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P Mutesi 
Phiona Mutesi
Number of games in database: 27
Years covered: 2010 to 2016
Last FIDE rating: 1622
Highest rating achieved in database: 1686
Overall record: +10 -13 =4 (44.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

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

 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
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Premium Chessgames Member

Congratulations to Phiona Mutesi for winning the WCM title. She and WCM Ivy Claire Amoko are the first women in Uganda to have won FIDE titles.

May this remarkable girl move on to greater successes in chess and in life, and hopefully find a life for herself and her family outside of Katwe.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Recent article:

Premium Chessgames Member
Premium Chessgames Member
  Naniwazu: Good luck Phiona on your further chess career and dreams :)
Dec-14-12  waustad: I was going to send in a correction slip about her date of borth, but it states in her wiki page that nobody really knows when she was born. For what it is worth, she's listed as having been born in 1993 on her FIDE card.
Premium Chessgames Member
Feb-07-13  Fiona Macleod: she was born in a village. and she's not old. how come no one there remembers the date she was born? or at least the year? i mean, villagers know each other and remember events. unlike in cities where you do not even know what's happening with your next door neighbor.
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <Fiona Macleod>

She was born in Katwe, one of the most squalid slums in Africa. To call that a village makes about as much sense as calling Smoky Mountain a village. She and her family had to move several times within the slum as their belongings were constantly being stolen, a common occurrence in such places, so the sense of community that binds villages was almost entirely absent in the scrabble for survival.

People there were, and most likely still are, too concerned with the day to day basics of survival to worry about trivialities like birthdates or even birth years.

The sheer poverty and lack of opportunity in her life, apart from Robert Katende's chess outreach for kids, is one aspect of her story that makes it so wondrous. I recommend reading Tim Crother's book (see bio).

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Btw, it's nice to see there is organized chess competition in a country where the Junior champion is rated in 1600s.
Mar-02-13  IndigoViolet: <she was born in a village. and she's not old. how come no one there remembers the date she was born? or at least the year?>

You're assuming that most rural Africans use Western calendars and have the same conceptions of time as we do. I would doubt that celebrating birthdays is part of traditional indigenous cultures.

Premium Chessgames Member
Mar-21-13  IndigoViolet: Ridiculous, patronising nonsense.
Premium Chessgames Member
Apr-07-13  Kanatahodets: More people like this girl and Africa may prosper one day. Don't give money, they anyway will be stolen. Just play chess!
Apr-07-13  John Abraham: Very brave young lady. She is an inspiration, a glimmer of hope in a sea of adversity
Apr-12-13  Thanh Phan: Ugandan chess prodigy enthralls Norfolk students

During her visit, Mutesi rarely talked chess strategy. The high school students, some of whom play on the school's chess team, got wide-eyed when she told them she played Garry Kasparov, one of the greatest players of all time.

"Were you scared?" a student asked her about the hour long match she ultimately lost.

"No," Mutesi said, smiling. "I wasn't scared. I was so happy."

Much of Mutesi's visit focused on how students could use chess to improve their lives. The game teaches decision-making, endurance, and problem-solving.

"I can't imagine an obstacle that you guys could face that you couldn't put those skills to work," said Kevin Monroe, Booker's principal.

Jan-20-14  Gallicrow: Updated news on BBC site:

A Woman Candidate Master is supposed to be around FIDE 2000. Personally I think Phiona is a long way short of that, judging by her most recent games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <Gallicrow>

When the title is earned by dint of ratings, yes. However, there are many circumstances in which players earn titles directly from single results.

FIDE's rules for this can be viewed at

There are in fact unrated masters, eg:

Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: <the school's chess team, got wide-eyed when she told them she played Garry Kasparov, one of the greatest players of all time.> Too bad that game's not here.
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.

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