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Phiona Mutesi
P Mutesi 
Number of games in database: 27
Years covered: 2010 to 2016
Last FIDE rating: 1628
Highest rating achieved in database: 1686
Overall record: +10 -13 =4 (44.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
C41 Philidor Defense (4 games)
C62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense (2 games)
D31 Queen's Gambit Declined (2 games)
C00 French Defense (2 games)
C45 Scotch Game (2 games)
A07 King's Indian Attack (2 games)

   P Mutesi vs Amen Miladi (Sep-06-16) 1-0
   P Mutesi vs Maria Pradi Ramos Donaire (Sep-05-16) 1-0
   Salma Al Dhaffari vs P Mutesi (Aug-14-14) 1-0
   P Mutesi vs Lomandong Noela-Joyce (Aug-12-14) 0-1
   L Timergazi vs P Mutesi (Aug-11-14) 0-1

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FIDE player card for Phiona Mutesi

(born 1993) Uganda

[what is this?]

Woman Candidate Master (2012). She is is Uganda's #3 female player and number 22 overall in that country.

Born in the Katwe area of the Ugandan capital of Kampala in the mid-90s (probably 1995 or 1996 rather than 1993 which is FIDE's official record) and still resident there, Phiona is three times women's junior champion of Uganda. She played on board 2 for Uganda at the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2010), in the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2012) in Istanbul scoring 4.5/9 (+3 =3 -3), her result landing her the Woman Candidate Master title, and at the Chess Olympiad (Women) (2014) in Tromso, scoring 4/9 (+4 -5). She and Ivy Claire Amoko share the honour of being the first Ugandan women to have won FIDE titles. Phiona has won the 3rd Edition Rwabushenyi Chess Championship - Women with 8/9 (+8 -1), and came 2nd in the Ugandan Women's championship with 8.5/10, losing only to the winner of the event, Grace Kigeni. In August 2012, she won the Ugandan National Junior Championship with 6/7, the first girl to do so.*

Disney has bought the movie rights to Crothers' book about Mutesi (see below for details of the book; actress Lupita Nyong'o plays her mother's role in the movie Queen of Katwe), and the money paid to her by Disney has enabled her and her family to buy some land. She is finishing her school studies and hopes to become a pediatrician so that can return to Katwe to build a home to provide shelter, clinic care and education for the slum children. Details about the movie (starring Madina Nalwanga as Phiona) and further information about Phiona and her current activities can be found in Albert Silver's article at

Book about Mutesi by Tim Crothers:; ESPN magazine article:; article in the Sports Outreach Institute's website titled <The Queen of Katwe!>: and video about Phiona in her home village:; *Vimeo of her receiving a cup for winning that event:; Article and video of Phiona at ChessDrum:;Wikipedia article: Phiona Mutesi; Chessbase article: <Phiona meets Kasparov>:; history of hollywood Q&A about the move <Queen of Katwe>:

