Chris Torres has been successfully managing and creating school chess programs for his entire adult life. His most recognized accomplishments include the co-founding of Success Chess Schools, the creation of the Torres Chess and Music Academy and consistently coaching the best young chess players in California for 15 years.
Chris found himself drawn into chess education in 1998 when
Dr. Alan Kirshner needed a replacement teacher for his famous Weibel Chess Club. Chris was an obvious choice beause he had been teaching Alan’s son classical guitar and often played chess with the Kirshners. Soon after joining a group of chess instructors at Weibel, Chris coached his first state champion student. Copying from the success of the Weibel Chess Club, Chris went on to establish State Champion chess programs at Argonaut Elementary School in Saratoga and the Harker School in San Jose. Shortly later, Alan Kirshner promoted Chris to Vice President of Success Chess and Chris turned all of his independently run programs over to the newly formed nonprofit.
As vice president of Success Chess, Chris Torres established chess programs and taught chess at schools all around the Bay Area. Many of the schools still have chess programs to this day. Some of these chess programs are at: Warm Springs Elementary School(Fremont), Leitch Elementary School(Fremont), Mission Valley Elementary School(Fremont), Ardenwood Elementary School(Fremont), Gomes Elementary School(Fremont), Blue Hills Elementary School(Cupertino), Collins Elementary School(Cupertino), Dilworth Elementary School(Cupertino), Muir Elementary School(Cupertino), Regnart Elementary School(Cupertino) Matsumoto Elementary School(San Jose), Meyerholz Elementary School(San Jose), Silver Oak Elementary School(San Jose), Covington Elementary School(Los Altos), Duveneck Elementary School(Palo Alto), Palo Verde Elementary School(Palo Alto), International School of the Peninsula(Palo Alto), Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School(Palo Alto), Laurel Elementary School(Atherton), Las Lomitas Elementary School(Atherton), John Muir Elementary School(San Bruno), Crestmoor Elementary School(San Bruno), Dougherty Elementary School(Dublin) and quite a few other schools. During his time at Success Chess, Chris Torres also became a notable tournament director and a board member for Calchess. Through Success Chess, Chris Torres was able to achieve his goals of bringing scholastic chess to children all over the Bay Area.
After leaving Success Chess Schools in 2004, Chris Torres spent several months working for Richard Peterson of the Chess Education Association. After the school year concluded, Richard suggested to Chris that he set up his own organization and offered to sell all of the chess equipment from the CEA at a discount price. A couple months later, the Torres Chess and Music Academy was born.
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 alongside Joe Lonsdale, which in 2009 and 2013 took first place at the USCF Super Nationals Chess Championship. To date, no other elementary school from California has ever placed first in the Elementary Championship division of the USCF Super Nationals.
Acknowledged today as a pioneer in the field of chess and education, Chris Torres has been invited to speak at numerous educational forums and events. Aside from his reputation as a successful chess teacher, Chris is also known throughout the Silicon Valley as a top notch classical guitarist who still finds time to teach groups of youngsters the enjoyment of playing classical music.