Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 54

January 11, 2020

White to move and win. (Hint: Bishop domination is the key strategy.)

White to move and win (T. Dawson, 1925).

The Grandmaster of Unorthodox Chess!

January 10, 2020

Question: Who are the most controversial or unorthodox chess players? Why? What do you think of them?

Answer: GM Bent Larsen (Jørgen Bent Larsen 3/4/1935 – 9/9/2010) was the greatest unorthodox chess player to have ever graced Caïssa with his devotion. Famous for his innovative and unorthodox style, Bent Larsen was the first Western player to present a serious challenge to the Soviet hegemony in chess…https://www.quora.com/Who-are-the-most-controversial-or-unorthodox-chess-players-Why-What-do-you-think-of-them/answer/Chris-Torres-13?ch=10&share=e07a6a5c&srid=i4Sz

So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 34

January 6, 2020

White just played Nc3. What is black’s crushing move? (Hint: Analyze checks, captures and threats.)

What is black’s crushing move?

The Greatness of Viswanathan Anand

January 5, 2020

Question: Which Indian GM can replace Vishy Anand?

Answer: In a recent interview, Viswanathan Anand likened the the proliferation of chess Grandmasters in India to a “snowball effect.” This common analogy couldn’t be more fitting for how the Anand Effect has so rapidly increased the popularity and skill level of chess in his native India. Just as a snowball rolling down a snow-covered hillside will pick up more snow, gaining more mass, surface area, and momentum as it rolls along. So has the contributions of India’s first chess Grandmaster given birth to a national super force in chess.

After learning chess from his mother at the age of six, Viswanathan Anand took immediate interest in the game. With the continued support of his family, Anand’s ascent in the Indian chess world was brilliant. National level achievements came just eight years later when Anand scored a perfect 9/9 at the 1983 Indian National Sub-Junior Chess Championship. A year later Vishy won the FIDE Asian Junior Championship and was awarded his first International Master norm. One year later, Anand returned to the FIDE Asian Junior Championship to win the event for the second straight time and pickup his final IM norm to become the youngest International Master in the history of India. In 1987, he became the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship and the age of 18, Viswanathan Anand became India’s first Grandmaster.

Achieving the Grandmaster title was just the beginning for Anand’s professionalhttps://www.quora.com/Which-Indian-GM-can-replace-Vishy-Anand/answer/Chris-Torres-13?ch=10&share=27fa0f84&srid=i4Sz

Bobby Fischer Style

January 3, 2020

Question: What was Bobby Fischer’s playing style at chess? And what was his approach to the game based on the openings he played? And how was it, that such a narrow opening repertoire, made him so machine like?

Answer: Bobby Fischer played chess the manner in which chess aficionados trust it ought to be played. Meaning, on principle, he for the most part didn’t play to avoid defeat. He’d frequently risk losing a game just to play a move that he felt was correct—and his instincts at the board were frequently right.

Fischer separated himself from the other grandmasters by regularly stringing back to back triumphs against first rate competition. Examples of this uncompromising style can be seen when Fischer, at the age of 20, won the 1963/64 US Championship with 11 wins in 11 rounds, the only perfect score throughout the entire history of this prestigious tournament. By 1970, Fischer had become the most dominant player of the modern era by winning the 1970 Interzonal Tournament by a record 3½-point edge and winning 20 sequential games, including two remarkable 6–0 scores, in the Candidates Matches.

As white, Bobby Fischer playedhttps://www.quora.com/What-was-Bobby-Fischers-playing-style-at-chess-And-what-was-his-approach-to-the-game-based-on-the-openings-he-played-And-how-was-it-that-such-a-narrow-opening-repertoire-made-him-so-machine-like/answer/Chris-Torres-13?ch=10&share=1967f5f2&srid=i4Sz

An All Morphy Masterpiece

January 3, 2020
A photograph of Alonzo Morphy (Paul Morphy’s father.)

The famous Checkmate by Castling Game!

[Event “Friendly Game”]
[Site “New Orleans (USA)”]
[Date “1850”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Morphy, Paul”]
[Black “Morphy, Alonzo”]
[Result “1-0”]
[SetUp “1”]
[FEN “rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/1NBQKBNR w Kkq – 0 1”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1. e4 {At the age of 13, Paul was already a much stronger player than his father Alonzo. So, to keep things interesting, Paul played this game with only one rook.}

Position after 1. e4

1… e5

2. Nf3 Nc6

3. Bc4 {A young Paul Morphy was a fan of the Italian Game.}

Position after 3. Bc4

3… Nf6

4. Ng5 d5

5. exd5 Nxd5

6. Nxf7 {The famous Fried Liver Attack!}

Position after 6. Nxf7

6… Kxf7

7. Qf3+ {Paul Morphy develops his queen by simultaneously
attacking the exposed king on f7 and the pinned knight on d5.}

7… Ke6

8. Nc3 {Again, developing with threats against the pinned knight.}

8… Nd4!? {What is normally considered a mistake, instead raises eyebrows when played at rook’s odds.}

Position after 8… Nd4

9. Bxd5+ Kd6

10. Qf7 {Threatening Ne4#!}

Position after 10. Qf7

10… Be6 {Alonzo Morphy makes a crucial mistake. Better was:} (10. .. Qe7 11. Ne4+ Kd7 12. Nc5+ Kd8 {and Paul Morphy is forced to start trading pieces.})

11. Bxe6 {Sometimes the only reasonable response to the fork is to eat off of it.}

11… Nxe6

12. Ne4+ Kd5

13. c4+ {Throwing the kitchen sink at black’s king is preferable to agreeing to a draw by repetition (Nc3+ kd6 Ne4+.)}

Position after 13. c4+

13… Kxe4

14. Qxe6 Qd4?? {The move that seals the deal. What looks to be a strong move for the queen in actuality steals the king’s escape route. If only Alonzo had played Kd3 instead. But then we never would enjoyed this game’s spectacular finish.}

Position after 14… Qd4

15. Qg4+ Kd3

16. Qe2+ {Attacking the king and his escape route on c4.}

16… Kc2

17. d3+ {A cute little discovered check keeps black’s king on the run.}

Position after 17. d3+

17… Kxc1 {Of course with perfect play, black could have survived longer. However, the opportunity to be checkmated by O-O doesn’t occur very often.} (17. .. Kb1 18. O-O Bc5 19. Be3+ Kxa2 20. Bxd4 Bxd4 21. Qc2 b5 22. b4+ Ka3 23. Rb1 bxc4 24. dxc4 Bb2 25. Qxb2+ Ka4 26. Ra1#)

Position after 17… Kxc1

18. O-O#

Position after 18. 0-0#, Mate

Below is the whole game animated:

 

A Fine Book on Endgames

January 2, 2020

Question: What is the best book on theoretical chess endgame positions?

Answer: Reuben Fine’s “Basic Chess Endings” is an incredible manual for both fledgling and advance players. While I battled through this book as a beginner, my exertion was paid off with overall improved aptitude in the endgame. Some will feel the intermittent grammatical mistake or mistaken analysis is too distracting yet I believe it adds to the charm of Basic Chess Endings being written before the…. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-book-on-theoretical-chess-endgame-positions/answer/Chris-Torres-13?ch=10&share=f46d0fd3&srid=i4Sz

Obstructionist at the Chessboard

December 22, 2019

Question: What kind of chess player do other chess players dislike?

Answer: Sadly, there are players of the trollish influence that after acknowledging they have lost, will neither leave nor move. If tournament directors inform me that any of my chess students engaged in such unsportsmanlike conduct, they are immediately suspended from our clubs. Unfortunately, other coaches/clubs/websites don’t take such a strong stance and therefore chess players are regularly victimized by such clock trolling…https://www.quora.com/What-kind-of-chess-player-do-other-chess-players-dislike/answer/Chris-Torres-13?ch=10&share=6062885f&srid=i4Sz


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