Archive for the ‘Chris Torres’ Category

#Chess Lesson Worth Sharing: Carlsen vs. Xiangzhi 2017 FIDE World Cup

September 14, 2017

One of my favorite jazz artists, Charles Mingus once said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” In chess, it is quite common for the more confident player to add complications to the position in order to allow him/her more opportunities to prove superior skill. In general, this is a good strategy and oftentimes the resulting victories are praised by chess aficionados. Of course, another result is also quite possible.

In the 2017 FIDE World Cup match between Bu Xiangzhi and World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Magnus’ over complicated style with the white pieces was dealt a devastating blow by Bu’s straight forward approach as black. Magnus chose a slow developing line of the Giuoco Piano which included several slow pawn moves and piece redeployments. Bu Xiangzhi on the other hand played a fairly straight forward opening with only one cryptic move (9… Rab8.) The result of the game clearly demonstrated the dangers of being too fancy as Magnus’ 11. h3 was severely punished by a common bishop sacrifice and a very creative early advancement of the h-pawn.

As a fan of Magnus Carlsen this game was painful to watch. As a chess educator, this game is a golden opportunity to demonstrate important lessons. For this reason I am sharing my lesson plans on this game. Try pairing the moves with Charles Mingus’ “Music Written for Monterey.”

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 1

 

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 2

 

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 3

 

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 4

 

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 5

 

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Triple Exclam!!! The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior (Special Offer)

August 10, 2017


This is a limited time offer to own or gift a hardbound copy of “Triple Exclam!!! The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior.” Dr. Daaim Shabazz and I know Emory had many friends in California who have not yet had an opportunity to add Triple Exclam into their library. Daaim has entrusted me to distribute some of the last remaining copies of this historic work out west. Help us keep Emory’s memory alive and well in California by ordering a copy of his book. In most cases, I will deliver your copy to you personally with a handshake. Additionally, you will be invited to an exclusive book talk the next time Dr. Daaim Shabazz is in California. The price is just $40. Please send questions and orders to Chris Torres, chesslessons@aol.com

Click here to read my review of “Triple Exclam!!! The Life And Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior”

The Fried Morra Attack

July 27, 2017

“Fried Morra” was served at our Southern California Summer Chess Camp!

 

Sometimes in chess themes from one opening can directly apply to another seemingly unrelated system. Below is a game in which I tried to play a Smith-Morra Gambit but after black plays an early e5 the game takes on a Fried Liver flavor. Caution should be used when blending these two spicy openings together as the resulting dish can be quite overpowering.

 

[Event “Summer Chess Camp”]
[Site “Glendale, California”]
[Date “2017.7.4”]
[Round “”]
[White “Chris Torres”]
[Black “Student”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “B32”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ SICILIAN def. Fried Morra var.]}

1.e4 c5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.d4 cxd4

4.c3 {I do not recapture but instead steer the game into Smith-Morra Gambit territory(1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nf3.)}

FriedMorra

Position after 4. c3.

4… e5 {?!} {My opponent declines capturing on c3 and thus my invitation to the Smith-Morra.}

5.Bc4 {With black’s pawn on e5 instead of e6 I am free to target the belly Button(f7) with my bishop.}

5… Nf6

6.Ng5 {I seize the opportunity to play a Fried Liver style attack.}

FriedMorra2

Position after 6. Ng5.

6… d5 {As in the Fried Liver Attack, black can not block the knight’s attack on f7 but can block the bishop with d5.}

7.exd5 Nxd5 {Black’s most solid choice is 7… Na5 and that also holds true at this junction in the Fried Liver.}

8.Nxf7! {Exposing black’s king and creating a new target out of the pinned knight on d5. }

FriedMorra3

Position after 8. Nxf7.

8… Kxf7

9.Qf3+ Ke6

10.O-O  Nce7 {?} {Either 10… Na5 or Be7 would have been better for black.}

( 10…Na5 11.Bd3 Nf6 12.cxd4 Qxd4 13.Nc3 Bd7 14.Bf5+ Kf7 15.Rd1 Bc6 16.Rxd4 Bxf3 17.Ra4 Nc6 18.gxf3 Nd4 19.Be4 Nxe4 20.fxe4 Bc5 21.Be3 Nc2 22.Rd1 Nxe3 23.fxe3 Bxe3+ 24.Kg2 Rhd8 25.Rc4 Bb6 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.Nd5 Rd7 28.b4 Bd4 29.a4
a6 30.b5 {…0-1, Vysochin Spartak (UKR) 2520 – Munoz Pantoja Miguel (PER) 2480 , Internet 4/ 4/2008 Dos Hermanas Internet Final})

( 10…Be7 11.cxd4 Nxd4 12.Qe4 b5 13.Re1 bxc4 14.Qxd4 Bf6 15.Qxc4
Qc7 16.Qd3 Bb7 17.Na3 Kf7 18.Bd2 Rad8 19.Rac1 Qd7 20.Qb3 Rhe8
21.Nb5 Re6 22.Ba5 Rc8 23.Rxc8 Qxc8 24.Bb4 Nxb4 25.Qxb4 Be7 26.Qb3
Qc5 27.h3 Bd5 28.Qd3 Bc4 29.Qf3+ Rf6 30.Qh5+ {…0-1, Fomina Tatyana (EST) 2214 – Azarova Nadezhda (BLR) 2308 , Beijing 10/15/2008 World Mindsports Games (Active Team w)})

FriedMorra4

Position after 10… Nce7?

