28 March 2019

March Yahoos -- A Viral Story

The drought is over. In last month's post, February Amazon Yahoos, I wrote,

For the third consecutive month, my Yahoo news feed served no chess news. [...] Maybe we'll see some mainstream coverage of chess in March, but I'm not optimistic.

I should have been more optimistic. A great story, which was picked up by most major news services, appeared twice in the same Yahoo news feed. The first appearance was a featured story at the top of the feed, captioned, 'Homeless refugee chess champion goes viral'.

2019-03-18: Homeless 8-year-old refugee wins New York State chess championship, inspiring viral fundraiser (yahoo.com). The story started,

Tanitoluwa Adewumi just said checkmate. Despite learning the game a little over a year ago, the 8-year-old boy -- homeless refugee from Nigeria -- was crowned the New York State Primary Chess Champion in the kindergarten-to-third-grade bracket of the 52nd New York State Scholastic Championships. The elementary school student, better known as "Tani," went undefeated at the championships, where he outsmarted opponents from top private schools with pricey chess tutors.

The story attracted more than 1500 comments, many of them about immigration policy in the U.S. Most of the comments were supportive of the boy's achievement, but some were downright mean.


As shown in the screenshot above, the second story appeared above other, similar stories, The photo is from Tani's GoFundMe page.

2019-03-18: Homeless 8-year-old boy wins New York State chess championship (yahoo.com; AOL.com) 'The 8-year-old refugee, whose family fled northern Nigeria in 2017 in fears of Boko Haram's attacks on Christians like themselves, first learned how to play chess at Manhattan's P.S. 116.'

Tani plans to play in the USA's national elementary championship in May. His participation might mean that the tournament will attract far more than the usual media attention.

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