Posts Tagged ‘Ben Rood chess’

On the Eve of Greatness: Part Three

April 5, 2013

It has now been several years since I first reported on the three California chess prodigies that I had the pleasure of coaching during the 2010 school year. My first article, “On The Eve of Greatness: Three California Chess Prodiogies Competing in their First National Chess Championship” shined the national spotlight onto Milind Maiti, Chenyi Zhao and Ben Rood. Since then,  the United States has been honored to have all three players selected to represent their country at World Youth Chess Championship Tournaments. “On The Eve of Greatness: Part Two,” followed the adventures of Ben Rood and Milind Maiti in Slovenia at the World Youth Chess Championship in 2012. This weekend, all three are entered to play in k-3 Championship division of

Chenyi's chess future is as bright as her beautiful smile.

Chenyi’s chess future is as bright as her beautiful smile.

the USCF Supernationals in Nashville, Tennessee.

Milind Maiti, is a first rate chess talent who, sadly for this coach, no longer attends Collins Elementary School. However, any student I have ever coached, I remain a fan of for life. Besides, Milind’s natural chess abilities and pleasant personality make it virtually impossible not to be a fan of his chess.

I still play chess with Chenyi Zhao every Thursday at Achiever Institute in Fremont, California. Even after all these years, I still am constantly impressed with her chess prowess and work ethic. After I play a game with Chenyi, she usually volunteers to help my four year old daughter improve her chess game as well. I have no doubt that Chenyi’s chess future is as bright as her beautiful smile.

Ben Rood is scary good at chess. He has already won a couple National Championships but after barely missing a medal in Slovenia, Ben definitely has something to prove. When he has his “A” game going there is no one his age that can match his ability at chess. I predict another top finish for Ben in Nashville and a medal run at the next World Youth Chess Championships in Dubai.

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Eight Year Old Wins Big in Las Vegas

December 31, 2012
Torres Chess & Music Academy, Inc. 16691 Colonial TrailLathrop, CAPhone (661) 699-8348

Chesslessons@aol.com

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 31, 2012

Eight Year Old Wins Big in Las Vegas

(Las Vegas, Nevada, December 26-30, 2012)When Ben Rood walks through a casino in Las Vegas it isn’t to win money on the Craps Tables but instead at the chess board.  Ben Rood is still too young at age eight to play the games the casino offers but not too young , as it turns out, to win $2000 playing chess in the North American Open at Bally’s.

Ben Rood and Kevin Chor, Round 4

Ben Rood faces off against his friend Kevin Chor in round 4.

The 22nd Annual North American Open was held at Bally’s Casino Resort, Las Vegas. Competition was fierce with nearly 100 people in the under 1700 section. Of those were several recognizable names including former Scholastic National Championship tournament director Richard Peterson, professional chess coach Nephtali Diaz and seven year-old Kevin Chor. Kevin, who was the only player younger than Ben in the section, ended up finishing in eleventh place which, oddly enough, was the same place he finished at the World Youth Chess Championships a month earlier. In round 4, it was Ben Rood and Kevin Chor who sat on the top board ahead of all the other adult challengers. In a hard fought battle, Ben Rood was able to conduct a winning assault on Kevin’s king and thus vanquished his impressive rival. Later in the tournament, Nephtali Diaz and Richard Peterson were just able to hang on to a draw against the impressively aggressive Ben Rood. The tournament finished with Ben Rood scoring 6/7 and tying for first with Richard Peterson and Edgardo Miranda.

Ben Rood’s chess coach Chris Torres was impressed but not surprised by Ben’s performance:

“I figured Ben was going to win this tournament. He is a once in a lifetime talent and has wonderful support from his mothers Robin Hultgren and Lisa Rood. When you see first hand his talent level, passion and work ethic it is hard to be surprised when he wins. Having said this, I am very impressed by his effort and I believe he is the youngest player ever to win the under 1700 section at the North American Open. “

As with most things in his life, Ben Rood already had a plan for what he would buy when he won. Using a small portion of his winnings, Ben  purchased a large radio-control helicopter which will be making its maiden flight in Ben’s home town of Walnut Creek, California within days.

Richard Peterson, Ben Rood and Edgardo Miranda tied for first place.

Richard Peterson, Ben Rood and Edgardo Miranda tied for first place.

On the Eve of Greatness: Part Two

November 7, 2012

Tomorrow two of my favorite young chess players will begin play at the World Youth Chess Championship in Maribor, Slovenia. As the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy, I have had the distinct pleasure of coaching many of the top ranking scholastic chess players from California and can comfortably state that the two players described below are among the best chess players I have ever coached.

Milind Maiti appeared in my class at the Collins Elementary School Chess Team in September of 2010. Sadly for Collins chess team, Milind moved houses and now plays chess at another Cupertino school. Milind’s strength lies in his incredible tactical abilities as well as his calm nature. At the board, he is a hard player to rattle and an even harder player to defeat.

