Sunday, February 28, 2010


Mr. Clemente Rendon, President of the Texas Chess Association, is working hard to increase the membership rosters of our association. One of the mediums used is technology such as Facebook. This past week, he launched a Texas Chess Association Fan Page, which I first heard about from WIM Luciana Morales of the University of Texas Brownsville.

Currently some pictures from the recent Texas Scholastic State Championship have been posted in Facebook, however, if you have some more please inform Mr. Clemente Rendon so they can be posted.

The following link to the TCA Fan Page is!/album.php?aid=145608&id=319655309705, actually that will take you to the album section, from there you can visit the rest of the Fan Page.

Please become a Fan and support the Texas Chess Association membership drive.

Friday, February 26, 2010


12-year old Claudia Muñoz will be participating tomorrow at the 4-swiss tournament at the Dallas Chess Club. As it has been noted in this blog, Claudia relocated to Wichita Falls, Texas (her hometown) to be closer to the Dallas area, about a 1.5 hour drive, in order to increase her chess strength as well as rating. In the past, Claudia participated in USCF tournaments about three times per year since she was 8-years old because she was living in Mexico.

Her relocation to the North Texas region was a strategic move in order to provide her the tournaments she needs to meet her personal goals.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Written by Claudia Muñoz Robles
The first time I met Mr. Russell Harwood was when I was 9-years old and he was the Head of Delegation of the U.S. chess team that participated in the North American Youth Chess Championship in Aguascalientes, Mexico. He witnessed as I won the gold medal and won my Woman Candidate Master title. Ever since, we have been guests at his home when I have participated in tournaments that the University of Texas Brownsville held or sponsored. It was through him that I met GM Gilberto Hernandez of Mexico who has been a friend of my family.
During the TEXAS SCHOLASTIC STATE CHAMPIONSHIP, I saw Mr. Russell Harwood once again and I simply wanted to thank him for what he has done for chess in Texas and for being friends of my family. It is no secret that when I grow-up I would like to be a part of the UTB Chess Team, only if Mr. Harwood is still heading the chess program.
If he is not then I will be going to the same institution my older sister will be attending - Harvard University. So, its Mr. Russell Harwood and UTB or Harvard University for me when I grow-up.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Written by Claudia Muñoz Robles
Wow! What can I say? I really had an awesome Texas Scholastic State Championship¨, however, I must give the honor and the glory to God for giving me the peace to have a great time during the seven round competition. I thank God for the parents that he gave me and the awesome sister that I have.
I really have lots of FAITH.
That´s right, my sister´s name is FAITH ABIGAIL MUÑOZ.
So I have lots of Faith.
Now that the Scholastic Tournament has finished now I must concentrate on my next chess event, from this point on I will be participating every week in Dallas so my strength should increase. Now that I am no longer in Mexico and currently live in North Texas its time to reach my chess objectives.
I believe that I will reach the required rating to make the U.S. team that will go to the World Youth Championship, but if I can´t reach it due to time constraints, I will reach it next year, but I will reach it.
Since I was 6 years old until now I had been playing in the Mexican chess and thanks to God I won every Gold medal in the Mexican chess system, except the Gold medal at a Mexican Open - I won a bronze in 2007.
I´m just happy to be back in Wichita Falls the city where I was born!
I also wanted to thank Ms. Ann Work of the Times Record News in Wichita Falls for the two articles she wrote about me this weekend. It feels good to know that my hometown backs me. I would like to meet her in the next couple of days.
Last but not even in the least, I want to thank GM Susan Polgar for taking the time to post several articles about me this weekend. Just to see one of those posts close to her sister GM Judith Polgar was so AWESOME! One of the events that really has helped me develop and get stronger is the SUSAN POLGAR NATIONAL INVITATIONAL, which I participated in 2008 and 2009. The fact that all of us where in the same category regardless of ages or ratings really toughened me up. I don´t know if this tournament will still be held because of the some politics I read, but this tournament should still be held.
If this tournament is not held, when I grow-up I will hold it.
Thanks GM Susan Polgar for your support!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


After winning 6 out of 7 games in the Texas Scholastic State Chess Championship, Claudia came in a 3-way tie for 2nd place, however, in tiebreakers she ended up in 4th place due to her only loss in the 4th round. Needless to say, we are not only happy with her final results but also proud that she was the best placed girl in the final standings.

