Posts Tagged ‘chess parents’

Chess Chat: Q&A with Karen Thurm Safran, Author of Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It

May 25, 2019

Many people know you as the powerful marketing force behind some amazing companies and products. Authoring a parenting book seems to be an interesting career pivot for you. What motivated you to become an author?

Thanks for including me on your blog… and for the compliment. Wow, we’ve known each other for nearly twenty years since my son started chess in elementary school. Time sure flies by quickly! 

Writing a book is definitely a career shift from managing marketing teams, working in a fast-paced high-tech environment, and driving revenue for companies. While it seems like a random career move, I decided to fulfill a childhood dream of writing a book and combine it with my love of parenting. 

Welcome, Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It, an entertaining book showing playful ways to stop struggling with your child and start having more fun. Now kids will listen and cooperate-willingly! I’m excited because already it’s been a #1 New Release in 7 Amazon categories.

How is your book different from other parenting book?

While I love reading parenting books, my book is very different. First, Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It entertains as well as inspires. The “how to” lessons are shown through entertaining, light-hearted stories. People say that reading my book is like sitting with a friend over coffee. Second, many parenting books focus on babies, toddlers, or teens. I focus primarily on elementary school-age kids (as well as toddlers). There aren’t many books for this demographic. Lastly, parents don’t have time. My gosh, there’s barely enough time in the day to tackle parts of the formidable To-Do list, nevermind read a book. So, I organized my book into short, easy to read chapters that stand-alone. Now whenever parents have a spare moment, they can easily flip to a chapter on a specific parenting challenge. My goal is to have these fictional, whimsical stories spark the reader’s own playfulness. It’s very touching hearing how stories inspire people’s own creativity for handling frustrating parenting situations.

Why did you choose to write a parenting book and specifically, Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It? 

Parenting is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also stressful. Even the best kids fuss, don’t listen, and misbehave. With the never-ending power struggles, parenting can be overwhelming. My parents had a trick. They embraced a “can do!” spirit, used their imagination, and created games to turn around frustrating moments. It was like magic! Goodbye nagging and yelling. Life became more enjoyable for our entire family.

When I became a mom, I experienced first-hand the benefits of this playful attitude and positive parenting style. I wrote Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It to help other families because this playful approach helped me as a stressed-out single parent. By creating games to deal with frustrating moments, you make parenting more fun, you empower your children, and you spend quality time connecting with your family.

This playful approach is in contrast to that stereotypically serious Silicon Valley parenting style. What are the greatest advantages of making a game out of parenting for families that live in such a competitive environment?

I know, parenting playfully seems counterintuitive, especially when your kids aren’t cooperating and you’re about to scream. Being playful is the last thing you want to do! Luckily, being playful doesn’t have to be hard, You can adopt a fun attitude in less than a minute as shown in my blog, “How to be a Fun Mom (Like Mary Poppins Not “Monster Mom”). I also wrote a blog outlining 46 Tips on How To Be a Playful, Positive Parent. While it may seem like another task to conquer, being positive and playful reduces your stress… and YOUR child’s stress. You’ll spend more quality time connecting with your family, which makes parenting more fun and empowers your child.

Whether or not you live in a competitive area like Silicon Valley, adopting this playful approach has many benefits.

  • Entertains kids when they’re bored and misbehaving.
  • Calms children when they’re upset and melting down.
  • Gets kids to help around the house with chores.
  • Teaches real-life skills like organizing school work, writing papers, and project planning to meet deadlines.

Being a Chess Mom/Dad presents unique challenges for parenting. Could you describe some of these challenges and how you handled them?

The biggest challenge was making time to attend chess tournaments. These are so important and part of the chess experience, so I made sure that my son participated in as many as possible. We even flew to several national events. If you’re going to encourage your child to play chess, realize from the get-go that this is a time commitment. However, there’s plenty of “down” time during each chess round. I recommend bringing work to keep you busy. Most importantly, have a positive, supportive attitude and consider this as time to sit and catch up on whatever.

I learned at the first national tournament, that we were there for one reason: chess. During the first break, I dragged us to the local aquarium and had plans to squeeze in fun activities throughout the weekend. Woo-hoo, we’d get to explore a new city! I quickly realized that competing is exhausting, so my ten-year old son needed to simply rest in the hotel room. These national chess tournament trips are now highlights because they provided special, connecting opportunities that also empowered my son.

How did your son choose and benefit from chess?

While visiting a relative’s house, our cousin taught my five-year-old son some basic chess. Boom! That was the catalyst. This passion continued and grew since the elementary school offered chess (which is where we met Chris!). At seven, he participated in his first tournament, second tournament, and so forth, all the way through high school. Now in his early twenties, he continues playing chess online.

