Posts Tagged ‘Chris Torres’

Chris Torres’ Chess Résumé

January 24, 2018

Chris Torres teaching chess (summer 2017)


Chris Torres

(209) 323-0197 ·

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.


1998 – 2000

Chess Coach, Weibel Elementary School

During his first year as a chess coach, Chris Torres helped Weibel to win the state championship and also coached his first state champion student.

2000 – 2005

Director of Instruction/Vice President, Success Chess Schools

At Success Chess, Chris Torres designed curriculum for all levels of chess players, trained over 50 instructors, established programs at 60 Bay Area schools. Chris established a strong coaching reputation by training several individual state champions each year.

2005 – Present

President, Torres Chess and Music Academy

Through the Torres Chess and Music Academy, Chris Torres has brought world class instruction to California’s most talented young chess minds. Some of his accomplishments included running a “Chess Study” with the Kern County Superintendent of the Schools and U.C. Berkeley from 2006-2008. In addition to the study, Chris was able to educate the children in Kern County’s migrant farm worker community in chess and even coach them to prestigious Southern California regional chess titles. In the Bay Area, Chris was able to instruct several individual National Chess Champions as well as coach for the Mission San Jose Elementary School chess team, which in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017 took first place at the USCF National Elementary Chess Championship. Before 2009, no school from California had ever won the Elementary Championship section at the USCF Nationals.  In 2015 and 2016, the Torres Chess and Music Academy organized the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys which awarded over $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to the top youth chess players in the United States. In 2016, the Torres Chess and Music Academy accomplishments were officially recognized by FIDE (the world chess organization) and the TCAMA was awarded the title of FIDE Academy.

Chess Titles


Correspondence Chess Master, United States Chess Federation


Arena International Master, FIDE


·         Event Planning

·         Individualized Curriculum Development

·         Program Management

·         Tournament Game Analysis

·         Tournament Selection and Preparation

·         Using Chess as a Confidence Building Tool


MSJE Chess Team Wins Match Against All-Star Team from Berkeley Chess School

January 22, 2018

Coach Joe’s Report on the MSJE vs BCS Chess Match in Fremont

On January 20th, 26 members of the Mission San Jose Elementary School (MSJE) Chess Team played a match against an all-star chess team from Berkeley Chess School (BCS). BCS runs chess programs at more than 50 schools in the Bay Area. More than 20 schools were represented by their all-star team.

In a chess match (as opposed to a tournament) the top players from each team play on board one, the number two players play one board 2, etc. In this match each player played two games with the same opponent, switching colors after the first game. The format meant that most MSJE players were playing the top chess players from an opposing school. In addition to being at a disadvantage of one school playing 20 schools, MSJE was missing our top player Kevin Pan, due to illness.

Despite missing our top player, MSJE did very well on the top boards. Aghilan Nachaippan (board 1), Annapoorni Sathappan (board 2) (each team was allowed to play one or two 7th grade graduates) and Nicholas Jiang (board 3) each won their first and second games. On board four Allyson Wong contributed a draw and a win to give MSJE a 7.5 to 0.5 advantage on the top four boards.

After this first round the score was tied 13 to 13. MSJE won round two, 15 to 11 for a 28 to 24 victory.

Other MSJE players winning both their games were Lucas Jiang, Aditya Arulta, Swagatha Selvan, Aidan Ma, Arnam Pawar, and Advita Ranga Ramanujan.

Also competing for MSJE were Stephen He, Aidan Chen, Sai Divyesh Tunguturu. Jolene Liu, Nivedha Manic, Jason Liu, Vivdh Goenka, Artham Pawar, Jainlin Chen, Arnav Gupta, Meghana Satish, Dev Bhatt, and Dhruv Sheth.

MSJE Chess Coaches: Joe Lonsdale, Meiyaps Sathappan, Nachi Nachiappan, Terry and Cathy Liu, Chris Torres

#Chess Lesson Worth Sharing: Carlsen vs. Xiangzhi 2017 FIDE World Cup

September 14, 2017

One of my favorite jazz artists, Charles Mingus once said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” In chess, it is quite common for the more confident player to add complications to the position in order to allow him/her more opportunities to prove superior skill. In general, this is a good strategy and oftentimes the resulting victories are praised by chess aficionados. Of course, another result is also quite possible.

In the 2017 FIDE World Cup match between Bu Xiangzhi and World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Magnus’ over complicated style with the white pieces was dealt a devastating blow by Bu’s straight forward approach as black. Magnus chose a slow developing line of the Giuoco Piano which included several slow pawn moves and piece redeployments. Bu Xiangzhi on the other hand played a fairly straight forward opening with only one cryptic move (9… Rab8.) The result of the game clearly demonstrated the dangers of being too fancy as Magnus’ 11. h3 was severely punished by a common bishop sacrifice and a very creative early advancement of the h-pawn.

As a fan of Magnus Carlsen this game was painful to watch. As a chess educator, this game is a golden opportunity to demonstrate important lessons. For this reason I am sharing my lesson plans on this game. Try pairing the moves with Charles Mingus’ “Music Written for Monterey.”

