Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Re: An Open Letter to Mr. Albert Garibaldi

February 20, 2018

Four years have elapsed since I penned an open letter to Banta Elementary School District Superintendent Albert Garibaldi questioning his decision to intentionally undermine the success of his district’s first charter school. At the time, Mr. Garibaldi was attempting to destroy a thriving charter school seemingly in order to get a larger piece of the state funding pie for the school district and, of course, himself. Fortunately for River Islands Technology Academy, Mr Garibaldi’s efforts to shutter the school failed due to the unwavering support of River Islands project director Susan Dell’Osso. Unfortunately for the children of Banta, Mr. Garibaldi’s policies resulted in the redirecting of funds from Banta Elementary School District mission to educate children to the legal fees that were a direct result of his misguided leadership. It comes as no surprise that even his cronies on the Banta Elementary School Board recently convinced the disgraced superintendent to step down for the good of the district. And despite Albert Garibaldi best efforts to disenfranchise hundreds of innocent children, River Islands Technology Academy continues to thrive.


Ask A Kid: Chess And Management For Non-Chess Players 

August 16, 2016

From The Huffington Post:

Can you imagine a 10 year old, looking through billions of possibilities to come up with the exact 4-5 scenarios of crucial decision making? It certainly seems to be taken from a movie set in the future or it can very well be the case of an IT engineer analyzing petabytes of data for the NASA. Nevertheless, this particular situations are often real life cases in the world of chess.
Continue to the full article here:

County Board committee approves amendment providing $20K for “Chess in the Parks” program

October 31, 2015

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Board’s Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee has approved a budget amendment providing $20,000 for continuation of the highly successful “Chess in the Parks” program sponsored by Supervisor Martin Weddle….

Read the full article via

Efficacy of chess training for the treatment of ADHD: A prospective, open label study.

October 29, 2015

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effectiveness of playing chess as a treatment option for children with ADHD. METHODS: Parents of 44 children ages 6 to 17 with a primary diagnosis of ADHD consented to take part in the study….

Read the full article via

Spanish schools have introduced chess class to boost math learning

October 24, 2015

Eleven-year-old Alvaro Pineda has played chess at home since he was five. Now he plays it in the classroom too.In an effort to boost their pupils’ low math and reading marks, more and more Spanish schools are holding chess clubs – and some could even make it a compulsory class….

Read the full article via

My Review of Coach Jay’s Chess Academy

October 17, 2014


Jay Stallings has been successfully employing a martial art belt system to teaching chess for nearly two decades. He has taught approximately 35,000 children the royal game, many of whom went on to become the top chess players for their age in the country. The motivation of earning belts coupled with his passion for and knowledge of chess appears to be the ideal recipe for success in youth chess. Until recently, you would have had to live close to the town of Valencia in Southern California if you wanted your child to receive the benefits of training with Coach Jay. Now, all that has changed with the release of Coach Jay’s Chess Academy for iOS and Android devices.

Coach Jay with his wife Michel.

Coach Jay with his wife Michel.

To understand how amazing Coach Jay’s Chess Academy is, you have to start by examining the other chess apps you could use to train your child:

If you attempt to train your child using a different chess app you will…

  • First notice that you need separate apps for studying opening, middle game strategies, chess tactics, check mate puzzles and even a separate endgame trainer.
  • Unless you child is incredibly self-motivated, you will need to devise a reward system in order to keep your child training daily.
  • The interface that your child will be using will likely resemble PC chess programs from the nineties(not very kid friendly)
  • Many apps show progress by displaying statistics that are meaningless to your child.
  • Finally, when you are using the other apps, you get the sense that they were designed by individuals who have rarely or never coached children in chess.


Coach Jay’s Chess Academy solves every one of these problems. It is truly the only one stop application for young chess players to use that will improve every aspect of their chess game. While working through the exercises, your child will remain motivated by earning new belts and learning new techniques. The interface is very easy to use and is aesthetically pleasing to younger users. In addition, Coach Jay Chess Academy makes it easy to track your child’s progress. Finally, Coach Jay’s Chess Academy was designed by professional chess teachers and it shows.

On a personal note, I now use Coach Jay’s Chess Academy to teach my own daughter. Over the years I have coached many individual National Champions and, before now, I have never used such a complete tool for training young chess players. I want what’s best for my daughter’s chess which is why we train by using Coach Jay’s Chess Academy.

My daughter, Rosaleia, studying chess with Coach Jay's Chess Academy.

