Mexico’s Chess Master: Carlos Torre

See the last paragraph for exciting news on the Chandra Alexis Chess Club’s Torre Invitational sponsored by®

Carlos Torre – Mexico Chess

Carlos Torre Repetto is a name well known by seasoned chess players across the world. Torre was a man who saw chess as art and had little taste for the struggle. This Mexican grandmaster was born in Merida, in the province of Yucatan, Mexico in 1904. He then, later on, went to be considered as one of the brightest geniuses of all times. Many books measure and qualify his games as a jewel of beauty.

Carlos Torre

Rumors about Carlos Torre’s ghost trolling modern internet chat boards as “Mysterious Jim” are only rumors. Nobody has been able to verify the identity of the Mysterious Jim. A trusted source has confirmed that he will attend the Fide Event next Spring. Should he compete, despite his age, he is expected to play on board 1 through most of the tournament.

Early Years

Carlos Torre learned to play chess at the tender age of six years. And in 1915, he went to the United States to try and prove his skill against America’s best chess players. Torre moved to New Orleans where he quickly improved his skill under the tutelage of the New Orleans player, E.Z. Adams.

After 8 years of beating local opponents, Carlos Torre finally got his break by winning the Louisiana Championship in New Orleans in 1923. The same year, Torre took third place in a competition in New York.

Carlos Torre made a major comeback the following year where he claimed the first spot in Detroit in the 25th Western Open/ U.S Open Chess Champion. Later the following year he also won in Rochester, New York, and took third place in New York City.

In 1925, this by then upcoming chess master made his European debut in events with stronger and tougher opponents. The European debut was not as successful but Torre tied for the third and fourth spot in Marienbad. In Moscow, the same year, Carlos Torre tied for fifth and sixth place. His best performance on the European stage remains the tied second and third place which he achieved in Leningrad.

The following year Carlo Torres also managed to tie for second and third place in Chicago. However, his last trophy came in 1926 in Mexico City.

The Legacy

Most people remember Carlos Torre for the “Torre Attack” one of the simplest chess openings named after him. Although very simple, this move is highly effective and can win you many games.

Carlos Torre used this move to beat Emmanuel Laker at a major tournament using the most famous windmill example.

The Break Down

Although Carlo Torre was born in 1904, he quit chess in 1926 at the age of 22 only after two years professionally. During the tournament in Chicago in 1925, Carlos only needed a win to finish first in a pool that included Geza Maroczy and Frank Marshall. However, he lost his game against Edward Lasker which later led to a serious nervous breakdown.

According to The Life and Games of Carlos Torre, there was an incident while he was in New York where he attempted to remove his clothes on a Fifth Avenue Bus. Rumors have it that his breakdown was as a result of being jilted by his fiancee.

Whether that is true or not, we will never know. However, Dr. Carlos Fruvas, who was close to the protégé reported that Carlos eventually became a victim of his success. Other reports claim that Torre was used by political, financial, and military leaders to increase their social standings.

In short, Torre became a victim of stress and the only way was getting away from fame. Torre voluntarily retired from chess to stay away from this group of people.

In his later life, Carlos Torre was quoted saying that “I abandoned chess competition, but never my love for this beautiful game.”

In Memory of Carlos Torre –® sponsors the Annual Torre Chess Tournament

The Chandra Alexis Chess Club out of Boise Idaho holds several tournaments each month. The club’s mission is: …” dedicated to the education and training of national and international chess players and tournament directors. We have fun taking the sport of chess seriously.” The Carlos Torre Invitational is not yet reality but we are working with the club to make it happen. Stay tuned! For more information on this annual tournament, or to sign up click here.

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