Nigerian Refugee, 8, Becomes Chess Champion in New York

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8-year-old Nigerian refugee Tanitoluwa Adewumi has the world on standstill after trumping 73 other chess players within his age group in New York to become the youngest Chess champion.

Tani and his parents Kayode and Oluwatoyin Adewumi left Northern Nigeria in 2017 due to the incessant attack of Boko Haram in that part of the country. They have since settled in a homeless shelter in Manhattan, though seeking asylum.

“It’s deep thinking, you have to like understand a lot of stuff.” Tani said of his win.

“I want to be the youngest grandmaster in the world and beat the world champion’s record,” he added.

Tani Adewumi Chess

“His intellect, his aptitude, his capacity to learn chess is off the charts.” “From not playing to beating the best of the best in one year is unheard of, all while living in a homeless shelter,” Tani’s coach at his elementary school, Russell Makofsky spoke of him.

His mother said:

“We are grateful to God for giving us the opportunity to put him in a school that he can see his goal and get his career.”

Tani Adewumi Chess

According to CBS News, an attorney has volunteered to represent Tani’s family in their asylum case pro bono.

Also a GoFundMe for the family has raised more than $80,000. Adewumi is already gearing up for the elementary national championship this May.

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