Ben Rood is a chess player who seems destined to become a World Champion. His love for the game and over all talent for chess is second to none. The highlights of his championship play include never losing a game at a State Championship, winning two national championships and placing higher than any other seven-year old at last year’s World Youth Chess Championship. Ben Rood is a player who plays his best chess on the biggest stages and none are bigger for an eight year old than the 2012 World Youth Chess Championship in Maribor, Slovenia.

 

On the Eve of Greatness: Part One

Its Deja Vu Mr. Petroff

October 21, 2012

In French the phrase Deja Vu means “already seen.” Not only have I already posted an article on my clever new system against the Nimzowitsch Attack in the Petroff Defense, I did so in my last post. However, the real reason for a sense of Deja Vu is that I  played this game following a chess lesson for Ben Rood just has I had two days prior. What are the odds that after two successive lessons for Ben Rood I would come home and play nearly identical games in the Petroff?

Because the games are so similar, I have not added any new analysis other than the final note.

[Event “Blitz 3 and 0”]

[Site “FICS”]

[Date “2012.10.20”]

[White “veralazcano”]

[Black “chessmusings”]

[Result “0-1”]

[ECO “C42”]

[Opening “Russian Game”]

[Time “17:14”]

[Variation “Nimzowitsch Attack”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nd7 8. Bd3 Nf6 9. Qd2 Be6 10. O-O-O Bxa2 11. b3 a5 12. Kb2 a4 13. Kxa2 axb3+ 14. Kxb3 O-O 15. Ra1 c5 16. Rxa8 Qb6+ {White resigns as black has a mate in 2. Do you see it?} 0-1

Teaching Chess Improves Chess Creativity

October 18, 2012

Last night after a long day teaching chess which culminated with a private lesson for chess prodigy Ben Rood, I came home and decided to relax by playing a couple blitz games on FICS. As usual, I won a couple and lost a couple. In the past I have noticed that I have more creative ways of handling routine positions after I teach Ben. Last night was no exception. As proof, I offer a fun new approach for black in the Nimzowitsch Attack of Petroff’s Defense.

 

[Event “3 Minute Blitz Game”]

[Site “FICS”]

[Date “2012.10.17”]

[Round “?”]

[White “istvanka”]

[Black “chessmusings”]

[Result “0-1”]

[ECO “C42”]

[Opening “Russian Game”]

[Time “22:11”]

[Variation “Nimzowitsch Attack”]

[TimeControl “3 and 0”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {This is Petroff’s Defense which can also be called the Russian game. As an opening, it is fairly easy to learn and a very solid choice against 1 e4.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 {The Nimzowitsch Attack is one of white’s more aggressive choices in the Petroff. After the exchange of knights white is left with plenty of open lines with which to attack black.} Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Bd3 Nd7 8. Be3 Nf6 {If white’s bishop was on f4 I might have tried Nc5. In our current position, 0-0 for black is quite sensible.} 9. Qd2 Be6 10. O-O-O {At this point, white’s pieces are more organized for attack than black’s. It’s a little surprising how quickly I change that.} Bxa2!? {This looks like a mistake but I have a unique plan involving the loss of my Bishop. My move is an invention for this position. Previously, black has tried Qd7 with mixed results.} 11. b3 a5! {The little “a” pawn needs to be taken very seriously.} 12. Kb2 a4 13. Kxa2? {Rda1 would have taken some of the sting out of my attack. White’s choice plays right into my hands.} axb3+ 14. Kb2? {14 Kxc3 needed to be played. Kb2 looks safe but Black has a surprise.} Ra2+ 15. Kxb3 Qa8 {This threatens mate with Qa4.} 16. Bb5+ c6 17. Kc4 {My opponent found the only way of extending the life of his king.} cxb5+ 18. Kd3 Qa6?! {Apparently, Qa4 was the much better choice because it threatens Qc4#.} 19. Ke2 b4+ 20. Ke1 b3 {18…Qa6 seems to be working out as well. Had white played 20 Kd3 I was ready with Rxc2+!} 21. Rc1? {When a player is under pressure they are more likely to make mistakes like this.} b2 22. Rb1 Ra1 23. Qd1 Ne4 {I am threatening Nxc3 which would be devastating.} 24. Bd4 Bf6 {and white resigned.} 0-1

Help Send Ben Rood to Slovenia

October 17, 2012

To the Supporters of Northern California Chess,

On November 2, 2012 California chess super-star Ben Rood will leave for Maribor, Slovenia in order to compete in the FIDE World Youth Chess Championships. Ben Rood asked his family to attend for support as he battles the best eight-year-olds from around the globe. A family trip to Slovenia is an expensive undertaking and I am asking California chess players to help him out. Please come and participate in the Send Ben Rood to Slovenia  scholastic chess tournament or give a small donation to the cause. The Torres Chess and Music Academy is donating all the awards for the tournament  and all money raised will go directly to Ben Rood’s family to offset costs associated with Ben participating in the 2012 World Youth Chess Championships.  Together we can make chess in Northern California better for everyone.

