Posts Tagged ‘RITA’

Big Chess News for Lathrop, California

May 8, 2014


On occasion, the Torres Chess and Music Academy focuses attention on noteworthy individuals who have helped us in our goal of bringing chess and music education to large numbers of children. On May 24th we will be honoring one of these great individuals by running the inaugural Mayor’s Cup Chess Tournament in the City of Lathrop, California.

Our Mayor, Sonny Dhaliwal has been a great friend of education, the Torres Chess and Music Academy and of the citizens of Lathrop. When bureaucracy threatened slow down our progress of enriching children’s lives through chess, Mayor Dhaliwal stepped in and cleared the path of obstructions. This was not the first time the Mayor has answered my calls, just the last of many. In doing so, Mayor Daliwal has made it very clear that he cares deeply about Lathrop’s children and strongly supports our goals of bringing chess to every school in the City of Lathrop. It is because of his incomparable support of the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s goals, that we are honoring Mayor Dhaliwal by running the first ever scholastic chess tournament in the City of Lathrop in his name.

Please consider bringing your child to this friendly and educational event. The game of chess has so much to offer children. Every child will receive an award and all the children attending will experience a world class scholastic chess experience.



Where: River Island Technology Academy – 100 Commercial Street, CA 95330

When: R1 @ 9:00am on 5/24/14 Breakfast and Lunch will be served on site.

What: Scholastic (K-12) 5 Round Swiss – G/45

Cost: $32

Trophies are awarded to top 5 players in each section. 6-10th places will win medals. All other players will receive ribbons for participating. The first place team in each section will win a trophy.




USCF Rated Swiss Format: All players must be USCF members, and understand USCF tournament rules. USCF Membership fee is $17, per year. This fee is included in the entry fee. 5 round Swiss Format – Everyone plays 5 games against players in their section. Sections are by grade. 5 sections based on grade (K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9+). Top 5 players in each section will win trophies. All sections will be Game in 45 min (each player). Sets and boards provided. Clocks will be provided, but players are encouraged to bring their own.

*Round Times: If not registered by 5/23 @ 9 pm they will not play R1.

R 1 @ 9:00am R 2 @ 10:30 LUNCH R 3 @ 1:00pm R 4 @ 2:30 & R 5 @ 4:00

Breakfast will be served before R1. Trophies and medals awarded at 5:45


Entry Fees: $32(includes $17 USCF membership)  Make check payable to: TCAMA or APPLY ONLINE at

Information: Contact Chris Torres at




The Future of Chess has Arrived at River Islands Technology Academy in Lathrop, California

February 24, 2014

The Torres Chess and Music Academy brings chess instruction to the twenty-first century classroom.

Kindergarteners at River Islands Technology Academy  are turning to the iPad to improve their cognitive function or as they like to say, “Play chess.”

Kindergarteners at River Islands Technology Academy are turning to the iPad to improve their cognitive function or as they like to say, “Play chess.”

Parents in Lathrop, California are growing accustomed to seeing their kindergartener’s eyes glued to the screen of an iPad. Often times their child isn’t watching a movie or playing a kid’s game. Instead, kindergarteners around town are turning to the iPad to improve their cognitive function or as they like to say, “Play chess.” Since playing chess also improves academic performance, these lucky parents couldn’t be happier.

Currently, Chris Torres, the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy, is teaching nearly sixty kindergarteners at River Islands Technology Academy the game of chess using a combination of the traditional methods he has used to train several National Champions as well as high tech devices that allow his students to grasp concepts at a much faster pace. The results of his new method have astounded the parents of his kindergartener students as well as captured the attention of chess instructors worldwide.

Of course, fundamentally changing the way chess is taught to children took years of planning and many partnerships. The first step for Chris Torres was finding a suitable school where children were already exposed to technology in the classroom on a daily basis. An obvious choice was River Islands Technology Academy in Lathrop, California. Founded in the fall of 2013, River Islands Technology Academy is the result of Central Valley visionary Susan Dell’Osso’s desire to create a state of the art technology academy in her home town. Soon after River Islands Technology Academy opened its doors for the first time, Chris Torres approached Principal Brenda Scholl with his plan to bring chess into her classrooms. Brenda became first principal in San Joaquin County to accept Chris’ offer for an after-school chess club. Brenda Scholl also Ok’d a chess period to be a part of every kindergartener’s Friday class schedule. Around the same time, the Torres Chess and Music Academy received a generous donation from Palantir Technologies co-founder Joe Lonsdale that made it possible to bring a first rate chess education to schools in San Joaquin County without any funding from the cash strapped schools or parents. Chris Torres attributes the early success of the chess club to forming a committed team of adults who want to help children in California gain a world class education.

“The state-of-the-art chess program at River Islands Technology Academy is the result of teamwork by parents, partnerships with educators and collaboration with generous patrons. Without this framework, establishing any chess club would be difficult and especially so for a club which aspires to be the leading edge of chess education in the twenty-first century.”-Chris Torres

This is not Chris’s first attempt at teaching chess. 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 and 2013 took first place at the USCF Super Nationals Chess Championship.

Chris Torres hopes that the River Islands Technology Academy’s chess club will not only raise the bar for how chess is taught in schools but also serve as a model that other prospective chess educators can follow. To this end, Chris Torres regularly advises parents and teachers on the necessary steps to establishing a successful school chess program. In addition to these free consultations, Chris Torres also uses the Torres Chess and Music Academy as a vehicle to bring chess to thousands of children in Northern California.

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