Archive for the ‘education’ Category

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.

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Fremont Summer Chess Camp: Preview 6

June 15, 2013

The Fremont Summer Chess  Camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School is the best chess camp for your chess champ. Our chess coaches are all professional chess educators year round which definitely shows in the positive way they interact with their students. If you haven’t checked out our other articles on the great chess teachers we have scheduled to teach Norcal children chess this summer, please refer to Preview 1, Preview 2, Preview 3 and Preview 4. I am very proud of all the teachers I employ to instruct your children at the Fremont Summer Chess Camp and am excited to introduce one of our new teachers for 2013.

James Paquette has everything we look for in a great chess teacher and more. A former chess student of Chris Torres, James now teaches chess professionally while attending a prestigious local university to study law. James Paquette has several years of experience managing small children which he gained while achieving his black belt in Taekwondo. While an undergrad honor roll student, James was a star football player at the college level and uses his experience from the field to teach children the level of commitment necessary to become a champion.  James Paquette relates to children of all backgrounds extremely well and is now one of the most popular coaches at the Torres Chess and Music Academy.

James Paquette is one of the most popular chess coaches at the Torres Chess and Music Academy.

James Paquette is one of the most popular chess coaches at the Torres Chess and Music Academy.

Fremont Summer Chess Camp: Preview 5

June 12, 2013

There are many reasons why the Fremont Summer Chess Camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School is the perfect choice for your child. One, however, has little to do with chess.

Students who attend the Mission San Jose Elementary School Summer Chess Camp in Fremont will receive an exclusive deal from the Achiever Institute. The Achiever Institute, Fremont’s premier after school learning center, has teamed up with the Torres Chess and Music Academy to provide after camp care for all Fremont Summer Camp students who desire it. For only $10/hour, the Achiever Institute will allow your child to attend all the age-level courses Achiever offers starting at 3:00 when our chess camp gets out. Children who use this option will take part in several of the enrichment opportunities Achiever offers from instructors who are at the top of their respective fields. In addition, chess campers will also receive additional training from Chris Torres

Students studying chess at the Achiever Institute in Fremont, California.

Students studying chess at the Achiever Institute in Fremont, California.

while he teaches his regularly scheduled chess classes at the Achiever Institute. The Torres Chess and Music Academy is excited to offer its summer camp students this exclusive opportunity. Sign up today at: http://chessandmusic.com/applications/view?id=3

The Mission San Jose Elementary School Chess Camp in Fremont is a Perfect Choice for Parents

June 7, 2013

The Mission San Jose Elementary School Chess Camp in Fremont is a Perfect Choice for Parents

The President of the TCAMA details the most important considerations in choosing a summer chess camp for your child.

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Proud member of the MSJE Chess Team at the National Championships.

Winning is contagious and the Fremont Summer Camp offers your child the unique opportunity to train with national champions.

Fremont, Ca (PRWEB) June 07, 2013

Youth chess has never been more popular in the Bay Area and this summer there will be approximately thirty different chess camps all trying to entice the next Viswanathan Anand to attend their offering. With so many choices, chess parents have a difficult chess problem to solve in order to figure out which chess camp would best suit their child.

First off, parents should look for a chess camp that is run by reputable organizations. For instance, the Torres Chess and Music Academy is a nonprofit organization that was established in 2005 and has run a chess camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School in Fremont for five straight years. Choosing this camp for your child will lower the likely hood that classes end up being cancelled for low attendance as has happened with chess camps run by other groups.

Parents should put their child’s safety first and look for qualified teachers who have had background checks completed before they work with children. The Torres Chess and Music Academy hires the very best local chess instructors to teach at the Mission San Jose Elementary School Chess Camp in Fremont. All of our coaches have taught for years and have passed several background checks. Chess masters from out of the region may not been fingerprinted to deem them safe for working with your children.

Parents should be suspicious of chess camps that offer instruction from Grandmasters who do not normally teach chess. Chess players with fancy chess titles are nowhere near as effective of educators as instructors who teach chess full time. The Torres Chess and Music Academy has several professional chess coaches with decades of experience. Four of our coaches assigned to the Fremont Chess Camp have taught either team or individual national chess champions within the last few years. The reason for the unprecedented success of the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s coaches is that our highest priority in chess is teaching your children.

