Archive for the ‘Calchess Scholastic Chess Championship 2012’ Category

Chris Torres: A Chess Coach, a Music Teacher, and an Advocate for Quality Education.

August 22, 2013

Chris Torres has been successfully managing and creating school chess programs for his entire adult life. His most recognized accomplishments include the co-founding of Success Chess Schools, the creation of the Torres Chess and Music Academy and consistently coaching the best young chess players in California for 15 years.

Chris found himself drawn into chess education in 1998 when

Chris Torres is the Bay Area's chess coach.

Chris Torres is California’s chess coach.

Dr. Alan Kirshner needed a replacement teacher for his famous Weibel Chess Club. Chris was an obvious choice beause he had been teaching Alan’s son classical guitar and often played chess with the Kirshners. Soon after joining a group of chess instructors at Weibel, Chris coached his first state champion student. Copying from the success of the Weibel Chess Club, Chris went on to establish State Champion chess programs at Argonaut Elementary School in Saratoga and the Harker School in San Jose. Shortly later, Alan Kirshner promoted Chris to Vice President of Success Chess and Chris turned all of his independently run programs over to the newly formed nonprofit.

As vice president of Success Chess, Chris Torres established chess programs and taught chess at schools all around the Bay Area. Many of the schools still have chess programs to this day. Some of these chess programs are at: Warm Springs Elementary School(Fremont), Leitch Elementary School(Fremont), Mission Valley Elementary School(Fremont), Ardenwood Elementary School(Fremont), Gomes Elementary School(Fremont), Blue Hills Elementary School(Cupertino), Collins Elementary School(Cupertino), Dilworth Elementary School(Cupertino), Muir Elementary School(Cupertino), Regnart Elementary School(Cupertino) Matsumoto Elementary School(San Jose), Meyerholz Elementary School(San Jose), Silver Oak Elementary School(San Jose), Covington Elementary School(Los Altos), Duveneck Elementary School(Palo Alto), Palo Verde Elementary School(Palo Alto), International School of the Peninsula(Palo Alto), Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School(Palo Alto),  Laurel Elementary School(Atherton), Las Lomitas Elementary School(Atherton), John Muir Elementary School(San Bruno), Crestmoor Elementary School(San Bruno), Dougherty Elementary School(Dublin) and quite a few other schools. During his time at Success Chess, Chris Torres also became a notable tournament director and a board member for Calchess. Through Success Chess, Chris Torres was able to achieve his goals of bringing scholastic chess to children all over the Bay Area.

After leaving Success Chess Schools in 2004, Chris Torres spent several months working for Richard Peterson of the Chess Education Association. After the school year concluded, Richard suggested to Chris that he set up his own organization and offered to sell all of the chess equipment from the CEA at a discount price. A couple months later, the Torres Chess and Music Academy was born.

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 alongside Joe Lonsdale, which in 2009 and 2013 took first place at the USCF Super Nationals Chess Championship. To date, no other elementary school from California has ever placed first in the Elementary Championship division of the USCF Super Nationals.

Acknowledged today as a pioneer in the field of chess and education, Chris Torres has been invited to speak at numerous educational forums and events. Aside from his reputation as a successful chess teacher, Chris is also known throughout the Silicon Valley as a top notch classical guitarist who still finds time to teach groups of youngsters the enjoyment of playing classical music.

MSJE Chess Team Wins Big At State Championships (By Coach Joe)

