(CNN)Against the odds, a young Nigerian immigrant proved that hard work pays off.
Tanitoluwa (Tani) Adewumi, a third grader at P.S. 116 in New York, has won the New York State Scholastic Primary Championship in his age bracket.
That's already an impressive feat in itself, but 8-year-old Tani only learned to play chess about a year ago.
Tani and his family of four fled northern Nigeria in June 2017, worried about attacks by the extremist group Boko Haram, his dad Kayode Adewumi told CNN.
The family stayed in a New York homeless shelter, where Tani kept the chess trophies he has racked up.
Shawn Martinez, chess coach at P.S. 116, recruited Tani to join the chess program.
"(Tani's) very tactical. His memory's great," Martinez told CNN's "New Day."
But it's more than sheer talent that propelled Tani to victory. He puts in the time to hone his craft and practices every day, his dad said.
"The average kids do 50 to 100 puzzles a week. (Tani) does like 500 puzzles a week," Martinez said.