Chess Musings is Leveling UP

May 6, 2020

Dear readers,

It is with great pleasure that I am announcing a huge upgrade to this blog. For the last dozen years, chessmusings.wordpress.com has allowed me to share my great passions for writing about and teaching chess with a global audience. I’ve covered the local Northern California scholastic chess scene with the same excitement as the many World Championship Matches I wrote about. I’ve met and interviewed a ridiculous number of chess celebrities and enjoyed sharing all these experiences with my readers. But the time has come for chessmusings to level-up to a premium site. From now on, all new content will be posted at https://dailychessmusings.com I look forward to continuing to serve the chess community and my loyal readers.

Sincerely,

Chris Torres

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! 36

January 27, 2020

Black to move and mate in 1 (two solutions).

Black to move and mate in 1 (two solutions).

(GM) Rashid Nezhmetdinov

January 24, 2020

Question: Why wasn’t Rashid Nezhmetdinov a Grandmaster?

Answer: By most accounts, Rashid Nezhmetdinov should be a Grandmaster (if for no other reason than having won the Russian Championship over a talented field in 1950, 1951, 1953, 1957 and 1958.) It wasn’t until 1950 that the Grandmaster title was first awarded by FIDE and only 27 players including the world champion at the time (Botvinnik), those who had qualified or were seeded into the inaugural Candidates tournament and a further dozen players who were awarded the title for past achievements. Unfortunately for the 40 year old Rashid Nezhmetdinov, … https://qr.ae/Txa7tB

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


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