A 10-year-old who once lived in a New York City homeless shelter has earned an incredible title for someone as young as him: chess master.

Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi became America’s newest chess master on May 1 at just 10 years old. He is the 28th youngest person to earn the title, according to the U.S. Chess Federation.

“I was very happy that I won and that I got the title,” Tani, a Nigerian refugee, told NPR. “I really love that I finally got it.”

To achieve master status, Tani had to defeat two experts, a master, and an international master, the Chess Federation said.

He told NPR he practiced chess for 10 or 11 hours every day after school to get to that level.

Tani made national headlines in 2019 when he was living in a homeless shelter and won the New York state chess championship for his age group.

Tani’s family left northern Nigeria in 2017 as refugees and moved to New York City. While his family lived in a homeless shelter, Tani learned to play chess at school.

When his family was unable to pay membership costs for the school’s chess program, chess teacher Russell Makofsky waived the fees. Tani went on to win the state championship for kindergarten through third grade in 2019.

“It’s unheard of for any kid, let alone one in a homeless shelter,” Mafosky told USA TODAY at the time.

Other offered their help as well. One student gave Tani a chess clock. His mother took him to free practice sessions in Harlem, and his dad offered his laptop for Tani to play chess online.

Since then, a GoFundMe set up by his father, Kayode, has raised almost $255,000 for housing, legal and educational resources for Tani.

Now, a Grandmaster coach teaches Tani two or three times a week, according to a May 10 update on the GoFundMe page. However, travel costs are still a challenge, and when Tani is invited to tournaments abroad, he often can’t go “while his immigration case is pending for fear he might not be allowed back into the United States.”

27 thoughts on “How This 10-Year-Old Went from Homeless Shelter to Chess Master”
  1. I played chess on the bus to work with a civil engineer for some years and never beat him . Did l give up no !
    At work every noontime the best player in the San Francisco Bay Area Chess League played a simulations chess game against 12 of the best players in the company . One day there was a vacant board and l sat down to play with the former chess champion of the country of French Indochina. At the end of the noontime 11 of the players had been checkmated . I was still in the game and asked if we could finish the game tomorrow . The next day l checkmated him and he threw the board up in my face and he said that l should not have won for l did not know how to play ! At a league tournament match , l had worked up to play against a player who was better than the one l had won against . The player l had to lay against was a better player and l was advised to change pieces fast against him to stay the game longer . Well l played white and brought out my two bishops immediately and played him for 6 hours beating him on time , and each of us giving up three Queens .

  2. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look
    of your website is excellent, as well as the content!

  3. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having
    problems locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got
    some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow
    over time.

  4. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you
    ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems?
    A few of my blog readers have complained about my site
    not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.
    Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?

  5. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but
    I thought I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though!

    Hope you get the problem solved soon. Kudos

  6. I liked as much as you will obtain carried out right here. The cartoon is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. however, you command get bought an nervousness over that you would like be handing over the following. sick indisputably come further previously once more as precisely the same nearly very incessantly inside case you defend this increase.

  7. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail.
    I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  8. Hello, I think your website might be having browser compatibility
    issues. When I look at your website in Opera, it
    looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has
    some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, wonderful blog!

  9. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and I
    find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to
    present something again and help others such as you helped me.

  10. I all the time used to study article in news papers but now as I am a user of internet therefore from now I
    am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.

  11. Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I
    was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having
    difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

  12. Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to check it out.
    I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Exceptional blog and outstanding design.

  13. Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very helpful information particularly the closing section :
    ) I maintain such information much. I was seeking this particular information for a very long
    time. Thanks and best of luck.

  14. I was recommended this web site by means of my cousin.
    I am no longer positive whether or not this post is written by way
    of him as nobody else know such distinctive approximately my trouble.

    You’re wonderful! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.