My daughter, Rosaleia, studying chess with Coach Jay’s Chess Academy.


Coach Jay’s Chess Academy is available for download in the Apple iTunes App Store.

For more information on Jay Stalling and his chess programs please visit the homepage for the California Youth Chess League.


*This is not an advertisement for Coach Jay’s Chess Academy. I simply wrote an honest review of Coach Jay’s Chess Academy for the benefit of the scholastic chess community.


Please see my exclusive interview with Jay Stalling about Coach Jay’s Chess Academy.


Susan Polgar Explains Her Coaching Philosophy

April 5, 2014

Susan Polgar is, in my humble opinion, the best chess coach in the United States. Her achievement of coaching two different division 1 colleges to National Chess Championships on several occasions speaks volumes as to her abilities. I believe Susan’s coaching philosophy should prove useful for coaches of any discipline.

Obtained from<a href="

Many people have asked what is my coaching philosophy when it comes to team events? There are four main issues which I stressed. We may or may not be the best team (depend on the year), but our approach is always the same:

1. Come to each match fully prepared: Physically, mentally, and chess-wise. Players have to be fully focused. We have fun after, not before or during important events.

2. Play with complete discipline: We are prepared to fight hard every game, and play all games with complete discipline, just as the prepared game plan for each match.

3. Team work: We prepare as a team, fight as a team, and celebrate as a team. There is no I in team. We are one family.

4. Win with grace, lose with dignity: This has long been my motto. I will not tolerate any hot-dogging or in your face nonsense. Self control and be gracious, win or lose.

Here is to hoping Susan Polgar’s chess team at Webster University wins this weekend’s College Final Four of Chess.

Don’t forget that Susan Polgar will be visiting the 2014 Fremont Summer Chess Camp.

Susan Polgar to Visit Fremont Summer Chess Camp

March 29, 2014

The Torres Chess and Music Academy is pleased to present Susan Polgar to the NorCal Chess Community.


"Further accomplishments of Susan Polgar are too numerous to list but even this small sample of work as both a world champion of chess and a world class chess teacher easily rank her as the best chess teacher in the United States."

“Further accomplishments of Susan Polgar are too numerous to list but even this small sample of work as both a world champion of chess and a world class chess teacher easily rank her as the best chess teacher in the United States.”

Fremont, California (PRWEB) March 29, 2014


To be able to have your child attend classes with the best chess teachers in the world is an unattainable dream for many parents. If it only happens on one occasion, it would still be a life changing experience for any young chess player. To be around other like-minded children, to know consciously that you are in the best chess class available at any price, and to relish that knowledge – this is a kind of magic that children will experience at the Mission San Jose Elementary School Summer chess camp in Fremont, California.

"this is a kind of magic that children will experience at the Mission San Jose Elementary School Summer chess camp in Fremont, California."

“this is a kind of magic that children will experience at the Mission San Jose Elementary School Summer chess camp in Fremont, California.”

The Torres Chess and Music Academy has been running an incredible summer chess camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School for the last six years and each year they offer even more to the children who are lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chris Torres, President of the TCAMA, only schedules instructors for his camp that are highly accomplished educators and who have a transcendent talent for teaching chess to children at all skill levels. This year, Chris Torres is pleased to share Susan Polgars incredible gift for teaching chess with the children who attend all four weeks of the Mission San Jose Elementary School summer chess camp.

To summarize Susan Polgar‘s chess accomplishments is nearly an impossible task. Susan was the winner of four Womens World Chess Championships, is a five time Olympic champion with over 10 medals earned, became the number one ranked woman in the world at the age of fifteen, became the first chess player ever to be a World Champion at Blitz, Rapid and Classical time controls. In addition, Susan Polgar was the first woman to be awarded a mens Grandmaster title in chess, win the U.S. Open Blitz Championship, be awarded the Grandmaster of the year honor, serve as the head coach of a mens division 1 NCAA team that won a National Collegiate Championship, serve as the head coach of a number one ranked mens division one collegiate team, serve as the Head Coach of Men’s Division 1 Teams from two different schools to win the Final Four National Collegiate Championship, serve as Head Coach of a Men’s Division I Team to win the National Collegiate Championship 3 straight years and be named coach of the year for a mens collegiate team. Further accomplishments of Susan Polgar are too numerous to list but even this small sample of work as both a world champion of chess and a world class chess teacher easily rank her as the best chess teacher in the United States.

