8-year-old Nigerian, Tanitoluwa Adewumi has become a Chess Champion in New York.
Tani a third grader who lives in a homeless shelter in Manhattan, New York with his family, was forced to flee Nigeria with his family upon threat to life from terrorism. Though homeless, he has just won his seventh trophy in over one year of playing chess.
He was Crowned Chess Champion for kindergarten through third grade. He went undefeated at the State Tournament last weekend, outwitting Children from Elite Private Schools with Private Chess Tutors.
Even though he just got familiar with the Chess Board, his knowledge of Chess has risen month by month, with seven Trophies to his name. His goal is to be the Youngest Grand Master of Chess.
Tani was able to join the Chess Club at school to perfect his knowledge in chess, though not able to pay the Chess fees, his mother went the extra to tell his Chess teacher about their inability to pay the Fees and Tani’s interest in the game of Chess.
The fees were waived by Russell Makofsky, in charge of the P.S. 116 Chess program. A year ago, Tani had the lowest rating of any participant, 105 but now Tani’s rating is 1587 and rising fast.
Magnus Carlsen still stands as the world’s best chess player at 2845.
Though he is homeless and leaves at the shelter, his parents support him a great deal and are dedicated to seeing him succeed.
His family, though very religious, his mom takes him every Saturday to a three hour free practice session in Harlem, and attends his tournaments and his dad lets him make use of his laptop each evening to practice the chess game.
Nevertheless, it is still hard for young Tani, who once cried because he misheard a Judge whom he thought said was going to deport his family. He also cries sometimes from being teased over homelessness.
Despite his challenges, he is still driven to succeed as he does 10 times more Chess Puzzles than the average kid. He is aimed at being the best, so he tries to get better than before.