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10-year-old boy who once lived in NYC homeless shelter becomes chess master

Tanitoluwa "Tani" Adewumi
Posted at 1:25 PM, May 12, 2021

NEW YORK, N.Y. — A 10-year-old boy named Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi is America’s newest national chess master.

The U.S. Chess Foundation says Adewumi broke the 2200 barrier earlier this month at the Fairfield County Chess Club Championship tournament.

According to the foundation, Adewumi is the 28th youngest person to become a chess master.

On his way to his master rating, officials say the boy defeated two experts, a master and an international master.

Adewumi began playing chess a few years ago when he was living in a homeless shelter in New York City with his refugee family, who had fled religious persecution by an Islamist militant group in their home country of Nigeria, NPR reports

In America, Adewumi played chess with his brother and soon rose to fame after winning a state chess title in his age group in 2019, WABC reports.

Since then, Adewumi has honed his skills by practicing the game nearly every day.

Multiple books have also been written about his life. One is called “My Name Is Tani… and I Believe In Miracles.”

Adewumi told NPR that his next goal is to become the world’s youngest grandmaster. He reportedly has under two years to beat that record.