This second day of competition proved to be inspiring as she ended the day without losing or relinquishing a half-point.

We are also happy to have made new friends and seen once again old friends. Last but not least, we are thanking GM Susan Polgar for mentioning Claudia in her blog after the 7th round. GM Susan Polgar demonstrates her love for Girls Chess by recognizing those girls that perform well. We are honored to have her as a friend. We provide our readers with the link to her blog:


At 4: 20 p.m. Claudia finished her participation in the ¨TEXAS SCHOLASTIC STATE CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP 2010¨. We currently do not have a final result to provide since there are several boards in play. What we can report is that today, in her second day of participation, Claudia had a stellar performance as she won the 5th, 6th and final round. Yesterday, she won all of her rounds only losing in the 4th round to the 3rd seed of the tournament.

Claudia finished with 6.0/7 points and still the only girl in the top boards in Texas. As soon as we know more information, we will inform our readers.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


After four rounds of competition with three more left on Sunday, the ¨TEXAS SCHOLASTIC STATE CHAMPIONSHIP¨ has been a good tournament thus far for Claudia. She won her first three rounds against Keaton Weissmiller, Neil Karvekar and Victoria Mortero. In the 4th round, Claudia who was the 14th seed played the 3rd seed on board two, Sam Land Capocyan. Claudia miscalculated a position in the transition between the middlegame and the endgame that led to her first loss of the event, however, we applaude Sam Land Capocyan for an excellent game.

Claudia continues to be the best placed girl in the event as she is in the top eight of 103 competitors after day one. She will have to play a flawless day two in order to finalize the event with a great position in the final standings.

We want to thank GM Susan Polgar for posting the article that the ¨WICHITA TIMES AND RECORD NEWS¨ published in today´s edition. It has been through GM Susan Polgar´s life and dedication as a female player, which has set an extroardinary example for Claudia. We not only thank her for contributing to American chess but also for providing a vision for girls chess. We provide you the link of her post today:,


We thank the Wichita Times & Record News for today´s article on our daughter Claudia. I was touched as a father and I wish to acknowledge the newspaper for their outstanding work. We provide our readers the link:

Friday, February 19, 2010


Claudia will be departing from Wichita Falls to Dallas, Texas this evening in order to participate in the Texas Scholastic State Chess Championship 2010. Although the tournament will start Saturday morning, in order to avoid the stress of driving early from Wichita Falls to Dallas, it was decided that it would be better to arrive one day early.

As of yesterday, 977 were pre-registerd for the event, 103 in Claudia´s category. She is listed as number 14, the only girl in that top 14 as well as the only Hispanic. We believe that when the tournament is over that will also change.

We wish a safe journey to all of the participants and their families.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Laura Tillman
The Brownsville Herald

BROWNSVILLE — Actor, activist and filmmaker Edward James Olmos gave an impassioned speech to the Brownsville School Board at its meeting Tuesday evening, urging them to fund a documentary film that depicts the successful story of chess in Brownsville.

"Look at what chess has done for these students," Olmos said, after watching dozens of young chess champions receive certificates and pose with board members. "It breeds self-respect at the highest level. It infuses them with self-esteem and self-worth."
Olmos and Danny Haro, a filmmaker who recorded interviews and compiled footage to document the history of the chess program in Brownsville, are seeking about $175,000 in funding from the district to edit the documentary film, Kings of Brownsville, and distribute it. Haro also hopes to create educational materials to help teachers around the country create chess programs in their own schools. Olmos and Haro work with the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education, a nonprofit organization that produces and researches educational media.