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 1


Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 2


Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 3


Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 4


Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 5


Triple Exclam!!! The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior (Special Offer)

August 10, 2017

This is a limited time offer to own or gift a hardbound copy of “Triple Exclam!!! The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior.” Dr. Daaim Shabazz and I know Emory had many friends in California who have not yet had an opportunity to add Triple Exclam into their library. Daaim has entrusted me to distribute some of the last remaining copies of this historic work out west. Help us keep Emory’s memory alive and well in California by ordering a copy of his book. In most cases, I will deliver your copy to you personally with a handshake. Additionally, you will be invited to an exclusive book talk the next time Dr. Daaim Shabazz is in California. The price is just $40. Please send questions and orders to Chris Torres,

Click here to read my review of “Triple Exclam!!! The Life And Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior”

Fremont Back to School Chess Camp

August 9, 2017

The Torres Chess and Music Academy is pleased to announce a three day Back to School Chess Camp designed to produce rapid improvement in your child’s chess abilities.

On Day one of our Back to School Chess Camp, Chris Torres will show your children illustrative games which demonstrate ultra-sharp opening play.


On day two, your child will train hard to improve his/her tactical abilities by solving puzzles and taking part in group exercises that are guaranteed to produce noticeable results. 


On the final day of camp, all students will be shown time tested endgame positions that will quickly improve your child’s strategy and confidence in the endgame.


In addition to all the hands on learning, all camp participants will also take part in a USCF rated chess tournament that includes game analysis and prizes.


This class will meet ‪from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM‬,

‪Friday through Sunday‬,

‪August 18th to August 20th‬

At: 2090 Warm Springs Court, Fremont CA

Only $100 for all three days

Click Here to Register

This camp is limited to only 20 student on a first come first serve registration basis. The fees for this chess program are nonrefundable after the class has begun. No refunds will be given for unscheduled student absences.

The Fried Morra Attack

July 27, 2017

“Fried Morra” was served at our Southern California Summer Chess Camp!


Sometimes in chess themes from one opening can directly apply to another seemingly unrelated system. Below is a game in which I tried to play a Smith-Morra Gambit but after black plays an early e5 the game takes on a Fried Liver flavor. Caution should be used when blending these two spicy openings together as the resulting dish can be quite overpowering.


[Event “Summer Chess Camp”]
[Site “Glendale, California”]
[Date “2017.7.4”]
[Round “”]
[White “Chris Torres”]
[Black “Student”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “B32”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ SICILIAN def. Fried Morra var.]}

1.e4 c5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.d4 cxd4

4.c3 {I do not recapture but instead steer the game into Smith-Morra Gambit territory(1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nf3.)}


Position after 4. c3.

4… e5 {?!} {My opponent declines capturing on c3 and thus my invitation to the Smith-Morra.}

5.Bc4 {With black’s pawn on e5 instead of e6 I am free to target the belly Button(f7) with my bishop.}

5… Nf6

6.Ng5 {I seize the opportunity to play a Fried Liver style attack.}


Position after 6. Ng5.

6… d5 {As in the Fried Liver Attack, black can not block the knight’s attack on f7 but can block the bishop with d5.}

7.exd5 Nxd5 {Black’s most solid choice is 7… Na5 and that also holds true at this junction in the Fried Liver.}

8.Nxf7! {Exposing black’s king and creating a new target out of the pinned knight on d5. }


Position after 8. Nxf7.

8… Kxf7

9.Qf3+ Ke6

10.O-O  Nce7 {?} {Either 10… Na5 or Be7 would have been better for black.}

( 10…Na5 11.Bd3 Nf6 12.cxd4 Qxd4 13.Nc3 Bd7 14.Bf5+ Kf7 15.Rd1 Bc6 16.Rxd4 Bxf3 17.Ra4 Nc6 18.gxf3 Nd4 19.Be4 Nxe4 20.fxe4 Bc5 21.Be3 Nc2 22.Rd1 Nxe3 23.fxe3 Bxe3+ 24.Kg2 Rhd8 25.Rc4 Bb6 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.Nd5 Rd7 28.b4 Bd4 29.a4
a6 30.b5 {…0-1, Vysochin Spartak (UKR) 2520 – Munoz Pantoja Miguel (PER) 2480 , Internet 4/ 4/2008 Dos Hermanas Internet Final})

( 10…Be7 11.cxd4 Nxd4 12.Qe4 b5 13.Re1 bxc4 14.Qxd4 Bf6 15.Qxc4
Qc7 16.Qd3 Bb7 17.Na3 Kf7 18.Bd2 Rad8 19.Rac1 Qd7 20.Qb3 Rhe8
21.Nb5 Re6 22.Ba5 Rc8 23.Rxc8 Qxc8 24.Bb4 Nxb4 25.Qxb4 Be7 26.Qb3
Qc5 27.h3 Bd5 28.Qd3 Bc4 29.Qf3+ Rf6 30.Qh5+ {…0-1, Fomina Tatyana (EST) 2214 – Azarova Nadezhda (BLR) 2308 , Beijing 10/15/2008 World Mindsports Games (Active Team w)})


Position after 10… Nce7?

