10-Year-Old Refugee, Once Homeless, Becomes National Chess Master: ‘Very Happy’
Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi became the 28th youngest person in the U.S. to earn the title
Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi’s win makes him the 28th youngest person in the country to achieve that high ranking, per the U.S. Chess Federation.
Of his latest accomplishment, the 10-year-old told NPR, “I was very happy that I won and that I got the title. I really love that I finally got it.”
Tani revealed he practices chess “every day” after school for 10 or 11 hours.
His next goal is becoming the world’s youngest grandmaster, he shared with NPR.
The Nigerian refugee will turn 11 this summer, meaning he has just under two years to take the title from Sergey Karjakin, the New York Times reported.
Tani became recognized in 2019 after he won the New York state chess championship for his age group, earning himself a profile in the New York Times. The accomplishment came just a year after he learned how to play chess at school while living in a homeless shelter.
His family couldn’t afford to pay his school’s chess program membership at one point, but his chess teacher waived the fees, USA Today reported at the time.
Other individuals also stepped in to support Tani’s talents.
“Tani’s life was changed in 24 hours. Generous donors and supporters came together outside of GoFundMe and provided us with the housing, legal, and educational resources we needed,” an update to the page in April 2019 said.
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