An American story: just like a movie

We have read a wonderful story, published by www.chess-news.ru, about how an 8-year-old homeless boy from Nigeria became the champion of the state of New York. Garry Kasparov and Bill Clinton are now talking about him. About a week ago, eight-year-old refugee from Nigeria Tanitoluwa Adewumi became the New York State Chess Champion. Information about this first appeared in The New York Times and soon was reprinted by many of the largest non-chess publications.


The boy did not play chess in his native country; he and his family feared attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.

In search of a quiet life, Tanitoluwa with his parents and elder brother went to the States in 2017 and settled in a homeless shelter in Manhattan. There the boy went to school and enrolled in a chess club. Its head allowed the novice to study for free as the family did not have the funds to pay for the lessons.
Adewumi turned out to be a talented boy and his chess rating began to grow rapidly. On 9 and 10 March 2019, Tani (as his friends call him) made his debut in the New York State Chess Championship. He scored five wins, finished one game in a draw and won first place in his age category. In total, 74 children played in the tournament.
A GoFundMe, established by his chess coach Russell Makovski, has raised about 250 thousand dollars to date, and now Tani believes that he could sleep on his own bed, and not on the floor, as before. "I have a house!" exclaims the champion. "My own house!"
Immigration lawyers offered free help to the family, and three film companies are already fighting for the right to make a film about the boy.
It is reported that Tani learned to play a year before the tournament, while many of his rivals already had competitive experience. This story deserves to be talked about, and the family deserves help.
The sixth FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov commented:
“I wish success to the little Champion! Around the world, the number of chess prodigies is growing and it’s no wonder: today's children seem to be born with gadgets. It is a good news that instead of “shooters,” they choose chess to play online. It doesn't even matter to me whether the child will become a grandmaster or a world champion when he is older. One thing is certain: he will grow up an intelligent man. He will be able to reason and make the right moves. It is important. I am glad that we should take a little credit for that.
At the General Assembly in Dresden and later in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2011, delegates to the FIDE Congress adopted the Chess in Schools programme , so that in many countries chess is introduced both as a compulsory subject and as an elective.
In 1994, when I was the President of the Republic of Kalmykia, we introduced chess into the school curriculum and noticed that those children who are involved in chess learn better, become more disciplined and surpass their peers in many ways.
In many countries we have signed agreements between FIDE and the ministries of education on the introduction of chess in the school curriculum. Helped methodical literature, conducts seminars. Chess clubs are being built; chess is taught in schools all over the world. Even in countries where chess has traditionally not been popular (Mongolia, Thailand, Pakistan), chess is introduced.