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10-yr-old refugee wins National Chess Master title



  • Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi, a 10-year-old refugee from Nigeria, won the National Chess Master title on May 1.
  • Tani’s chess journey started in 2019, when he won the New York state chess championship for his age group.
  • His book ‘My Name Is Tani . . . and I Believe in Miracles’ was approved for a Paramount film adaption.

Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi, a 10-year-old refugee from Nigeria, became the National Chess Master on May 1.

The 28th youngest person in the country to grab the title told NPR, “I was very happy that I won and that I got the title. I really love that I finally got it.”

With his 10-11 hours practice “every day,” Tani surely deserves the award. With his dedication, passion and commitment, it will be no surprise once he attains his goal of becoming the world’s youngest grandmaster.

This summer, the once-homeless chess master will turn 11, which means that he only has less than two years to take the title from Sergey Karjakin.

According to the New York Times, the boy’s outstanding skills in playing chess have helped him and his family move out of a New York City homeless shelter.

It was in 2019 when Tani was recognized after winning the New York state chess championship for his age group. What’s more incredible is that he was only playing for a year when he won and earned a profile in the New York Times.

Photo Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty

His chess teacher might have seen his abilities and waived the chess program membership fees when Tani’s family couldn’t afford to pay at one point, USA Today reported.

Others have also lent a hand to support the little champ.

When his father set up a GoFundMe page, donations totaled to $254,448, which enabled their family to get housing and other necessities!


“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.

The little chess master wrote a book titled ‘My Name Is Tani . . . and I Believe in Miracles,’ which was green-lit for a Paramount film adaption with Trevor Noah as a producer, Deadline reported in November 2019.

Great move, little chess master!

Source: MSN