Joe Lonsdale will be joining Susan Polgar at the 2014 Mission San Jose Elementary School chess camp in Fremont, California. If ever there was an official Hall of Fame for California chess coaches, Joe Lonsdale would be a first ballot inductee. Joe Lonsdale started the MSJE (Mission San Jose Elementary School, Fremont) chess team in 1990 when his oldest son was a third grader at MSJE. It didnt take long for Joes chess team to rise to the top. In 1992 Coach Joe led MSJE to win its first grade level National Championship. They won the overall National Elementary School Championship in both 2009 and in 2013. At the 2012 Elementary School Nationals MSJE was the only team in the country to finish in the top four in every Elementary school championship section (K-1, K-3, K-5, & K-6). Having his eldest son become a billionaire at a young age has only hardened Joes belief that chess teaches children the skills necessary to succeed in life. Now every summer, Joe dedicates weeks of hard work to producing the next generation of chess successes who train in the hallowed halls of Mission San Jose Elementary School.

MSJE won the overall National Elementary School Championship in both 2009 and in 2013.

MSJE won the overall National Elementary School Championship in both 2009 and in 2013.

The chess camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School in Fremont is run by the Torres Chess and Music Academy President, Chris Torres. Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach who works tirelessly throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to bring children the best chess opportunities possible. Chris classes regularly attract players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A professional chess instructor 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. Although Chris is currently ranked as number eleven on the United States Chess Federations list of top correspondence chess players in the country, his real passion lies in having his young students crowd the USCF top 100 lists. Each summer for the past six years, Chris Torres has invited chess players from around the country to come and train with the National Championship chess team at Mission San Jose Elementary School.

The Torres Chess and Music Academy works tirelessly to bring children the best chess opportunities possible.

The Torres Chess and Music Academy works tirelessly to bring children the best chess opportunities possible.

The best chess experiences of a lifetime occur at the Mission San Jose Elementary School Summer Chess Camp. The camp will take place from June 30 through July 24 at MSJE in Fremont, California. In addition to all the great chess teachers detailed above, the 2014 Summer Chess Camp at MSJE will feature all the other highly accomplished Torres Chess and Music Academy coaches as well as a formidable line up of special guest lecturers. Every child who attends all four weeks will receive a camp T-shirt, a personalized study plan, a follow up private lesson with a Torres Chess and Music Academy instructor, and a diploma presented by Susan Polgar. All school aged chess players are welcomed to sign up but this camp is expected to fill up quickly. Sign up today to avoid missing out on all the chess magic the worlds best chess coaches bring to the Mission San Jose Summer Chess Camp in Fremont, California.

For more information and to register, please visit the Torres Chess and Music Academy online.


For the original version on PRWeb visit:

An Open Letter to Mr. Albert Garibaldi, Superintendent: Banta School District

February 2, 2014

Mr. Albert Garibaldi, Superintendent: Banta School District

First of all, let me congratulate you on the success of Banta Elementary School District’s charter with the River Island Technology Academy in Lathrop. I have been involved in education for 16 years and have never witnessed the birth of such an ambitious undertaking. Under the leadership of Susan Dell’Osso (Board of Trustee’s President for the River Island Technology Academy ) and Brenda Scholl (Principal of the River Islands Technology Academy) not only has River Islands Technology Academy lived up to all of the hype surrounding its establishment, it, quite frankly, has exceeded all of my high expectations. I am certain that if the Banta School District does not derail its progress, River Islands Technology Academy will be your school district’s greatest educational achievement in its 134 year history.

I am addressing this open letter to you because I have noticed some recent events which lead me to believe that the Banta School District is having a change of heart about its involvement with the River Islands Technology Academy. To put it bluntly, both recent newspaper articles and board meeting minutes seem to suggest that the Banta School District has decided to constrict the future growth of the River Islands Technology Academy in order to pursue a Banta controlled science academy at the same school site[i]. Because River Islands Technology Academy is just in its first year, these recent revelations have caused concern that the Banta School District is playing bait and switch politics with the future of several hundred local school children. I am not sure if this was the original undisclosed agenda or if this is a change of direction taken simply on the advice of Tom Duffy. Regardless, I am personally offended that River Island Technology Academy was marketed to hundreds of local families without mention that the Banta Elementary School District planned on taking over the school site as early as 2015.

While it is refreshing to see that a school district has promoted one of its own teachers to the position of Superintendent, suggesting that the Banta Elementary School District is making the education of its students its top priority, the recent planned rapid expansion appears to have shifted the intentions of the Banta District from quality education to what is now the “big business of education.” Your current position as Superintendent during the coming period of unprecedented growth will undoubtedly be the star achievement on your resume. However, rather than simply collect accolades for the Banta School District’s growth, as an educator, I would think, that you would like to see the overall quality of Banta’s education improve during your tenure.