Another important aspect in choosing the right camp for your child is price. A higher price does not necessarily equate to better quality and a camp that is very inexpensive may have several hidden costs involved. The Torres Chess and Music Academy prices its camp at $185/week. We feel nonprofit chess organizations should not be trying to “make a profit” by charging excessive tuition to chess families trying to send their child to camp. Because the Torres Chess and Music Academy is very active year round we can use our popularity to pass savings on to the families that sign up for our chess program. You will not find a better value in chess instruction than what is offered by the Torres Chess and Music Academy at our Fremont Summer Chess Camp.

Of course the schedule of the chess camp is another important factor in choosing the best chess camp for your family. The Torres Chess and Music Academy offers a flexible schedule to meet the needs of busy families. Students can attend week by week, day by day or even specific hours. In addition the Torres Chess and Music Academy has an exclusive deal with Achiever Institute in Fremont to provide after camp care for any students who cannot be picked up by their parents at the end of a session. In fact, since Torres Chess and Music Academy coaches also teach at Achiever Institute, these children may even receive some bonus chess instruction as well.

Finally, location is very important in choosing the correct summer chess camp for your child. The Torres Chess and Music Academy’s Fremont chess camp is conveniently located at Mission San Jose Elementary School. This means that the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s Fremont Summer Chess Camp is the only chess camp in the United States to invite children from any school to come and train with the current National Elementary Chess Champions. Winning is contagious and the Fremont Summer Camp offers your child the unique opportunity to train with national champions.

For more information on our summer chess programs please visit http://www.ChessAndMusic.com.

Chris Torres’ Chess Lessons for Children

February 12, 2013

I have a new blog with free chess lessons. Please take a look at Chess Lessons for Children by Chris Torres to play through the game Alekhine vs Supico.

Chess Wisdom and Philosophy from Twitter

November 21, 2012

Here is a collection  of my chess wisdom from @TorresChess. If you are not following me on Twitter, then you are missing out on some interesting discussions.

11/5 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

 It is beyond coincidence that chess and music produce child prodigies with a much greater frequency than that of other intellectual pursuits. -Chris Torres

 

11/7 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

To play a match for the World Championship is the cherished dream of every chess player. -David Bronstein

 

11/8 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

Starting from Chester Arthur in the early 1880s, 89% of Democratic presidents have been chess players, compared to just 35% of Republicans. – Chris Torres

 

11/8 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

Nervous energy is the ammunition we take into any mental battle. – Garry Kasparov

 

11/9 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

Genius. It’s a word. What does it really mean? If I win I’m a genius. If I don’t, I’m not. – Bobby Fischer

 

11/11 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

Wins and losses are rarely determined at the the chess tournament, but rather in the effort toward preparation the player demands of himself. -Chris Torres

 

11/12 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

 Confidence in chess stems from  preparation in solving your problems without outside interference. -Chris Torres

 

11/13 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

“In chess, as in life, opportunity strikes but once.”-David Bronstein

 

11/13 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

“Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on.”-Frederic Chopin

 

11/14 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

My students know that it is better to lose some of the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever fighting.-Chris Torres

 

11/15 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

Follow the path to the end and you will find no sanity in reason.-Chris Torres

 

11/16 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

A chess coach with a fancy title is good. A chess coach who can teach useful lessons that inspire confidence is better.-Chris Torres

 

11/17 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

Apparently the chess board is really a special kind of mirror. Staring at it on length will force one to accept his flaws or go mad.-Chris Torres

 

11/17 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  Chess is the best tool which we can use to fix education.-Chris Torres

 

11/18 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

Of all the pleasures I have received from the game of chess, the greatest is the friendship of my students. -Chris Torres

 

11/19 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

If your life was a game of chess, would you rather live a hundred mediocre moves or be brilliant for a few?-Chris Torres

 

11/20 Chris Torres‏@TorresChess

Chess exercises a child’s capacity to change a vision into reality.-Chris Torres

 

Press Release for Fremont Achiever Chess Team

November 5, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT: Mrs. Feliza Hsu, Program Director for Achiever Institute

43475 Ellsworth Street Fremont, CA 94539

510-226-6161,  hello@achieverinstitute.org

http://achieverinstitute.org/

<America’s Top Chess Teacher Returns to Fremont>

<11/5/2012>  –  The Fremont Achiever Chess Team has a very special chess program designed and taught by America’s top chess instructor, Chris Torres. This class will provide experienced tournament players with instruction that will quickly increase their ability and understanding of chess. Scholastic chess players will begin their afternoon by participating in an hour-long chess class taught by Chris Torres. Students will then play 1 USCF rated chess game as part of the ongoing tournament and receive analysis of their play.