Last updated: 2016-12-07 04:51:18

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 27  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. P Mutesi vs D Kagramanov 0-136 2010 Chess Olympiad (Women)B42 Sicilian, Kan
2. E Lin vs P Mutesi  1-045 2010 Chess Olympiad (Women)C62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
3. K Mona vs P Mutesi  1-024 2010 Chess Olympiad (Women)A80 Dutch
4. P Mutesi vs S Rosalina 0-172 2010 Chess Olympiad (Women)D30 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. H Alemu vs P Mutesi 0-136 2010 Chess Olympiad (Women)C41 Philidor Defense
6. R Corbin vs P Mutesi  1-033 2010 Chess Olympiad (Women)C41 Philidor Defense
7. V Da Vilhete vs P Mutesi  ½-½54 2010 Chess Olympiad (Women)C41 Philidor Defense
8. P Mutesi vs L Stoeri  0-129 2012 Chess Olympiad (Women)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
9. N Kremer vs P Mutesi  ½-½50 2012 Chess Olympiad (Women)C62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
10. P Mutesi vs C Terubea  1-054 2012 Chess Olympiad (Women)D00 Queen's Pawn Game
11. A Lampard vs P Mutesi  1-062 2012 Chess Olympiad (Women)C20 King's Pawn Game
12. S Salim-Moussa vs P Mutesi  ½-½32 2012 Chess Olympiad (Women)C41 Philidor Defense
13. N Khan vs P Mutesi  1-031 2012 Chess Olympiad (Women)E94 King's Indian, Orthodox
14. T Ooft vs P Mutesi  ½-½31 2012 Chess Olympiad (Women)C45 Scotch Game
15. Y Cho vs P Mutesi 0-125 2012 Chess Olympiad (Women)C45 Scotch Game
16. Zeleke Azeb Menassie vs P Mutesi 0-131 2012 Chess Olympiad (Women)C50 Giuoco Piano
17. P Mutesi vs Al-Bzoor Anwar  0-157 2014 Chess Olympiad (Women)C00 French Defense
18. P Mutesi vs M M Fisher  1-042 2014 Chess Olympiad (Women)A07 King's Indian Attack
19. S Salim-Moussa vs P Mutesi  0-131 2014 Chess Olympiad (Women)B50 Sicilian
20. P Mutesi vs Mustafa Mansour Zienab 1-024 2014 Chess Olympiad (Women)A07 King's Indian Attack
21. A Shabanaj vs P Mutesi  1-026 2014 Chess Olympiad (Women)A95 Dutch, Stonewall
22. P Mutesi vs R Wabuti  0-160 2014 Chess Olympiad (Women)C02 French, Advance
23. L Timergazi vs P Mutesi 0-146 2014 Chess Olympiad (Women)D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. P Mutesi vs Lomandong Noela-Joyce  0-126 2014 Chess Olympiad (Women)C44 King's Pawn Game
25. Salma Al Dhaffari vs P Mutesi 1-050 2014 Chess Olympiad (Women)D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 27  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Mutesi wins | Mutesi loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: The bio puts her at 20-21 but the BBC article says 18. Regardless, there has to be some point the performance follows the narrative. "She hopes to become.....a Grandmaster" is becoming as ironic here as it is on another bio I won't name.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <"Queen of Katwe"> A short documentary about Phiona Mutesi :
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Lupita Nyong'o will play the part of Phiona in the upcoming movie about Phiona (see bio).
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: What bothered me about the book and probably will about the film is the strong role of Christian missionaries in this story. It's Christians who will go into these areas, not Muslims and certainly not Donald Trump (or his ilk). It's Christian values such as compassion, forgiveness and love that are central to this story, and should be acknowledged and praised. Phiona herself is a Christian, and this should have been in the book, and should definitely be in the movie, but I won't hold my breath.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I understand that the average non-player wouldn't understand the nuances of ELO ratings, but she's at 1622, not GM level as she claimed to be hoping for. Makes me wonder if I've fallen for a media campaign as performance unrealized as this one in some field I'm not familar with.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Well, with this low rating she is #3 woman (and #35 of both genders) in her country, so maybe it gave her false hopes.

Apparently women don't play chess in Uganda much. The top rated Ugandan woman is at 1851, while the top rated man - Arthur Ssegwanyi - has 2366 and drew a game with Giri once.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: The story of this great person has hit the UK news big time - both ITV and BBC reports

BBC report:

ITV report:

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Never has the threshold for greatness been set so low.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Forget the grades. Who cares?

We should rejoice in the fact that Chess has helped get this girl out of situation most of us could not imagine and another film has been made with Chess as the main theme.

Oct-11-16  GiuocoPianoMan: If her rating is that low- how is it she was a WCM?? Saw the movie- liked it- but now Im confused. I just assumed that she was closer to ELO 2000....
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <GPM> yeah, a great deal of myth mongering going on here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi GiuocoPianoMan,

I don't get it. You enjoy the film, discover her grade and am now confused.

If you play over a game and are impressed and entertained by it but upon being told the winning player was 1600 do you then dislike the game.

Hi OhioChessFan,

It's the film industry it's all myths, legends and made up stuff.

