Posts Tagged ‘California’

California’s Top Correspondence Chess Players

May 28, 2015

California has a long and rich history of correspondence chess extending all the way back to the days of the Gold Rush. Below is the list of the top 10 correspondence chess players in the State of California according to the current United States Chess Federation rating list. Panning through the databases for each of these player’s best games will undoubtably provide chess treasure hunters with many undiscovered golden nuggets from California Chess.  
1 Torres, Chris F 2378

2 Kell, Spencer R 2363

3 Bonsack, Laurence T 2362

4 Langland, Thomas P 2304

5 Funston, David A 2297

6 Boles, Robert L 2237

7 Alazawi, Samir 2162

8 Stephenson, Mark A 2156

9 Fees, Dennis 2106

10 Bellnap, Mark S 2089

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An Open Letter to Mr. Albert Garibaldi, Superintendent: Banta School District

February 2, 2014

Mr. Albert Garibaldi, Superintendent: Banta School District

First of all, let me congratulate you on the success of Banta Elementary School District’s charter with the River Island Technology Academy in Lathrop. I have been involved in education for 16 years and have never witnessed the birth of such an ambitious undertaking. Under the leadership of Susan Dell’Osso (Board of Trustee’s President for the River Island Technology Academy ) and Brenda Scholl (Principal of the River Islands Technology Academy) not only has River Islands Technology Academy lived up to all of the hype surrounding its establishment, it, quite frankly, has exceeded all of my high expectations. I am certain that if the Banta School District does not derail its progress, River Islands Technology Academy will be your school district’s greatest educational achievement in its 134 year history.

I am addressing this open letter to you because I have noticed some recent events which lead me to believe that the Banta School District is having a change of heart about its involvement with the River Islands Technology Academy. To put it bluntly, both recent newspaper articles and board meeting minutes seem to suggest that the Banta School District has decided to constrict the future growth of the River Islands Technology Academy in order to pursue a Banta controlled science academy at the same school site[i]. Because River Islands Technology Academy is just in its first year, these recent revelations have caused concern that the Banta School District is playing bait and switch politics with the future of several hundred local school children. I am not sure if this was the original undisclosed agenda or if this is a change of direction taken simply on the advice of Tom Duffy. Regardless, I am personally offended that River Island Technology Academy was marketed to hundreds of local families without mention that the Banta Elementary School District planned on taking over the school site as early as 2015.

While it is refreshing to see that a school district has promoted one of its own teachers to the position of Superintendent, suggesting that the Banta Elementary School District is making the education of its students its top priority, the recent planned rapid expansion appears to have shifted the intentions of the Banta District from quality education to what is now the “big business of education.” Your current position as Superintendent during the coming period of unprecedented growth will undoubtedly be the star achievement on your resume. However, rather than simply collect accolades for the Banta School District’s growth, as an educator, I would think, that you would like to see the overall quality of Banta’s education improve during your tenure.

A quick check of the facts shows that your district is lagging behind the California average in math scores. In fact, in 2013, only 16% of your district’s sixth graders tested at a proficient level in math[ii].  I worry that adding eight new schools to your district before test scores improve may magnify the math proficiency crisis that Banta is facing. Instead of being known as the Superintendent who established an unprecedented growth in the business for your district, you are risking becoming the Superintendent who failed to address the achievement gap of your students. If Banta’s expansion is done too quickly and without regard for educational standards, the Banta School District risks winning the race to the bottom of troubled school districts.

Because you are not new to education or politics, you must know that discord between your school board and the board of trustees for River Islands Technology will ultimately hurt all of the children under your influence. Luckily, there are many individuals in the community willing to help you avoid catastrophe on your journey as the new Superintendent of Banta School District. You have a locale that has members who are highly experienced in education and want to see your district succeed. I wish to offer my support to both the River Island Technology Academy’s Board of Trustees as well as the Banta Elementary School District’s board.

