Posts Tagged ‘California chess schools’

Chris Torres: A Chess Coach, a Music Teacher, and an Advocate for Quality Education.

August 22, 2013

Chris Torres has been successfully managing and creating school chess programs for his entire adult life. His most recognized accomplishments include the co-founding of Success Chess Schools, the creation of the Torres Chess and Music Academy and consistently coaching the best young chess players in California for 15 years.

Chris found himself drawn into chess education in 1998 when

Chris Torres is the Bay Area's chess coach.

Chris Torres is California’s chess coach.

Dr. Alan Kirshner needed a replacement teacher for his famous Weibel Chess Club. Chris was an obvious choice beause he had been teaching Alan’s son classical guitar and often played chess with the Kirshners. Soon after joining a group of chess instructors at Weibel, Chris coached his first state champion student. Copying from the success of the Weibel Chess Club, Chris went on to establish State Champion chess programs at Argonaut Elementary School in Saratoga and the Harker School in San Jose. Shortly later, Alan Kirshner promoted Chris to Vice President of Success Chess and Chris turned all of his independently run programs over to the newly formed nonprofit.

As vice president of Success Chess, Chris Torres established chess programs and taught chess at schools all around the Bay Area. Many of the schools still have chess programs to this day. Some of these chess programs are at: Warm Springs Elementary School(Fremont), Leitch Elementary School(Fremont), Mission Valley Elementary School(Fremont), Ardenwood Elementary School(Fremont), Gomes Elementary School(Fremont), Blue Hills Elementary School(Cupertino), Collins Elementary School(Cupertino), Dilworth Elementary School(Cupertino), Muir Elementary School(Cupertino), Regnart Elementary School(Cupertino) Matsumoto Elementary School(San Jose), Meyerholz Elementary School(San Jose), Silver Oak Elementary School(San Jose), Covington Elementary School(Los Altos), Duveneck Elementary School(Palo Alto), Palo Verde Elementary School(Palo Alto), International School of the Peninsula(Palo Alto), Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School(Palo Alto),  Laurel Elementary School(Atherton), Las Lomitas Elementary School(Atherton), John Muir Elementary School(San Bruno), Crestmoor Elementary School(San Bruno), Dougherty Elementary School(Dublin) and quite a few other schools. During his time at Success Chess, Chris Torres also became a notable tournament director and a board member for Calchess. Through Success Chess, Chris Torres was able to achieve his goals of bringing scholastic chess to children all over the Bay Area.

After leaving Success Chess Schools in 2004, Chris Torres spent several months working for Richard Peterson of the Chess Education Association. After the school year concluded, Richard suggested to Chris that he set up his own organization and offered to sell all of the chess equipment from the CEA at a discount price. A couple months later, the Torres Chess and Music Academy was born.

Through the Torres Chess and Music Academy, Chris Torres has brought world class instruction to California’s most talented young chess minds. Some of his accomplishments included running a “Chess Study” with the Kern County Superintendent of the Schools and U.C. Berkeley from 2006-2008. In addition to the study, Chris was able to educate the children in Kern County’s migrant farm worker community in chess and even coach them to prestigious Southern California regional chess titles. In the Bay Area, Chris was able to instruct several individual National Chess Champions as well as coach for the Mission San Jose Elementary School chess team alongside Joe Lonsdale, which in 2009 and 2013 took first place at the USCF Super Nationals Chess Championship. To date, no other elementary school from California has ever placed first in the Elementary Championship division of the USCF Super Nationals.

Acknowledged today as a pioneer in the field of chess and education, Chris Torres has been invited to speak at numerous educational forums and events. Aside from his reputation as a successful chess teacher, Chris is also known throughout the Silicon Valley as a top notch classical guitarist who still finds time to teach groups of youngsters the enjoyment of playing classical music.

Bay Area Chess News

August 15, 2013

Chess Academy Poised to Bring a National Championship Approach to Bay Area Schools

The President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy reports on his quest to bring the best chess instruction to schools in Northern California.

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For the first time in nearly five years, the Torres Chess and Music Academy is looking to expand its after school programs into new locations.

The Torres Chess and Music Academy is the only after school organization in California to have ever fielded a National Elementary Championship Team at the United States Chess Federation’s Super Nationals.

San Jose, CA (PRWEB) August 14, 2013

There is great news for the scholastic chess scene in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The Torres Chess and Music Academy is launching an initiative to improve the quality of chess instruction and the over-all tournament experience for Bay Area youngsters. For the first time in nearly five years, the Torres Chess and Music Academy is looking to expand its after school programs into new locations. The TCAMA’s approach to teaching chess creates school programs which dominate the State and National Chess tournaments and has received positive reviews from parents and school officials alike. This program will now be available to students who attend a variety of schools in Northern California.

In 2009, the Torres Chess and Music Academy chess team from Mission San Jose Elementary School became the first school from California ever to win the United States Chess Federation elementary school championship at the Super Nationals. For those who are uninitiated in scholastic chess, the Super National is for chess what the Super Bowl is for football with one exception, the USCF Super Nationals only occurs once every four years. So in 2013, Mission San Jose Elementary School once again sent a team to the Super Nationals and once again took first place. This victory, of course, means that the Torres Chess and Music Academy is the only after school organization in California to have ever fielded a National Elementary Championship Team at the United States Chess Federation’s Super Nationals.

Working closely with Mission San Jose Elementary School head chess coach, Joe Lonsdale, the Torres Chess and Music Academy has developed a curriculum that will closely mirror the chess experience children at Mission San Jose Elementary School receive. For the past two years, Chris Torres, President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy, has been working with all the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s chess teachers so that they are aptly trained to duplicate the success that Mission San Jose Elementary Schools has had. Now that all “pieces are in place,” the Torres Chess and Music Academy seems poised to make a systemic contribution to the over-all quality of chess played by children in Northern California. More information on this project can be found by visiting the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s webpage:



other sources:

Susan Polgar’s Blog



Scheming Mind

Chess Café

Chess Owl

Chess Campeona

Street Insider




Children’s Chess in the Bay Area

June 22, 2010

A Parent’s Guide to Chess in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Bay Area chess parents have many resources available to help establish their children’s chess calendar. Two of my  favorite Northern California chess websites are listed below.


This is the web site to visit to get all the latest information on children’s chess events in Norther California. features an easy to use Bay Area scholastic chess calendar that offers links to the top children’s chess events in the Silicon Valley Area. Rated tournaments listed on are a part of a yearly scholastic chess grand prix which awards special prizes to the Bay Area’s top young chess players.  A regularly updated scholastic chess leader board allows all competing children to view their position in relation to the other young chess players in Northern California.


The best website to find out information on scholastic chess in Fremont, California. enables parents to easily find chess coaches teaching in Fremont. This website also features stories on the top scholastic chess players in Fremont including Fremont’s National Champion Elementary Chess Teams. Also, included on is a calendar which depicts many of the best scholastic chess opportunities in Fremont, California.

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