Sincerely,

Chris Torres

Calchess Scholastic Coordinator

President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy

Chess Coach for Ben Rood

 

Torres Chess and Music Academy, Inc. Presents:

SEND BEN ROOD TO SLOVENIA!

At the Contra Costa Jewish Day School – 955 Risa Rd., Lafayette,  94549

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

This November local super star Ben Rood will be representing the United States in the World Youth Chess Championship to be held in Maribor, Slovenia. Eight year old Ben would like to have his family there to support him as he battles the best eight year olds in the world for the title. All proceeds from this tournament will go directly to help send the Roods to Slovenia. Remember to bring cash as there will be a raffle for exciting chess prizes after the tournament.

Where: The Contra Costa Jewish Day School in Lafayette

When: 2:30pm – 5:30pm

What: Scholastic (K-12) 3 Round Quad – G/30

Cost: $25 to help send Ben to Slovenia. Raffle tickets are $5 each for the first 4 or 5 for $20

Trophies are awarded to top player(s) in each quad. All other players will receive medals.

USCF Rated Quad Format: All players must be USCF members, and understand USCF tournament rules.

To register for USCF pay an additional $17 for age 12 & under; $19 for age 15 and under; $25 for 16 to 24.

3 round Quad Format – Everyone plays 3 games against players in their quad. Quads are formed by making groups of four by rating. All sections will be Game in 30 min (each player). Sets and boards provided. Clocks will be provided, but players are encouraged to bring their own.

Round Times: Check In begins at 1:45 PM. There will be no late registration.

R 1 @ 2:30pm * R 2 @ 3:30pm * R 3 @ 4:30 pm *

Trophies and medals awarded at the conclusion of each quad

Entry Fees: $25  Make check payable to: TCAMA or APPLY ONLINE at http://www.chessandmusic.com

Information: Contact Chris Torres at Chesslessons@aol.com.

Website: http://chessandmusic.com/applications/view?id=5

 

 

2012 U.S.C.F. National Elementary (K-6) Chess Championship

May 11, 2012

Beginning May 11, Nashville Tennessee will host the 2012 U.S.C.F National Elementary Chess Championship. This is the paramount annual chess event for children ages 4-12. Below is a highly biased preview for this year’s event. The competitors listed in this article are all kids I have the pleasure of playing chess with on a weekly basis. What can I say . . . my job rocks!

Kids to Watch in the K-1

Collins Elementary first grader Milind Maiti possesses natural tactical abilities that are beyond anything one would expect from a player in high school! He is truly a chess prodigy of the highest level and will be a contender at the 2012 National Elementary Chess Championship.

MSJE kindergartener Kevin Pan is a rookie at this year’s Nation Elementary Chess Championship. Fresh from a State Championship win in California, Kevin is poised to make a big statement in Nashville.

MSJE student Rishith Susarla was nearly perfect at the USCF National k-12 Championship in 2011. If you talk with Rishith one of the first things you will notice is how quickly he speaks. When sitting across the chessboard from him, I often feel that he calculates much faster than the computer Deep Blue.

I first got to know Edwin Thomas (MSJE) at last year’s chess camp I ran at Mission San Jose Elementary School. Edwin progressed from a rookie to a trophy winner in just a few short weeks.

Amulya Harish (MSJE) and his father always seek me out at the local tournaments for extra instruction. I have no doubt that with his dedication he will quickly excel.

Rounding out the field for the fabulous MSJE K-1 chess team is Annapoorni Meiyappan, Aarti Abhijit Sant, and Stephen He.

Kids to Watch in the K-3

Luke Zhao is a third grader at MSJE and the only child from that school to be an official member of the Torres Chess and Music Academy All Star Team for the school year 2011-2012. Luke has played an important role in several successful championship runs for the MSJE team. Now he seems ready to play for his first individual championship.

Watch out for John Chan (MSJE) who recently claimed the title of K-3 champion at last month’s CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships.

Second grader Soorya Kuppam (MSJE) is my favorite opponent on Monday nights. It’s hard to believe that he has already been competing in chess for three years.

Don’t let Mihir Bhuptani’s (MSJE) quiet personality fool you. His crushing tactics are comparable to a rock concert.

Tommy Koh has played in integral roll in several MSJE championship victories.

The final touch to the MSJE powerhouse this year is Jeffrey Liu.