11.Re1 {I would have also been doing well had I played 11. cxd4.}

( 11.cxd4 Kd7 ( 11…exd4 12.Rd1 b5 13.Bb3 Bb7 14.Rxd4 Nf5 15.Rd3 Bb4 16.g4 Nfe7 17.Bg5 ) 12.dxe5 Ke8 13.Bg5 )

11… Kd6

12.cxd4 exd4

13.Bf4+ {?} {Missing the correct square for the bishop by just one square has the potential to throw away all of white’s advantage.}

( 13.Bg5! h6 14.Rxe7 Nxe7 15.Qa3+ Kd7 16.Qa4+ Nc6 17.Bxd8 )

FriedMorra8

Position after 13. Bf4+?

13… Kc5 {??} {Deep Blue would have played 13…Nxf4 and been fine.}

( 13…Nxf4 14.Qxf4+ Kc6 15.Nc3 a6 16.Rad1 Qd6 17.Qe4+ Kb6 18.Rxd4 Qh6 )

FriedMorra5

Position after 13… Kc5??

14.Rc1 {I missed playing 14. Qa3+ which is objectively best as it is the first step in a mate in 9.}

( 14.Qa3+ Nb4 15.Re5+ Ned5 16.Rxd5+ Qxd5 17.Qa5+ Kxc4 18.Nd2+
Kd3 19.Qa3+ Kc2 20.Nf3 Nd3 21.Ne1+ Nxe1 22.Rc1# )

14… Nxf4

15.Bf7+ {!} {My choice for the best move of the game is this beautiful discovered check which places black’s king immediately into his death march.}

FriedMorra6

Position after 15. Bf7+.

15…Kb6

16.Qb3+ Ka5

17.Rc5+ b5

18.Qxb5# 1-0

FriedMorra7

Position after 18. Qxb5#

California Summer Chess Fun

July 23, 2017

 To this chess coach, Summer Fun in California means exciting chess camps every week of the summer. With chess classes planned every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, I organize events for young chess players of all skill levels, including classes with great chess teachers, rated tournaments, chess simuls against grandmasters, chess book talks with famous authors and fun blitz games against coaches. The fun continues through Labor Day leaving just enough time to prepare for my fall schedule of after school programs. 
Below are some photographs from my chess fun in California thus far this summer:

My first summer chess camp in 2017.

Two girls spending their summer studying chess.

A confident young man demonstrates his solution at summer chess camp.

Students were all ears when Grandmaster Tigran Petrosian taught strategy at our summer chess camp.

Chris Torres watches students play at summer chess camp.

IM Armen Ambartsoumian starts our summer chess camp match.

Sitting with GM Tigran Petrosian and Jay Stallings for our summer chess camp group photo.

Some young guys happy for another lesson at summer chess camp.


So many happy students and coaches on the final day of summer chess camp.

San Jose Chess Camp to Teach Decision Making Skills to Bay Area Youth

July 7, 2017

SAN JOSE, CA – 07/06/2017

— Chris Torres, the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy, has been successfully inspiring California’s young chess players for over 20 years. During this time, his annual summer chess camp has proven itself a good training ground for the Bay Area’s brightest chess talent. This year’s San Jose summer chess camp is celebrating his 20 years of knowledge sharing by returning the tuition back to just $160/week the same price Chris charged in 1997!

Over the past two decades Mr. Torres’ classes have attracted players of all abilities ranging from absolute beginners to national champions. Regardless of a child’s talent level, Chris believes that chess benefits all children by improving their decision making skills.

“Using the power of chess to teach children good decision making skills has always been the most important aspect of my coaching. I have personally witnessed how strong decision making skills allow children to excel in all aspects of life. Former students who are now doctors, lawyers, engineers and leaders in Silicon Valley continue to support my classes because they credit much of their successes to chess.”

The Torres Chess and Music Academy’s summer chess camp in San Jose, California will run from July 17-27’th and is open to players of all skill levels. Attendees will receive instruction from Chris Torres, other TCAMA coaches and several highly esteemed instructors including Frisco Del Rosario, Francisco Anchondo and Jay Stallings! Additionally each week there will be a USCF rated tournament and a puzzle solving competition with awards given at the end of each week. All students who complete two weeks of camp will receive a commemorative camp T-shirt, a special 1 on 1 follow up lesson with Chris Torres, and a hand signed diploma. To apply online, or for more information on the TCAMA, please visit www.CHESSANDMUSIC.com, or contact Chris Torres at chesslessons@aol.com.

