Posts Tagged ‘chess dad’

Chess Chat: Q&A with Ashik Uzzaman

February 26, 2019

Ashik Uzzaman was born and raised in Dhaka, capital city of Bangladesh. He finished his post-graduation in Economics from University of Dhaka while completing diploma in software engineering from NIIT. He came to USA with job as a java developer in 2005 and currently working as a Senior Software Engineer at Roku. He, along with his son Ahyan Zaman, is a regular participant in chess tournaments on the west coast.

How old were you when you first learned how to play chess? Who taught you?
– I was about 8 years old when I learned to play chess. I learned it from my cousin.
How has chess effected your decision making process off the board?
– Chess makes you efficient considering many possible outcomes in parallel. This helped me consider pros and cons of making any decision carefully. Chess also helped me learn when to take time, observe and weigh in detail before making any conclusions. So I think it helped me in my career choice, my education and my social skills. 
How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?
– To accommodate my chess tournament schedules, I picked relatively easier subject (Economics) during under graduate program. But later I focused on building my career as a Computer Programmer leaving chess for a long period of time.
How would you define your chess style?
– I was initially very aggressive attacking player. But as I started reading lots of chess books, I progressed to be a strategic positional player. I like Capablanca or Karpov’s style of accumulating small positional advantages.
Does your chess style transfer over into your business decisions as well?
– Yes. I often make decisions that are good for my team in the long term instead of looking at the immediate task in hand. Also I do a lot of trade off comparisons while deciding which option to choose while solving a problem.
What has been your worst chess mistake which has given you the biggest lesson?
– My biggest mistake was not focusing on the end game which resulted in loosing lots of games despite having advantages in the middle game.
What has been your worst career mistake that has given you the biggest lesson?
– My worst career mistake was not moving into Engineering Management roles despite getting several opportunities. I have been comfortably working as a software engineer in individual contributor roles for 19 years now. I am glad to share that I have amended the mistake and joining a company next month as an Engineering Manager.
Do you think chess has helped you to become more resilient in life?
– Yes. Chess teaches us perseverance and endurance. When I am stuck with a problem, I dont give up easily. I patiently continue to retry until I succeed. This is a direct habit learned from playing long games chess with intense struggles.
What do you hope to achieve professionally during the next couple of years?
– I want to see myself making good impact in my new project and hopefully take the pre-IPO company I am joining to public.
What is the biggest challenge to achieving that goal?
– Meeting continuous aggressive deadlines of multiple software projects; hiring and retaining the best engineers of bay area.
How would you relate these goals and challenges to the chessboard?
– In chess we have to keep eyes on our own weak squares and king safety and at the same time exploit our opponents’ weaknesses all throughout the game without slipping. Just as challenging in life.
Could you please leave us with a favorite piece of chess wisdom to conclude this interview?
– “Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do; strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.” – Savielly Tartakower

Be sure to check out Ashik’s chess blog: https://dragonbishop.blogspot.com/

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Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys: FAQ

February 24, 2015

nationalopenbann

There’s a tangible buzz in the air all around Silicon Valley because the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys is on the horizon. Facebook walls and Twitter news feeds have begun to highlight the coming event and of course the hundreds of talented youngsters who will be competing. Even my five minute coffee breaks aren’t immune from the last minute concerns of the young chess parents entering their child in the SPFNO for the first time. It is for these parents that I dedicate this post in which I will share my answers to the most frequently asked questions about the 2015 Susan Polgar National Open for Girls and Boys. Check back often as this page may grow!
Q: Where and when will the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys take place?

A: The SPFNO will take place at the San Mateo Event Center on February 28 through March 1. The address is 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403

Q: Can I sign my children up online?

A: Of Course! Just follow the instructions on our webpage
http://www.chessandmusic.com/susanpolgarfoundation/

Q: Is my child ready for the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys?

A: Whether your child has just learned how to move the pieces or is a seasoned tournament pro, the 2015 SPFNO has you covered. In addition to the two day championship event, we also are offering a one day non-rated tournament for new chess players. Every child in attendance will also have access to free instruction from the excellent chess instructors from the Torres Chess and Music Academy. We guarantee that the 2015 Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys will be a quality learning experience for all who are in attendance.

Q: If my child loses his/her first game is he/she eliminated from the tournament.

A: Losing will not eliminate your child from the SPFNO. The tournament structure we will be using is commonly referred to as a Swiss Style. In a Swiss Style tournament all participants are allowed to play in every round and are paired based on their current score with another player with the same score.

Q: Does my child need to bring a chessboard from home?

