Posts Tagged ‘california chess’

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 signalscv.com/2019/09/chess-coach-jay-stallings-celebrates-25-years-of-teaching/

UCLA football hopes chess will help to checkmate opponents – Los Angeles Times

September 9, 2019

UCLA football hopes chess will help to checkmate opponents – Los Angeles Times

“Everyone is super physically gifted,” Makowsky told the news service, “but what begins to separate the elite top performers is how they process things, their mind-set, their mentality, how they can recognize patterns, how they can almost see five moves ahead.”

Makowsky, who has worked with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and several Olympians, said what’s important is not the chess but how it applies to the principles of whatever sport the athletes play.

— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/www.latimes.com/sports/ucla/story/2019-08-19/ucla-football-fondness-chess-against-ncaa-competition?_amp=true

After School Teachers Needed For Enrichment Programs in California

August 21, 2019

We are a growing chess enrichment organization based in the Bay Area that offers our instructors fun teaching assignments and flexible schedules.

The Company: The Torres Chess and Music Academy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality chess instruction and opportunities to as many children as possible.

• Our organization is known for the great care we take with clients and employees alike.

• We believe that our teachers are at their best when they are having fun and we do everything we can to make that happen.

The Position: We’re looking for After School Instructors. The pay range we’re offering is $20-$40/ class.

• We equip our instructors with a great curriculum and classroom supplies.

• We also provide excellent opportunities for growth within our organization.

Requirements:

• Experience Working with Children

• Can pass background check

• Professional Attitude

• Reliability

• Strong Work Ethic

• Must Enjoy Teaching

Responsibilities:

• Early Arrival to All Assignments

• Always Maintain a Safe Environment

• Follow Our Curriculum

• Retain Children’s Focus on Chess

• Return Classroom to Pre-Chess Condition

• Make Sure that All Children Return to Guardians Safely

The Location: 

Elementary Schools throughout the Bay Area.

 

Why Should You Apply?

• Great Pay

• Fun Assignments

• Flexible Schedules

• Opportunities for Advancement

Email Resume to chesslessons@aol.com

Summer Chess Camps Return to Fremont

June 10, 2019

Summer Chess Programs in Fremont

Sign up for any 1 week camp for ONLY $200 and your child will also receive:

** A 1 year gold membership to ChessKid.com (a $50 value)

** A copy of Learn Chess the Right Way by Susan Polgar (a $20 value)

** And two online private lessons with Chris Torres (an $80 value) at no extra charge.
That’s an additional $150 worth of educational chess products for no extra charge!

Visit www.fremontchess.com to register online

 

Each weekly chess camp is custom designed to give your child:

* The Valuable tools and skills needed to excel as a chess player.

* An extraordinary chess camp experience with a top-tier chess instructor.

* The confidence and motivation necessary to surpass their chess goals and fast track improvement.

In addition, as part of the camp experience, every child will receive a complimentary copy of Susan Polgar’s book “Learning Chess the Right Way” (a $20 value) as well as a gold membership to ChessKid.com (valued at $50.) In addition, we will also offer two free online lessons (valued at $40/hour) to every registered camp attendee in order to follow up with each child individually and ensure that they are still on track for rapid chess improvement.

For nearly a quarter century, Chris Torres has been teaming up with the biggest names in chess and education to bring top-tier chess instruction to the Bay Area at an incredible value. His meticulous approach has paved the way for the success of his students regardless of their entry skill level. A true leader in California chess, Chris Torres creates unique a curriculum perfectly suited for each and every class he teaches.

View his resume here: https://chessmusings.wordpress.com

 

Program Dates Times Address
P1 $200 Jun 17-21 1:00-4:00 36496 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA
P2 $190 Jun 24-28 1:00-4:00 Warm Springs Community Park @ Crafts Room 47300 Fernald St, Fremont, CA
P3 $200 Jul 8-12 1:00-4:00 36496 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA
P4 $200 Jul 15-17 1:00-4:00 36496 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA
P5 $190 Jul 22-26 8:30-11:30 Teen Center @ Office 39770 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont, CA
P6 $200 Jul 29- Aug 2 1:00-4:00 36496 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA
P7 $200 Aug 5-9 1:00-4:00 36496 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA
P8 $200 Aug 12-16 1:00-4:00 36496 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA
P9 $190 Aug 19-23 9:00-12:00 Warm Springs Community Park @ Crafts Room 47300 Fernald St, Fremont, CA

Please contact Chris Torres at chesslessons@aol.com if you have any questions. Checks should be made payable to the TCAMA 16691 Colonial Trail, Lathrop, CA, 95330, OR visit http://www.fremontchess.com/ to register online.

