The author of this book, Luke Vellotti, wrote this book as a source of inspiration for scholastic chess players all around the country, especially those from smaller states like Idaho.
I want to show those players through my instructional games that high achievement is possible with the right training and dedication to the game. By example, I would like to be a role model to show that all things are possible regardless of circumstance. By the age of ten, I have accomplished many things in the area of chess:
• I am the highest rated active player in Idaho as both a USCF and FIDE Expert.
• I am a 3x National Scholastic Champion.
• I am a 2x All-America Team Member (think of the Olympics, for chess!).
• I won the Idaho High School Championships at the age of 9, the youngest player in the U.S. to win that title in any state.
• I am one of the highest rated youth players in both the United States and the world.
Many people thought that such a strong player could not come out of one of the least populated areas of the country. There was even talk throughout the country that smaller states should have their own criteria of chess accomplishment, since no player from a state like Idaho could compete against others from the bigger states like New York, California, and Texas. But my parents taught me that I could not only hold my own against those players, but even beat them! Of course, it is not easy. I trained a lot and dedicated myself to getting better. I held myself to be measured against the toughest standard. And that is my advice to all youth chess players- set your goals high and then work hard to reach them. You can do it, too! In these 10 instructional games, I tell the reader the openings I used, the thoughts I had throughout the games, and why I made the decisions that I did.