Homeless refugee wins New York chess championship

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This is one of my favorite stories I’ve seen in a long time. It’s like a movie plot.

Tanitoluwa Adewumi (nicknamed Tani) came to the United States with his family in 2017. His family is Christian and fled from Nigeria, amid persecution from Boko Haram.

They came to New York City, but have been staying in a homeless shelter.

A little over a year ago, the chess club coach at Tani’s school saw the boy’s budding skills at chess. According to USA Today, when Tanitoluwa’s parents were approached about him participating in the chess club, they felt they couldn’t afford it.

Last week, the homeless the eight year old Nigerian refugee won the New York State Scholastic Chess Championship for his age group. Competing against kids from elite private schools who have private chess tutors, Tani was undefeated.

A Go Fund Me have been setup for Tani and his family. It has so far raised over $139,000.

How can you not love a story like that?

Tani has his aspirations set on becoming the youngest chess grand master.

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Josh Benner  has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served churches in Minnesota and Illinois. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in St. Louis.

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