Posts Tagged ‘Chris Torres’

Chess Musings is Leveling UP

May 6, 2020

Dear readers,

It is with great pleasure that I am announcing a huge upgrade to this blog. For the last dozen years, chessmusings.wordpress.com has allowed me to share my great passions for writing about and teaching chess with a global audience. I’ve covered the local Northern California scholastic chess scene with the same excitement as the many World Championship Matches I wrote about. I’ve met and interviewed a ridiculous number of chess celebrities and enjoyed sharing all these experiences with my readers. But the time has come for chessmusings to level-up to a premium site. From now on, all new content will be posted at https://dailychessmusings.com I look forward to continuing to serve the chess community and my loyal readers.

Sincerely,

Chris Torres

An All Morphy Masterpiece

January 3, 2020
A photograph of Alonzo Morphy (Paul Morphy’s father.)

The famous Checkmate by Castling Game!

[Event “Friendly Game”]
[Site “New Orleans (USA)”]
[Date “1850”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Morphy, Paul”]
[Black “Morphy, Alonzo”]
[Result “1-0”]
[SetUp “1”]
[FEN “rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/1NBQKBNR w Kkq – 0 1”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1. e4 {At the age of 13, Paul was already a much stronger player than his father Alonzo. So, to keep things interesting, Paul played this game with only one rook.}

Position after 1. e4

1… e5

2. Nf3 Nc6

3. Bc4 {A young Paul Morphy was a fan of the Italian Game.}

Position after 3. Bc4

3… Nf6

4. Ng5 d5

5. exd5 Nxd5

6. Nxf7 {The famous Fried Liver Attack!}

Position after 6. Nxf7

6… Kxf7

7. Qf3+ {Paul Morphy develops his queen by simultaneously
attacking the exposed king on f7 and the pinned knight on d5.}

7… Ke6

8. Nc3 {Again, developing with threats against the pinned knight.}

8… Nd4!? {What is normally considered a mistake, instead raises eyebrows when played at rook’s odds.}

Position after 8… Nd4

9. Bxd5+ Kd6

10. Qf7 {Threatening Ne4#!}

Position after 10. Qf7

10… Be6 {Alonzo Morphy makes a crucial mistake. Better was:} (10. .. Qe7 11. Ne4+ Kd7 12. Nc5+ Kd8 {and Paul Morphy is forced to start trading pieces.})

11. Bxe6 {Sometimes the only reasonable response to the fork is to eat off of it.}

11… Nxe6

12. Ne4+ Kd5

13. c4+ {Throwing the kitchen sink at black’s king is preferable to agreeing to a draw by repetition (Nc3+ kd6 Ne4+.)}

Position after 13. c4+

13… Kxe4

14. Qxe6 Qd4?? {The move that seals the deal. What looks to be a strong move for the queen in actuality steals the king’s escape route. If only Alonzo had played Kd3 instead. But then we never would enjoyed this game’s spectacular finish.}

Position after 14… Qd4

15. Qg4+ Kd3

16. Qe2+ {Attacking the king and his escape route on c4.}

16… Kc2

17. d3+ {A cute little discovered check keeps black’s king on the run.}

Position after 17. d3+

17… Kxc1 {Of course with perfect play, black could have survived longer. However, the opportunity to be checkmated by O-O doesn’t occur very often.} (17. .. Kb1 18. O-O Bc5 19. Be3+ Kxa2 20. Bxd4 Bxd4 21. Qc2 b5 22. b4+ Ka3 23. Rb1 bxc4 24. dxc4 Bb2 25. Qxb2+ Ka4 26. Ra1#)

Position after 17… Kxc1

18. O-O#

Position after 18. 0-0#, Mate

Below is the whole game animated:

 

FremontChess.com Saturday Quads

October 11, 2019

October 19, November 16, & December 21

The Torres Chess and Music Academy and the Learning Bee Learning Center Present:

FremontChess.com Saturday Quads

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

When: 10/19, 11/16, & 12/21 R1 @ 1:00 pm

What: Scholastic (K-12) 3 Round Quad – G/30 d5

Cost: $30/quad or all 3 for $75.00 A $10 late fee will be added if you register after 5pm the day before the quad

USCF Rated QUAD Format: All players must be USCF members. All players must understand USCF tournament rules. USCF Membership fee is $17, per year. QUAD Format – The players in each quad play a round robin, one game against each of the players in their section, for a total of three games each. Quads are created by rating, grade and experience. All quads will be Game in 30 min +5 second delay (each player). Sets and boards provided. Clocks will be provided, but players are encouraged to bring their own. Trophies are awarded to top player in each quad. All other players will receive a prize for participating and free game analysis.