Olmos is well known for his roles in Battlestar Gallactica and Miami Vice, but perhaps best recognized for starring in the landmark film Stand and Deliver. In the film, Olmos depicted the real-life educator Jaime Escalante, who used advanced math to catapult underprivileged students to success. Olmos said that he was motivated by the game of baseball as a young person, but that he wished he had instead committed his time to chess.

He called Brownsville teachers and chess players "national heroes" and urged them to invest in a film project that he said would put the city on the map.
"Stand and Deliver is the single most important film in history," Olmos told the audience at the meeting. "More people have seen it than Jaws or Avatar. For 22 years teachers and students have watched that movie together. Invest in a film about yourselves. Allow people to understand the power and process it took to get to this level."

Olmos also urged the community to serve as an example for the rest of the nation.

"You think this happened in your community because Brownsville is richer? Because your children are smarter? No. It’s because you gave your children the opportunity to explore their brains."

Board members unanimously approved a motion to authorize the administration to seek a proposal to fund the film.

Monday, February 15, 2010


City View Elementary 6th grader, Woman Candidate Master Claudia Muñoz Robles, will be participating this weekend in the Texas State Scholastic Chess Championship in Dallas, Texas. The tournament will be a 7-round two day event held at the Downtown Sheraton (Feb 21-22).
Thus far, over 900 players have pre-registered in several categories. Claudia has registered in the Elementary Championship section as this will be her last year of eligibility since next year she will in the Junior High category.
In 2009, in the 7th and final round, Claudia was fighting for first place in a field of 132 chess players. She unfortunately lost in that round and dropped to 5th place in the final standings. However, having finished as the best girl in her category by eight spots, she was awarded an automatic berth to the Susan Polgar Texas Girls Qualifier in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was a guest at the Susan Polgar National Invitational 2009, at Texas Tech University, where the top under-18 female players in the country participated.
Claudia is a Wichita Falls native who recently returned to the area after having lived in Mexico for several years. During her stay in Mexico she won 5-state championships, 3-regional championships, and was Mexican National Champion in 2008. She is mostly remembered in Mexico for having gone undefeated in most of her tournaments. Her Spanish language chess blog IS the most visited chess blog in Mexico (,) . Now that Claudia is back in Texas, she is concentrating on increasing her chess rating as her rating does not reflect her chess strength.
Claudia winning 5th place in the 2009 Texas Scholastic State Championship

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Jo-Ryan Salazar by

DeMong completed the 10 km in 24:45.0 to finish sixth. Camerota finished the 10 km in 27:00.6 to finish 36th.

Overall, three of the top six in the Nordic Combined Individual event were from the USA, boosting the possibility of a strong performance in the Team NH/4 x 5 km event, which will be scheduled for February 23 at Whistler Olympic Park.


WHISTLER, British Columbia -- Simon Ammann isn't likely to face any more questions about whether his previous Olympic success was a fluke.

Eight years after stunning the ski jump elite by sweeping both individual events at the Salt Lake City Games, Ammann has that gold-medal gleam again.

The 28-year-old Swiss dominated the normal hill event Saturday to win the first gold at the Vancouver Games and tie Finnish great Matti Nykanen's record of three individual Olympic titles.

It capped a remarkable transformation from phenom to fluke to simply fantastic.

"I'm back at the top of the world," Ammann said. "I have no words to describe the situation. It's crazy."

Ammann had the longest jumps in both rounds - soaring a massive 108 meters in his second effort - to beat Polish veteran Adam Malysz and World Cup rival Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria.

He knew right away he was the winner, pumping his arm in celebration before raising two clenched fists into the air. He then ran onto the podium at the flower ceremony, his index and middle fingers forming a V-sign as he shot his arm forward, like a ski jumper taking off in flight.

Ammann finished with 276.5 points, with Malysz second at 269.5. Schlierenzauer, the 20-year-old Austrian who entered the Olympics with a legitimate shot at sweeping all three events, had a mediocre first jump but flew 106.5 meters in the second to climb from seventh to third.

