10 years 8months old Tanitoluwa Adewumi, who lives in New York became Americas newest national chess master on May 1.
Adewumi achieved this by winning 4 matches at the Fairfield County Chess Club Championship tournament in Connecticut. Bumping his chess rating up to 2223 and making him the 28th youngest person to become a chess master in the United states. Adewumi was visibly excited at achieving this title after three years of consistently playing Chess. He plays chess everyday for 10 to 11 hours anf its clear his hours of practice payed off.
Adewumi competed against other chess players at all levels. His favorite oponent was Japanese Hikaru Nakamura who is a GrandMaster at the top of the rankings. Nakamura won that match. But Adewumi takes each loss in stride and looks forward to the possibility of a comeback.
As a child Adewumi and his family entered America as refugees after fleeing religious persecution by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in their home country of Nigeria.They had been living in a homelessshelter in Manhattan.
He describes himself as a bit of an every man, “aggressive” or “calm” when he needs to be, and always thinking ahead. He says normaly he can make up to 20 moves in advance by keeping all of the pieces straight in his head. Though this might seem like a challenge but Adewumi says it’s a skill which if mastered will just keep coming back.
According to Adewumi “I say to myself that I never lose, I only learn,” he says. “Because when you lose, you have to make a mistake to lose that game. So you learn from that mistake. So losing is the way of winning for yourself.”
Adewumi and his family have since moved out of the shelter in Manhattan and he’s written a book about his life called My Name Is Tani . . . and I Believe in Miracles. That book has been optioned for a Trevor Noah-produced film adaptation with a script by The Pursuit of Happyness screenwriter Steven Conrad.
Adewumi’s goal is to become the world’s youngest grandmaster. He’ll have to beat the current record holder, Sergey Karjakin, who gained his title at 12 years 7 months.