Fahim

A King in Hiding

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LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2015

Forced to flee his native Bangladesh, eight year-old chess prodigy Fahim arrived in Paris with his father. Refused asylum, as illegal immigrants they spiralled downwards into homelessness and desperation.

By a stroke of luck, Fahim was introduced to one of France’s top chess coaches, Xavier Parmentier, who tutored him and gave him a sense of purpose, his struggles on the chessboard mirroring both his victories and his crushing defeats in his battle for a normal life. Rising through local and national tournaments to be crowned France’s Under-12 Chess Champion in 2012, Fahim became a national sensation. In 2013 he went on to win the World Under-13 Student Championship.

Told through the clear eyes of a child, Fahim’s tale is not only a moving account of the grim realities that underlie a supposedly caring society, but also a heartwarming testimony to a father’s determination, the kindness of strangers, and one small boy’s courageous will to succeed.
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158 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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