April 26, 2012
MSJE Chess Team Wins Big At State Championships
Over 1,000 Northern California students competed in the Scholastic Chess Championships at the Santa Clara Convention Center the weekend of April 22nd and 23rd.   Mission San Jose Elementary School (MSJE) was the big winner in the Elementary School Section.  MSJE teams won all of the elementary school championship sections (K, K-3, 4-5, and 4-6).  Four MSJE graduates playing for Mission High School won the High School team championship.
The MSJE Kindergarten team was led by Kevin Pan who scored five wins in five games and won a large trophy and the title of Northern CA Kindergarten chess Champion.  Stephen He, Vasudeva Rao, Devansh Trivedi, Kevin Xu, and  Azlaan Khan also competed for the MSJE kindergarten team and won trophies. 
K-3 Championship
The primary school championship is the K-3 Championship division.  The MSJE K-3 team won first place by scoring more than twice the score of the second place team.  John Chan scored 5.5 points (five wins and one draw) and won a clear first place in this division.  He also won a large trophy and the title of Northern CA primary school chess champion.  First grader Rishith Susarla won four games and the ninth place trophy.  Tommy Koh and Luke Zhao each scored 3.5 points and won trophies.  Soorya Kuppam, Mihir Bhuptani, Lucas Sun, and Edison Zhang also competed for our K-3 championship team.
K-3 Junior varsity and other K-3 sections.
The K-3 junior varsity section, the K-3 booster and K-3 rookie sections are for grade 1 to 3 students that do not have the experience (or ratings) to play in the K-3 championship section.  Students with rating above 799 can only play in the K-3 championship section. The top eight MSJE grade one to three students (above) played in the K-3 championship section.  None of the teams we were competing against in the other K-3 sections had more than two children in the K-3 championship section.
Despite having our top eight players playing in K-3 championship MSJE still won the second highest K-3 section, K-3 junior varsity.
The MSJE K-3 JV team won the first place trophy with 12 points to 10 points for the second place team.  Edwin Thomas, Annapoorni Meiyappan, Jeffrey Liu, and Marcus Lee, each scored three points, won trophies, and tied for 14th place in K-3 JV.  First graders Amulya Harish (2.5) and Henry Liu (2.0) also competed for our K-3 JV team.
Raymond Qian and Maxwell Yu each scored 4 points in the K-3 Booster section.  They each won trophies and tied for fifth place.  Jonathan Zhang, Connor Chen, Jack Lee, Trisha Jain, Azlaan Islam Khan, also competed in K-3 Booster section.  Alvin Lee, Diya Sen, and Balasura Balamungon competed in K-3 rookie. 
K-5 Championship
The top two elementary school sections are the K-5 Championship section and the K-6 Championship section.  MSJE won both of these sections by large margins.  In K-5 championship Amit Sant scored 4.5 points and tied for third place.  Drake Lin scored four points and tied for 6th place.  Ian Wong, Kevin Zhu, Anjan Das, Edward Liu, Andy Tong, and Christopher Pan also competed for our K-5 championship team.
K-6 Championship Section
Alvin Kong, Eric Zhu, and Shalin Shah have been stars for the MSJE chess team since they were in kindergarten.  Two years ago Sayan Das earned his way onto the chess team and fought his way to the top of the ladder.  Suddenly we had four stars in one grade.  As has been typical, this group led the MSJE chess team to an overwhelming victory in the K-6 Championship section.  Shalin Shah and Sayan Das each scored five points and tied for second place.  Alvin Kong and Eric Zhu each scored 4.5 points and tied for third place.  Aditya Krishnan, Kavin Kumaravel, and Edward Liu also competed for the MSJE K-6 championship team.
K-6 Junior Varsity and other K-6 sections.
The top 13 MSJE 4-6 graders were playing in the championship sections.  None of the schools competing with us in the other K-6 sections had more than two students in championship sections.  Our K-6 Junior varsity team still took the second place team trophy.  Adrienne Tong scored 4.5 points, won a trophy, and tied for fourth place in the K-6 junior varsity section.  Nishant Yadav, Rajveer Oberoi, Parinith Rajkumar, Hiresh Jain, and Siddhar Mukherjee also competed for the MSJE K-6 junior varsity team.
The K-6 booster division is for players rated below 600.  In K-6 booster Sashank Rao scored a perfect five out of five won a large trophy and tied for first place.  Max Wang, and Jonathan Zhang each scored four points, won trophies, and tied for fourth place.  A chess team score is the score of the top four players on the team.  In the K-6 booster section our three player team took the first place trophy beating several teams of four or more players.
Aaron Mendoza and Baladithya Balamungon competed for MSJE in the K-6 rookie section.
Congratulations to the chess team for a tremendous victory at the 2012 state championships.
Chess Coaches
Joe Lonsdale   Chris Torres    Nimish Shah    Goutam Das   Div Harish 

Mission San Jose Elementary Dominates the Calchess Scholastic State Championship

April 24, 2012

The Mission San Jose Elementary School chess dynasty was extended another year at the 2012 Calchess State Scholastic Championship. MSJE, again, swept all the championship sections for elementary school aged children. Several of the Mission San Jose Elementary players also won individual State Championship titles or finished in the top ten of their section. The MSJE Chess Team head coach and founder Joe Lonsdale summed the tournament up by stating that it was “the best state meet ever by any team.”
   In future posts, I will detail some our players individual accomplishments

   During the summer months Mission San Jose Elementary hosts a summer chess camp open to any school aged chess players. The Mission San Jose Elementary Chess Club is run under the auspices of the Torres Chess and Music Academy.

 

Eight Year Old Wins Grade 4-5 Chess Championship in California

April 23, 2012

Chess history was made on April 22, 2012. Ben Rood, while still only eight years old, won first place in the grade 4-5 section at the Calchess Scholastic State Chess Championship.
   California has been home to many youthful chess prodigies since I started attending the Calchess Scholastic State Chess Championship. A few that come to mind are Hikaru Nakamura, Samuel Shankland, Jordy Mont-Reynaud, Vinay Bhat, Daniel Naroditsky, Nicholas Nip and Samuel Sevian. Ben Rood’s performance at the 2012 Calchess State Scholastic Chess Championship is the best I have ever witnessed by a California chess prodigy under the age of ten.
   Ben’s victory this weekend was simply immense. Not only did he place first in the strongest 4-5 section in California history; he went through the tournament undefeated. Along the way, Ben Rood defeated talented up and coming players as well as one F.I.D.E. Master.
   As fantastic as his performance was, it was not unexpected. During the past two years, Ben has won many state and national titles. In fact, he is the first player in Calchess history to win the Kindergarten Championship, Grade 1-3 Championship and Grade 4-5 Championship in three consecutive years.
   Ben Rood’s success is truly a combination of talent and hard work. In fact, by the age of eight he has learned more about chess than many old veterans of the game. He began chess study with his mother at age three. When he entered school, Ben started attending chess classes run by the Berkeley Chess School. For one so young, Ben’s desire to improve was insatiable. His parents began signing him up for tournaments very regularly and taking him to the Friday Night Chess program run by the Berkeley Chess School. In spite of winning first place in the Kindergarten section at the 2010 Calchess Scholastic State Championships, Ben had reached the point of needing personal attention to draw out his natural talent. During the summer of 2010 Ben met his current chess coach Chris Torres, president of the Torres Chess & Music Academy, at a chess tournament. Currently, Ben enjoys spending upwards of ten hours a week focusing on chess.


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