The Queen of Katwe: One Girl's Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion
One day in 2005 while searching for food, nine-year-old Ugandan Phiona Mutesi followed her brother to a dusty veranda where she met Robert Katende. Katende, a war refugee turned missionary, had an improbable dream: to empower kids in the Katwe slum through chess--a game so foreign there is no word for it in their native language. Laying a chess-board in the dirt, Robert began to teach. At first children came for a free bowl of porridge, but many grew to love the game that--like their daily lives--requires persevering against great obstacles. Of these kids, one girl stood out as an immense talent: Phiona. By the age of eleven Phiona was her country's junior champion, and at fifteen, the national champion. Now a Woman Candidate Master--the first female titled player in her country's history--Phiona dreams of becoming a Grandmaster, the most elite level in chess. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with everyday life in one of the world's most unstable coun-tries. "The Queen of Katwe" is a "remarkable" (NPR) and "riveting" ("New York Post") book that shows how "Phiona's story transcends the limitations of the chessboard" (Robert Hess, US Grandmaster).