Tani Adewumi, the Nigerian refugee in the US who secured the NY State chess championship in 2019, has now won yet another competition to officially become a national chess master at 10.
Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for New York Times who was one of Adewumi’s early admirers, confirmed the latest feat on Sunday.
It was gathered that the game the 5th grader played to snag the national title was that of the Chess Club of Fairfield County (CCFC). It was earlier billed to hold on May 1, with Adewumi listed as one of the players to compete.
Adewumi came into the global limelight in 2019 after he was discovered and described as a homeless chess genius.
According to the US chess federation, the national chess master title is for any player who reaches a “2200 rating”.
Tani is a reminder: Talent is universal, but opportunity is not. He was lucky that his homeless shelter was near a school with a chess program. It waived the chess club fees for him. He's also a reminder that refugees enrich our country (I say that as the son of a refugee).
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) May 2, 2021Advertisement
The US body overseeing chess competitions adds: “Less than one percent of rated players hold the title. An Original Life Master is a National Master who played 300 games with a rating [of] over 2200” points amassed from games.
In 2019, Adewunmi, whose family had fled Nigeria for the US over the Boko Haram crisis, made the headlines after winning the 2019 New York chess championship while living in a homeless center on religious asylum.
A GoFundMe page had been set up for him and a total of $254,448 was raised in his name, which helped the chess prodigy and his family to move into an apartment.
Trevor Noah, South African TV host, was thereafter tapped to produce a movie which was to be adapted from three then-yet-to-be published books on how his family escaped terrorism to seek asylum in the US, against all odds.
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