Posts Tagged ‘Calchess Scholastic Super State Championship’

Calchess Scholastic Super State Championship: Preview 2

March 31, 2014

Throughout its 39 year history, there have been many great leaders who organized the Calchess Scholastic State Championships. Each of them has led with unique talents and in different circumstances. Tonight I present to you my brief interview with one of the best chess promoters in the history of California chess, Salman Azhar.

One of the best chess promoters in the history of California chess, Salman Azhar.

One of the best chess promoters in the history of California chess, Salman Azhar.

 

(For ease of reading, Salman’s answers to my questions are in bold)

When did you first learn how to move the chess pieces?
I first learned to move the pieces when I was four. My father and brother taught me how to play chess.
Why did you decide to get your boys involved in chess?
My oldest son started to learn chess Weibel and at a class taught by you. He was inspired by you and his other teachers and joined Weibel Chess team and went on to win many state championships for himself and help Weibel keep its winning streak alive in 2004.

Congratulations on Aamir(Salman’s oldest son) being recently accepted to Duke, Berkeley, and other schools. Do you feel chess has helped him in his scholastic career?

Chess has definitely helped him develop his analytic skills and logical thinking. He lost interest in competitive chess some time ago because he was targeted by some parents and coaches due to local chess politics.
Who first convinced you to start organizing tournaments?
Dr. Alan Kirshner hand picked me to run tournaments and was instrumental in my success. I owe much of what I have learned about organizing tournaments to Dr. Kirshner.
Why do you think Alan chose you?
I believe he said I was a, “combination of someone who is thorough and also who can interact with the people in a professional way.” I am honored to be his protege. 
A happy Alan Kirshner standing with Salman Azhar at the 36th Calchess Scholastic State Championship.

A happy Alan Kirshner standing with Salman Azhar at the 36th Calchess Scholastic State Championship.

This will be your seventh consecutive year organizing the Calchess Scholastic State Championships . What have you learned from running this tournament?
<smiling> As Richard Shorman said, “You will know the true nature of people.” I have learned a lot about human psychology and behavior and also developed the courage to do the right thing regardless of personal gain, external threats, financial temptations, and other things that cause many good people to lose your integrity.
Your name has become synonymous with quality tournaments. How has that changed your life?
There are many excellent organizers all over the world and I have a lot to learn. However, I do enjoy people coming up to me in restaurants, grocery stores, business meetings, and other places to express their appreciations. It helps me sleep better at night that I have given something back to the community that has given me so much.
One of your detractors was an individual who used to be your mentor and most vocal supporter. Why do you think that is?
I cannot speculate on someone else’s intentions but I have a lot of respect for him and have learned from him. I hope some day we overcome local adult politics and realize that scholastic chess is about children.
What is your advice to parents who have children who are currently attending Weibel Elementary School?
I don’t like to advise people who don’t ask for advice but I have always welcomed Weibel players and their parents at my tournaments. They should rise above the local chess politics and do what is best for their child(ren).
Why have you decided to rename the Calchess Scholastic State Championships the Calchess Super States?
This is patterned after National Super States indicating that it is a championship sections encompassing all grade levels. Many other states have separate elementary, junior high, and high school champions or Super States where all sections are in the same tournament.
Why do you think that you have become the most popular tournament organizer in the history of California chess?
You are a great danger to my desire to be humble, aren’t you? I see many shortcomings in every tournament I run and perhaps recognize them with humility so that I can improve the next time. This pholosophy has made me get better.
I am honored to be respected by this community and feel that honor is largely due to heeding Dr. Richard Feynman’s advise: “So I have just one wish for you – the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.”

What is the funniest moment you have ever experienced while running a chess tournament?