Chess is VERY beneficial! It teaches patience, emphasizes discipline, develops problem-solving skills, trains a logical mind, improves memory, builds confidence, and provides a life-long hobby. I’m impressed how my son can focus and tune out any noise. He’s also great at math, was a stats major, and is now an actuary. Chess gave him an opportunity to be a leader when he started a chess club in high school. But the most important benefit is that chess provided countless hours of fun!

Finally, how can all the chess parents who read this blog obtain a copy of your book? 

They can visit my “Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It” website and also visit Amazon directly.

Thanks for all of your wonderful work inspiring students in chess! And thanks for interviewing me for your Chess Chat blog.

Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys: Results and Thank You

March 2, 2015

Dear Chess Parents and Coaches,

Thank you for signing your children up for the 2015 Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys. Organizing a tournament of this magnitude is a challenge and was a phenomenal success because of the players, coaches and parents who chose to devote their weekend to scholastic chess. Our entire tournament staff is very grateful for the pleasure of working at the first FIDE World Youth Chess Championship qualifier ever held in California and watching your children enjoy being a part of history at the SPFNO. I am determined to make improvements in our performance and tournament structure each year we run this event. If you have any changes in particular you would like to see don’t hesitate to submit your idea for consideration by sending me an email. I look forward to reading your feedback and, of course, seeing you on February 26-28 at the return of the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys.

Chris Torres
Organizer for the SPFNO

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

February 24, 2015


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

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

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


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 and check the lists of preregistered players. If you notice anything wrong, please send corrections to

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

A: Follow us on twitter or on Facebook We will be posting updates and pairings with the hashtag #SPFNO.


Preparing for the Susan Polgar Foundation’s Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys: Part 2

January 19, 2015
Susan Polgar Foundation's Logo

Susan Polgar Foundation’s Logo

As your child gets more excited about playing in the Susan Polgar Foundation’s Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys you are likely wondering what you, as a parent, can do during the next forty days to maximize your child’s chances of playing well. Perhaps the most important aspect of preparing for a major chess championship is to first play in a quality practice tournament. 
Calchess President Tom Langland(left) with MSJE head coach Joes Lonsdale and the k-5 State Championship Team from MSJE.

Calchess President Tom Langland(left) with MSJE head coach Joes Lonsdale and the k-5 State Championship Team from MSJE.

While there are many worthwhile scholastic tournaments listed by the United States Chess Federation and Calchess, perhaps none is more ideal than the upcoming Tracy Chess tournament on January 30th. I say this because not only will your child get to use his/her acquired chess knowledge in a practice run for the Susan Polgar Foundations Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys but at the next Tracy Chess event your child can also meet the tournament organizer (Chris Torres) and Chief Tournament Director (Tom Langland) for the SPFNO. For only ten dollars, the next Tracy Chess tournament is an incredible opportunity for your child to get comfortable playing in a tournament setting while receiving some additional instruction from the gentlemen who will be on the floor at the Susan Polgar Foundation’s Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys.
January's Tracy Chess Tournament

January’s Tracy Chess Tournament

For more information on Tracy Chess be sure to check out
Poster for the Susan Polgar Foundation's Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys.

Poster for the Susan Polgar Foundation’s Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys.

Without a doubt, no-one exemplifies using chess as a key to success in life better than the former world chess champion, GM Susan Polgar.

Without a doubt, no-one exemplifies using chess as a key to success in life better than the former world chess champion, GM Susan Polgar.

For more information on Susan Polgar, hop over to

Preparing for the Susan Polgar Foundation’s Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys: Part 1

January 9, 2015
Parents frequently ask, “What should I do with (insert child’s name) to get him/her ready for the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys?” Since this question often comes from a rookie chess parent, I like to suggest for the parent inquiring to prepare for the event with their child. One of my time tested methods of doing this is for the parent and child to sit down with the book Chess 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games by Laszlo Polgar.
Poster for the Susan Polgar Foundation's Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys.

Poster for the Susan Polgar Foundation’s Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys.