11.Re1 {I would have also been doing well had I played 11. cxd4.}

( 11.cxd4 Kd7 ( 11…exd4 12.Rd1 b5 13.Bb3 Bb7 14.Rxd4 Nf5 15.Rd3 Bb4 16.g4 Nfe7 17.Bg5 ) 12.dxe5 Ke8 13.Bg5 )

11… Kd6

12.cxd4 exd4

13.Bf4+ {?} {Missing the correct square for the bishop by just one square has the potential to throw away all of white’s advantage.}

( 13.Bg5! h6 14.Rxe7 Nxe7 15.Qa3+ Kd7 16.Qa4+ Nc6 17.Bxd8 )


Position after 13. Bf4+?

13… Kc5 {??} {Deep Blue would have played 13…Nxf4 and been fine.}

( 13…Nxf4 14.Qxf4+ Kc6 15.Nc3 a6 16.Rad1 Qd6 17.Qe4+ Kb6 18.Rxd4 Qh6 )


Position after 13… Kc5??

14.Rc1 {I missed playing 14. Qa3+ which is objectively best as it is the first step in a mate in 9.}

( 14.Qa3+ Nb4 15.Re5+ Ned5 16.Rxd5+ Qxd5 17.Qa5+ Kxc4 18.Nd2+
Kd3 19.Qa3+ Kc2 20.Nf3 Nd3 21.Ne1+ Nxe1 22.Rc1# )

14… Nxf4

15.Bf7+ {!} {My choice for the best move of the game is this beautiful discovered check which places black’s king immediately into his death march.}


Position after 15. Bf7+.


16.Qb3+ Ka5

17.Rc5+ b5

18.Qxb5# 1-0


Position after 18. Qxb5#

Book a Chess Camp in Your Own Home!

July 24, 2017

This is an exclusive invitation to have your children spend a week or weekend with some of California’s most popular chess coaches in the comfort of your own home. Let the Torres Chess and Music Academy take away the worry of driving your children to chess camp by booking us to bring our world-class instruction to you. We will bring all the sets, clocks and other materials necessary for a first rate chess camp to your home or sponsored location. Our coaches each have decades of experience teaching children the most practical endgame strategies, incredible techniques to spotting game winning tactics and the most dominating opening lines from actual games. Please contact us with any ideas for your camp and we will work with you, always understanding time constraints and budgets.

Click here to see photos from our chess camps so far this summer

Please send inquiries to Chris Torres at

California Summer Chess Fun

July 23, 2017

 To this chess coach, Summer Fun in California means exciting chess camps every week of the summer. With chess classes planned every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, I organize events for young chess players of all skill levels, including classes with great chess teachers, rated tournaments, chess simuls against grandmasters, chess book talks with famous authors and fun blitz games against coaches. The fun continues through Labor Day leaving just enough time to prepare for my fall schedule of after school programs. 
Below are some photographs from my chess fun in California thus far this summer:

My first summer chess camp in 2017.

Two girls spending their summer studying chess.

A confident young man demonstrates his solution at summer chess camp.

Students were all ears when Grandmaster Tigran Petrosian taught strategy at our summer chess camp.

Chris Torres watches students play at summer chess camp.

IM Armen Ambartsoumian starts our summer chess camp match.

Sitting with GM Tigran Petrosian and Jay Stallings for our summer chess camp group photo.

Some young guys happy for another lesson at summer chess camp.

So many happy students and coaches on the final day of summer chess camp.

TCAMA Summer Chess Camps – The Best Value in the Bay Area

July 12, 2017

At the Torres Chess and Music Academy we pride ourselves in providing truly inspiring chess experiences for the lowest price possible. This year’s San Jose Summer Chess Camp will feature instruction from:

Chris Torres (Celebrating his 20th year teaching chess)

GM Daniel Naroditsky (Currently ranked in the Top Ten by rating in the United States!)

Francisco Anchondo (If your child hasn’t been taught gambit openings by Francisco, they are simply missing out!)

Frisco Del Rosario (Legendary Coach and author of the best selling “A First Book of Morphy”)

Jay Stallings (Creator of the wildly popular Coach Jay’s Chess Academy app.)

The first day of camp is July 17th and tuition is just $160/week. Space is very limited,

Sign up today at

Important Announcement Regarding the 2017 SPFNO 

April 2, 2017

Dear Chess Community,

As a chess coach, there are times when I have had to make the difficult choice to pass one of my favorite students to another instructor in order to better serve his/her best interests. It is never a decision that is taken lightly, not least because of the close bond a student and teacher create when working for years together. But as a coach, our first priority has to be the best interest and growth of the child even if that means stepping down as their coach. 

Recently, I used the same rationale in regards to the future of the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys. Over the past three years, I have worked closely with Susan to plot a good course for the SPFNO. Now facing many new distractions unrelated to this event, I do not think it would be in the best interests of the SPFNO for me to steer it to its next destination. For this reason, I am stepping down as chief organizer and handing the helm over to my good friend Judit Sztaray of Bay Area Chess. I look forward to seeing the mission of the SPFNO continue under Judit Sztaray’s direction.


Chris Torres

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