Her story is the stuff inspirational movies are made of.
Phiona Mutesi, 15, escaped the slums of Uganda thanks to a chance encounter with a chess coach. Now an international chess star, Mutesi is the subject of a new book and the protagonist of a future Disney movie.
In 2005, missionary Robert Katende, started a chess program for children in Katwe, Uganda, one of the country's poorest slums.
"It teaches you how to assess, how to make decisions, obstructive thinking, forecasts, endurance, problem solving, and looking at challenges as an opportunity in all cases — and possibly not giving up," Katende told CNN. His chess program also included a hot bowl of porridge to everyone who showed up.
"The discipline, the patience...anything to do with life, you can get it in that game."
Mutesi attended the program just to get food. She took to the game quickly, walking four miles a day to chess practice. Within a year, she was showing exceptional skill.
She became the country's chess champion,Read More »from Ugandan teen becomes chess star, Disney to make movie of her life