A quick check of the facts shows that your district is lagging behind the California average in math scores. In fact, in 2013, only 16% of your district’s sixth graders tested at a proficient level in math[ii].  I worry that adding eight new schools to your district before test scores improve may magnify the math proficiency crisis that Banta is facing. Instead of being known as the Superintendent who established an unprecedented growth in the business for your district, you are risking becoming the Superintendent who failed to address the achievement gap of your students. If Banta’s expansion is done too quickly and without regard for educational standards, the Banta School District risks winning the race to the bottom of troubled school districts.

Because you are not new to education or politics, you must know that discord between your school board and the board of trustees for River Islands Technology will ultimately hurt all of the children under your influence. Luckily, there are many individuals in the community willing to help you avoid catastrophe on your journey as the new Superintendent of Banta School District. You have a locale that has members who are highly experienced in education and want to see your district succeed. I wish to offer my support to both the River Island Technology Academy’s Board of Trustees as well as the Banta Elementary School District’s board.

Study after study has shown that having children play chess regularly increases their proficiency at math. Currently, my chess academy offers chess to hundreds of children and the schools where we regularly teach at score above 97% in proficiency for math[iii]. I will personally see to it that every sixth grader in your district receives special chess training geared toward improving math skills. I have 16 years of experience in this field and will offer this service free of charge to your district for four years. All I ask for in return, is that the Banta School District continue to allow River Islands Technology Academy to remain at its original school site. Basically, if you live up to your publicly stated objective for River Islands Technology Academy[iv] , I will help you increase your students’ math scores and help Banta to become a top district in scores as well as size.


Chris Torres

President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy

[ii] Banta Elementary School’s Test Scores:

[iii] Just one of many Torres Chess and Music Academy chess schools that excel in math:

[iv] Albert Garibaldi’s publicly stated objective for River Islands Technology Academy

Two Chess Books to Rule Them All

January 16, 2014
My very used copies of Chess: 5334 and Lasker's Manual of Chess.

My very used copies of Chess: 5334 and Lasker’s Manual of Chess.

Quora answer to: “What is the best chess book for learning chess?”

Empirical methods of training in chess have rapidly improved over the last century and a half. In the mid nineteenth century, only a few good chess manuals were available to learn strategies from and students of the game really had to live in certain chess locales in order to become proficient in chess. During the early twentieth century, the “Russian School of Chess” demonstrated the importance of early tactical training and a scientific approach to unraveling the mysteries of chess openings. Today, chess players of all ages have the advantage of easy access to online videos, tactic trainer apps and internet chess servers. Even with the perceived superiority and ease of using technology to understand chess, I find that I am still recommending just two books to chess parents who wish to have a greater role in a child’s chess education.

For an omnibus of chess strategy presented in an unambiguous manner, there is no greater book than Dr. Emanuel Lasker’s opus, Lasker’s Manual of Chess. First printed in 1947, Lasker’s Manual of Chess thoroughly presents universal strategies for every phase of the game. Lasker, who himself was World Champion for 28 years, explains his chess mastery using brilliant language and three hundred and eight ideal diagrams. Lasker’s manual of chess is always delightful to reread and I constantly find myself learning new ways to improve my chess teaching from this invaluable source.

Improving in chess also requires pattern recognition acquired through solving and studying thousands of chess positions. Perhaps, no one better understood this concept than Laszlo Polgar, who spent ten thousand hours training each of his three girls using famous chess puzzles and short games. After all three of his daughters became Grandmasters, Laszlo compiled his chess excercises into one book entitled, Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games. The beauty of Chess by Laszlo Polgar is that it really focuses on the critical skill of checkmating, common piece sacrifices, punishment for opening inaccuracies and tactics in endgames.  Laszlo Polgar’s masterpiece also requires no ability to read making it instantly accessible to chess players of all ages. To date, I consider the “Polgar Book” to be the best training method for rapid improvement in chess.

I literally have no idea how many chess books are in my collection do to its enormous size and unorganized structure. Most of my chess collection represent a desire to own a chess library rather than a need to learn from so many sources. With the advent of the information age, most of my chess books simply collect dust. However, Lasker’s Manual of Chess and Chess: 5334 regularly get opened to improve my own understanding of chess and to train my daughters.

%d bloggers like this: