The Queen of Katwe

Official Trailer



I enjoy true stories. I am not a really big fan of science fiction stories or movies. If you want to treat me, give me a good cowboy book or movie, a real life story or a true story. This movie is about a true story of a Chess Champion. African true stories, and from some other places in the world, are inspiring, as the struggle to reach for dreams is so much more intense due to so many problems and issues people from developing countries need to deal with on a daily basis -things people from developed countries take for granted. Today, some of those problems and issues are because of certain countries in the West who tried to gain, only for themselves and who put leaders in place just to shush their conscience. They think they get things right, but they are totally wrong. I’m glad that there is, once again, a movie about chess, to show the power of this game in real life and to highlight the struggles of some people in this world.

True Story of a Chess Champion
Walt Disney Pictures has revealed the colourful first Queen of Katwe poster. The true story of an inspiring chess champion stars Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar), Oscar winner and Tony Award nominee Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game.
Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed. As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life. Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family.

Directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) from a screenplay by William Wheeler (The Hoax) based on the book by Tim Crothers, Queen of Katwe is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher (The Darjeeling Limited) and John Carls (Where the Wild Things Are) with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. Disney’s Queen of Katwe opened in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016. Resource: commingsoon.net 



The 42nd Baku Chess Olympiad starts today in Baku. Please click HERE for the official web link. Sadly, I won’t be able to follow the complete tournament this year! 


Azerbaijan parks – photo credit: official site of Baku Chess Olympiad

Olympiad Schedule

Date Time Event
1 Sept 18:30/20:30 Opening, Captains meet
2 Sept 15:00 Round 1
3 Sept 15:00 Round 2
4 Sept 15:00 Round 3
5 Sept 15:00 Round 4
6 Sept 15:00/22:00 Round 5/Bermuda Party
7 Sept  – Day Off
8 Sept 15:00 Round 6
9 Sept 15:00 Round 7
10 Sept 15:00 Round 8
11 Sept 15:00 Round 9
12 Sept 15:00 Round 10
13 Sept 11:00


Round 11

Closing Ceremony

14 Sept All day Departure day

The top seeds at the Olympiad

Players: Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Grischuk, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Ian Nepomniachtchi

Players: Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Ray Robson, Sam Shankland

Players: Wang Yue, Li Chao, Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi, Wei Yi

Players: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov, Eltaj Safarli, Rauf Mamedov, Arkadij Naiditsch

Players: Pavel Eljanov, Ruslan Ponomariov, Yury Kryvoruchko, Anton Korobov, Andrei Volokitin

South African players in the Women’s team:
Captain: Dalpat Winston
WIM Frick Denise
WIM Laubscher Anzel
WIM February Jesse Nikki
WCM Fisher Michelle M
WFM Van Niekerk Lauren

Players in the Open section
Captain: CM Bouah Lyndon 2115
GM Solomon Kenny  2380
IM Cawdery Daniel 2416
IM Kobese Watu 2350
IM Van den Heever Donovan 2247
FM Klaasen Calvin Jong 2177


Opening – photo: David Llada, the official photographer of the Olympiad.

A video about the history of South African Airways

Image: Planespotters

I’m on my way to South Africa for a 3-week holiday and yes, I’m travelling SAA – one of the best airlines – rated the highest on Expedia when a booking was made, so well done to SAA! It’s great to know you’re still the ‘Springbok in the sky“.   For part of the three weeks, I’ll be on the beach – so looking forward to sandy beeches. As we will be about 4 hours drive from Cape Town, we might just pay a quick visit to the Mother City. Photo below: This is where I’ll be for a whole week.



An amazing instagram photo of Cape Town with Table Mountain covered in  its cloth!

Photo: traveller24 Photographer:unknown


Bournemouth Pavilion

It is again time for the British Chess Championships and it’s taking place at the Bournemouth Pavilion from the 23rd July 2016- 6th August 2016. The official opening ceremony is on Monday, 25th July.

Please click HERE to access all the necessary information regarding the championship. This is a PDF document from the site of the British Chess Championships. 

