Tanitoluwa  “Tani” Adewumi

An 8-Year-Old Nigerian Refugee to USA!

by John Bain

Tani lives in a homeless shelter in Manhattan, New York.

Nevertheless, Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi is the newly crowned 2019 New York K-3 Chess Champion. He went undefeated at the state tournament, outplaying children from elite private schools who hadprivate chess tutors.

Where does he get his grit?


Tani’s family fled northern Nigeria in 2017, fearing attacks by Boko Haram terrorists on Christians such as themselves. “I don’t want to lose any loved ones,” his father Kayode Adewumi said. 

(Boko Haram is a jihadist terrorist group based in Nigeria. Boko Haram conducts attacks against military and civilian targets in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad. Tactics employed include ambushes, armed attacks, bombings, suicide attacks and kidnappings. The militant Islamist group Boko Haram is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.)

Tani gets his grit and tenacity from his parents. Now living in New York, Tani’s father has two jobs. He rents a car to drive for Uber, and he also is a licensed real estate salesman! And, Tani’s mom completed a course to become a licensed home health aide.


Won 7 Trophies

Tani, walking with his mom and brother, brings his chess trophy home!

Tani, walking with his mom and brother, brings his chess trophy home!

Tani learned to play chess at 7-years-old just over a year ago. His play improved month by month, and now seven chess trophies stand on a shelf next to his bed in the homeless shelter!

When Tani, his parents and his older brother arrived in New York City a Christian pastor helped place them in a homeless shelter. Tani attended the local elementary school, P.S. 116, which has a part-time chess teacher who taught Tani’s class how to play.

The P.S. 116 chess program, noting Tani’s family was living in a homeless shelter, waived the chess club fees, and a year ago Tani played in his first chess tournament.

Now in the evenings, Tani lies on the floor of the shelter and practices chess for hours every night, dreaming of his future. “I want to be the youngest grandmaster,” he said.

“He is so driven,” said his school chess teacher. “He does 10-times more chess puzzles than the average kid. He just wants to be better.”

“The U.S.A. is a dream country,” his dad said. “Thank God I live in the greatest city in the world, which is New York, New York!”

Tani Adewumi smiles lifts trophy over head

Tani smiles lifting trophy over his head!


Chess Improves Academic Skills & Exercises IQ!

Smart redhead girl plays chess

Chess research shows adding chess to your child’s life is a wise and smart move! Chess can do great things for kids! Learn the ways chess makes a difference in your student’s life. Research suggests chess improves academic skills and exercises intelligence! It’s your move!

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Beginner’s BookChess Rules For Students

Chess Rules For Students workbook

Chess Rules For Students is a workbook for students learning the game of chess and for beginning students returning to the game. No previous knowledge of chess is necessary. Parents unfamiliar with chess will find this booklet a valuable guide to their child’s new interest.

Chess Rules For Students is designed with students, coaches, and parents in mind. Reading level is appropriate for grade-school use. All major rules of chess are covered, and algebraic notation worksheets are included. Each page is in easy-to-use worksheet format. A student-friendly Answer Key makes self-correction fun!


Beginners & Intermediate Book – Checkmate! Ideas For Students

Checkmate! Ideas For Students

Checkmate! Ideas For Students is a workbook for beginning and intermediate students. Checkmate! covers the tactics used in checkmate attacks with clear explanations, diagrams and arrows to pinpoint the key features.

Unlike many other basic checkmate books, Checkmate! categorizes the checkmates by the tactics used to force the checkmate–like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance and Attacking Flight Squares–rather than only the checkmate pattern itself. The worksheets and Answer Key are clear and simple for the student to use, and easy for the parent, teacher and coach to correct! Fun!


Intermediate & Advanced BookChess Tactics For Students

Chess Tactics For Students workbook

Chess Tactics For Students is a workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems in worksheet format. Chess Tactics has been extensively field tested with elementary, middle-school, and high-school students over a four-year period.

This book is ideal for independent seat work as well as for homework and classroom instruction. The worksheet format and Answer Key enable self-correction with minimal dependence or direct help from a chess teacher, coach, or parent.


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Chess Rules For Students Workbook
An instructional workbook designed for students learning the game of chess. Click here to learn more!
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Checkmate! Ideas For Students
An instructional workbook containing tactics in worksheet format used to checkmate--like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance, and Attacking Flight Squares!
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Chess Tactics For Students
An instructional workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems presented in worksheet format.
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