• Reading Level 2
Maths | Science | PSHE

The refugee who became a chess champion

Should everybody play chess? A 10-year-old boy who had to flee his country and live on the streets has become a chess master. He says playing the game changed his life for the better. What's happening? In a homeless shelterA place where people who do not have a home can stay for a short period of time. in New York, an 8-year-old boy is walking to his room with something heavy in his arms. The boy is a refugeePeople who are forced from their countries because war or persecution.. He is homeless and far from his home country. But he cannot stop grinning because he is carrying a huge trophy. He has just won the New York State chess championship. Find out more Tani’s family was originally from NigeriaA country in western Africa. More people live in Nigeria than in any other country in Africa.. But they had to leave their home because they were being persecutedTreated badly by another group for a specific reason. People can be persecuted for many things including their ethnicity, gender or religion. for their religionReligion is belief in a god or gods and the activities that are connected with this belief, such as praying or worshipping in a building such as a church or temple.. So, Tani came to New York with his parents and older brother Adesina. They lived in a shelter. Tani’s parents got jobs as a taxi driver and a cleaner. Meanwhile, Tani had learnt to play chess. He studied and read books. He got better and better. By 2019, he was taking part in the New York championshipA big competition to find the best in a sport or game.. Other children taking part had private tutorsTeachers who are paid to teach a specific subject.. But Tani won. After that, his life changed. People helped him and his family find a home. His parents were offered better jobs. Now, Tani has an even higher honour. Aged 10, he became National MasterThis is a title given to anyone with a chess rating of 2200. Points can be gained from doing well in competitions.. Should everyone play chess? Some say Yes! Chess is one of the oldest games humans have ever played. It can teach you all about focus and planning. You have to be cunning. You need patience and you need to learn to predict what your opponent is doing. And, as Tani himself says: “It can change your life.” Others think No. Chess is not for everyone. Tani used chess to help him find success. But we cannot all be as good as he is. Tani had never played before arriving in the USA. Now he is a national champion. If we can learn anything from his story, it is that we should also be inspired to learn new things. KeywordsHomeless shelter - A place where people who do not have a home can stay for a short period of time.

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