The New York State Scholastic Championships tournament has a new winner. An eight-year-old homeless Nigerian refugee has won for his age bracket and if that’s not impressive enough, he only started playing a little over a year ago.
Tanitoluwa Adewumi, who goes by Tani, left Nigeria with his family in 2017 and they moved to New York City just over a year ago, where the boy has learned to play chess at school. He and his family live in a homeless shelter, but after seeing the kid’s potential, school chess coach Shawn Martinez was able to waive the costs for the school’s chess program so Tani could keep playing.
“I want to be the youngest grandmaster,” the boy says. And he’s well on his way. He’s now one of the top players in the country for his age group. Plus, as his story is making headlines, people are volunteering to help his family. Someone set up aGoFundMefor them, which has raised over $100,000 in a few days and offers have come in to help with a car, legal services, jobs, and even housing.