At some point, IM Luke Harmon-Vellotti moved beyond simply being a precocious young man—he’s full-fledged wunderkind. Born in 1998 in Boise, Idaho, Luke has found early success in chess and academics alike.
A multiple National Chess Champion and All-American Chess Team member, Luke had been crowned the Idaho Chess Champion and had published his first book by the time he was only ten years old. Academics and chess both came easily to him, as he found himself the recipient of numerous academic awards, even while taking advanced classes far beyond his age group. Since, he has become his home state’s first international master, and at sixteen he has finished his second year at UCLA, working on a double-major in Math and Computer Science.
Luke’s ultimate goal in chess is to achieve the lauded title of grandmaster, but he admits that his life ambitions extend beyond chess alone. After he finishes his undergraduate degree, Luke wishes to attend medical school to become a doctor, as he has placed a premium on making the greatest positive impact on the world around him. Even so, he has already succeeded in finding a way to use chess as an instrument of good: in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, Luke helped raise funds for the cause by running a twenty board simul charity event.