Chris Torres has been a professional chess coach since 1998 and has taught 6 individual national champions as well as lead multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships.

The Fremont Achiever Chess Team is the perfect choice for Northern California scholastic chess players who wish to improve their skill and love for the game. Currently, the Fremont Achiever Chess Team is the only class that Chris Torres teaches which has open enrollment.  Class begins on Saturday, November, 10 at 1:00 pm. Tuition for ten classes is just $180. For more information please contact Mrs. Feliza Hsu at hello@achieverinstitute.org

– END –

A Variation on a Theme by Morphy

June 22, 2012

Todays lesson examines the Morphy Variation of the Two Knights Defense (Fried Liver Attack.) Adi Kisieu is a talented young chess player from Oakland, California who, in this game, invented an interesting theoretical novelty on move 15 of a very frequently played opening. Unfortunately for his novelty, Adi used unfocused aggression and ended up giving his teacher a nice attack on the “g2” focal point. I am publishing this game in hopes that Adi’s “15. Nc3” is correctly attributed to him.

[Event “Chess Lesson”]

[Date “2012.06.21”]

[White “Kisieu, Adrian (Adi)”]

[Black “Torres, Chris”]

[Result “0-1”]

[ECO “C58”]

[Opening “Two Knights”]

[Variation “Morphy Variation”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 {White tries for the Fried Liver Attack.} d5 {This is the most common defensive system.} 5. exd5 Na5 6. d3 {The Morphy Variation gets its name by being the favorite of Paul Morphy.} (6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Be2 h6 9. Nf3 e4 10. Ne5 Qd4 11. f4 Bc5 12. Rf1 Bb6 {Is another common continuation.}) 6. .. h6 7. Nf3 e4 {This is the best move and is rarely played in scholastic chess.} 8. Qe2 Nxc4 9. dxc4 Bc5 10. O-O O-O 11. Nfd2 (11. Ne5? Bd4 {and white’s mistake costs him a knight.}) 11. .. Bg4 12. Qe1 {White has a much better prospects for an endgame but black has better development right now.} Re8 13. Nb3 {This is a very nice move. I was expecting Nc3.} Qe7 {Black doesn’t want to trade but I was afraid of white playing h3 or c5.} 14. Nxc5 Qxc5 {So far our game is an exact copy of Stefanie Schultz vs Leonid Krugljakow, 2004.} 15. Nc3 {Adi Kisieu invents an interesting innovation. Adi is willing to give back a pawn on c4 in order to gain initiative and development.} Qxc4 16. b3 Qc5 17. Be3 {Adi develops with threats.} Qd6 18. Nb5 {A little too aggressive. The simple h3 keeps the initiative for white and is less of a commitment.} Qd7 19. Qa5 {Adi is being aggressive but lacks real purpose.} b6 20. Qa6 {Now that his queen and knight are tied up, I decide to have a go at Adi’s king.} Bf3 {“g2” is a nice focal point.} 21. gxf3 {In our game, I had calculated far enough to see if I win after this recapture by checkmate. To be honest, the line continued beyong where I could visualize.} exf3 22. Kh1 Qh3 23. Rg1 Rxe3 {It is all about analyzing checks, captures and threats.} (23. .. Ng4 24. Rxg4 Qxg4 25. Rg1 {and white survives.}) 24. fxe3 Ne4 {Threatening Nf2#.} 25. Raf1 f2 {Another easy threat to spot.} 26. Rg2 Ng3+ {Analyze checks first.} 27. Rxg3 Qxf1+ 28. Rg1 Qxg1# 0-1

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. d3 h6 7. Nf3 e4 8. Qe2 Nxc4 9. dxc4 Bc5 10. O-O O-O 11. Nfd2 11. Bg4 12. Qe1 Re8 13. Nb3 Qe7 14. Nxc5 Qxc5 15. Nc3 a new move by Adi Kisieu.