 

Chris Torres Raises the Bar for Fremont Summer Chess Camps in 19 | Fremont, CA Patch

June 7, 2019

Chris Torres Raises the Bar for Fremont Summer Chess Camps in 19 | Fremont, CA Patch

Get $150 worth of free chess extras from FremontChess.com when you sign your child up for a weeklong camp for only $200!

— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/patch.com/california/fremont/amp/28114988/chris-torres-raises-bar-fremont-summer-chess-camps-201

Playing Blindfold Chess

May 19, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a photographic memory to be proficient at blindfold chess. The basic visualization required is really not all that different from the kind of mental exercise chess players commonly experience while calculating long endgame variations. In fact, if you’ve ever had a vivid chess dream while sleeping (quite common among my friends), you have already played blindfold chess!

Playing a chess game blindfolded (or at least facing opposite the chess board) against a class of young chess players is a sure fire way to raise the excitement level of the classroom or camp. Generally, I save such exhibitions for midway through a long camp or series of difficult lessons to add a little spice to the curriculum. In addition to adding energy to the room, a blindfold chess performance might just inspire a student to pick up the skill for his/herself which will greatly benefit their chess in the long run.

Below is my best ever such game played during the Fremont Summer Chess Camp in 2016. Enjoy…

 

[Event “Blindfold Game”]
[Site “Fremont, California (USA)”]
[Date “2016.7.13”]
[Round “”]
[White “Chris Torres”]
[Black “Intermediate Students”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C50”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C50] [ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C50]}
1.e4 {I practice what I preach: “Open With a Center Pawn.”} e5
2.Nf3 {Knights Before Bishops.} Nc6 3.Bc4 {For a blindfold game, I chose my most comfortable structure (The Italian.)}
Qe7 {Perhaps my opponents were trying to confuse me by choosing the rare Qe7 sideline.}
4.Nc3 Nd4 {
My students have already broken two opening rules. They brought their queen out
early and now they have moved the same piece twice. Normally punishing these
mistakes wouldn’t be too difficult. But playing foreign positions with no view of the board is stressful.}
( 4…Nf6 5.Ng5 d5 6.exd5 Na5 7.d6 cxd6 8.Bxf7+ Kd8 9.Bb3 Nxb3
10.axb3 d5 11.O-O h6 12.Nf3 Bg4 13.d3 a6 14.Re1 Rc8 15.Bf4 Nd7
16.h3 Bh5 17.g4 Bf7 18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.Bxe5 Qh4 20.Qf3 Bg8 21.Qxf8+
{1-0, Zhotev Jasen (BUL) 2086 – Ivanov Oleg (RUS) 2425 , Sofia 8/ 8/2009 It “Hemus Open” (3)}
) 5.Nd5 {In order to punish mistakes you must attack. Here, I know that their queen must
retreat to d8 in order to stop the knight from capturing on c7 with a fork.}
Qc5 {?!} {Honestly, I did not anticipate this move at all and was forced to repeat all the moves to myself outloud and calculate.}
6.Nxe5 {!} {“Whenever you’re aggressive, you’re at the edge of mistakes.”-Mario Andretti}
d6 {I hear excited chatter from my students about “winning a piece.”}
7.b4 {!} {Even when blindfolded, it’s hard to miss this obvious threat!}
Nxc2+ {Black had no choice that did not involve losing a piece or more.}
8.Qxc2 {I gain a knight without losing the initiative.} Qd4 {The queen may look threatening, but, really, she is all alone against an army.}
9.Bb5+ {At this point I couldn’t quite see the forced mate in 4 but this check seemed very promising.}
c6 10.Bxc6+ {!} {Looks impressive but really it is just the result of analyzing checks, captures and threats.}
bxc6 11.Qxc6+ {Forcing black’s king to d8 and a nice finish.}
Kd8 12.Nxf7# 1-0

2019 Lathrop Mayor’s Cup Chess Tournament

May 1, 2019

Dear Parents,

It is my great pleasure to invite your children to participate in the 2019 Lathrop Mayor’s Cup chess tournament at River Islands Technology Academy. Many of your children enjoy chess and will be excited to compete against other young chess players from around our region.

The date of this tournament is May 11 and round 1 will begin at 9:30am. All participants will play four rounds and Lathrop’s Mayor, Sonny Dhaliwal, will arrive at 2:00pm to hand out awards. Because of a generous donation from the River Islands Development Team and our tournament staff donating their time, there is no cost to register for this exciting event. Additionally, we will be selling lots of tasty treats and pizza slices to raise funds for the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s other projects in the area.

Sincerely,

Chris Torres

President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy

Register online at

www.ChessAndMusic.com

Chess Chat: Q&A with Aamir Ali Azhar, Data Engineer

April 7, 2019

Recently I had an opportunity to catch up with my friend and former student, Aamir Azhar. I first met an elementary school aged Aamir at my Saturday chess class in Milpitas during the Summer of 2003. Since then I have had the pleasure of watching Aamir mature into a strong chess player and an impressive young man. A recent Duke graduate, Aamir is now a data engineer at Capital One. As you will see from our conversation below, Aamir sports a wisdom beyond his years and will no doubt have many more successes in the near future.