Media Contacts:

Company Name: Torres Chess & Music Academy
Full Name: Chris
Phone: (209)323-0197
Email Address: SEND EMAIL
Website: www.ChessAndMusic.com

#Chess Game Worth Sharing 

July 1, 2017

Here is the game which the position from last night’s puzzle originated from. All in all, a fine miniature against the Philidor Defense, Hanham Variation (C41 – Philidor, Hanham variation: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nd7.)

Position after 10… Bg7.


[Event “Blitz”]

[Site “SocialChess”]

[Date “2017.06.29”]

[White “Chris Torres”]

[Black “Miranda36_2001 (1567)”]

[Result “1-0”]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Bc4 h6 6.Nc3 c6 7.O-O Ngf6 8.Qe2 g6 9.Rd1 Qc7 10.Be3 Bg7 11.Bxf7+ Kxf7 12.Qc4+ Ke8 13.Nb5 Qb8 14.Nd6+ Ke7 15.Bc5 b6 16.Nxe5 bxc5 17.Nxc6+

1-0

Has it been 20 years already?

June 7, 2017

Chris Torres teaching chess in 1997 and 2017.

San Jose Summer Chess Camp to Celebrate 20 Years of Success

June 3, 2017

SAN JOSE, CA – 28 May, 2017 – Northern California chess instructor Chris Torres is celebrating his 20th anniversary teaching chess this summer. Two decades of experience have transformed Chris’s summer camps from a small beginner class held in a garage into the must attend event of the summer for many of California’s most successful youth chess players. To celebrate his 20 years of success, the Torres Chess and Music Academy is offering its San Jose summer camp at 1997 prices!

img_0731-1

Twenty years ago, Chris Torres decided to leave a promising career at a legendary Silicon Valley company in order to combine his passions for chess and teaching. At just nineteen years of age, this change of occupation seemed unwise to many of Chris’s closest friends and family. Though after just one year of teaching chess professionally, Chris Torres’ teaching services were in high demand based on the outstanding results of his first crop of students.

The Torres Chess and Music Academy was established in 2005 in order to meet the growing demand for quality chess and music lessons in the Bay Area. That year, the TCAMA established several popular after school programs, weekend chess clubs, tournaments and summer camps. As word spread, these scholastic chess clubs and events quickly grew in size and number. During these periods of growth, Chris Torres regularly collaborated with other top instructors from around the United States in order to keep raising the bar for quality chess instruction in Northern California.

Today the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s successful approach is internationally recognized by FIDE (the world chess organization) which listed the TCAMA as an official FIDE Academy. Even with the rise in popularity of scholastic chess all throughout the Golden State, The Torres Chess and Music Academy remains the only California based chess organization to hold this important distinction.

“This summer I will be celebrating 20 years of service as a professional chess instructor. I am thankful to the thousands of families who chose to place their children in my after school programs, tournaments and camps for making this anniversary possible. In recognition of this professional achievement, I have rolled back the prices on our summer camps back to 1997 levels. I look forward to teaching your children this summer and continuing to serve in my current capacity for another 20 years.”

The Torres Chess and Music Academy’s summer chess camp will meet July 17 to July 27 at St. Timothy’s Christian Academy, 5100 Camden Ave, San Jose. The tuition for this camp is only $160/week. For more information on the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s summer chess camp in San Jose, California, please visit: www.ChessAndMusic.com

Media Contact
Company Name: Torres Chess and Music Academy
Contact Person: Chris Torres
Email: chesslessons@aol.com
Phone: (209)323-0197
Country: United States
Website: www.ChessAndMusic.com

Important Announcement Regarding the 2017 SPFNO 

April 2, 2017


Dear Chess Community,

As a chess coach, there are times when I have had to make the difficult choice to pass one of my favorite students to another instructor in order to better serve his/her best interests. It is never a decision that is taken lightly, not least because of the close bond a student and teacher create when working for years together. But as a coach, our first priority has to be the best interest and growth of the child even if that means stepping down as their coach. 

Recently, I used the same rationale in regards to the future of the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys. Over the past three years, I have worked closely with Susan to plot a good course for the SPFNO. Now facing many new distractions unrelated to this event, I do not think it would be in the best interests of the SPFNO for me to steer it to its next destination. For this reason, I am stepping down as chief organizer and handing the helm over to my good friend Judit Sztaray of Bay Area Chess. I look forward to seeing the mission of the SPFNO continue under Judit Sztaray’s direction.


Sincerely,

Chris Torres

Top Guitar Vines (2016)

February 21, 2017

A mountain of evidence is available that points to the fact that chess and music are extremely beneficial activities for children. Therefore I don’t believe it’s coincidental that chess and music produce child prodigies with a much greater frequency than that of other intellectual pursuits. This is why the mission of the Torres Chess and Music Academy is to provide the very best chess and music instruction to the most children possible.

Below is a video demonstrating ten songs I taught to my guitar students over the last few years. These songs also happened to be my most popular guitar Vine videos from 2016. Enjoy…


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