2012 USCF National Elementary (K-6) Chess Championship : Day 1

May 12, 2012

Day one of the 2012 USCF National Elementary (K-6) Chess Championship is in the books. Several of California’s top chess players still remain undefeated.

In the K-1 Section Stephen He and Rishith Susarla scored 2/2.

In the K-3 Section Mihir Bhuptani, Tommy Koh, and Ben Rood also have perfect scores.

In the K-5 Section Amit Sant is victorious.

Finally in the K-6 section Alvin Kong is undefeated with 1.5/2.

Mission San Jose Elementary School ranks in the top 10 in 4 sections and is currently ranking second in the K-3 section.

This summer there is open enrollment to any children who would like to train with the Mission San Jose Elementary School players and coaches. The MSJE Summer Chess Camp will take place from June 25th through July 19th, 2012 in Fremont CA. For more information please visit www.chessandmusic.com. You can also contact Chris Torres by emailing chesslessons@aol.com

                        Mission San Jose Elementary School Chess Camp

Home of the 2009 NATIONAL ELEMENTARY CHESS CHAMPIONS!

 This camp will feature chess instruction by:

  • Joe Lonsdale (Head Coach of Mission San Jose Elementary School)
  • Francisco Anchondo (Team Coach)
  • Tans Hylkema (Team Coach for Collins Elementary School)
  • Chris Torres (President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy)

Our coaches will use their decades of chess teaching experience to create a summer camp that is fun, competitive and educational.  Attendees will receive the best training available and take part in USCF rated tournaments with awards given at the end of each week.

This class will meet from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Mondays through Thursdays,

June 25 to July 19 at Mission San Jose ES, 43545 Bryant St. Fremont, CA 94539. 

Name of child: _______________________________________   Grade:  ____  

Parents (Guardian) name(s):  _____________________________________

Address:  ____________________________________________________

City: ________________________________   California Zip:  __________

Telephone:  (___) _________   E-mail:  _____________________________

USCF ID: ______________   Rating:  _______ Date of Birth: ___/___/______              

CHESS SKILL LEVEL—PLEASE CHECK APPROPRIATE BOX

1 Absolute Beginner-doesn’t even know the pieces                    

1 Beginner-knows the names of the pieces and that is about all

1 Intermediate Beg-knows how to play and how to castle           

1 Advanced Beginner-knows how to play & even knows en passant

1 Experienced-has taken chess lessons                                       

1 Tournament-has played more than 25 games in US Chess Federation tournaments

I AM PAYING

WEEK/S ATTENDING

MULTI WEEK DISCOUNT

SUBTRACT AMOUNT BELOW FROM THE

FOR ONE WEEK  $185

JUNE 25 – JUNE 28

TOTAL WEEKS

FOR TWO WEEKS  $139

JULY 2,3, & 5

 -$20

FOR TWO WEEKS

FOR THREE WEEKS  $185

JULY 9 – JULY 12

 -$40

FOR THREE WEEKS

FOR FOUR WEEKS  $185

JULY 16 – JULY 19

 -$80

FOR FOUR WEEKS

$16 FOR A USCF MEMBERSHIP $

SUBTOTAL

$

                 TOTAL PAID

 

To apply online, or for more information on the TCAMA, please visit CHESSANDMUSIC.COM, or contact Chris Torres at chesslessons@aol.com.

The checks should be made payable to The TCAMA Inc. The fees for the chess program are nonrefundable after the class has begun. No refunds will be given for unscheduled student absences.

Please make the checks out to TCAMA Inc. and Mail them to:

The Torres Chess and Music Academy, 16691 Colonial Trail, Lathrop, CA 95330

Fremont Summer Chess Camp 2011: Day 2

June 29, 2011

image

The second day of the Fremont Summer Chess Camp was equally as successful as day one. Our beginner class, coached by Tans Hylkema, has already learned the most important opening, middle game and end game concepts. Tomorrow they will continue to work on spotting check mates and improving their tactics.
   Below is an exciting chess game that Tans showed to his class:

[Event “Remove White’s King Knight”]
[Site “Brighton”]
[Date “1845”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Kennedy”]
[Black “Amateur”]
[Result “1-0”]
[FEN “rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKB1R w KQkq – 0 1”]
[Setup “1”]

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 Nxf2 5. O-O Nxd1 6. Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Bg5#
1-0


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