The most important skill to master in chess is checkmating. Starting a chess game without the ability to recognize mating patterns is equivalent to starting a marathon without knowing where the finish line is. Lucky for us chess enthusiasts, becoming skilled at spotting and utilizing mating combinations is relatively simple. All one has to do to develop checkmating skills in their child is to spend half-an-hour a day working together to solve checkmating exercises as quickly as possible. Chess 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games makes this task easy as it takes the reader through some simple mate-in-one concepts and builds him/her into a player that becomes efficient at spotting mate-in-three combinations.
Chess 5334 Problems Combinations and Games

Chess 5334 Problems Combinations and Games

For chess parents with young children, I recommend sitting down with your child at the kitchen table and having the child draw arrows on the diagram to demonstrate the correct solution. If your child gets stuck on a problem for more than 2 minutes per move required, circle the problem number and then show him/her the solution. At the end of the each session, return to the circled problems and see if your child can now solve the exercise. Be sure to reward your child by placing a sticker on a chart every time they study for half an hour. If you choose, you can also reward the accumulation of ten stickers with a small treat or prize of some sort. Most importantly, have fun and remain enthusiastic while working with your child in order to foster a love for studying chess.
Stay Tuned for more tips on how to prepare your child for the Susan Polgar Foundation’s Nationwide Open for Girls and Boys.

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

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

Checks should be made payable to The Achiever Institute.

43475 Ellsworth St. Fremont, CA 94539

(510) 226-6161

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.



Chris Torres

Multi-National Championship Professional Chess Coach

President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy

Chess Dad

The Mission San Jose Elementary School Chess Camp in Fremont is a Perfect Choice for Parents

June 7, 2013

The Mission San Jose Elementary School Chess Camp in Fremont is a Perfect Choice for Parents

The President of the TCAMA details the most important considerations in choosing a summer chess camp for your child.

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Proud member of the MSJE Chess Team at the National Championships.

Winning is contagious and the Fremont Summer Camp offers your child the unique opportunity to train with national champions.

Fremont, Ca (PRWEB) June 07, 2013

Youth chess has never been more popular in the Bay Area and this summer there will be approximately thirty different chess camps all trying to entice the next Viswanathan Anand to attend their offering. With so many choices, chess parents have a difficult chess problem to solve in order to figure out which chess camp would best suit their child.

First off, parents should look for a chess camp that is run by reputable organizations. For instance, the Torres Chess and Music Academy is a nonprofit organization that was established in 2005 and has run a chess camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School in Fremont for five straight years. Choosing this camp for your child will lower the likely hood that classes end up being cancelled for low attendance as has happened with chess camps run by other groups.

Parents should put their child’s safety first and look for qualified teachers who have had background checks completed before they work with children. The Torres Chess and Music Academy hires the very best local chess instructors to teach at the Mission San Jose Elementary School Chess Camp in Fremont. All of our coaches have taught for years and have passed several background checks. Chess masters from out of the region may not been fingerprinted to deem them safe for working with your children.

Parents should be suspicious of chess camps that offer instruction from Grandmasters who do not normally teach chess. Chess players with fancy chess titles are nowhere near as effective of educators as instructors who teach chess full time. The Torres Chess and Music Academy has several professional chess coaches with decades of experience. Four of our coaches assigned to the Fremont Chess Camp have taught either team or individual national chess champions within the last few years. The reason for the unprecedented success of the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s coaches is that our highest priority in chess is teaching your children.

Another important aspect in choosing the right camp for your child is price. A higher price does not necessarily equate to better quality and a camp that is very inexpensive may have several hidden costs involved. The Torres Chess and Music Academy prices its camp at $185/week. We feel nonprofit chess organizations should not be trying to “make a profit” by charging excessive tuition to chess families trying to send their child to camp. Because the Torres Chess and Music Academy is very active year round we can use our popularity to pass savings on to the families that sign up for our chess program. You will not find a better value in chess instruction than what is offered by the Torres Chess and Music Academy at our Fremont Summer Chess Camp.

Of course the schedule of the chess camp is another important factor in choosing the best chess camp for your family. The Torres Chess and Music Academy offers a flexible schedule to meet the needs of busy families. Students can attend week by week, day by day or even specific hours. In addition the Torres Chess and Music Academy has an exclusive deal with Achiever Institute in Fremont to provide after camp care for any students who cannot be picked up by their parents at the end of a session. In fact, since Torres Chess and Music Academy coaches also teach at Achiever Institute, these children may even receive some bonus chess instruction as well.

Finally, location is very important in choosing the correct summer chess camp for your child. The Torres Chess and Music Academy’s Fremont chess camp is conveniently located at Mission San Jose Elementary School. This means that the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s Fremont Summer Chess Camp is the only chess camp in the United States to invite children from any school to come and train with the current National Elementary Chess Champions. Winning is contagious and the Fremont Summer Camp offers your child the unique opportunity to train with national champions.

For more information on our summer chess programs please visit

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.

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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