How old were you when you first learned how to play chess? Who taught you?

I was 6 when I learned to play chess (which is considered late in the competitive scholastic chess world). My cousin taught me one evening during a family dinner party. I picked up the rules fairly quickly and started playing more. In addition, my dad used to play quite a bit of chess in his teens, so we started playing together too (after his 20 year hiatus).

How has chess effected your decision making process off the board?

Chess has taught me how to become a meticulous critical thinker, always looking into the future and observing how things unfold several steps ahead. It’s a gift and a curse.

How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?

I took an interest in computer science fairly early in my childhood because both my parents were computer science majors. I pursued it further career-wise, though I was always interested in the arts and humanities since I was a kid. I’ve been writing since I was young, and I continue to write on the side during my engineering day job, hoping to turn it into something bigger down the line.

The Azhar family.

How would you define your chess style?

When I was a kid, playing competitively, I was the overly analytical type. I would examine every possible viable move several moves in advance and spend lots of time trying to find the ideal move. I relied on my intuition heavily to tell me if a move looked good or probable, but I would also deeply analyze and quadruple check the move to make sure it was the best one.

I’m still largely like that, though I’ve grown less patient over time. Now I only double or triple check, and I tend to take a leap of faith with my intuition more frequently when moving.

Does your chess style transfer over into your business decisions as well?

I would say so. Again, I think through each decision several steps into the future, though at the end of the day my intuition makes the final decision.

What has been your worst chess mistake which has given you the biggest lesson?

I think my worst mistake happened when I was competing for the 3rd grade California chess championship. I had an upset against someone 300 rating points above me which led me to the championship match, where I faced the only other person with a perfect score in the last round. During that game, I was winning, and had a clear path to victory, but crippled by a combination of greed and fear, I offered a draw. That draw led me to tie for 1st place in the championship. We played a tiebreaker game and he got to take home the 1st place trophy.

I had a similar experience in 6th grade when I was competing for the California grades 4-6 championship. I was the only one with a perfect score, and going into the last round, I was facing someone with half a point less than me. I played the whole game looking for a draw (as a draw would give me first place). However, this led to me playing too passively that game — My opponent didn’t accept my constant draw requests, played for the win, and I and lost the championship in an upset.

The lesson here is fairly obvious. Play the game, and play to win. All the glitz and glamour are nothing but distractions.

What has been your worst career mistake that has given you the biggest lesson?

I’m still fairly young, so I can’t say I have many horrible career mistakes. However, I do remember after my SWE internship at Google, I was so sure I was to return to Google that I didn’t look into other internship opportunities. I wanted something different, but was too lazy to interview for other companies, so I listed 3-4 teams at Google I wanted to get on for the next summer. I got positive internship feedback, but unfortunately, none of those teams reached out to me.

Since I didn’t want to do the same SWE work I did the last summer at Google, I had to find an internship last minute. I was both picky and didn’t plan correctly. Luckily, I found a good internship, but it taught me a valuable lesson to not get cocky or entitled, and to always plan for different possibilities.

Do you think chess has helped you to become more resilient in life?

Yes, definitely. Being in that competitive of an environment that early on in my life taught me a lot of lessons, and made me into a tougher, more determined person overall. Though it did come with its fair share of insecurities and stress.

What do you hope to achieve professionally during the next couple of years?

I generally am looking for an impactful, interesting way to apply my CS background to answer big questions about society. I hope to further explore tech and data, learn as much as I can, and build up a writing career on the side as well. My dream is to either become a writer or an engineer-journalist (like a writer/reporter who uses in-depth data analytics for their stories). If none of that works, I’ll go back to grad school in the social sciences (like economics). I’m sure I can utilize my CS/data background there as well.

Amir with his father Salman Azhar.

What is the biggest challenge to achieving that goal?

The biggest challenge is really just figuring out where to start, and how to make a plan moving forward. My interests are still a bit abstract, and the path I’m looking to go down isn’t particularly clear or easy. It’s also a matter of meeting the right people and finding the right opportunities.

How would you relate these goals and challenges to the chessboard?

It’s more often that chess teaches me lessons about life, but occasionally life teaches me about chess. For example, right now, I’m giving myself some time and space to explore my interests and experiment with my career. That kind of mentality applies to chess too. Let yourself experiment, let yourself have fun. Don’t rush in trying to figure out all the big questions. My chess style nowadays reflects that. I play a lot more loosely, and I’m more willing to take risks. Not everything has to have a 20-step plan behind it.

Could you please leave us with a favorite piece of chess wisdom to conclude this interview?

