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

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14th Annual SPFNO– 4/27-28/2019 (Santa Clara, California)

April 20, 2019

Dear Chess Parents,

As many of you are aware, in 2015 I helped to bring the prestigious Susan Polgar National Open for Girls and Boys to California. I may no longer be the organizer for this event, but I still support its mission 100%. Because of this, I strongly encourage all of my fellow California chess families to attend this wonderful tournament.

Sincerely,

Chris Torres

The prestigious annual Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls and Boys (SPFNO) was created in 2006 and is sponsored by the Susan Polgar Foundation (SPF) to give more opportunities to young chess players in the United States.

The top player of each championship section in the SPFNO will be awarded:

• Qualifications for the Prominent Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (Girls sections only.)

• $100,000 in prizes and scholarships to Webster University (U16/18 sections only.)

• $250 cash scholarship to the winner of each section if they go to the World Youth / Cadet (issued upon receipt of their flight ticket.)

14th SPF Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys – APR 27-28, 2019

$100,000+ in Prizes (lots of trophies, chess prizes & scholarships)

CHAMPIONSHIP SECTIONS: U8, U10, U12, U14, U16/18 in separate sections for Girls and Boys. 2 day event!

$1,000 Triple Crown Bonus!

PRIZES: Trophies to Top 15 players, Top 3 School Teams & Club Teams.

TIME CONTROL: G/60;d5

ROUND TIMES: Sat 9:30am, 12:30am, 3:30pm, Sun 9:30am, 12pm, 2:30pm

RESERVE SECTIONS: K-Gr4 u500, K-Gr8 u800. Saturday only event.

PRIZES: Trophies to Top 10 players, Top 3 School Teams & Club Teams.

TIME CONTROL: G/30;d5

ROUND TIMES: Sat ONLY 9:30am, 11am, Lunch, 12:30pm, 2pm, & 3:30pm.

Event Venue: Santa Clara Convention Center

Address: 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95045 (map)

Free Parking!

Sign up at http://www.spfno.com

‪ #DontSpoilTheEndgame‬, Petrosian vs. Korchnoi (Moscow, 1963)

April 17, 2019

This position is from Petrosian vs. Korchnoi, Moscow 1963. Viktor Korchnoi (Black) has just played 34… Rf8.

White to move. Position after 34… Rf8.

Now Tigran Petrosian has serious winning chances and plays 35. Rxh6. Was this a good move?

Position after 35. Rxh6.

Chess Chat: Q&A with Devanshi Rathi, UC Berkeley Student and Nonprofit Founder

April 16, 2019

Devanshi Rathi is a current undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a passionate chess player and enjoys playing and watching different sports. Her mission in life is to create a positive difference in the world around her. She is trying to do that through her foundation, the Devanshi Rathi Foundation, a registered non-profit company. In her free time, she likes to write about sports and loves to take interviews of different players because it leaves her inspired.

How old were you when you first learned how to play chess? Who taught you?

I was eight years old (in 2008) when I first learnt how to play chess. I learnt from my school coach and via self-practice in the beginning.

How has chess effected your decision making process off the board?

Chess has definitely helped my decision making process off the board. I try to strategize and plan my ‘moves’ well in advance before actually ‘playing’ them. Obviously, I don’t always go according to my original plan, but that happens most of the times in chess as well.

How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?

I am not sure about this. I tried to turn into a professional chess player, or at least was working towards it for about a year and a half, but I had other interests and passions in life that always made me distracted. To become a professional, one needs sole focus on the game, and I just couldn’t do that. Moreover, my multiple interests led me to pursue a major in college that is independently designed, and I’m currently working on how I can get an effective research proposal in order to declare the same.

How would you define your chess style?

I think it would be aggressive and attacking. I don’t like to defend that much, maybe I’m not that good at it!

Does your chess style transfer over into your business decisions as well?

Yes, but I feel that I tend to be more combinatory in my business decisions. Too much aggression in the business field can cost one a lot.

What has been your worst chess mistake which has given you the biggest lesson?

My worst chess mistake would be to not participate in a number of tournaments in my earlier years. I practiced myself instead of playing in different events. It has made me realise that one must make the most of one’s current time and not think too much in advance. It is the same in chess- one shouldn’t go so deep in their calculations that we lose sight of the current position.

Do you think chess has helped you to become more resilient in life?

Yes, of course! Participating in competitions definitely helps one to get more resilient and that reciprocates into one’s personal life as well, according to my experience.

What do you hope to achieve professionally during the next couple of years?

I am currently exploring my options. I’m taking a diverse set of classes for my interdisciplinary major and can only see what happens as it happens. Not planning too much at the moment. This could be a contradiction to what I said earlier about me planning well in advance. However, this is a situation where I feel that the more ‘time’ you take, the better move you would ‘play’.

What is the biggest challenge to achieving that goal?

As I don’t know the goal yet, the biggest challenge would be to find my path.