"I'm not a machine, I am also a human," Schlierenzauer said about his first jump.

The win was a final sense of redemption for Ammann, who initially struggled to cope with the success he had as a relatively unknown 20-year-old - and the "Harry Potter" nickname he earned for his resemblance to the fictional wizard.

He faced criticism after flopping at the 2006 Turin Games, before finally returning to the top by winning his first world championship title in 2007.

Now he's more likely to face questions about whether he can beat Nykanen's record by also winning the large hill event in Vancouver.

"Simon gets a chance for a fourth gold, and I think he can do it," said Malysz, who also finished second behind Ammann in the large hill and third in the normal hill in 2002. "Simon is very strong right now."

Saturday's win is likely to make him even stronger.

As he was sitting on the start gate and waiting to take off on his second jump - knowing he was jumping for another gold medal - Amman's thoughts strayed back to the last time he was in the same position, and all the ups and downs he's had in-between. While he's a lot more experience now, the 20-year-old Ammann was a lot better at not worrying about what would happen next.

"It was far easier for me eight years ago," Ammann said. "I was a newcomer, I was fresh. ... Today I have to carry quite a burden with all the memories of my long career."

That burden wasn't heavy enough to prevent a perfect flight through the air - and another gold-medal performance.

Friday, February 12, 2010


On February 12, 1996, I had the blessing of being by my wife´s side as she brought our firstborn into the world at Wichita Regional Health Care Center. I will never forget that day because Faith has been an awesome gift from God to us. Not only is she an obedient daughter, but an intelligent, talented and caring one as well. Her heart for helping those in need is awesome. We also want to recognize her publicly for the support she gives to her younger sister Claudia.

We wish Faith not only a Happy 14th Birthday but an entire life of prosperity and spiritual growth. We pray that God bless her comings and goings as He has since that day He gave her to us.

Faith, enjoy this day because 365 days from now you get to do it all over again!

Happy Birthday Cutie Pie!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Why is chess the most popular mind game in the world?

In chess games, children are taught to think ahead. First think and then act. We teach them to think first and ask themselves the question: "what are the consequences if I do this?"

Over time, chess helps to develop thoughtfulness, visualizing, planning and patience. It is known that it improves academic performance. Pascal said that "Chess is the gymnasium of the mind." And, above all, chess is great fun. It provides a magical experience for millions of adults and children around the world.

Chess School SA's 2010 program will include a series devoted to teaching school children valuable skills that will increase valuable life skills.

Chess School SA is providing chess services in the Adelaide metropolitan area and in South Australian country schools. To country schools we offer chess incursions or one-day workshops.

Classes in Adelaide are conducted on a weekly basis during school hours, lunch times or after school. "In 2009 we were teaching chess in many Adelaide schools and we ran numerous chess incursions in South Australian country schools," says Chess School SA manager, Mato Jelic. "Teachers and parents were thrilled, especially in country schools. One teacher noticed how some kids couldn't get along well in the school yard, yet they peacefully played chess against each other during the chess workshop.

Another teacher noticed how chess is a great game for non sporty students to shine. The format of our chess club in Adelaide schools usually involves a 15-minute talk or demonstration at the start of each lesson. This will focus on a particular theme, tactic, strategy or idea. Children are then encouraged to play monitored games in a tournament setting as well as to play social chess variants like transfer chess.

"Children are thrilled to take part in Interschool Chess competitions, when they compete against other schools," Mr Jelic says. "This also builds team spirit. Prizes and certificates are awarded during the year to stimulate further interest and friendly rivalry. We teach with a friendly positive manner, making learning chess easy and great fun."

If you would like a chess club started at your school, please contact us for more information or visit our website: If you would like to run chess in your school or organisation by yourself you are welcome to use our Free Resources, and if you need chess playing equipment you can visit our online Chess Shop.

Chess School SA
Manager: Matt Mato Jelic
PO Box 314 Salisbury SA 5108
Ph/Fax: 08 8252 2226
Mob: 0435 062 283 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0435 062 283 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Press release published by Seeking Media.