Ben Rood was also a part of the Torres Chess and Music Academy All Star Team for the school year 2011-2012. Ben has already won several National and State Championships and is playing the best chess I have ever seen from a second grader. Fresh off his k-5 State Champion win in California, this second grader is ready to win at the national level again. If Magnus Carlsen is the Motzart of Chess then Ben Rood is definitely the Beethoven.

Kids to Watch in the K-5

Sadly, MSJE was unable to bring a full team to the K-5 section this year. Despite being a player down, I am sure that the kids who were able to attend will give a phenomenal effort.

The first member of the K-5 MSJE Team is Amit Sant, of whom I am a huge fan. Drake Lin has grown from a nominal player out of dozens to a key player at MSJE over the last several years. Finally, we have Anjan Das who is attending despite his extremely busy schedule of other extracurricular achievements.

Kids to Watch in the K-6

We can only say that while we only have four competitors for our MSJE K-6 Team, these are the four kids I am most glad to see attending.

Eric Zhu is the first kids at MSJE to ever defeat me in a chess game. Alvin Kong is so eager to play chess he often arrives to chess class before any of the coaches and always gives Coach Joe Lonsdale the most trouble in their weekly skirmishes.  Sayan Das, Anjan’s elder brother, is similar to his brother in his prolific talents in all areas, especially on the MSJE Team. Finally, Shalin Shah is not only one of my favorite opponents, but one of my good friends. I look ahead with regret at the loss to MSJE as he and the other K-6 competitor’s graduate onto the seventh grade and greater challenges. I would like to add that we will be losing one other key asset to the MSJE Team as our sixth graders move ahead. Nimish Shah, Salin’s father, was a fantastic and devoted volunteer every Monday at MSJE. I have great respect for his dedication to his son and the MSJE chess Team.

It is a distinct pleasure to have played a role in all of these wonderful children’s chess development. Unfortunately, I will not be at this year’s tournament as I must stay home to help my pregnant wife. Yet I know that Coach Joe Lonsdale will successfully lead our Northern California Chess Competitors to victory. Check back daily for more updates on the exciting events from the 2012 National Elementary Championship.

World Youth Chess Championship 2011: Round 1

November 19, 2011

Play got underway today at the 2011 World Youth Chess Championship in the resort town of Caldas Novas, Brazil. Over a thousand of the world’s best young chess players took to the playing hall before 4:00 p.m. to make the first move toward winning a World Championship. For many of these young prodigies, this is the first time they have ever represented their country on foreign soil.
   Ben Rood, a seven-year-old from the United States, made a strong impression in his international debut. Ben played a wonderfully aggressive game with the white pieces against Avila Milder of Bolivia. On move six, Ben Rood left the book recommendations and forged a path he felt would lead to an advantage. This gutsy strategy paid off a short while later when Avila Milder made his first mistake on move eight and a second error on move nine. Avila’s most significant sin was offering to trade queens when Ben’s endgame prospects were very good. After the queens left the board, Ben kept pressing his advantage until his opponent succumbed. Throughout the game, Ben played with a cool confidence that is rare find even when observing chess players three times his age.

World Youth Chess Championship 2011

November 17, 2011

This November the world’s most talented players who are eighteen years and younger will converge upon Caldas Novas, Brazil in order to compete in the 2011 World Youth Chess Championship. These extraordinary chess talents will do battle for nine rounds in hopes of placing in the top three for their age group. Those fortunate enough to accomplish this task will be rewarded with bronze, silver and gold medals in an olympic style ceremony. Round one of the 2011 World Youth Chess Championship will begin on Friday the eighteenth of November. The official website for this event is http://www.wycc2011.com/. Those interested in the 2011 World Youth Chess Championship should also keep visiting this blog for regular updates on California’s participants as well as the insider details from my student Ben Rood.

Ben is the Best at Chess

November 1, 2011

image

On 10/30/2011 Ben Rood again proved that he is the best chess player under the age of eight by producing a perfect score at the 2011 U.S.  National Junior Chess Congress in Santa Clara, California. Ben was the overwhelming favorite in the 2011 U.S. Junior Chess Congress and he did not disappoint his fans. In five rounds Ben Rood racked up five wins and thus became a National Chess Champion for the second time in 2011. Next up for Ben Rood is the World Youth Chess Championships in Brazil which takes place in mid-November.

More articles on Ben Rood:

https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/tag/ben-rood-chess-tournament/

https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/2011-calchess-scholastic-state-championships-ben-rood/

https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/ben-roods-chess-accomplishments-are-the-talk-of-the-town-in-walnut-creek/

https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/tag/ben-rood-chess-champion/

https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/king-of-the-rood/

https://chessmusings.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/on-the-eve-of-greatness-three-california-chess-prodigies-competing-in-their-first-national-chess-championship-2/


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