The “Queen of Katwe” Visits ESCC With Chess Exhibition, Movie, and Lecture


“Realize the power of chess in life skills and character development”

Lecture and Chess Exhibition at Eastern Shore Community College

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The two main characters of the 2012 book and 2016 film Queen of Katwe – Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi – will hold a public speaking engagement and a chess exhibition at the ESCC in Melfa, Virginia, on Saturday, April 22, 2017, between 1:00 – 4:00 pm. This is a very rare opportunity for all parents and for school-age chess players.

The Queen of Katwe tells the true story of Robert Katende, a man driven to make a difference in the lives of the children in the slums of Kampala, Uganda, by teaching them the game of chess. Phiona Mutesi, a girl from the Katwe slums and member of Mr. Katende’s chess team, became the first titled female chess player in Uganda.  Parents can hear Mr. Katende, now the Director of the SOM Chess Academy in Kampala, Uganda, discuss how to “realize the power of chess in life skills and character development as a way of empowering the next generation with life values and enabling them work to their full potential”.

Local scholastic chess clubs at Kegotank Elementary, Nandua Middle, and ESCC teach those valuable life-skills: think through the consequences of alternative choices and choose the best one; learn from losing and go on to win; and perseverance.

Parents  who wish to learn more should attend, as well as scholastic chess players of all ages and ability levels from anywhere on the Eastern Shore. The event will be in two parts:  simultaneous chess play by Ms. Mutesi and Mr. Katende against scholastic chess players of all levels; plus a showing of the Disney film Queen of Katwe, followed by a discussion of the film, Q&A, and book signing. Activities will begin promptly at 1:00 and will run through 4:00 pm.

The chess games will be played in the Great Hall 1:00-2:45. Chess players must register, starting at 12:30.  The visitors from Uganda will play fifteen games simultaneously. As many players will have the opportunity to be challenged by our visitors as time permits. Others may play in side games.   Observers may stand and watch SILENTLY.

The movie will show at the Lecture Hall from 1:00 to 3:00 and will be followed by Mr. Katende’s presentation, Q&A, and book signing.  Lecture Hall seating is available on a first-come basis, capacity 110. The entire event is free to the public, but donations will be welcomed and books and DVDs will be available. All proceeds will go to Robert Katende’s Uganda Chess Academy.

This remarkable event is being sponsored by The Maria Hwang Foundation in conjunction with Sports Outreach Ministry (SOM) in support of philanthropic goals, and by the Eastern Shore Community College Foundation.

About the Maria Hwang Foundation

The Maria Hwang Foundation is a private charitable foundation organized in the State of Virginia to further education and welfare of children in underprivileged areas.  To learn more about the Maria Hwang Foundation, please contact

About Sports Outreach Ministry

The mission of Sports Outreach is to recruit, train, equip and deploy committed Christian leaders in the proper use of sports ministry for the purposes of sharing the Gospel and alleviating human suffering. To learn more visit