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A 10-year-old chess prodigy who has overcome insurmountable odds is continuing his reign. According to People, Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi recently won the title of National Chess Master.

The achievement is historic as Adewumi has become the 28th youngest person in the U.S. to earn that title. The accomplishment serves as a reminder of how he has used the game of chess to create a better life for himself, his family and others facing housing insecurity. Two years ago, Adewumi made national headlines after winning the New York State chess champion title for his age division. The triumph also brought attention to the hardships Adewumi and his family faced. He and his family came from Nigeria to America to escape the Boko Haram extremist group and upon their arrival to the U.S. dealt with financial setbacks and lived in a homeless shelter. A GoFundMe page was created in an effort to help his family afford a permanent home. The Adewumis received over $200,000 from the campaign and moved into an apartment near Tanitoluwa’s school. They also utilized the money that was raised to create the Tanitoluwa Adewumi Foundation; an organization designed to help African immigrants in the U.S. who need financial support.

Adewumi shared that he has learned life lessons from the game of chess. “I was very happy that I won and that I got the title,” he said in a statement, according to NPR. “I say to myself that I never lose, that I only learn. Because when you lose, you have to make a mistake to lose that game. So you learn from that mistake, and so you learn overall. So losing is the way of winning for yourself.”

News about Adewumi’s victory comes nearly two years after it was announced that Trevor Noah will produce a film about the chess phenom’s journey.


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