Chess candidate master Phiona Mutesi, realised her dream when she played former World Chess champion Garry Kasparov of Russia at the Women in World Summit in New York yesterday afternoon.
It was the first time that the chess ace was meeting the ‘Michael Jordan’ of Chess in the world at a summit where she was invited together with her guardian Robert Katende for the Women in World Summit “Stories and Solutions”.
According to the Daily Beast it stated After some small talk, Kasparov and Mutesi got down to the match.
For the opening moves Mutesi kept up with the grand master. The two traded queens early in the match and were even at least in terms of pieces. But Kasparov had managed to push his pawns to Mutesi’s side of the board.
Eventually, Kasparov broke through her defense and was one move away from forking Mutesi’s king and rook. The Ugandan recognized the vulnerability of her position and offered her hand in resignation.
She told the grand master that he was an inspiration to her. Kasparov responded that she was a role model and inspiration for thousands and an important voice for chess in Uganda, where chess is not widely played. In Mutesi’s native dialect in Uganda there is no word for chess.
Mutesi is from the slums of Katwe. Her father died of AIDS when she was 3 years old, and she began to play the game as a way to earn cups of porridge.
In Katwe she lives with her mother and two brothers in a one-room brick shack. She said Katwe would often flood in the rainy season for Uganda and that there was sewage all over the street.
Mutesi began playing when she was 9 years old. She has represented Uganda twice at the World Chess Olympiad in Russia and Turkey becoming the youngest Ugandan player to represent her nation at this world chess meet.
She is 17 years old and is the national junior chess champion. Last year she defied the odds and beat boys to become the first junior chess champion in a competition that was meant to be for boys.