Live Games – from Monday 25th July:
Click HERE for the site of chess24 to follow live games during the championships.

Results can be followed here on the site of ‘Chess Results’.

British Chess 2016

Four Corners

Fatherless and raised by his grandmother, thirteen year old Ricardo Galam lives in South Africa’s Cape Flats, a unique and volatile sub culture dominated by two Number gangs, the 26 and 28. Ricardo’s future as a chess prodigy is threatened by his growing interest in the 26 whose local leader is grooming him as a potential member. Unknown to Ricardo, the father he’s never known has been released from prison. Farakhan, a reformed general in the 28, is back in his old neighbourhood, an intruder in 26 territory. In a story that is at times raw and violent at other times touching and true. FOUR CORNERS is a gripping drama set against the backdrop of a gang war in Cape Town which has been raging for a 100 years; a little known fact. 

(Quote from youtube)

By watching this trailer, I don’t think I ever want to be in an area where any gangs are roaming and scavenging for anyone they can manipulate to their needs. It must be scary and you must feel intimidating to live in places like these, but the same time you feel sorry to know that there are people who only know one life and that’s this kind of life. Then the same time I wonder if you could change any adult who only knows this kind of life?


This movie has received 13 Golden Horn nominations at the SAFTAs – South African Film and Television Awards March 2015. 

From The Tempest: Miranda and Ferdinand playing chess

Image: Wikipedia
The Chess Players attributed to Karel van Mander. This was identified in 1916 as an image of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare playing chess. Most scholars consider this to be pure speculation, but the claim was revived in 2004 by Jeffrey Netto, who argued that the chess game symbolises “the well known professional rivalry between these figures in terms of a battle of wits”.

Update: 2016 – Shakespeare died 400 years ago and today is Shakespeare day! I’ve decided to repost an entry of 4 years ago. Please enjoy my ‘contribution’ to Shakespeare day. The following is my entry of 2012.

I’ve written another cento – I had to, because it’s a chess one! I’ve taken again Shakespeare lines – like my Moonrider-cento , where I also used Shakespeare. A cento is a form of poetry, where you use lines of different poems. In this case [like Moonrider], I’ve used lines of Shakespeare’s works – and not different poems. This cento was much easier to put together than Moonrider, as they are shorter lines and I didn’t really spent that much time thinking how to merge it into a poem that makes sense. I couldn’t give it a title other than ‘A Game of Chess’. I have made minor changes here and there – to the word order or adding of an exclamation mark – just for effect. This ‘poem‘ is almost like a dialogue – as it’s various characters speaking in role from Shakespeare’s plays.

A Game of Chess
Sweet lord, you play me false
For a score of kingdoms you should wrangle
and I would call it fair play
How fares the king?
His hour is almost past

A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!
And I have horse – will follow where the game makes way.
I have his horse!
Give me another horse!
So, the good horse is mine.
My day’s delight is past, my horse is gone.
The rascal hath removed my horse.

Are the knights ready to begin their triumph?
A wandering knight?
I am undone! The knight is here!
Great shouts within all cry ‘the mean knight!’
Great is the humour of this dreadful knight.

I dare thereupon pawn
My life I never held but as a pawn
I have not pawn’d to you my majesty?
I pawn’d thee none!
I’ll send some bishop to entreat
The bishop will be overborne by thee
Wat says my bully rook?

There stands my castle!
His queen, it was his queen!
Queen of queens, how far dost thou excel?
Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
Sir your queen must overboard!
Will take your queen
Farewell sweet queen!

I’ll move the king.
The skipping king, he ambles up and down
This may gall him for some check
No mates for you!
We’ll draw!
My lord, your son drew my master
Where’s the master? Play the men!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown 

[Shakespeare-lines -]
Click on this link to read more about the Cento and to read what Folger Education think about my cento. I feel humble – you can view their comments in their comments box. Thank you!

–Click on this link to see the complete list of chess quotes with the references to the works of Shakespeare.

Enjoy Shakespeare day with some chess dancing!

This is a great visualization of the top chess players since 1809.