Posts Tagged ‘Calchess State Championships’

Calchess Super States

April 26, 2014

The Calchess Super States is an enormous event that can be confusing for veteran chess parents and downright overwhelming for the newbies. Below is what you need to know to survive the weekend. As the event progresses, return to this blog for unique analysis and articles about the 2014 Calchess Super State Championships.


The Calchess Super States is an enormous event!

The Calchess Super States is an enormous event!


First check and make sure your child is listed here:


Second read this: “Information directly from Judit Sztaray


Third: Be sure to take advantage of free game analysis by TCAMA coaches on site at the 2014 Calchess Super States. For more information on our coaches please visit


Be sure to take advantage of free game analysis by TCAMA coaches.

Be sure to take advantage of free game analysis by TCAMA coaches.



Information directly from Judit Sztaray


The event will take place in Santa Clara Convention Center.

The address is:  5001 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054. You can park for free in the parking lot located right next to the building. Enter the parking lot from Great America, right after the Hotel Hyatt. I suggest you park on the top of the deck, where there is a direct walkway to the 2nd floor of the Center (where the team rooms are located.)
When you enter the building from the parking deck, you’ll find first the team rooms, and take the escalator down, to get to the 3 main Halls (2 game rooms and the parent’s room.)

If you enter the building from the main entrance, the tournament rooms and registration desk is just ahead, to the right from the entrance.


What to do when we get there?

The first thing you should do is to check your child(ren)’s registration. There will be a sign on the wall saying Check Registration here. No need to go to registration desk prior checking your child(ren)’s name on the posted list.

If you have pre-registered, your name should be on this list. Please check for name, grade and school/team information.

If everything is correct, you are good to go and get ready for the first round.

Should any of the information be incorrect, then, and only then, please see the Registration desk.

Also, if you see any $ sign next to your name, please see Registration desk, because that indicates that you have not made all necessary payments.


If you have NOT pre-registered, please see the Registration desk for on-site registration. Please note the followings:

On-site registrations will be allowed, however, on-site registered player is NOT guaranteed a game in Round 1, and will be defaulted be given a zero point bye for the first round.


Please, remember your section, with the time control, you’ll have an easy time to locate your room with that information.

If you forgot your section, you can always look it up in the Master Alphabetical List.


Tournament rooms:

The tournaments will take place in 3 different rooms. The sections are assigned to rooms based on their TIME CONTROL:


All sections under 800 – both Saturday and Sunday – with G/30 d5 time control will be held in Hall A3. The round times for these sections are: 10am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 3pm, and 4:30pm.


All two-day sections above 800+ with G/75 d5 time control will be held in Hall A2. The round times for these sections are: Saturday 9am, 12pm, 3pm, and Sunday 9am, 12pm, and 3pm.


Gr 7-12 Championship section (1600+) with G/90+30 time control will be held in Great America 3. Round times for this section are: Saturday 9am, 1:30pm, 6pm, and Sunday 9:30am, and 2pm.




Parents’ room is Hall A1, where we have many chairs and tables set up for your convenience. There are bathrooms and concession stand is located in this room. The trophy ceremonies will also take place in this room in the far right corner around the podium.



Team rooms are located in the second floor just left to the escalators. Room numbers 202-207.



Pairings will be posted both inside, and outside of the Tournament rooms, and also there will be a copy posted in the parent’s room as well.

If you have any trouble understanding the pairing sheet, please, see a BayAreaChess Volunteer and ask them to explain.

Every board will need to fill out a Result Slip of their game. Please, explain this to your child so that they come prepared. These rules will be also explained by the TDs inside the tournament rooms, before the rounds.



Trophies, Medals and Ceremonies

Trophy ceremony will be held on Saturday at 6pm for the Saturday 1-day sections, Sunday at 6pm for the Sunday 1-day sections and Sunday at 6:30pm for the 2-day sections. Everyone is entitled to get a medal for their participation, so please, even if you do not get a trophy, make sure you pick up your medal J next to the trophy table. A parent volunteer will be able to help you.



No outside food is allowed in the Convention Center. I know from personal experience as a parent, it is very hard to follow this rule, however, we must ask you to try your best so that we can continue to use this location in the future.

We have contracted two food vendors: Peet’s coffee cart and Concession Stand in Hall A1. Peet’s Cart will be open from 8:30am to 12:30pm and the Concession Stand will be open from 11am to 3pm, both days. I have told them to be prepared and expect a lunch rush of pizzas and kids’ friendly menu items around 11am, just after the 1st round before the 2nd round.


If you registered before March 15th and selected the free T-shirt, or if you have purchased a T-shirt online, please pick up yours at the T-shirt stand located opposite to Hall A-3 in the corner, next to the entrance of the building. Our volunteers, Becky and Leigh, will be waiting for you there.

You can also purchase T-shirts there for $20.


Need help? Have questions?

General rule: if you have any questions or need help, please find anybody wearing either a name-tag, or a Director BayAreaChess T-shirt. They will be able to direct you to the best person answer your questions.

Anything tournament/game related questions, the computer TDs and the Chief TD, Tom Langland, will be answering.

Anything payment, technical, event or site-related, the BayAreaChess staff and volunteers will be able to help you.



If you have any questions before, during or after the tournament, email us to:

You can also reach Judit on 919-265-7560 if you need immediate assistance.



For the Players:

  1. Consult the pairings chart to find out color, opponent, and board number for your game. The posted pairing chart will look something like the one on the right.
Player Color Opponent Board
Azhar, Aamir White vs. Langland, Jorda (999) on board 1
Azhar, Arman Black vs. Langland, Steel (900) on board 2
Langland, Jorda Black vs. Azhar, Aamir (1500) on board 1
Langland, Steel White vs. Azhar, Arman (400) on board 2


  1. Look for your name in the first column. This row with your name tells you the color of your pieces, your opponent’s name, and the board number.
  2. In the example, one player is directed to “See TD” because the section has an odd number of players. If you see this next to your name, please wait next to the computer TD area.
  3. As you enter the player area, please locate your board by the assigned board number.
  4. Once you locate your board, double check your opponent’s name and assigned color of pieces!
  5. Please be in your seat ready to go, at least 10 minutes before the round starts (example: you should be at your board by 8:50am for the 9am round each morning!)
  6. Directors and volunteers will ask all adults to leave the playing room before games begin in every round.
  7. Please comply promptly and efficiently.
  8. Inform your child (player) where you will meet him or her when s/he completes the game.
  9. If you are taking care of a Kindergartner, please remain near, but outside the playing area. We will only allow Kindergartners to leave if there is an adult present to receive him/her.
  10. Non-players in the playing hall must observe pin-drop silence. The slightest noise will prompt removal.
  11. Players, when you are done with your game:
  12. Report your result to the TD and reset the board.
  13. Go to the Scorers’ table and report your result there as well.
  14. Players may only use restrooms in the lobby during their games and non-players are not allowed there. Please go to the restroom a few minutes before every round.
  15. If you need to miss a round, please let the TD know ASAP so you are not dropped.
  16. If you need help at any time, please stop by at the Information Desk. They will attempt to resolve all issues.


Don't forget to sign up for the Fremont Summer Chess Camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School which will feature instruction from GM Susan Polgar.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Fremont Summer Chess Camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School which will feature instruction from GM Susan Polgar!



CalChess Scholastic Chess Championship: Part Four

April 20, 2010

   Tonight I attended the  Monday night chess team meeting at Mission San Jose Elementary School. Head Coach Joe Lonsdale was very pleased with the teams results at the CalChess Scholastic Chess Championship and took time at the beginning of class to congratulate all of our top finishers. Below is a list of Mission San Jose’s best individual scorers. I see many of these children several times a week and will make sure to post some of their favorite games from the CalChess State Championships.  I will soon post more complete results from the 2010 CalChess Scholastic Chess Championship.

Kindergarden section

Soorya Kuppam 4/5

grades 1-3 novice

Edward Liu 4/5

grades 1-3 junior varsity

Luke Zhao 4/5

grades 4-5 varsity

Armaan Kalyanpur 5/6 (first place)

Alex Yin 5/6 (first place)

Shalin Shah 4/6

grades k-6 unrated

Sayan Das 5/5 (first place)

grades k-6 novice

John Yao 5/5 (first place)

grades 4-6 varsity

Emily Zhu 4/6

   Any young chess players in the bay area have the opportunity to train with me this summer at the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s many summer camps and weekly classes. For a list of these summer chess classes visit

CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships: Part Three

April 19, 2010

Day two of the 2010 CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships began with a rather contentious coaches meeting. As usual, all the colorful personalities and huge egos resulted in a very heated discussion. The use of electronic devices to keep score and the ability to have unrated players play in the junior varsity sections were the most hotly debated topics. The solutions should be to allow any score keeping method that is allowed by the USCF and also allow schools to move players up from unrated categories into junior varsity sections as long as it is not done so last minute that it puts additional strain on the tournament directing staff. Sadly, coaches were unable to agree on these solutions. Based on my previous experiences at the Calchess Scholastic Chess Championships, even if there had been total agreement at the coaches meeting it would not guarantee, in any way, that whoever happens to run the next Calchess Scholastic Chess Championships would have implemented the changes.

Mission San Jose Elementary School continued to dominate the CalChess State Championships winning both the k-3 and k-5 varsity sections. Had their been a team award for kindergarden we would have also won that.  In the near future I will post detailed information on our top players performances as well as games and pictures from the CalChess State Scholastic Chess Championship.

I advised members of the CalChess board that it would benefit the Northern California scholastic chess community if we could better define and eliminate the superfluous championship events that seem to plague Northern California and water down the competition at the real CalChess Scholastic State Championships. This year there were four different state/regional championship events. I feel there should only be two, the CalChess Grade Level Championship in the fall and the CalChess State Scholastic Chess Championships in the Spring. Having the extra tournaments tends to confuse the  general public and reduces the accomplishments of the real state champions. Why do we have so many Scholastic Chess Championships anyhow? Whether it is greed, ego, or ineptness the results are the same. The CalChess Scholastic Chess Championship is smaller and our state champions accomplishments are being cheapened.

Please remember to check the Torres Chess and Music Academy;s web page for detailed information on how young chess players can attend our many camps and classes this summer. The Torres Chess and Music Academy’s web page is

CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships: Part Two

April 18, 2010

The 2010 CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships got underway this morning. This years Calchess Scholastic State Championship drew around 900 players and was noticeably smaller in size than some previous years. Even with the smaller turn out, it is clear that scholastic chess is alive and well in Northern California.

Mission San Jose Elementary School of Fremont has 49 participants to carry on the proud tradition of the MSJE chess team at the Calches Scholastic Chess Championships. Soorya Kuppam, a MSJE kindergardener was one of the top scorers in his section barely missing a first place finish with a score of 4/5. Mission San Jose Elementary once again has gotten off to a good start in all of the championship sections and will likely  be a force to be reckoned with on Sunday.

It was nice having the Calchess Scholastic State Championship return to the Santa Clara convention center this year. A free parking garage and affordable restaurants within walking distance have always made this location a parent favorite. Unfortunately, internet access can only be had if you are willing to pay $12 and the convention center apparently has discontinued the practice of providing water coolers in all the major game and team rooms.  Eric Schiller was once again on hand to sell his chess books but later found his stand  literally surrounded by a chess simul. Another unfortunate incident occurred in round 3 when each board decided when they felt like starting their clocks rather than a tournament director instructing all the boards in a section to commence their games simultaneously. Some parents were still having discussions with their children several moves into the game. Other players found the haphazard start to be to distracting and took extra minutes in obvious opening positions to wait until the room quieted. Finally, there was one incident of a player using a Dell pda at the chess board to record his chess moves. Allowing players to use devices that could aid them in their play to record their moves sets a dangerous precedent and should be against the rules of the United States Chess Federation.

I was pleased to have so many chess parents seek me out to answer their chess questions and inquire about the Torres Chess and Music Academy summer offerings. A complete list of our summer chess programs and summer chess camps can be found at We are still accepting applications for all of our California Summer chess camps including our Fremont camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School. Mission San Jose Elementary School is the home of the 2009 National Elementary Chess Champions.

CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships

April 17, 2010

For the last month I have been neglecting my blog in favor of focusing all my energy toward preparing chess students for the CalChess Scholastic State Chess Championships.  Everyone involved in Northern California chess regards the CalChess State Championships as the paramount scholastic chess tournament on the west coast. As a professional chess coach for the last 12 years, I have coached many of California’s best chess players and have been involved with the dominating Success Chess teams from many years back and for the last five years the even more dominant Torres Chess and Music Academy teams.  In fact, Torres Chess and Music Academy schools have placed first in 11 CalChess Championship sections during the last five years. With our teams taking nearly every first place trophy, Mission San Jose Elementary School has become the dynasty that other schools and coaches dream of defeating.  Because of the added focus on our chess players, I have decided to provide regular updates during the course of the 35th CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships. Please return to this blog as the tournament progresses to read my analysis of all the news and games from the 2010 CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships.

National Chess Champions to Host Summer Chess Camp

May 7, 2009

Mission San Jose Elementary School Summer Chess Camp

Come and train with the 2009 National Champions!

June 22 – June 25, June 29 – July 2, & July 6 – July 9

This class is brought to you by the Torres Chess and Music Academy, a non-profit corporation.

The Torres Chess and Music Academy, a 501c (3) non-profit organization, is pleased to be running a very special chess camp designed by nationally renowned chess instructor Chris Torres.  This camp will feature instructors with decades of chess teaching experience in a format 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 22 to July 9 at Mission San Jose ES, 43545 Bryant St. Fremont, CA 94539.  The fee for this class is $170.00 for one week, $280 for two weeks, or $390 for all three weeks.



Name of child: _______________________________________   Grade:  ____  

Parents (Guardian) name(s):  _____________________________________

Address:  ____________________________________________________

City: ________________________________   California Zip:  __________

Telephone:  (___) _________   E-mail:  _____________________________

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



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







(please check which weeks attending)




JUNE 22 – JUNE 25




JUNE 29 – JULY 2






$_______ TOTAL PAID

I, hereby, as a Parent/Guardian of the child named above have read all the requirements and give my child permission to participate in the TCAMA Program held at Mission San Jose ES. I recognize that this program is under the direction of the TCAMA and is no way connected to MSJE or the Fremont Unified School District and only the TCAMA can be held legally responsible for this program.

Signature of parent or guardian: _______________________   Date: __/__/__

To apply online, or for more information on the TCAMA, please visit CHESSANDMUSIC.COM, or contact Chris Torres at (661)699-8348, or

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, 1832 Walnut Grove Ct., Oakley, CA 94561

National Scholastic Chess Champions

May 7, 2009
MSJE Chess Team 2008-2009

MSJE Chess Team 2008-2009

I have received several inquiries as to why this blog has not been updated as frequently. In answer to these questions, I have responded with a seemingly lame excuse of “devoting all my time to teaching future chess champions.”  Now for the proof:

 The chess players at the Mission San Jose Elementary School chess club achieved results beyond compare during the 2008-2009 school year. Winning a championship section at the Calchess State Scholastic Championships is always a result that speaks volumes about a chess program’s over-all quality. MSJE took first place in the k-3 championship section, the k-5 championship section and the k-6 championship. Since players can only compete in one team section, Mission San Jose talent was spread out rather than concentrated.  As impressive as sweeping the Calchess State Championships in 2009 was, placing first in the K-6 championship section at United States Chess Federation’s National Championship is, perhaps,  a more impressive feet.  According to the USCF, no other school from California has ever won this title.

   Congratulations to the players and their families who put forth a herculean effort. The coaching staff at MSJE includes Head Coach Joe Lonsdale,  the legendary Richard Shorman, and Chris Torres (President of the Torres Chess and Music academy.)

Annotated games and MSJE player features will be added soon.

Upcoming Chess Events

April 22, 2009

Dear Chess Parents,


   The next two weekends contain many exciting scholastic chess events that your children will benefit from attending.


   On Saturday April 25th, I will be hosting a chess tournament at Mission San Jose Elementary School, a TCAMA school in Fremont which just won the National Chess Championship in the K-6 division. This tournament will allow your children to practice for the upcoming state championships as well as compete and interact with the National Scholastic Champions. There will be a raffle at this tournament with the chance to win chess books and free lessons with TCAMA instructors.

Apply online by going to:


   On Sunday April 26th, I will be holding a special four hour intensive chess camp in Palo Alto for TCAMA students planning on attending the State Championships. This $40 class is designed to help ensure your child is ready for the intense level of competition met with during the state championships.

Apply Online by going to:


   Finally, May first through third your child can compete in the Calchess State Championships. I consider this event to be the Super Bowl of Chess and recommend that all of our students attend. This is a great time to show school spirit and try for a team award as well as an individual achievement.

Apply by going to:



   I hope to see you at these events.




Chris Torres

President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy (a 501c3 nonprofit organization)

Coach for MSJE the 2009 USCF K-6 National Chess Champions

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