Study after study has shown that having children play chess regularly increases their proficiency at math. Currently, my chess academy offers chess to hundreds of children and the schools where we regularly teach at score above 97% in proficiency for math[iii]. I will personally see to it that every sixth grader in your district receives special chess training geared toward improving math skills. I have 16 years of experience in this field and will offer this service free of charge to your district for four years. All I ask for in return, is that the Banta School District continue to allow River Islands Technology Academy to remain at its original school site. Basically, if you live up to your publicly stated objective for River Islands Technology Academy[iv] , I will help you increase your students’ math scores and help Banta to become a top district in scores as well as size.

Sincerely,

Chris Torres

President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy

http://www.ChessAndMusic.com


[ii] Banta Elementary School’s Test Scores: http://www.greatschools.org/cgi-bin/ca/district-profile/744.

[iii] Just one of many Torres Chess and Music Academy chess schools that excel in math: http://schools.latimes.com/school/fremont/mission-san-jose-elementary/

[iv] Albert Garibaldi’s publicly stated objective for River Islands Technology Academy  http://stockton-central.news10.net/news/community/190173-san-joaquin-usas-new-high-tech-school

United States G/30 National Chess Championship

October 2, 2011

California is set to host the U.S. G/30 Chess Championship on October Second, 2011. Having a U.S.C.F. National Championship in the Bay Area is a rare treat and many of my chess students are eager to win another national title. I will report live from the Santa Clara Convention Center and provide complete coverage of this exciting chess tournament.

Chess Teaching Jobs in California

September 2, 2010

The Torres Chess and Music Academy is hiring teachers for after school programs in the Bay Area. Applicants should have experience in teaching chess or music. A strong background in education is a must. Compensation is very competitive and based on experience. Apply by sending your resume in the body of an email to chesslessons@aol.com

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.

1) SiliconValleyChess.com

This is the web site to visit to get all the latest information on children’s chess events in Norther California. SiliconValleyChess.com 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 SiliconValleyChess.com 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.

2) FremontChess.com

The best website to find out information on scholastic chess in Fremont, California. FremontChess.com 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 FremontChess.com is a calendar which depicts many of the best scholastic chess opportunities in Fremont, California.

Albany, California Hires Top Chess Teacher to Run Summer Chess Camp

May 22, 2010

Albany residents should mark their calendars.  August 2-19 nationally renowned chess teacher Chris Torres will be heading a summer chess camp for children ages 6-12.  Attendees will receive the best training available and take part in USCF rated tournaments with awards given at the end of each week. Chris Torres prides himself in running chess camps that are fun competitive and educational. In 2009 Chris Torres coached for the 2009 National Elementary Chess Champions at Mission San Jose Elementary in Fremont, Ca. He will be bringing his proven approach to Albany in 2010. Young chess players in Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Oakland and other North Bay cities should be sure not to miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime to train with the Bay Area’s top chess coach. Interested parents can sign their children up by visiting Albany Rec’s website at http://www.albanyca.org/index.aspx?page=537

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.

APPLY ONLINE AT CHESSANDMUSIC.COM

 

Name of child: _______________________________________   Grade:  ____  

Parents (Guardian) name(s):  _____________________________________

Address:  ____________________________________________________

City: ________________________________   California Zip:  __________

Telephone:  (___) _________   E-mail:  _____________________________

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

 

 CHESS SKILL LEVEL—PLEASE CHECK APPROPRIATE BOX

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

I AM PAYING

 

WE WILL BE GOING

 

$170

FOR JUST ONE WEEK

(please check which weeks attending)

 

$280

FOR TWO WEEKS    

JUNE 22 – JUNE 25

 

$390

FOR ALL THREE WEEKS    

JUNE 29 – JULY 2

 

$16

FOR A USCF MEMBERSHIP    

JULY 6 – JULY 9

 

$_______ 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 chesslessons@aol.com.

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.


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