10-year-old Tani Adewumi becomes US National Chess Master
Tani Adewumi who first made headlines when he won the New York State chess championship at the age of 8, after playing the game for only a year, while living with his refugee family in a homeless shelter, has now become a Chess National Master with a rating of 2223 at just 10 years.
The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who wrote a piece on the youngster two years ago, shared on social media the triumphant news of Tani’s latest win.
The victorious news of Tani’s latest victory was posted on social media by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who wrote an article on the youngster two years earlier.
Kristof posted on Facebook:
Here’s a joyful update: Tani just won another championship, in Fairfield, CT, and is now (as a 10-year-old fifth grader) a Chess National Master with a rating of 2223.
In ‘Tightrope’, we wrote that Tani exemplifies the principle that ‘talent is universal, but opportunity is not’.
He was able to soar because his homeless shelter was in a school district with a chess program, and the teacher realised that his family didn’t have resources and waived the chess club fees. We need more of that!
According to The New York Times, Tani and his family fled Nigeria in 2017, fearing they would become the target of Boko Haram terrorists. The family obtained asylum and lived in a homeless shelter in Manhattan. During that time, the boy learned how to play chess at school.
The school chess coach saw the child’s potential and approached his family about joining the chess program. Fees were waived for Tani to join the club.