Archive for the ‘Jay Stallings’ Category

Chess coach Jay Stallings celebrates 25 years of teaching – Santa Clarita Valley Signal

September 21, 2019

“I think it’s less about chess and more about teaching my students how to be thinkers and good members of the community,” Stallings said. “It’s incredible for me to look around here to see former students of mine who have grey in their beards, and it’s nice to see the impact that I’ve made these past 25 years.”
— Read on

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, or contact Chris Torres at

Media Contacts:

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


October 10, 2015

Did you know that the second Saturday of October is National Chess Day? I celebrated the occasion with my family at the Weibel Quads in Fremont, California. The tournament was well run and I had a great time reviewing chess games, visiting with friends and celebrating chess.Kudos to Alan Kirshner for another nice event.

IM Emory Tate reviewing games at the TCAMA table.


Francisco Anchondo showing off his new puppy and his tactical bravado.


Coach Jay took a moment to congratulate Rosaleia on her final victory.


Even Lilianya enjoyed playing a casual game with the garden chess set.


Fremont Summer Chess Camp 2015: Day 5

July 7, 2015

Today we were visited by Coach Jay as part of the Fremont Summer Chess Camp’s esteemed guest series. As good as his app is, Coach Jay is even better in person! 

Below are some of my favorite moments from day 5:


Don’t miss out on the rest of our camp. Sign up today!

Happy Fourth of July from the Fremont Summer Chess Camp

July 4, 2015

Fremont Summer Chess Camp July 4th Special


On Monday July sixth, the Fremont Summer Chess Camp welcomes world famous chess coach Jay Stallings. Coach Jay founded the highly regarded California Youth Chess League in 1996, authored the popular Fried Liver & Burning Pants: Curious but True Chess Stories,” and created Coach Jay’s Chess Academy App which is far and away the best hi-tech learning tool available to scholastic chess players.

On Thursday of this week the Fremont Chess Camp will also welcome acclaimed author and master story teller Eric Schiller. USCF National Master Eric Schiller will discuss how to “tame the wild openings” in honor of his new book, Taming Wild Chess Openings: How to Deal with the Good, the Bad and the Ugly over the Chess Board.”

*After their classes, both Coach Jay and Master Schiller will be available for autographs and photographs with camp attendees. 


At the Fremont Summer Chess Camp, your child will live and breathe chess while our elite coaches provide them with the most incredible educational experience available.


Camp Registration Includes:

Classes with California’s best chess coaches:

  Eric Schiller (National Master)

  Jay Stallings (Creator of Coach Jay’s Chess Academy)

  Emory Tate (International Master)

  Joe Lonsdale (Head Coach for MSJE) 

  Chris Torres (Correspondence Chess Master)


The Fremont Summer Chess Camp also includes:

1:8 coach to camper ratio

   Camp Tee Shirt

  Certificate of participation

  USCF Rated Tournaments

  Weekly Awards

  Mind Blowing Special Events


In addition, our camp includes supervised recesses which feature basketball, soccer and art activities. Your child is guaranteed to have a blast while training with the 2015 National Elementary Chess Championship Team at Mission San Jose Elementary School! 

Extended care will be provided by the Achiever Institute


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

Mondays through Thursdays, June 29 to July 23

At Mission San Jose ES 43545 Bryant St. Fremont, CA.




$222 for ONE WEEK

$414 for TWO WEEKS

$606 for THREE WEEKS


Click the links below to see pictures from the first week of the Fremont Summer Chess Camp 2015:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Preparing for the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys: Part 3

February 9, 2015

or Why You should be Using Coach Jay’s Chess Academy to train your child

Round BW HR

With only twenty days left before the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys, do you ever wonder what you can do to prepare for the event with your child. If you download Coach Jay’s Chess Academy you literally can become your child’s primary chess coach.
Jay Stallings, a time honored chess coach from Southern California, is a “Grandmaster” of making chess practice fun. His app uses a comprehensive method which he devised from his decades of practical experience teaching young children how to play chess. Each lesson on the app is followed by several exercises designed to test your child’s understanding of a key concept. As your child completes the exercises, he/she earns stars that accumulate until your child earns a new belt (just like in martial arts.) This reward system not only encourages your child to study chess but it also allows parents to gauge their child’s progress.
As a successful chess coach myself, I have found Coach Jay’s Chess Academy to be very helpful for teaching chess to my own daughter. At first, I thought it might just be a child friendly version of the ubiquitous online “tactics trainer,” but it is in actuality a full chess curriculum cleverly disguised in a fun little app. By using Coach Jay’s Chess Academy with my daughter, I even discovered several tips and tricks for teaching lessons to students in my weekly chess classes.
With only twenty days left until the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys, there is no better time to download Coach Jay’s Chess Academy than right now. Start today and you will definitely be helping your child to be the best they can be at the 2015 SPFNO and beyond.
For more information on the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys and Coach Jay Chess Academy, please read:

An Interview with Chess Coach Jay Stallings

October 17, 2014

Below is my interview with the incredibly popular chess coach, Jay Stallings. Coach Jay runs the California Youth Chess League which is one of the best run scholastic chess organizations on the west coast. In addition, Jay Stallings just released Coach Jay Chess Academy for the iPhone, iPad and Android Devices.


Can you describe Coach Jay’s Chess Academy in one sentence for us?

Coach Jay’s Chess Academy teaches you through 150+ mini-lessons and 1250+ fun and increasingly challenging puzzles not basics of chess, but the five key disciplines to being a well-rounded chess player: Checkmate, Defense, Endgame, Strategy and Tactics!

You and I have both been coaching chess for a long time. How has teaching kids chess changed over the last ten years? How do you see Coach Jay Chess Academy as continuing tat change?

I started coaching in 1994 on a demo board that I made from sheet metal, plywood, and a green Marks-A-Lot with demo board pieces that were figurine notation blown up, cut out and laminated with magnets glued to the back! Since then, as my demo board has been replaced by a laptop projector using Fritz, my students have utilized books, software, web-based programs, and now apps to supplement my lessons.

Almost every day, I talked to parents and they often asked me what chess apps I would recommend, and I began to realize that mobile devices were in almost every kid’s home these days. They’re often seen as toys, but they can also be a teaching tool!

Over the years, I have accumulated a chess book collection that has a retail value of perhaps $20,000. I’d wager that one day, chess players will have access to far more content for maybe $50, total? Seems like a steal to me! Obviously, I still read and recommend many books, but I think books, videos and software are all tools. I’m just particularly fond of apps at the moment—they’re much easier to carry around in my pocket!
Why did you initially decide to become a chess coach?

At the end of 1993, the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer” came out. At the time, I was selling computer printers to Latin America and enjoying coaching soccer. My wife, Michel, realized that parents were going to be looking for chess classes after seeing that movie. She was right! A small add in the local paper yielded 35 students and only the 1994 Northridge earthquake slowed us down a little.

Interestingly, one of my first student’s, Kyle Sellers, was the one who encouraged me to create Coach Jay’s Chess Academy and worked with me to make it happen. I never could have imagined in 1994 that I’d not just watch my students grow up, but build lifelong relationships with students and their parents that would last over two decades!

What are your three biggest accomplishments in the field of youth chess?

Founding and running a non-profit organization that has taught chess to over 35,000 youths; being a member of USCF’s Scholastic Council where I can help change the attitude and policies for scholastic chess in the U.S.; and cramming two decades of coaching experience and curriculum into one $5 app and getting to hear from kids all over the world about how much they’ve enjoyed learning chess!
As a chess dad, why should I have my daughter train with your app rather than some of the others on the market?
My app was designed by a chess coach with the typical scholastic player in mind. Over the course of several years, I tried just about every app out in order to make recommendations to parents and I saw a giant hole in the marketplace. There were apps that taught you the rules and moves and then let you go and there were apps that were targeted at serious chess players, but not much in the middle.

Chess has a profoundly positive impact on kids and it’s a shame that so many never make it over the hump, so to speak, between knowing how to play and understanding how to play. It’s a subtle difference, but I’ve seen so many kids who know the rules of the board, but had absolutely no idea of what to do next! You could put five queens on the board against a lone king and the game would only end with an accidental checkmate or stalemate! I want to see more kids get over the hump, so to speak, and stick with chess. Their lives will be better for it.

Also, if you don’t mind, I’d like to share a word of warning to parents who might be looking for the right chess app. There are several good ones out there, not just mine, but keep in mind that most apps out there are designed by an app developer who wants easy money and they have created hundreds or thousands of fake email addresses so they can post false reviews. Often they are just a way to serve ads or sell micro transactions. I’d really encourage parents to take a look at the apps before they give them to their kids—I’ve seen some very kid un-friendly ads on some of these apps as well as constant hooks to try to get the users to keep putting in more money, a dollar here a dollar there…


Coach Jay’s Chess Academy takes young players from zero chess knowledge to a tournament ready strength of around 1000. It’s not just Checkmate and Tactics puzzles, though kids do love those! Rather, it’s those two, PLUS Endgame, Strategy, and Defense. If kids want to get to the next checkmate and tactics puzzles, they’re going to have to learn something about the rest of the chess disciplines as well! It’s the only app that includes all five indispensable disciplines and I think we roll it out in a way that really helps kids “get” it!
What are some weekly training routines a parent might ask of their child in regards to Coach Jay’s Chess Academy?