How would you relate these goals and challenges to the chessboard?

In chess, one needs to find the real path to victory and that can take the whole game. Similarly, I’m taking my time to decide.

Could you please leave us with a favorite piece of chess wisdom to conclude this interview?

Chess is an ocean where an ant can swim and an elephant can drown.

Thanks a lot for giving me this opportunity to do this interview!

To find out more about the Devanshi Rathi Foundation and Project Checkmate, please visit: https://projectcheckmate.weebly.com/

Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 44

April 11, 2019

White to move and mate in 2.

White to move and mate in 2.

Winning Chess Moves: Mayet vs. Anderssen, 1851

April 10, 2019

You are playing the role of the quintessential Romantic, Adolf Anderssen. Karl Mayet has just played the dreadful 12. Qxe4. How does Anderssen (Black) punish his opponents in dramatic fashion?

Black to move and mate in 5 (Mayet – Anderssen, Berlin 1851).

So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 24

April 8, 2019

What is white’s best move?

What is white’s best move?

Chess Chat: Q&A with Aamir Ali Azhar, Data Engineer

April 7, 2019

Recently I had an opportunity to catch up with my friend and former student, Aamir Azhar. I first met an elementary school aged Aamir at my Saturday chess class in Milpitas during the Summer of 2003. Since then I have had the pleasure of watching Aamir mature into a strong chess player and an impressive young man. A recent Duke graduate, Aamir is now a data engineer at Capital One. As you will see from our conversation below, Aamir sports a wisdom beyond his years and will no doubt have many more successes in the near future.

How old were you when you first learned how to play chess? Who taught you?

I was 6 when I learned to play chess (which is considered late in the competitive scholastic chess world). My cousin taught me one evening during a family dinner party. I picked up the rules fairly quickly and started playing more. In addition, my dad used to play quite a bit of chess in his teens, so we started playing together too (after his 20 year hiatus).

How has chess effected your decision making process off the board?

Chess has taught me how to become a meticulous critical thinker, always looking into the future and observing how things unfold several steps ahead. It’s a gift and a curse.

How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?

I took an interest in computer science fairly early in my childhood because both my parents were computer science majors. I pursued it further career-wise, though I was always interested in the arts and humanities since I was a kid. I’ve been writing since I was young, and I continue to write on the side during my engineering day job, hoping to turn it into something bigger down the line.

The Azhar family.

How would you define your chess style?

When I was a kid, playing competitively, I was the overly analytical type. I would examine every possible viable move several moves in advance and spend lots of time trying to find the ideal move. I relied on my intuition heavily to tell me if a move looked good or probable, but I would also deeply analyze and quadruple check the move to make sure it was the best one.

I’m still largely like that, though I’ve grown less patient over time. Now I only double or triple check, and I tend to take a leap of faith with my intuition more frequently when moving.

Does your chess style transfer over into your business decisions as well?

I would say so. Again, I think through each decision several steps into the future, though at the end of the day my intuition makes the final decision.

What has been your worst chess mistake which has given you the biggest lesson?

I think my worst mistake happened when I was competing for the 3rd grade California chess championship. I had an upset against someone 300 rating points above me which led me to the championship match, where I faced the only other person with a perfect score in the last round. During that game, I was winning, and had a clear path to victory, but crippled by a combination of greed and fear, I offered a draw. That draw led me to tie for 1st place in the championship. We played a tiebreaker game and he got to take home the 1st place trophy.

I had a similar experience in 6th grade when I was competing for the California grades 4-6 championship. I was the only one with a perfect score, and going into the last round, I was facing someone with half a point less than me. I played the whole game looking for a draw (as a draw would give me first place). However, this led to me playing too passively that game — My opponent didn’t accept my constant draw requests, played for the win, and I and lost the championship in an upset.

The lesson here is fairly obvious. Play the game, and play to win. All the glitz and glamour are nothing but distractions.

What has been your worst career mistake that has given you the biggest lesson?

I’m still fairly young, so I can’t say I have many horrible career mistakes. However, I do remember after my SWE internship at Google, I was so sure I was to return to Google that I didn’t look into other internship opportunities. I wanted something different, but was too lazy to interview for other companies, so I listed 3-4 teams at Google I wanted to get on for the next summer. I got positive internship feedback, but unfortunately, none of those teams reached out to me.

Since I didn’t want to do the same SWE work I did the last summer at Google, I had to find an internship last minute. I was both picky and didn’t plan correctly. Luckily, I found a good internship, but it taught me a valuable lesson to not get cocky or entitled, and to always plan for different possibilities.

Do you think chess has helped you to become more resilient in life?

Yes, definitely. Being in that competitive of an environment that early on in my life taught me a lot of lessons, and made me into a tougher, more determined person overall. Though it did come with its fair share of insecurities and stress.

What do you hope to achieve professionally during the next couple of years?

