Tani Adewumi Wins His 1st National Championship
Adewumi just after winning the national championship. Photo courtesy of the Adewumi family.

Tani Adewumi Wins His 1st National Championship

| 20 | Chess Event Coverage

Thirteen-year-old FM Tani Adewumi won his first national title at the 2024 U.S. Cadet Championship, which concluded on Sunday. By live rating, he should be 14 rating points away from earning the international master title.

Undefeated, he finished with a 6/7 score, two points ahead of second place. Adewumi earned $1,000 as well as a $10,000 scholarship ($5,000 from the Dewain Barber Foundation and $5,000 from US Chess) for his college/university of choice.

# Name Rating USCF (FIDE) State Final Score Prize
1 FM Adewumi, Tanitoluwa 2461 (2335) NY 6 $1,000
2 IM Chen, Ryo Wenyu 2424 (2374) TX 4 $500
3 IM Ngo, Bach 2423 (2376) FL 3.5 $250
4 FM Sun, Ryan 2372 (2290) MA 3.5 $250
5 FM Tang, Zoey 2352 (2239) OR 3
6 FM Zhao, Erick 2464 (2359) PA 3
7 FM Wang, Isaac 2323 (2342) CA 2.5
8 FM Liu, Eric Chang 2442 (2398) TX 2.5

The tournament took place near Chicago, Illinois, and was an eight-player round-robin for the most talented U.S. juniors under the age of 16. Every invited participant was a titled player. 

Adewumi, affectionally called "Tani" after he published his book in 2020, won his first four games back-to-back. After two draws, his final-round win was the flashiest, where he sacrificed an exchange for a deadly attack.

His round-one win against IM Bach Ngo was also a nice, technical victory. It featured the creative 36...Qa8!?, which provoked White into sacrificing his queen.

 It's the latest "W" for the young prodigy who caught the attention of the New York Times when he won the New York State Championship in his division while living in a homeless shelter—a year after learning how to play chess. He's now completed the norms required for the IM title and needs to cross 2400 FIDE to receive the title.

His career high was 2370 in May 2024, but the Chicago Open this May was a setback. After this tournament, he should gain 50.8 rating points and reach a new peak at 2386. FIDE updates the published ratings at the start of each month.

Image: FIDE.

Adewumi is a ChessKid ambassador and has hosted his own show, Tani Time, on the website. ChessKid has covered his ascent in articles like this one. A young student of chess himself, he inspires other kids to improve their game as well.

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NM Anthony Levin

NM Anthony Levin caught the chess bug at the "late" age of 18 and never turned back. He earned his national master title in 2021, actually the night before his first day of work at

Anthony, who also earned his Master's in teaching English in 2018, taught English and chess in New York schools for five years and strives to make chess content accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages. At, he writes news articles and manages social media for chess24.





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