There are very few indoor sports that exercise the mind as much as Chess. The sport has featured some of the most brilliant minds in human history. In 2019, an 8-year-old hoped to add his name to the list of legends in the sports’ history.
However, even if that may seem like a child’s dream, this child had a special story. He was a refugee from Nigeria and his future was anything but certain. But even then he dreamt of being one of the best at Chess, the game he so dearly loved.
Tanitoluwa Adewumi – From Nigeria To USA
Tanitoluwa Adewumi, also known as Tani, had begun to learn chess in 2018. In 2017, his family had fled from Northern Nigeria. They were afraid of the terrorist group Boko Haram attacking them since they were Christians. Kayode Adewumi, in an interview with a New York Times Columnist, said that he simply did not want to lose anyone he loved.
As a result, they ended up in New York City in 2018. The Adewumis comprised of the parents and their two sons. Tani is their younger son. A pastor showed them the way to a shelter for the homeless. Tani got enrolled at the elementary school in the locality. The school had a part-time school teacher. This is where Tani’s journey in chess began.
Tani enjoyed chess and begged his mother, Oluwatoyin, to let him be a member of the school’s chess club. Mrs. Adewumi notified the club via e-mail about her son’s interest. However, she also informed them that she had no means to pay the program’s fees.
Russell Makofsky, the overseer of the school’s chess program, generously waived Tani’s fees. One year later, Tani participated in his first tournament. However, his rating was the lowest there – 105. His aggressive playing style alarmed the trainers present at the tournament. They later analyzed his moves, and to their surprise, Tani’s moves were correct according to the computer.