Chess in Uganda is experiencing an upsurge in popularity, thanks in part to a new Disney film, due out this year, which tells the story of a chess-champion from the Kampalan slum of Katwe.
The film, based on the story of Phiona Mutesi, follows a book of the same name called The Queen of Katwe, and has inspired thousands in Uganda to take up chess.
Phiona first learned to play chess at the Som Chess Academy in Katwe, where she learnt from the academy founder Robert Katende.
“People liked seeing Phiona make it,” said Robert, while speaking with Al Jazeera.
“It gives them hope. Chess used to be seen as a game of nobles, people who’ve been abroad or been to expensive schools.
“Now it’s attracting everyone”.
Since it was announced that Disney would be making a feature film of Phiona’s story, the number of clubs registered with the Ugandan Chess Federation has more than doubled.
Turnout out national junior championships had also reportedly sky-rocketed, from 150 in 2012 to over 700 last year.
Queen of Katwe, which features Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo, is in theatres 21 October.