Joe Lafornara

Learned chess at the age of 5, started playing chess at 14 where my first coach when I lived in Rochester, NY was soviet émigré Yevsey Gelman who trained such champions like Anatoly Karpov and Igor Ivanov while in the soviet union.   From 1988-1991 I played board 2 for the 3-time, 2-yr college Pan-Am Champion Monroe community college chess team.  Our college won the 2-yr college Pan Am title 3 yrs in a row!

highest rating achieved was 2014 in 1996…  In 1995, I won the US Class “A” championship with a score of +5-0=2.

Moved to phoenix AZ in 2000, taught chess to students at the Chess Emporium from 2008-2010 where I taught chess to over 150 kids in 10 different schools, with many of them winning not only several personal trophies, but team trophies for their respective school.   A parent of a student I used to teach to created a great video of me playing blindfold chess against one of my former students who was rated 1600 at the time this video was taken.  Here is the link:

I have taken lessons from several different coaches at different times in my career, and I have found that Vita has developed my game the fastest and has helped me understand the game on both a tactical and positional level, deeper than ever before.   After taking a break from lessons with her last yr, I am anxious and looking forward to her helping me achieve my goal of reaching 2200 by the end of 2013.

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