I generally am looking for an impactful, interesting way to apply my CS background to answer big questions about society. I hope to further explore tech and data, learn as much as I can, and build up a writing career on the side as well. My dream is to either become a writer or an engineer-journalist (like a writer/reporter who uses in-depth data analytics for their stories). If none of that works, I’ll go back to grad school in the social sciences (like economics). I’m sure I can utilize my CS/data background there as well.

Amir with his father Salman Azhar.

What is the biggest challenge to achieving that goal?

The biggest challenge is really just figuring out where to start, and how to make a plan moving forward. My interests are still a bit abstract, and the path I’m looking to go down isn’t particularly clear or easy. It’s also a matter of meeting the right people and finding the right opportunities.

How would you relate these goals and challenges to the chessboard?

It’s more often that chess teaches me lessons about life, but occasionally life teaches me about chess. For example, right now, I’m giving myself some time and space to explore my interests and experiment with my career. That kind of mentality applies to chess too. Let yourself experiment, let yourself have fun. Don’t rush in trying to figure out all the big questions. My chess style nowadays reflects that. I play a lot more loosely, and I’m more willing to take risks. Not everything has to have a 20-step plan behind it.

Could you please leave us with a favorite piece of chess wisdom to conclude this interview?

My favorite quote, which rings true to me (and is apparent in my previous answers), is by Capablanca.

“You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.” – José Raúl Capablanca

The vast majority of my memories and lessons in playing competitive chess are heartbreaking losses. Very few are wins. I’ll say, and this applies to chess as well as life, embrace the losses. Play your best, try hard, plan appropriately, but accept that at the end of the day, we don’t know what will happen.

Don’t try to plan every single thing out and then get disappointed when they don’t unwind the way you want them to. Embrace the unknown, and when we experience loss, embrace it, learn from it, and even be grateful for it. At the end of the day, experiences will teach us more than thinking and planning ever will. So experience!

So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 23

April 6, 2019

You can’t park that here! Black to move and trap a white’s queen.

Black to move and trap a white’s queen.

Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 43

April 4, 2019

Today I share a beautiful endgame study/mate-in-4 that I have come across in a couple of books. Carel Christiaan Wilhelm Mann has placed black in zugzwang (1…f5 2.Qh4# or 1…Kf5 2.Qd5#) but has white to move. The resulting solution is sure to entertain!

White to move and mate in 4 (Carel Christiaan Wilhem Mann, De Amsterdammer, 1/8/1893)

Saturday Chess Class in Fremont

April 4, 2019

FremontChess.com‘s Saturday Chess Classes with Rated Tournament and Analysis

Brought to you by the US Chess Mates under the auspices of the Torres Chess and Music Academy.

We invite all young chess players to a uniquely exciting experience in the world of rated chess competition!

Each week students will take part in an engaging chess class, play USCF rated chess games and receive personal attention needed to rapidly increase their understanding of chess.

Join us as I seek to provide the highest quality rated chess club in Fremont at the spacious and conveniently located Learning Bee Learning Center.

Class Details

Day and time:

Saturdays 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Held At: Learning Bee

Start Date: Apr 6, 2019

End Date: Jun 15, 2019

Class Dates:

Apr: 6, 13, 20 **NO 27

May: 4, 11, 18, 25

Jun: 1, 8, 15

Fee:

10 weeks for $180.00

*We accept cash, checks and credit

Financial scholarships are available. Please call 209.323.0197

Classroom Format

This course is designed to provide experienced tournament players with instruction that will quickly increase their ability and understanding of chess. We will also teach newer students the skills necessary to excel in competitive chess.

Participants will begin their class by participating in an hour long chess lesson. Students will then play 1 USCF rated chess game as part of the ongoing tournament and receive analysis of their play.

All participants must be members of the USCF.

If your child is not a member, they can join or renew their USCF membership at the first meeting.

Or go to: new.uschess.org/join- uschess to join online.

A USCF ID number is required in order to participate in the tournament.

Please make all checks payable to US Chess Mates and bring to the first day of class

Learning Bee Learning Center

39977 Mission Blvd., Fremont

To Register Online Please Visit

www.FremontChess.com

About the Teacher:

Chris Torres has been teaching chess in Fremont since 1998. For over 20 years his meticulous approach has paved the way for the success of his students regardless of their entry skill level. A true leader in Fremont chess, Chris Torres creates unique a curriculum perfectly suited for each and every class he teaches.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Learning Bee Learning Center, 39977 Mission Blvd., Fremont, CA 94539

The chess program will be offered every Saturday except when notified otherwise.

The tuition for this program is $180 for ten weeks. Drop-In classes are $25 and do not require prior registration. No refund will be given for unscheduled student absences. Sign Up online at FremontChess.com

Please call 209.323.0197 or emailChris@uschessmates.com if you have questions.

ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BE MEMBERS OF THE USCF TO PARTICIPATE IN THE TOURNAMENT.


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