(except of course for Superman, he's real.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: WCM - probably got an automatic title by some result in the national or continental championship (for "non-automatic" WCM title you need a rating of 2000).
Oct-12-16  clement41: To be frank, I don't quite understand all this fuss around this player. Admittedly, reaching an elo around 1600 (she is currently rated 1628 FIDE) when being a 20 years old woman who grew up in a Uganda slum and from such a tough background (chess-wise) is a great achievement, and perhaps a message of hope, but nothing here in my opinion justifies the fact that she is dubbed Queen of Katwe and even less the fact that she is officially considered "Woman CANDIDATE MASTER" (e.g., during the Baku Olympiads or on her fide personal page). Giving her this chess title together with such a massive awareness campaign is nothing but a political decision ("Affirmative Action" if I can say), and this will not help her improve her chess. It is also unfair vis-a-vis hundreds of thousands of chess players. Now, that may encourage many people take on the great game. Chess is highly demanding and can be awkward; this is universal and puts everyone on an equal footing. Let's not make exceptions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: No exceptions here, the automatic title by certain results is always given (not that I ever liked it).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The Queen of Katwe

The girl had nothing to with the title of the film this would have been the writers, producers and ad men.

They then add a bit of poetic license which they do in all films.

She comes from Katwe, Chess got her out of a slum into a nice house and put her though college where she is studying to become a paediatrician.

What do you want the film to be called?

"Don't believe a word it she is only 1600."

How can her story be unfair to hundreds of thousands of chess players.

The CM title?


You can buy a CM title even if you are 1100, it cost 5 euros.

Chess has changed her life for the good in such a dramatic way. Leave it at that. Don't nit-pick it, be happy for her.

Oct-12-16  GiuocoPianoMan: <>SALLYSIMPSON- Im asking a simple question- I didnt realize ANYONE could be a Candidate Master with a rating of 1600- the CM's I know are all 2000-2100.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi GiuocoPianoMan,

Then your simple question has been answered, that's what we are here for.

Glad you are back to enjoying the film, I personally will not be going out of my way to watch it in the cinema. (I hate full of strangers and they turn the lights out!) I'll catch it on cable.

If they ever do 'Zombie Chess Players v Robotic Arbiters.' I might go to the cinema to see that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Sally, don't mix ACM title with actual CM, or, in this case, WCM. For WCM you need either a rating of 2000 or one of those achievements for which it is granted automatically.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Sally Simpson:

If they ever do 'Zombie Chess Players v Robotic Arbiters.'>

How about:

Robot Players vs. Zombie Arbiters, the
Borislav Ivanov Story.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Alex,

I knew that but a title is a title. You can pay 5 Euros and tell everyone you are a FIDE recognised Candidate Master. You would not be lying.

All one need do google all the historical inaccuracies attributed to the film industry (Troy is hopelessly wrong...Amongst many other lemons Paris survives and runs off with Helen!) then a minor transgression here like adding a title is small fry and should be overlooked even by the meanest nit-picker.

Hi Diceman,

Boris v Deep Blue 'Battle of the Droids'.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Magnus Carlsen likes the film made:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Thank You K.C.

The World Champion says he enjoyed it and apparently the chess scenes were spot on.


I notice he did not jump up in his seat screaming about her grade, then slash the seats, knock out an usherette, rip up his cinema ticket and run out of the theatre frantically looking for the nearest keyboard.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: As for how she got her WCM title: by scoring 50% (4.5/9) at the 2012 Women's Olympiad.

It is one of those achievements you are given an automatic title for. Of course, the players she scored those were far from CM title. It were two wins against unrated players, one win against 1542, and draws against 1716, 1788 and 1806. The losses were to 1593, 2008 and 2057.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <PhilFeeley> Since the film is a Disney production, I was surprised it kept a Christian tone. What ever possessed you to slam our President and NOT the former MUSLIM who was impersonating "a president" for the last 8 years is puzzling. Oh and if you want to say you were supporting Hillary and Bubba for the presidency, you are on a sinking ship there. The name CLINTON is now linked to extreme thievery. Most of the money raised by their supposed charity for Haiti did NOT go to Haiti. Between 93 and 96% were siphoned off by the the criminals themselves.
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