A: No, all boards and chess sets will be provided by the tournament organizers. However, it is advised that your child bring his/her own chess clock if they own one.

Bring your own chess clock if you have one.

Bring your own chess clock if you have one.

 

Q: Are parents allowed to watch their child’s tournament games?

A: At the start of every round, parents will be permitted into the tournament hall to help their child find his/her proper seat but then will need to return to the designated waiting areas in order to ensure fair play.

Q: What is a USCF ID number and rating?

A: A United States Chess Federation identification number is required in order to play in the rated main event. All games played in this section will be submitted to the USCF for rating purposes. A USCF rating is a number that reflects the skill level of a player based on his/her past performance in rated chess play. If your child does not have a USCF Membership they may purchase one for $17 at the tournament or online at ChessAndMusic.com

Q: I see that there is also a Simul, Blitz Tournament and Puzzle Solving Competition. Can you briefly explain how these side events work?

A: Sure thing!

On February 27th, Susan Polgar will be facing 30 children simultaneously at the Bay Area Chess Center in Milpitas, California. 25 of the children have already reserved a spot in the simul and five more will be randomly chosen from any other children in attendance who are signed up for the SPFNO but didn’t get a reservation in the simul. Anyone is welcome to come and watch Susan Polgar play her games and meet her after she finishes.

Blitz is chess lingo for speed chess. The SPFNO’s Blitz Chess Tournament is scheduled for 5:45PM on Saturday, February 28th at the San Mateo Event Center. All participants will be placed in one section and play five games each with 5 minutes on each side of the chess clock. After all five rounds, trophies will be awarded to the top ten players with the highest total score.

Solving chess puzzles is an important part of every chess players studying routine. At the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys solving chess puzzles is an event unto itself. Any child signed up for the puzzle solving competition will be given a limited amount of time to solve chess problems of varying difficulty levels. Trophies will be awarded to the top ten performers as well as the top under 1600 and top under 1000.

Q: What time should I arrive?

A: I advise chess players to arrive a half hour before the tournament starts and double check their name and section placement. Since round one starts at 9:00am on February 28, I recommend showing up to the tournament hall at 8:30am.

Q: Do I need to bring food?

A: You can but the Event Center also has a great restaurant with affordable priced kid friendly food.

The San Mateo Event Center has a great selection of food on site!

The San Mateo Event Center has a great selection of food on site!

 

Q: I need a hotel. Where can I stay?

A: The Sofitel San Francisco Bay is a modern luxury resort located next to the Event Center. Susan Polgar, the entire tournament staff and many of the participants will be staying at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay If you decide to stay at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay be sure to ask for our special chess rate for a price that’s almost too good to believe!

 

the Sofitel San Francisco Bay will offer chess families the beautifully appointed accommodations of a French luxury hotel at a “chess rate” that is unbelievably affordable.

the Sofitel San Francisco Bay will offer chess families the beautifully appointed accommodations of a French luxury hotel at a “chess rate” that is unbelievably affordable.

 

Q: When will it be done?

A: The award ceremony for the unrated sections starts at 6:45 on Saturday, February 28th and will be over around 7:30. For the rated section in the Main Event, the award ceremony also begins at 6:45 but on Sunday, March 1st. I imagine that all the awards will be distributed by 8:00pm.

Q: My child is not getting a trophy. Do I need to wait for the award ceremony?

A: I have ordered custom medals for all participants in the main event who do not qualify for a trophy. The medals have the State of California cut into them as well as the official SPFNO logo.

Q: Can my child participate in the Unrated Section if they already have a USCF rating.

A: No, any rated players who are accidentally signed up for the unrated section will be automatically moved into the appropriate Main Event category.

Q: The San Mateo Event Center is really large. Where will the tournament be exactly and where should I park.

A: the tournament will take place in the Fiesta Hall at the San Mateo Event Center. You should park in the East Parking Lot by gate 7. We are in the Fiesta Hall. See the diagram below

grounds_map_12_lg

Q: Are there midday lunch breaks?

A: Of course, anytime that your child is not involved in a tournament game he/she may enjoy a snack or meal. I would recommend eating lunch around 11:30am.

Q: If we can’t attend both days can we just enter the simul or blitz and what requirements are there for participation?

A: I highly recommend treating the simul, blitz and puzzle solving competitions as added bonuses. However, any child who knows how to play chess may enter the side events regardless of if they are participating in the main event.

Q: What time does tournament play end each day… What restaurants can you recommend for dinner?

A: On both Saturday and Sunday the main tournament rounds will be concluded before 4:45 pm. If your child is playing in a side event, I recommend taking advantage of the restraint on site at the San Mateo Event Center. If not, there are numerous restaurants in the area.