First, if you are the parent of a young player (Under 7 or 8), I advise sitting with your child in 20-30 minute stints and going through the app. For older students who know how to read well enough, the parent can ask them to earn 400-500 stars each week. After 4 weeks, they could revise it to 300 stars since the puzzles get a little tougher. In either case (with or without a parent) the Lessons should not be ignored, especially since the student only needs about 1 minute to get through them and they give you the concept and puzzle instructions that will then save you a lot of time over the next 8-16 puzzles.

Of course, they should also be playing games. Preferably notating them and showing them to their coach. That will always be the Number 1 way to improve in chess!
So far, what has been most popular aspect of Coach Jay’s Chess Academy with children?
Even though they might not be able to articulate it, the younger students love the gradual progression – getting dozens of answers correct as they slowly but certainly work their way towards more instructive and challenging puzzles. Older students enjoy the Post Puzzle Text – funny comments by Yours Truly, plus tournament advice, protocol, sportsmanship, chess history and fun facts.

In general, what is your advice to chess instructors on making training fun for kids?
Read a ton of chess history yourself and spend time every day (at least once a week) keeping up with what’s trending in the chess world. Kids can tell if you love your subject or not. When I find amazing games, I work to bring the excitement to my students as well. Additionally, I have introduced a ton of outside products into our programs – Think Like a King, Chess Magnet School,, Solitaire Chess (app and board game), 4-Way Chess, Magi Chess, Chess Legends Playing Cards, and much, much more!

Also, the more you teach with kids, the better you become at it. It sounds simple, but entertaining and educating kids is a skill that must be developed. For the past 20 years, I’ve watched the responses to the lessons I give, listened to their comments and refined my curriculum accordingly. I still use some of my early lessons, but they probably look much different now. Also, hopefully, my jokes have gotten better!
Do you envision that Coach Jay’s Chess Academy will be updated regularly? What are some future updates you are planning?
In these first few months, our updates have been to fix bugs and modify the design of the app to make it more intuitive and user-friendly. Next year, we plan to introduce new content and also an app that utilizes the engine for practice games. Maybe one day, there will be a story mode. We created an entire script, but had to scrap it when we found out how much it would cost to develop!

I have literally thousands of lessons sitting around waiting to make their way into the app! It’s a lot of work to modify it and work it into the app, but I’m having a blast revisiting some of my, and the kid’s, favorite lessons and I’m having too much fun to stop yet!

Even before Coach Jay’s Chess Academy, I remember seeing you promoting a chess product that used Karate Belts to mark achievements in chess. When did you first start incorporating martial arts rankings in your chess training? How did you come up with the idea of awarding belts in the first place?

I had originally envisioned my checkmate packets to be Pawn, Knight, Bishop, Rook, Queen, and King, but the martial arts colors offered more levels and, at the time, we had another testing system that used those names. The Pawn Test had 10 tests to see if the players were ready for tournament play. It actually worked very well. This all happened in 1995, almost 20 years ago. The idea came to me when a student came to class bragging about earning his Yellow Belt. A chess dad who was also a martial arts dad, told me the order – White, Yellow, Purple, Orange, Green (POG), then Blue, Brown, and Black. So far, our Checkmate Belts only go up to Blue. But that’s hundreds of chess problems, and the difficulty increment is much steeper than in the app, since they have me in the room with them to help them when they get stuck!


It’s funny, but kids love metaphors. There are no actual belts in chess and Coach Jay’s Chess Academy doesn’t award any actual degrees, but they’re both systems that make sense to kids! It’s the same reason we award stars for completing puzzles. Not because they mean anything, but kids understand, largely from Angry Birds who actually stole it generations worth of from elementary teachers, that stars are rewards for a job well done!

Who knows, maybe there will come a day when I need to actually need to start handing out physical black belts along with a Coach Jay’s Chess Academy degree suitable for framing. If it helped kids fall in love with chess and enjoy expanding their minds, it would be well worth it!

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. As a fellow chess coach, I know how much passion goes into what you do. It’s not an easy job, but it’s a rewarding one and I have a great deal of respect for your work!


For additional information on this chess app, please see My Review of Coach Jay’s Chess Academy.

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.


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