Meet Tani Adumi: 10-Year Nigerian Refugee Who Became National Chess Guru


TORONTO – To emancipate from persecution to start a new life in America, the immigrant journey of young Tani Adewumi was unfavorably fired, reflecting the refugee experience of so many people who had landed in North America.

But taking up chess just four years ago became a transformational step that has helped change everything for his family. And now, at just 10 years old, Tani became just an American national chess master.

Two years after the notable rise of the Nigerian refugee, he gained worldwide attention for winning the New York State Chess Championship while he and his family were living in a homeless shelter.

His father, Quaid Adumi, said he was achieving the title of Master of Chess after winning his latest championship at Fairfield, CT in Cannes on Saturday. He now boasts a tremendous chess rating of 2223 – A. Need 2200 To gain chess master title.

“When he first came, my heart burst out of my chest,” Adewumi told Granthshala.ca in a phone interview on Monday. “I was very happy.”

New York Times columnist Nicholas Christophe, who has written two pieces on the youngster and enthusiastically mentions him in his 2020 book, “Titrop: Americans Reaching for Hope.” Tweeted the news on Sunday.

However, Adewumi called Tani “just a normal kid” who loves watching basketball, adding, “By the grace of God, he wants to be the youngest grandmaster in the world.”

The 10-year-old still has a few years to do so, with that honor currently related to Ukrainian Sergei Karjakin, who was 12 years old when he became a grandmaster in 2003.

But Tani is on her way.

For the past several years, young teenagers have regularly competed across the United States and even been coached by Georgian chess grandmaster Giorgi Kachesvilli.

He participated in the sport shortly after his family arrived in the US in 2017. Tani’s family fled the US from northern Nigeria due to fears over Boko Haram, who were terrorizing Christians in the area, Adumi reported Times back in 2019.

Tani joined his school’s chess program in Manhattan and quickly fell in love with strategy and deep thinking, his father told Granthshala.ca.

But the boy, despite receiving praise and beating dozens of other young chess players from New York, could not provide stable housing to his family and was temporarily living in a homeless shelter.

But following Christophe’s New York Times article, people filled the family’s GoFundMe fundraiser with U $ S254,000, which partially allowed them to move to better housing before moving to Port Jefferson, New York, where They live in the present.

In a recent Facebook post, Christophe mentioned that Tani was a prime example of “how talent is universal, but not an opportunity.” He said Tani was extremely lucky that the shelter was in a school district that also had a chess program.

In 2019, with additional funding from GoFundme, the family has since established a trust Tanitoluwa Aduvimi FoundationTo help other children in similar situations. Biography last year “My name is Tani“Based on his life, and Tani’s story may also hit the silver screen the day after Paramount Pictures won the rights to his life.”

Tani’s father and the rest of his family are thrilled at how far they have come, and he hopes his son’s example inspires other refugee families around the world.

Kayode Adewumi, now a real estate salesman in Farmingville, NY, had three words for other newcomer families: “Keep the hope alive.”

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