Q: What activities are available on site or nearby for families to enjoy?

A: During the SPFNO, we will be providing free chess instruction, musical performances and demonstrations from the designer of Coach Jay’s Chess Academy. After the event, your family will have access to all the great entertainment the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer on any given weekend!

Q: Must parents remain on site while their children compete?

A: I always recommend that at least one parent stay on site to support their child. However, if your child has an adult (such as a chess coach or parent of a friend) who is willing to watch your child, you may make arrangements for them to do so. Please make sure your child knows who is supposed to be watching them and when you will return.

Q: What advice should I give my child before they play at the SPFNO?

A: Most important is to take their time. Next every time it is their turn they should analyze all checks, captures and threats. Also, if they have a question about the legality their opponents move they should pause their clock and raise their hand to signal a tournament director. Finally, once they agree to a result of a game it is over, regardless if it was truly checkmate or not. So again, remind your child to take their time.

Q: How do I know who my child is supposed to play?

A: Before each round we will post pairings that are alphabetical by name as well as pairings listed by tournament rank. In addition, we will post tournament standings for each section regularly during the event.

Q: Is this tournament played with the touch move rule?

A: Of course! The SPFNO is played following all of the rules of chess according to the United States Chess Federation rule book. If your child touches a piece that he/she does not intend to move he/she needs to announce, “adjust” immediately before placing his/her hand on the piece.

Q: In the description of the tournament, I saw “In all sections the top 3 teams win trophies.” Is the team the school used at the time of registration for USCF or can it also be a club where the kid is getting chess coaching from?

A: The team trophies are for the school chess teams. To play for a school chess team, a child must attend that school for his/her overall education.

Q: I registered my son for the 2015 Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open Championship for Girls and Boys. I haven’t received a registration confirmation. How can I check to see that he is registered in the appropriate events and age categories?

A: Simple! Just go to www.ChessAndMusic.com and check the lists of preregistered players. If you notice anything wrong, please send corrections to chesslessons@aol.com

Q: What’s the best way of getting updates during the tournament without slowing down the tournament directors?

A: Follow us on twitter https://twitter.com/torreschess or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ChessAndMusic. We will be posting updates and pairings with the hashtag #SPFNO.

 

Nothing Amateur about the TCAMA Summer Chess Classes and Tournaments

June 4, 2014

The Torres Chess and Music Academy is aware that parents in Northern California have many choices to make in regards to where they send their children for chess training this summer. Before making that choice, we urge parents to do their due diligence and research the different programs or instructors. In particular, be on the lookout for amateur chess players who are in chess primarily for their own ego or to attempt to profit off of their hobby. Often times, when these amateurs fail to win enough to satisfy their egos, they often exaggerate their own accomplishments or, even worse, take credit for the successes of local youth chess players. Living vicariously through the successes of young chess players, exaggerating their importance in a chess team’s successes and winning an occasional amateur chess event allows these chess parasites to keep feeding on the pocketbooks of unsuspecting parents. Eventually, the amateur coach will be exposed for what he is but usually not before he has organized tournament boycotts in order to preserve his reputation with a dwindling market share.

 

The Torres Chess and Music Academy only hires professional chess coaches who devote their careers to helping your children succeed in chess. For example, our Fremont Summer Chess Camp at MSJE will feature instruction from:

 

Susan Polgar, GM

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.

To summarize Susan Polgar‘s chess accomplishments is nearly an impossible task. Susan was the winner of four Women’s World Chess Championships, is a five time Olympic champion with over 10 medals earned, became the number one ranked woman in the world at the age of fifteen, became the first chess player ever to be a World Champion at Blitz, Rapid and Classical time controls. In addition, Susan Polgar was the first woman to be awarded a men’s Grandmaster title in chess, win the U.S. Open Blitz Championship, be awarded the Grandmaster of the year honor, serve as the head coach of a men’s division 1 NCAA team that won a National Collegiate Championship, serve as the head coach of a number one ranked men’s division one collegiate team, serve as the Head Coach of Men’s Division 1 Teams from two different schools to win the Final Four National Collegiate Championship, serve as Head Coach of a Men’s Division I Team to win the National Collegiate Championship 3 straight years and be named coach of the year for a men’s collegiate team. Further accomplishments of Susan Polgar are too numerous to list but even this small sample of work as both a world champion of chess and a world class chess teacher easily rank her as the best chess teacher in the United States.

 

Eric Schiller Ph.D., NM

Eric Schiller is a fantastic chess coach and respected author.