Monday, February 8, 2010


By DAVID FLICK / The Dallas Morning News

Jim Stallings began to apologize for the recent construction tie-ups on the University of Texas at Dallas campus, but then stopped midway.

Chess coach Rade Milovanovic searches through chess matches on his computer as team members play in the University of Texas at Dallas Student Union. The team can refer to opponents' past games to study their styles and strategies." onclick="return clickedImage(this);" height=102 alt="Photos by JOHN F. RHODES/DMN" src="" width=175>
Chess coach Rade Milovanovic searches through chess matches on his computer as team members play in the University of Texas at Dallas Student Union. The team can refer to opponents' past games to study their styles and strategies.

"That could be a selling point," he said last week, as much to himself as to a visitor. "If you're trying to recruit someone, you tell them about everything that's going to happen. You make them feel they're a part of something that's getting bigger."

Before he came to UTD, Stallings was a salesman. What he now sells is the school's chess program.

As one of the dominant teams in the country, the UTD chessmen are their own best recruiting tool. But with the field becoming more crowded – Texas Tech and the University of Texas at Brownsville are bidding to become national chess powers – the work of a college chess team recruiter is becoming more competitive every year.

It is still one of the rarest job descriptions in academia.

Though the exact numbers vary depending on whom you ask, only a handful of U.S. schools offer full scholarships based on chess skills, and only a few of those have designated chess recruiters.

In that capacity, Stallings for the last six years has attended local, state, national and international chess tournaments, where he meets the players, distributes promotional DVDs and pamphlets, and talks up the school's program.

But chess is not football.

When prospects come to visit the campus, they aren't flown in on an alumnus' private jet or feted by the head coach. No one signs a commitment surrounded by photographers.

"We stress the academics," Stallings said. "We ask if we can set up a meeting with some of our professors like, say, 'What about someone in microbiology or engineering or business administration?' It's a soft sell.

"It's not like we say, 'We'll get you a date with one of the cheerleaders.' "

Still, Stallings' approach is effective.

A recent New York Times story proclaimed UTD and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, as the two dominant teams in the country. It credited, among other things, the schools' recruiting efforts.

Alan Sherman, director of the UMBC program, disagrees.

"It isn't one of our strengths. Recruiting is the strength," Sherman said.

Sherman became his school's chess recruiter in the early 1990s, when the team was a doormat.

Like Stallings, Sherman said he keeps in touch with prospects and encourages them "in a low-key way" to come to UMBC. The scholarships are a major draw, and Sherman once helped a foreign student obtain a green card.

But aggressive tactics are rare. Attempting to poach another team's players is strictly out of bounds, and disparaging a competitor is considered bad form – unless it can be done subtly.

"I think we have a geographical location that many people prefer. We're along the East Coast and we're near a lot of big tournaments," Sherman said. "But, of course, there are some people in the Southwest who might prefer Texas."

When Daniel Ludwig, 19, a freshman from Orlando, Fla., had to decide between scholarships from UTD and UMBC, he said, he felt no pressure from either school.

He chose UTD because he liked the large size of the team and its camaraderie.

"You could tell at the tournaments that the UTD guys were having the most fun," he said.

One thing that keeps things civil is that the circle of teenage chess masters is so tight.

"The interesting thing about chess recruiting is that it's such a small group," Ludwig said. "When a recruiter talks to someone, they already know all about you."

One reason they do is the Elo ratings system – a metric ranking of chess skills of individual players. Invented by a physics professor and available online, the model has been adopted by Major League Baseball and college football's Bowl Championship Series.

To demonstrate, Stallings calls up the name of a scholarship applicant on his office computer.

"Here's a guy from Canada. He's got a 2400 rating, which is pretty darn good. He's like No. 17. So he's a good prospect," Stallings said.

John Boyd, 18, a freshman from Tehachapi, Calif., said he was always attracted to UTD because of its chess team.

Still, he heard from Stallings.

