The 12-year-old San Antonio chess player is turning his love of the game into a charity

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SAN ANTONIO – It is a board game played by millions of people around the world but mastered by only a few.

A game of pawns, knights, bishops and rooks – a figure that looks like a castle. The goal? Victory of course! Or just put the opponent in a checkmate position.

For 12-year-old Nathan Adelstein, chess is more than a hobby. The game of tactical gambit has become his passion.

“So my mom just came out of the blue to teach me, which was very shocking and life-changing,” Adelstein said.

Chess requires more than just a knack, as it requires critical and analytical skills that Nathan has brought to the board since he was six.

“The parts of the game that fascinate me the most? I like the thought processes, the mental, I like that you have to think through your moves and that’s the part that caught my eye,” Adelstein said.

Jesse James Lozano is a national chess champion and has coached Nathan for the past two years. He says Nathan is a natural with immeasurable potential.

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It is a great privilege to see the development of the students and of Nathan in particular. He’s just very, very smart, very, very intelligent. But like most kids, or maybe people who are undisciplined, quick to react and get going, his patience has increased so much,” Lozano said.

Lozano said, much like in real life, chess is a battle. If you don’t prepare to play the game, you won’t get very far.

“I like that you have to rethink what you’re doing in life; you can’t just rush it. And that’s what chess taught me too. Don’t rush it. It taught me to take my time and think,” Adelstein said.

Nathan will host a chess tournament in March to raise money for cancer research and prevention.

“I’ve decided that because two people in my family have cancer, I can help the people I care about and love by doing something I enjoy,” Adelstein said.

As a coach and chess mentor, Lozano said it’s not just Nathan’s heart for the game that impresses him the most, but also his desire to help others.

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Now many people want to take responsibility and he does it to give back to others at such a young age. I mean, I can’t tell you how proud that makes me,” Lozano said.

Nathan’s Tournament Fundraiser has rated and unrated options and will be held on March 20th from 12pm to 6pm at 16550 Huebner Road. You can sign up by clicking here.

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