The Torres Chess and Music Academy is pleased to have Eric Schiller as a coach for the 2013 Fremont Summer Chess Camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School. Eric Schiller Ph.D. is the author of over 100 chess books and the personal chess coach to many talented young players. When he is not playing in major chess tournaments, Eric is a sought after International Arbiter who has organized and directed an impressive list of chess tournaments and matches. Eric Schiller has stated that he looks forward to making the “best chess camp even better in 2013.”

 

Emory Tate, IM

Emory Tate

Over the board, Emory Tate is widely regarded as one of the greatest attacking chess players of our time. Emory first received national recognition as the best chess player in the United States Air force and by winning the All-Armed Services tournament five different times, setting a record which may never be broken. After the Cold War ended in 92, Tate went into civilian life in Indiana. During these years, he became Indiana State champion a total of six different times and then Alabama State Chess Champion twice. Emory Tate currently holds the FIDE title of International Master which is only one step below the highest title of Grandmaster. However, Emory makes it a regular habit to defeat top grandmasters at the prestigious chess tournaments in which he often participates.

 

Chris Torres, President of TCAMA

Chris Torres is NorCal's most popular chess coach.

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Currently, Chris Torres is ranked within the top 10 of all the correspondence chess players in the United States and serves as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

 

Joe Lonsdale, Head Coach MSJE

Coach Joe Lonsdale stands with the MSJE k-1 Chess Team.

If ever there was an official Hall of Fame for California chess coaches, Joe Lonsdale would be a first ballot inductee. Joe Lonsdale started the MSJE (Mission San Jose Elementary School, Fremont) chess team in 1990 when his oldest son was a third grader at MSJE. It didn’t take long for Joe’s chess team to rise to the top.  In 1992 Coach Joe led MSJE to win its first grade level National Championship. They won the overall National Elementary School Championship in both 2009 and in 2013. At the 2012 Elementary School Nationals MSJE was the only team in the country to finish in the top four in every Elementary school championship section (K-1, K-3, K-5, & K-6). Again in 2013, MSJE placed first at the USCF Nationals in the k-3 championship section. Joe Lonsdale’s goal in chess is to make MSJE the strongest scholastic chess program in the nation and the recent evidence of their success would suggest that he is succeeding.

 

Don’t miss out on the best chess opportunity of the summer! Our coaches will use their decades of chess teaching experience to create a summer camp 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.

All students who complete four weeks of camp will receive:

* A commemorative camp T-shirt

* A special 1 on 1 follow up lesson by a TCAMA instructor

* And hand signed diploma awarded to be awarded by Susan Polgar! 

This class will meet from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM,

Mondays through Thursdays,

June 30 to July 24

At Mission San Jose ES 43545 Bryant St. Fremont, CA 94539.

To apply online, or for more information on the TCAMA, please visit CHESSANDMUSIC.COM, or contact Chris Torres at 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.

Dates: 6/30-7/3, 7/7-7/10, 7/14-7/17, 7/21-7/24

$222.00 for one week

$414.00 for two weeks *save $30 by enrolling for two weeks now

$606.00 for three weeks *save $60 by enrolling for three weeks now

$750.00 for four weeks *save $138 by enrolling for four weeks now

 

Another good way to make an informed decision on a Summer Chess Camp for your child is by attending classes/tournaments that are run by the same organization you are looking into.

The Torres Chess and Music Academy offers Saturday chess classes as well as a rated chess tournament every Saturday in Fremont, California.

Below are the details for our Fremont Achiever Chess Program:

 

The Fremont Achiever Chess Team meets every Saturday from 1:00 until 3:00.

"this is a kind of magic that children will experience at the Mission San Jose Elementary School Summer chess camp in Fremont, California."

 

The Fremont Achiever Chess Team has a very special chess program designed and taught by nationally renowned chess instructor Chris Torres.  This class will provide experienced tournament players with instruction that will quickly increase their ability and understanding of chess. Participants will begin their afternoon by participating in an hour long chess class taught by Chris Torres. 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, your child can join or renew their USCF membership at the first meeting, or by going to uschess.org/

Checks should be made payable to The Achiever Institute.

43475 Ellsworth St. Fremont, CA 94539

(510) 226-6161 achieverinstitute.org

A USCF ID number is required in order to participate in the tournament.
Scholastic chess will never free itself from opportunistic amateurs looking to make a quick buck off unsuspecting parents. But we, as parents, can recognize their amateur habits and steer our children to a more suitable chess educator.

 

Sincerely,

Chris Torres

Multi-National Championship Professional Chess Coach

President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy

Chess Dad

www.ChessAndMusic.com


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