*Round Times: R 1 @ 1:00pm R 2 @ 2:00pm R 3 @ 3:00pm Trophies awarded at the conclusion of each quad.

APPLY ONLINE at www.FremontChess.com Information:

Contact Chris Torres at chesslessons@aol.com or (209)323-0197

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

The tuition for this program is $30/quad or all 3 for $75.00. No refund will be given for unscheduled player absences.

Sign Up online at FremontChess.com

Please call 209.323.0197 or email chesslessons@aol.com if you have questions.

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

Hundreds Celebrate ‘Rosie the Riveter’ at Richmond Waterfront Festival – CBS San Francisco

August 16, 2019

Former World War II shipyard worker Mary Torres, 96, jumped to her feet and waved as hundreds of people cheered at the Rosie Rally Home Front Festival in Richmond Saturday.
— Read on sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/08/10/rosie-rally-2019-richmond/

My grandmother “Rosie the Riveter” is still going strong at 96.

Summer Chess Camps Return to Fremont

June 10, 2019

Summer Chess Programs in Fremont

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

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

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

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

Visit www.fremontchess.com to register online

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

June 7, 2019

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

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

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

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.

Playing Blindfold Chess

May 19, 2019

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

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

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

 

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

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

2019 Lathrop Mayor’s Cup Chess Tournament

May 1, 2019

Dear Parents,

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

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

Sincerely,

Chris Torres

President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy

Register online at

www.ChessAndMusic.com

An Eggs-tra Special Easter Chess Lesson

April 21, 2019

happyeasterchess

In today’s chess lesson, we examine GM Julio Becerra Rivero’s egg-citing victory over IM Justin Sarkar played on Easter Sunday, 2009.

[Event “Foxwoods Open”]
[Site “Mashantucket, CT”]
[Date “2009.4.12”]
[Round “9”]
[White “Justin Sarkar”]
[Black “Julio Becerra Rivero”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “D17”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ QUEEN’S gam. SLAV def.,D17]}

1.d4 d5

2.c4 c6 {The Queen Gambit Declined, Slav.}

3.Nf3 Nf6

4.Nc3 dxc4

5.a4 {White interferes with black’s plan to play pawn to b5.}

Easter1

Position after 5. a4

5… Bf5 {The Czech Defence line of the Slav.}

6.Ne5

{Here white had two major choices. 6. e3 is the popular and solid Dutch
Variation. However, Sarkar chose the more egg-streme Krause Attack (6. Ne5).}

Easter2

Position after 6. Ne5

6… e6

7.f3 Bb4

8.e4 Bxe4

9.fxe4 Nxe4

10.Qf3 {?}

{10. Qf3 move is overly ambitious. Better is 10. Bd2.}
( 10.Bd2 Qxd4 11.Nxe4 Qxe4+ 12.Qe2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Qd5+ 14.Kc3
O-O 15.Qe3 b5 16.Be2 Nd7 17.Nxd7 Qxd7 18.Rhd1 Qe7 19.Kc2 a5 20.Bf3
Rac8 21.Qe5 g6 22.axb5 cxb5 23.Qxb5 Rc5 24.Qd7 Qg5 25.Qd4 Rfc8
26.Ra3 Rb5 27.Rd2 Rb4 28.Kd1 Rcb8 29.Ke2 Qb5 {…1-0, Bacrot Etienne (FRA) 2716 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2800 , Nanjing 10/23/2010 It “Pearl Spring” (cat.21)})

Easter3

Position after 10. Qf3

10… Qxd4

11.Qxf7+ Kd8 {What an egg-citing position!}

Easter4

Position after 11… Kd8

12.Qxg7 {??} {For peeps sake!}
( 12.Bg5+ Nxg5 ( 12…Kc8 13.Qxe6+ Nd7 14.Qxd7+ Qxd7 15.Nxd7
Nxc3 16.bxc3 Bxc3+ 17.Kd1 Bxa1 18.Nc5 b6 19.Ne6 b5 20.Be2 Be5
21.Re1 {-0.15 CAP} ) 13.Qxg7 Bxc3+ 14.bxc3 Qxc3+ 15.Ke2 Qc2+
16.Ke1 Qc3+ {1/2-1/2, Ftacnik Lubomir (SVK) 2608 – Khalifman Alexander (RUS) 2667 , Istanbul 2000 Olympiad})

Bxc3+ {!} {Punishing white’s mistake is easy like Sunday Morning}

13.bxc3 Qf2+ {White resigns.}
0-1

 


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