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Nigerian refugee, 9, plots strategy to become world’s youngest chess grandmaster04:18

Nigerian refugee, 9, plots strategy to become world’s youngest chess grandmaster

United States, New York City
July 29, 2020 at 15:05 GMT -00:00 · Published

Tani Adewumi, a nine-year-old chess prodigy and refugee from Nigeria, faced off against opponents in New York's Union Square Park on Tuesday as he continues to hone his talent in the pursuit of chess glory.

Tanitoluwa Emmanuel Adewumi was New York State chess champion for his age group in 2019. He had picked up the game just one year earlier, quickly establishing a reputation for aggressive plays and for taking down more experienced opponents. He has even been on record as saying he wants to become the world's youngest ever chess grandmaster.

Tani's story is all the more remarkable because of the obstacles he and his family were faced with in their journey to the US, where they initially faced struggles for shelter and employment. They sought religious asylum in the States after fleeing their home in northern Nigeria following threats from militant group Boko Haram.

Tani is well aware of his parents' sacrifices. He continues to work hard as he looks to become chess grandmaster before the age of 12 years and seven months, the current record for youngest holder of the accolade.

"It's my responsibility to do well in a tournament because I owe it to my parents' sacrifice for me," Tani said during a break from the board.

The recently published biographical book, “My Name Is Tani and I believe in miracles," charts the young prodigy's story, recounting life in a homeless shelter in the States, and his early days of learning chess, through to his becoming a champion chess player.

Tani’s hope is that his story will inspire others, and especially children, to continue pursuing their hopes and dreams.

"I'm very grateful and it's gonna probably inspire a lot of other people, other kids to never give up and keep going," he said.

Nigerian refugee, 9, plots strategy to become world’s youngest chess grandmaster04:18
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Tani Adewumi, a nine-year-old chess prodigy and refugee from Nigeria, faced off against opponents in New York's Union Square Park on Tuesday as he continues to hone his talent in the pursuit of chess glory.

Tanitoluwa Emmanuel Adewumi was New York State chess champion for his age group in 2019. He had picked up the game just one year earlier, quickly establishing a reputation for aggressive plays and for taking down more experienced opponents. He has even been on record as saying he wants to become the world's youngest ever chess grandmaster.

Tani's story is all the more remarkable because of the obstacles he and his family were faced with in their journey to the US, where they initially faced struggles for shelter and employment. They sought religious asylum in the States after fleeing their home in northern Nigeria following threats from militant group Boko Haram.

Tani is well aware of his parents' sacrifices. He continues to work hard as he looks to become chess grandmaster before the age of 12 years and seven months, the current record for youngest holder of the accolade.

"It's my responsibility to do well in a tournament because I owe it to my parents' sacrifice for me," Tani said during a break from the board.

The recently published biographical book, “My Name Is Tani and I believe in miracles," charts the young prodigy's story, recounting life in a homeless shelter in the States, and his early days of learning chess, through to his becoming a champion chess player.

Tani’s hope is that his story will inspire others, and especially children, to continue pursuing their hopes and dreams.

"I'm very grateful and it's gonna probably inspire a lot of other people, other kids to never give up and keep going," he said.

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