Unlike other 12-year-old boys, David Adelberg of Scottsdale doesn’t spend hours playing the latest video game or riding his skateboard. His obsession is a little more refined.
A chess prodigy, he is ranked fifth in the nation for his age. Adelberg, who already has had success in tournaments on national and international chess stages, is on the verge of breaking an Arizona record.
In the next months, Adelberg is expected to earn the status of National Master by the United States Chess Federation, a title previously held by Daniel Rensch at age 14. A National Master is someone who has a chess federation rating of 2200 and has demonstrated enough skill that they can usually beat chess experts and almost always prevail against amateurs.
“My parents may have started me in chess, but now when I compete and play, it’s all me,” Adelberg said. “This is the one thing that keeps being challenging and competitive for me.”
Adelberg’s love of chess started when his mom signed him up for an after-school activity when he was in kindergarten at Cheyenne Elementary School.
“David was always very precocious for his age, and needed something that would keep him interested,” said his mother, Sara-Jane Adelberg.”Chess has become an outlet for him. It’s an ageless sport, and one of the few that he could compete with people of any age.”
And he does it well.
As a fifth-grader in April 2008, Adelberg won the State Scholastic Chess Championship in Flagstaff for Grades K-12. In January, he tied for second place at the Tucson Open and Arizona State Championship Open section for all players of all ages.
He also competed in the World Youth Championships in Vietnam and was on the All-American Team.
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