Third-grader Anuj Balakrishnan did something that had never been done in the 14-year history of the Collins Chess Club. The nine year old defeated Coach Chris Torres soundly after the coach blundered away his queen in a rare moment of carelessness. After gaining the queen advantage, Anuj continued to use all of his pieces and kept forcing trades until he was able to checkmate his instructor. Coach Chris was so impressed with Anuj’s accomplishment that he awarded Anuj 100 chess club points, a nice trophy, a copy of Grandmaster Susan Polgar book “Chess Tactics for Champions” and turned the game into a learning moment for the class. As Coach Chris shared the news of his loss with the class, he reminded them that, “you are never too good to neglect the basics. In this case, that means always analyzing all checks, captures and threats.”
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. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.
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