At 10-year-old, Nigerian born Tani Adewumi is America's youngest Chess Master
[May 11, 2021: Josh Shavit]
Tanitoluwa (Tani) Adewumi, was seven years old when he, his parents, and his older brother fled from Nigeria. The family immigrated to New York, where, he played with his brother "on a real board" after he learned at school.
In 2019, Tani quickly rose to fame by winning the the New York State K-3 Championship (the group for children between kindergarten and third grade) at age eight.
Two years later the now 10-year-old prodigy reached a new milestone: he conquered the title of National Master (NM) and is now the youngest Chess Master in America.
Adewumi did so on May 1 at the Fairfield County Chess Club Championship, where he scored 4/4 in games with a 30-minute time control.
Not recognized by the International Chess Federation, the National Master title is used by the U.S. Chess Federation for players with a USCF rating higher than 2200. It comes after expert, which is for players between 2000 and 2199 USCF.
"It feels very wonderful; it feels very good. I've been trying to get it for some time now, since the pandemic, so it feels very relieving to finally get the title," he said.
"After school, I play every day. I just play for the whole time," he said.
When asked if he can see five, 10, 20 moves ahead during a match, he said, "Yes, I can memorize and I can think ahead of my opponent. I can do that."
Many are comparing Tani to the popular Netflix series "The Queens Gambit" which he said, "It's a very fun TV series to watch, I really like the action about it."
His chess coach had set up a GoFundMe following the boy's win, which got his family into an apartment and out of a homeless shelter.
As he's 10 years old, it's no surprise that Adewumi is a well-known player on ChessKid, Chess.com's child-friendly subsidiary website. For instance, he was a qualifier for the 2020 ChessKid Youth Speed Chess Championship.
Adewumi played a mini-match against another ChessKid star, CM Shreyas Royal, and also faced FM Mike Klein (FunMasterMike on Chesskid) in a series titled "The Old Man and the Tani."
One thing is for sure, the sky's the limit for this young prodigy.
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