8-year-old Living In Homeless Shelter Won New York Chess Championship: ‘I Want To Be The Youngest Grandmaster’

Chess is one of the few indoor games that really challenges the mind. The sport has attracted some of the brightest minds in history. A young boy dreamed of joining the ranks of sports legends in the year 2019.

Although that may seem like a child’s fantasy, this child had a unique narrative to tell. He was a Nigerian refugee facing an uncertain future. Back then, he aspired to be one of the best in Chess, his favorite game.

Tanitoluwa Adewumi, aka Tani, began learning chess in 2018. In 2017, his family fled Northern Nigeria. Christians were afraid of being attacked by the terrorist group Boko Haram because they were Christians. Kayode Adewumi revealed to a New York Times columnist that he simply did not want to lose anyone he cared about.

Tanitoluwa Adewumi in 2019.

As a result, they found themselves in New York City in 2018. The Adewumis consisted of their parents and two sons. Tani is the eldest. A clergyman directed them to a homeless shelter. Tani was admitted to the local elementary school. At the school, there was a part-time teacher. This was where Tani’s chess journey began.

Tani loved to play chess, so he persuaded his mother, Oluwatoyin, to let him join the school’s chess club. By e-mail, Mrs. Adewumi informed the club of her son’s interest. However, she did inform them that she could not afford the program’s costs.

Russell Makofsky, the school’s chess coordinator, graciously forgave Tani’s expenses. A year later, Tani competed in his first tournament. His rating was the lowest, 105. The trainers were disturbed by his aggressive style. After they assessed his moves, the computer said Tani’s moves were correct.

Source: usatoday.com

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