"I don't know which of us started it, but after I applied for the scholarship, we exchanged e-mails and then he called me two or three times," he said.

Again, the approach is always low-key.

"I don't go around the country and sit in their parents' living room. It doesn't work like that," Stallings said.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Winter Recess Blitz Chess Tournament_________

“Chess in the Chess Center - PROCTORS”

Date: Friday, February 19, 2010
Registration: 6:00pm to 6:30pm
Tournament: 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Venue: Education Center inside Proctors

432 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305

5 rounds, 10 minutes for each player in Two sections – Players above USCF rating 1200 cannot play in lower section.

Bring Chess sets and clocks if available

Nominal Prizes for winners and deserving players!

Entry is FREE – Participants are encouraged to donate canned goods to the City Mission!!!

Questions or to pre-register contact Ashok Aaron or at (518)346-2275 Ext 318.

Organized and run by the Chess Club Members

Sponsored by Third Way, City Mission and Proctors

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


by Todd Thomas

CPS chess building mind power by Todd Thomas DEFENDER CONTRIBUTING WRITER The Chicago Public League chess championships were held last week and Whitney Young took home the title in 8-board, while Lane Tech placed first in 5-board competition. Many prep sports and activities help in a students overall development, but proponents of the game of chess believe it is unparalleled as far as improving the cognitive abilities that are crucial to academic achievement.
The critical thinking and strategizing it takes to win on the chessboard helps many students improve in the classroom as well. One prime example is at Marshall High School where students on the chess team generally perform at a much higher level than the general student body. “There is something in chess that helps them prepare better for their studies,” said Marshall chess coach Joseph Ocol. “Chess helps students develop their ability to analyze and develop critical thinking skills, and it improves focus and concentration.” Joshua Williams, a Marshall senior, has a 3.2 GPA and scored 22 on the ACT (eight points higher than the school average of 14.)
He attributes his score, at least in part, to things he learned from playing chess. “Chess helps you focus better in school. It gives you an edge, and you won’t have the problem of a short attention span because the point of the game is to think and focus,” Williams said. Williams also thinks his peers would benefit if they took up the game of chess. “I would recommend that other students play chess. Maybe if they would learn some of the tactics that we apply in chess to their schoolwork they would get better academically,” he said. “Chess definitely helps students with focus and concentration,” adds Hubbard coach Jerry Jackson.”
It’s about out-thinking your opponent so it helps in the classroom, and it improves analytical thinking.” Jackson played chess while attending DuSable High School and he says that it helped him become less introverted as well. “It helped me build up my confidence. I was a little shy about things and when I figured out I could do things and think on my feet it opened up a lot of doors,” Jackson said. High school sports manager Isaac Curtis hosted the city championships and he too is a firm believer that chess helps students academically, especially when it comes to taking tests. “Chess players probably have the best GPA’s in school. Chess helps them nurture their ability to think and analyze, and they are able to transfer that to an ACT or SAT test,” Curtis said.
The game of chess is also a very competitive sport. Cognitive abilities are developed and grades might improve, but it’s still the spirit of competition and winning that motivates a chess player to keep playing. I’m a competitor,” said Marshawn Richards, a Marshall Sophomore who also plays baseball and runs track. “It really drives me because I want to go above and beyond - I want to challenge myself.” “A lot of people don’t look at chess as a sport because there’s no physicality to it,” said Curtis. “But the mental part is just as tough as the physical.”

Monday, February 1, 2010


FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A convicted sex offender has pleaded guilty to violating his probation after fleeing the country when he was supposed to be in Colorado.
Robert Snyder, a 55-year-old who authored the "Chess for Juniors" book series, entered the plea Friday. He faces the possibility of life in prison. Snyder was supposed to be under intensive supervision after being released in 2008 on a child molestation conviction. Prosecutors said Snyder used his world-renowned status as a chess teacher to gain families' trust and to assault his chess students. Snyder was located in Belize in November after the television show "America's Most Wanted" featured him on an episode.