The Media's Female African Chess 'Prodigy' Is Actually Nothing Of The Sort

By Jonah Bennett
The Daily Caller
Sep. 24, 2016

The wider media has been quick to herald Phiona Mutesi a chess “prodigy.” She certainly faced odds, too: Born into poverty in Uganda, a young girl, learning and then competing in the world’s most competitive and ubiquitous board game. What are the odds? It’s a heart warming, underdog story. It even inspired a movie.

The only problem is it’s not really true.

The Disney movie “Queen of Katwe,” set for U.S. release Sept. 30, describes Mutesi’s meteoric rise from despair in the slums just outside Uganda’s capital to an international figure of prominence, indeed even a “Woman Candidate Master,” (WCM) on the chess scene. But the mythology surrounding her actual performance has reached such heights that chess grandmasters are coming out to weigh in.

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