Posts Tagged ‘music’

Bughouse Chess and Music

July 6, 2014
Mr. Diaz is "Houston’s only chess and trumpet professional."

Nephtali Diaz is “Houston’s only chess and trumpet professional.”

Besides myself, there are several other accomplished musicians who have a real gift for teaching chess. Many of these multi-talented individuals already work for the Torres Chess and Music Academy. One who does not yet work with us but I am definitely keeping an eye on is Nephtali Diaz.

Mr Diaz is “Houston’s only chess and trumpet professional,” which makes City of Houston very lucky to have such a talented individual in residence. Neph is a regular at Houston area chess tournaments and has paying trumpet gigs several times a month. Besides being accomplished in both chess and music, Nephtali has carved a niche in teaching a chess variant known as bughouse.

The starting position in a bughouse chess match.

The starting position in a Bughouse Chess match.

For the uninitiated, Bughouse is an extremely popular team chess game played with two boards and four people. Team mates sit adjacent to each other with one one partner using the white pieces while the other partner plays as black. When your partner captures a chess piece, he/she places it in front of your board and you can decide whether or not you want to place it on your own board as a turn or save it for later. If you chose not to “drop” the gifted piece you then must play a standard chess move. The action on both boards stops as soon as one player is checkmated.

If this sounds like fun you are correct. Bughouse is a blast to play. For more information on bughouse chess I suggest checking out www.BughouseMaster.com or attending one of Nephtali Diaz’s many lectures on the subject. Details on his next lecture are below:

Planning to play in the 2014 U.S. Junior Open or Not-A-Junior Open happening very soon in Houston July 11-13? Take a break from regular chess and drastically improve your Bughouse game by attending my power packed Bughouse seminar on Sat. evening and learn the SECRETS to becoming good at Bughouse while also improving your chess tactics! As a multi-national champion on the game including lectures at many chess events (including the 2014 American Open) and national lecturer featured in Chess Life magazine, it’s also an excellent way to prepare for the Bughouse tournament on Sat night. Visit my website for more info:www.BughouseMaster.com — Sign up for my lecture takes place on site and the lecture is from 530-630P Saturday, right before the side events — see you there!! Register for main event below.
http://chess.jliptrap.us/NJrOpen14.htm

California Chess Coach has the Blues

January 22, 2013

Chris Torres has the blues.

Chris Torres has the blues.

 

And it’s not what you think. My students are doing fine. Instead, I have the blues because I like it that way.

For several years I have tried to come to terms with why my favorite styles of guitar are the polar opposites of classical and blues. Could it be that they relate to chess more than other genres of music?

The very fact that classical music and blues music have completely different fan bases is reminiscent of the white and black pieces beginning on opposite sides of the board. Classical music grew out of the white European scientific approach to complex structure. Blues music found its roots in the southern black plantation workers/slaves who valued feeling over simple chord progression spirituals. At times the game of chess feels as thought out as a Bach Invention and at other times even seemingly simple positions require a fighting spirit and passion to bring home the point. Even a single game of chess can begin innocently in a well structured manner before it distorts into a string bending emotional melee. I believe that Chess, like music, is a blending of cultures and as such benefits when the practitioner is an expert of more than just one style.

Getting to my point:

A few days ago I was invited to take part in the Eric Clapton Guitar Symphony which requires the contestants to record an original instrumental take on the Eric Clapton ant-drug anthem “Cocaine.” On my first attempt I was able to seamlessly combine a simple delta blues approach with the more layered Eric Clapton jam. The result, in my humble opinion, is exactly the kind of music Eric Clapton would appreciate. Should I garnish enough votes from those who agree with my musical interpretation, my arrangement will be used in an upcoming release by Eric Clapton. This sort of exposure is an ideal opportunity for gaining attention towards the goals of the Torres Chess and Music Academy. Below is a link to my submission. Please listen to my 45 second performance and cast a vote that will help me help the Northern California students who learn chess and music in our classes.

 

http://www.talenthouse.com/creativeinvites/preview/a71b51927f04feb9fe79af9ac12f1660/839

USCF Ban on Music

November 26, 2012

On November 16, 2012 the United States Chess Federation announced updated scholastic regulations that prohibit the use of personal music players and headphones. This move was made in order to defend against perceived threats to the integrity of over-the -board chess caused by electronic devices being used as a tool for cheating.  In a bold contradiction of logic, the USCF still sanctions the use of electronic score keeping devices which, in my opinion, have a much greater chance of being used nefariously. I believe that this rule change will result in USCF national events becoming more like a detention halls. It doesn’t take a chess master to understand that by making the tournament experience less pleasant for players, the USCF should expect to see fewer players participating and consequently less membership renewals.


%d bloggers like this: