My answer was always the same: Talent is universal, but opportunity is not, and talent cannot thrive in a vacuum. Finding talent is a numbers game — the more players there are, the more excellent ones will be found. (This same math applies to the gender disparity in chess. There are so few elite female players because there are still far fewer girls in a traditionally male pastime. Addressing that imbalance is why my foundation sponsors the All-Girls Scholastic Championship.)

Source: Garry Kasparov: The 8-year-old chess champion’s story is quintessentially American – The Washington Post

Tanitoluwa Adewumi is an 8 year old Nigerian refugee who won the New York State K-3 Chess championship. All the while his family was living in a family shelter. His story is one of legend, and I’m sure there will be a movie out about it soon. The story gets even better when you find out Tani learned chess a year before.

His story reminds me of many of the stories in the book Outliers. Tani was in the right place, at the right time. How many students miss out on who they can be because of their situation?

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