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Tanitoluwa Adewumi

Tanitoluwa Adewumi

Tanitoluwa Adewumi (born September 3, 2010) is a Nigerian-American chess player who reside in New York City. A chess prodigy, he won the 2019 K-3 New York State chess Championship at the age of 8. [3]

Personal Life

Adewumi and his family left Nigeria in 2017 when they feared they would become the target of Boko Haram terrorist. Adewumi, his older brother and his parents obtained asylum in New York City, where they have since lived in a Manhattan homeless shelter. It is during their time there that he learned to play chess. [3]


In just a little more than a year since first learning chess, he earned first place at the 52nd New York State Scholastic Championships tournament for kindergarten to third-grade players in March 2019. Adewumi went undefeated throughout the tournament, which featured players from elite private schools with private chess tutors. [3]

His accomplishment caught the attention of former president Bill Clinton, who invited him to his offices in Harlem. A GoFundMe to help his family raised more than $246,000 from 4,795 donors in just 10 days. [10]

In November 2019, Trevor Noah announced that he will produce a film about Adewumi's story. The film will be produced under Noah's Day Zero Productions imprint alongside his business partner, Haroon Salem. [1]


Tanitoluwa E. Adewumi was born on September 3rd, 2010 Kayode and Oluwatoyin Adewumi.

Before he moved with his parents to the United States, he won two trophies in his first grade for an InterSchool race.

At age four, he told his parents that he wanted to become a pilot in the future.

His parents were not really surprised because he is a very brave, brilliant, and intelligent boy.

Tanitoluwa and his family fled Northern Region, Nigeria in 2017, fearing the attacks by Boko Haram Terrorists on Christians. So Tanitoluwa, his parents, and his older brother (Adesina Austin Adewumi) arrived in New York City, USA and a pastor (Pastor Philip Falayi) helped them to a homeless shelther.

He was enrolled into P.S.

116 in Manhattan, NY and he was introduced to the school chess club by coaches Shawn Martinez and Russell Makofsky. Tanitoluwa enjoyed the game and asked his mom (Oluwatoyin Adewumi) if he could join the chess club.[2]

A note was sent from the school that Tanitoluwa was really interested in chess, and could be registered.

In the process of registration, his mom found out she had to pay some fees, which she could not afford to pay because the family was living in a shelter.

She explained to the school Chess Director.


The director waived the fee and gave a full Scholarship.

It was sometimes tough for Tanitoluwa Adewumi. He once came home from school crying after a classmate teased him for being homeless. And at an immigration hearing, he burst into tears when he misunderstood the judge’s statement and he kept on saying, “I feel like American.’’ A year later, he won the first place K – 3rd Grade Section in March 2019 New York State Scholastic Championships Tournament and several trophies.

See Also


Citation Linkwww.vibe.comTrevor Noah To Produce Film On 8-Year-Old Nigerian Chess Prodigy
Nov 6, 2019, 7:56 PM
Citation Linkwww.the74million.orgFrom Homeless Refugee to New York State’s Newest Chess King: Meet 8-Year-Old Tanitoluwa Adewumi, the Pride of P.S. 116’s Third Grade
Nov 6, 2019, 7:57 PM
Citation Linkwww.nytimes.comThis 8-Year-Old Chess Champion Will Make You Smile
Nov 6, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkpeople.com8-Year-Old Chess Champion Who Was Living in Shelter Is No Longer Homeless
Nov 6, 2019, 8:07 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.com2019 U.S. Chess Championships: Tanitoluwa "Tani" Adewumi Interview
Nov 6, 2019, 8:07 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comMeet The 8-Year-Old Refugee Who Won New York State’s Chess Championship | NBC Nightly News
Nov 6, 2019, 8:08 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comTanitoluwa Adewumi vs GM Hikaru Nakamura
Nov 6, 2019, 8:22 PM
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comTanitoluwa Adewumi pictured on GoFundMe
Nov 6, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comHeadshot of Tanitoluwa Adewumi
Nov 6, 2019, 11:57 PM
Citation Linkwww.gofundme.comGoFundMe for Tanitoluwa Adewumi
Nov 6, 2019, 11:59 PM
Citation Linkfamousbirthdays.comMore info on Famous Birthdays
Jan 18, 2019, 10:15 PM