Lupita Nyong’o speaks at a Disney promotion for the movie.
Many chess players seeing this story immediately ask questions such as “What is her Elo rating?” In doing this they miss the entire lesson and either cannot grasp the beauty of the story or they are so narrow that they view chess strength as the only worthy metric of a story’s value.
Phiona’s story has been told many times in many different ways … a person rising out of poverty against all odds. Her odds are like this… “Phiona Mutesi is the ultimate underdog. To be African is to be an underdog in the world. To be Ugandan is to be an underdog in Africa. To be from Katwe is to be an underdog in Uganda. To be a girl is to be an underdog in Katwe.”
It is a story that one can always find inspiration from and this story is no different. It is a triumph for chess in yet another example of the game’s redeeming qualities. However, if you are wondering whether you are going to see her whip out a Dragon Sicilian or essay the latest theory in the Berlin Defense, then you have the wrong idea. You find value in her life story.