At 16 years, she is a sensation in the world of chess. Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan from shantytowns, learned to play chess one day when she was trying to eat. In 2011, Tim Crothers wrote an article in the prestigious American sports magazine, ESPN Magazine. She is Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan woman 16 years old who discovered chess while strolling in the corridors of a tournament, looking for food.
Today, the writer dedicates an entire book on the teenager that he considers the ultimate underdog. "Before I discovered chess, I lived on the street," Phiona told CNN. "There was nothing to eat in the street"."I liked the look of the pawns" In 2005, the starving girl was welcomed into a shelter where the Ugandan Robert Katende, 28, taught people how to play chess in exchange for a cup of porridge . He organized a tournament on this occasion. "I had never heard of failures before," the teenager told reporters, "but I liked the look of pawns." The instructor thus learned the basic rules of the game to Phiona, aged 9 years at the time.Embassed, she continued to play.
According to ESPN, she walked 6 kilometers a day to go play chess with Robert Katende. The latter taught him various strategies. Together, they programmed a match against a player who had already beaten the girl before and against all odds, and to the general surprise of the other players, it was the young apprentice who won the duel. "She plays very aggressively, like boys," said one player. "She likes to attack and when we play against her, it feels like she is pushing us backwards until we can no longer back up".
Disney bought back the rights of his story.
A few weeks later, the student passed the master, who knew it was time to teach him how to diversify his game Robert Katende was convinced that the girl had a natural talent that allowed him to aim for the highest level. Ugandan became the youngest winner of the African chess championships. This gift for chess has allowed the girl to return to school where she hopes to pursue studies to become a doctor. In his book, "The Queen of Katwe" for which Disney has already bought the rights for a possible adaptation on the big screen, Tim Crothers recalls Phiona Mutes' journey, which comes from a poor neighborhood where only boys have opportunities. His father died of AIDS and his mother was also HIV-positive.
By Maxime Lambert
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