Monday, December 10, 2012

Uganda girl Phiona Mutesi wins acclaim as a chess prodigy, while country gets adverse attention for anti-gay policy

CNN today aired a brief story about Ugandan chess master Phiona Mutesi, who the UK Guardian says is leading a “chess revolution from the slums”, in a story by Xan Rice from Kampala, link here

Now 15, learning to read, with her family evicted from shacks numerous times, she still had amazing accomplishments by 2007, entering and winning local tournaments at age 11.  

The article however says that she would have a way to go to play according to the standards of the “developed world”.  The story gives a sample game (link) where she plays White against a Sicilian Defense and makes some typical errors common in club play (like 1700-1800 rated players)  in the US and loses to a typical Black counterattack.

Nevertheless, the story is remarkable coming from Uganda. Remember that this country, in East central Africa, faces jawboning from the US State Department not to make its anti-gay laws even more draconian. 
USCF has a video of her travel to Philadelphia

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