Tani Adewumi has made it his life mission to become the youngest ever national chess master at age 11.
During a recent interview, the Nigerian boy who resides in New York currently explained how much he loves the sport. And Adewumi is also grateful because chess paved the way for his family to have a better life.
How chess changed Tani Adewumi and his family's life
In 2017, Adewumi and his entire family fled northern Nigeria amid fears over the attacks by the extremist group Boko Haram.
After fleeing Nigeria, Adewumi's family moved to a Manhattan homeless shelter, and they stayed there for an entire year before eventually relocating to the United States.
While there, the 11-year-old chess prodigy went to school, and he joined the P.S. 116 chess club. After that, the registration fee was waived.
Afterword spread about Adewumi's state championship title, hundreds of people sent him and his family financial support.
"One family, they paid for a year's rent in Manhattan. One family gave us in 2019 a brand-new Honda, and the Saint Louis Chess Club in Missouri invited the family and the coaches to come and pay a visit," his father said Kayode Adewumi told CNN.
GoFundMe page helps chess prodigy, underprivileged kids
Kayode added that many people donated money to leave the homeless shelter and rent their own homes. And none of this would be possible if not for his son.
A GoFundMe was also set up on behalf of Adewumi. And now that they are back on their feet in the US, they have decided to help the Tanitoluwa Adewumi Foundation, which supports underprivileged children across the globe.
Adewumi's dad said that it's essential for them to give back because they know what it feels like to have nothing.
Tani Adewumi wants to become chess' youngest-ever grandmaster
As of press writing, Adewumi is the 28th youngest person to become a national master in chess. But his current goal is to become the game's youngest-ever grandmaster. This title currently belongs to 12-year-old Abhimanyu Mishra.
According to the publication, Adewumi has been working so hard to ensure that he will get the youngest grandmaster title. After school, he practices chess for seven hours every day.
The 11-year-old also said that this strategy is to attack his opponent as fast as he can. Since he is a fast thinker, he doesn't want to waste so much time checking his opponent.
In May, Adewumi became America's newest chess master. At the time, he was just ten years old.
Following his win, he told NPR that he's pleased that he finally got the title.
Before this, Adewumi had to beat two experts, which included a master and an international master.
His chess teacher, Russell Makofsky, couldn't contain his excitement while working with the chess prodigy.
According to USA Today, he said that Adewumi's talent in chess is unheard of, especially for someone who used to live at a homeless shelter.