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Old 12-25-2012, 06:39 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
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Was just reading an interesting article on Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan chess prodigy making it against all odds She's an inspiration for all those black people suffering from low self-esteem I hope she makes it to the top and beats the crap out of those Russians

Phiona Mutesi, Ugandan Teen, Goes From Slum To International Chess Stardom (VIDEO)
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:37 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Good story. I'm looking forward to the film Disney plans to make about this. Hopefully she'll have more opportunities to participate in international tournaments.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:45 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Wonderful feel-good story, I just started sponsoring a girl from Rwanda through World Vision myself. I hope she goes on to do well, seems like a humble, beautiful human being.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:54 PM
 
Location: WINTERpeg
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Read this in the reader digest, thought this was neat.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Good story. We have helped put a girl through university in Uganda. We knew her mother and family when we lived in Uganda. We're going to Uganda next month for her graduation.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Isn't it rather condescending, to assume that being African is some kind of a block to becoming a chess grand master? Chess is one of the few human enterprises in which one makes it purely on their own ability, without regard to anything else that ever happens in ones life, and nothing else beside playing chess can help one rise to the top. There is nothing you can do to help a person become a better chess player, except to give him a board and an opponent. So there is nothing about a girl from Uganda that would make her any more or less likely to become a better chess player than a doctor from Russia. If she can beat the Russians, she can beat them. If she can't, she can't.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:43 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
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I know what you mean. Still, fact is, a whole lot of people still consider blacks intellectually inferior, unfortunately. Even on this board you can find such views, especially on the popular politics forum. Thus it is much more interesting to learn about a Ugandan chess player than about yet another Russian player...
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Isn't it rather condescending, to assume that being African is some kind of a block to becoming a chess grand master? Chess is one of the few human enterprises in which one makes it purely on their own ability, without regard to anything else that ever happens in ones life, and nothing else beside playing chess can help one rise to the top. There is nothing you can do to help a person become a better chess player, except to give him a board and an opponent. So there is nothing about a girl from Uganda that would make her any more or less likely to become a better chess player than a doctor from Russia. If she can beat the Russians, she can beat them. If she can't, she can't.
It's nothing to do with being black/African. In poor villages in Uganda (like this girl was from) kids are too busy working from a very young age to have time to play chess. The parents would think it a waste of time. Kids are thinking about getting food in their bellies and collecting water for the family or whether they'll be lucky enough to get to go to school.

No, it's not condescending and has nothing to do with their intelligence. A doctor in Russia would have the time to play and improve their game, and they aren't hungry and cold or fighting malaria all the time.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Originally Posted by Ameriscot View Post
It's nothing to do with being black/African. In poor villages in Uganda (like this girl was from) kids are too busy working from a very young age to have time to play chess. The parents would think it a waste of time. Kids are thinking about getting food in their bellies and collecting water for the family or whether they'll be lucky enough to get to go to school.

No, it's not condescending and has nothing to do with their intelligence. A doctor in Russia would have the time to play and improve their game, and they aren't hungry and cold or fighting malaria all the time.
Would a poor village boy in remote Siberia attract attention if he were a promising chess player?

For example, Tigran Petrosian won the world chess champlionship twice. His illiterate father discouraged chess, which he thought was unlikely to bring his son any success as a career. Petrosian was orphaned during World War II, at about Phiona's age, and was forced to sweep streets to earn a living.

Last edited by jtur88; 12-26-2012 at 04:36 PM..
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:50 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Would a poor village boy in remote Siberia attract attention if he were a promising chess player?

For example, Tigran Petrosian won the world chess champlionship twice. His illiterate father encouraged him to continue studying, as he thought chess was unlikely to bring his son any success as a career. Petrosian was orphaned during World War II, at about Phiona's age, and was forced to sweep streets to earn a living.
Yes, he would if he did come from a similarly disadvantaged background where there is little in the way of getting food to eat save for begging and you ended up stepping into chess because such sort of basic services like food, clean water (like, walk hours to get to drinking water) and education are not easily accessible so private charities such as those of missionary workers have to step in and this Siberian village is also swept up in a localized AIDS epidemic and the poor village boy was born to a now deceased HIV-infected father and himself may or may not have AIDS. Also, please have the village be built really rickety and about to fall apart at all times and also the literal sewage dumping ground (feces and more) for a million people (since this is a remote Siberian village, you'll have to pipe that in) and have the people of that village all in the sort of same conditions more or less as listed above--and yea, there is no sweeping streets to earn a living because basically there is no way to earn a living as you just sort of squeak by and the streets are basically dust so I have no idea what the sweeping would do.

Now if those were the conditions, then I do think that version of the poor village boy in remote Siberia who becomes a chess wunderkind would actually attract quite a bit of attention, but would probably attract less since Russia has had a pretty long historical legacy with chess (the Luanda people, not so much) and male chess phenoms have occurred several times throughout history, but female ones less so. There should be some kind of addendum about how as a girl from the slums of Uganda, teenage pregnancy is about fifty percent, but I'm not sure what the analogous thing would be for the remote village boy in Siberia. Maybe a 50/50 chance that all males in the remote Siberian village have a rare genetic disorder where they pass a very demanding goldfish through their urethra and take care of it for a couple decades? That would definitely attract way more attention--boy of remote siberian village wins!

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 12-26-2012 at 05:02 PM..
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