Most of them center around children trying to get out of touch move rule but the funniest was a child whose excuse was that he accidentally picked up the King to dig his nose.
What advice would you give to someone who plans on running their first large chess tournament?
Run small tournaments first and have a person who has run large tournaments watch your back when you run your first one. That his how my mentor and friend, Dr. Alan Kirshner, taught me.
You are also heavily involved in the High-tech industry? How do you think technology will change scholastic chess tournaments? What will a chess tournament look like in 20 years?
Yes, I am. I think computer analysis has already influenced the development of players. I think it is changing interactive teaching as well. Coaches like you are using iPads in their class. All this will help players get stronger much faster. However, I am concerned about taking the fun out of the experience of learning. 
I also think we will also see more online play but nothing can replace the social aspect of coming together physically for a tournament or a class.
For more information on this years tournament, please refer to “Calchess Scholastic Super State Championship: Preview 1.”

 

Calchess Scholastic Super State Championship: Preview 1

March 26, 2014
Salman Azhar returns to organize the Calchess Scholastic State Championship for a, record setting, seventh straight year!

Salman Azhar returns to organize the Calchess Scholastic State Championship for a record setting seventh straight year!

Without a doubt, the best scholastic chess tournament in Northern California for the past six years has been the Calchess Scholastic State Championship. Every Spring, nearly one thousand school aged chess players compete in a single weekend of matches to determine who the best chess players and school chess teams are in Northern California. In its 2014 incarnation, Salman Azhar (www.BayAreaChess.com) returns to organize the event for a record setting seventh straight year. For 2014, he has even added a club section for children who participate regular chess groups but do not have a school team to call their own. With the addition of the club section, Salman Azhar believes that this year’s event may be the biggest yet and definitely deserves to be known as the “Calchess Scholastic Super State Championship.”

This year’s tournament has some changes in schedule and structure that I would be remiss if I did not mention. The most apparent change is that the Calchess Junior High State Championships will take place two weeks before the main event in order to allow for Middle School Aged Students to attend the National Junior High School Chess Championships. Another development to be aware of is that all championship sections, excluding kindergarten, will play a two day event in order to allow the higher rated chess players more time to play better chess. However, players of all ages who have lower ratings will only be required to show up for one day of competition. This makes sense because less experienced players tend to play faster and have less time to devote to chess.

This year's k-6 section will be named the "Lonsdale Championship" after the MSJE head coach, Joe Lonsdale.

This year’s k-6 section will be named the “Lonsdale Championship” after the MSJE head coach, Joe Lonsdale.

The Torres Chess and Music Academy will once again be encouraging all of it’s students to participate in this event. For decades, Mission San Jose Elementary School (a Torres Chess and Music Academy program) has been the most dominant school at the State Championship and this year’s k-6 section will be named the “Lonsdale Championship” after the MSJE head coach, Joe Lonsdale.  For more on Joe Lonsdale and Mission San Jose Elementary School’s successes please visit www.ChessAndMusic.com or search past articles on this blog.

Below is the official schedule for the 2014 Calchess Scholastic State Championships. If your child is lucky enough to be a student at a Torres Chess and Music Academy program you can just download the correct application from this page and submit it to your child’s chess coach. I will personally make sure that your child is placed into the correct sections. If you are not affiliated with TCAMA you should visit www.Calchess.org and apply online.

The 2014 Calchess Super State Championship Schedule is as follows:

For players in grades 6-8 with ratings under 1200:

Sunday April 13 at Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport

For players in grades 6-8 with ratings at or above 1200:

Saturday April 12 and Sunday April 13 at Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport

download application

 

For players with rating under 800 and Kindergarten:

Sat April 26 for grades 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center

Sun April 27 for Kindergarten at the Santa Clara Convention Center

Sun April 27 Grades 4-6 at the Santa Clara Convention Center

Sun April 27 Grades 9-12 at the Santa Clara Convention Center

 

download application

 

For players with ratings at or above 800 excluding Kindergarten and Middle School:

April 26-27 at the Santa Clara Convention Center

 

download application

 

 

For more information on this tournament, please visit www.Calchess.org.

 

To find out more about the Torres Chess and Music Academy, please visit www.ChessAndMusic.com

 

 

 

 

 


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