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Mutesi helps Northwest University win chess championship

By Apollo Mubiru

Added 10th January 2018 08:52 PM

Northwest University clinched the trophy after a sweeping 4-0 victory over defending champions Oberlin College.

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Ugandan chess star Phiona Mutesi poses with her university team mates after their victory. Courtesy photo

Northwest University clinched the trophy after a sweeping 4-0 victory over defending champions Oberlin College.

Phiona Mutesi, whose life story is a subject of 2016 Disney fi lm ‘Queen of Katwe’ has led her university to a championship title in USA.

Heads turned when the Northwest University Intercollegiate chess team, led by college chess star Mutesi arrived at the December 30, 2017 Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Championships.

According to Northwest University blog post, the attention moved to center stage when the university chess club won the trophy for the top college team category in its first season of competition.

Northwest University clinched the trophy after a sweeping 4-0 victory over defending champions Oberlin College, which had taken the trophy in the previous four years.

The Northwest team faced stiff contest en route to victory against chess teams from Columbia University, Arizona State University, Tecnológico Nacional de México, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Oberlin College, and University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

First-year student Phiona Mutesi, played on Board two and won three matches and drew in the other.


Her compatriot Ben Mukumbya, and fellow freshman earned three wins on Board one.

Teammates Andrew Uptain (first-year transfer) and freshman Walter Borbridge also contributed wins to the team’s success.

“Congratulations to Phiona Mutesi! Great to see young Ugandan women succeeding,” US ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac tweeted.

Mutesi was born in Katwe a Kampala slum. She won the Ugandan Women's Junior Championship three times and represented Uganda at four chess Olympiads.

She is one of the first titled female players in Ugandan chess history and is also the subject of a book and the 2016 film Queen of Katwe.

Mutesi and her Ugandan teammate, Mukumbya were offered scholarships at Northwest University.

The Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Championships include university teams mfrom Canada to South America.

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