My favorite quote, which rings true to me (and is apparent in my previous answers), is by Capablanca.

“You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.” – José Raúl Capablanca

The vast majority of my memories and lessons in playing competitive chess are heartbreaking losses. Very few are wins. I’ll say, and this applies to chess as well as life, embrace the losses. Play your best, try hard, plan appropriately, but accept that at the end of the day, we don’t know what will happen.

Don’t try to plan every single thing out and then get disappointed when they don’t unwind the way you want them to. Embrace the unknown, and when we experience loss, embrace it, learn from it, and even be grateful for it. At the end of the day, experiences will teach us more than thinking and planning ever will. So experience!

Saturday Chess Class in Fremont

April 4, 2019

FremontChess.com‘s Saturday Chess Classes with Rated Tournament and Analysis

Brought to you by the US Chess Mates under the auspices of the Torres Chess and Music Academy.

We invite all young chess players to a uniquely exciting experience in the world of rated chess competition!

Each week students will take part in an engaging chess class, play USCF rated chess games and receive personal attention needed to rapidly increase their understanding of chess.

Join us as I seek to provide the highest quality rated chess club in Fremont at the spacious and conveniently located Learning Bee Learning Center.

Class Details

Day and time:

Saturdays 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Held At: Learning Bee

Start Date: Apr 6, 2019

End Date: Jun 15, 2019

Class Dates:

Apr: 6, 13, 20 **NO 27

May: 4, 11, 18, 25

Jun: 1, 8, 15

Fee:

10 weeks for $180.00

*We accept cash, checks and credit

Financial scholarships are available. Please call 209.323.0197

Classroom Format

This course is designed to provide experienced tournament players with instruction that will quickly increase their ability and understanding of chess. We will also teach newer students the skills necessary to excel in competitive chess.

Participants will begin their class by participating in an hour long chess lesson. Students will then play 1 USCF rated chess game as part of the ongoing tournament and receive analysis of their play.

All participants must be members of the USCF.

If your child is not a member, they can join or renew their USCF membership at the first meeting.

Or go to: new.uschess.org/join- uschess to join online.

A USCF ID number is required in order to participate in the tournament.

Please make all checks payable to US Chess Mates and bring to the first day of class

Learning Bee Learning Center

39977 Mission Blvd., Fremont

To Register Online Please Visit

www.FremontChess.com

About the Teacher:

Chris Torres has been teaching chess in Fremont since 1998. For over 20 years his meticulous approach has paved the way for the success of his students regardless of their entry skill level. A true leader in Fremont chess, Chris Torres creates unique a curriculum perfectly suited for each and every class he teaches.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Learning Bee Learning Center, 39977 Mission Blvd., Fremont, CA 94539

The chess program will be offered every Saturday except when notified otherwise.

The tuition for this program is $180 for ten weeks. Drop-In classes are $25 and do not require prior registration. No refund will be given for unscheduled student absences. Sign Up online at FremontChess.com

Please call 209.323.0197 or emailChris@uschessmates.com if you have questions.

ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BE MEMBERS OF THE USCF TO PARTICIPATE IN THE TOURNAMENT.

Fremont Scholastic Chess Championship a Success

March 25, 2019

FremontChess.com held it’s annual Scholastic Chess Championship on March 16th and 17th at the Learning Bee Learning Center in Fremont, California.   Nearly fifty children participated in the event to share their passion for chess while competing for the title of Fremont Chess Champion.

The tournament which was a combined effort between US Chess Mates and the Torres Chess and Music Academy had an entry fee of only $20 thanks to the generous sponsorship of Grace Wong (Director of the Learning Bee Learning Center) and Joe Lonsdale (The Head Coach for Mission San Jose Elementary School Chess Team).

The K-1 section provided Fremont’s newest chess players a stage to show off their impressive skills on. And impress they did! Pranavi Pramod and Suhas Indukuri led the way with 3.5/4. Other players who performed admirably are Karanveer Singh Saran, Davin Lazar Vinod, Eayon Hsu and Emmett Zhao.

The largest and most competitive was grades 2-4. Joshua Huang won first place with 4.5/5 followed closely Dhruv Sheth with 4/5. From a tournament director’s standpoint, this group was a pleasure to watch. There was at least one interesting game to watch every round. It was wonderful to see so much up and coming talent.

The 5-8’th grade featured many excellent players but none played as well as eighth-grader Arjun Ganesan who achieved the only perfect score in the entire tournament. Second place went to Hemanth Kumar Merugu whose only loss was to Arjun. I have no doubt that all of the competitors in this section are destined for great things in Middle School, High School and beyond.

As the organizer for the Fremont Scholastic Chess Championship, I want to take one more moment to thank all the players, chess parents and sponsors for making this tournament possible. As a Fremont native, it was a special privilege for me to serve Fremont’s up and coming chess stars.


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