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.
FAHIM lives with his father on the outskirts of Paris. SOPHIE LE CALLENNEC is an expert in East African geography and has written numerous school textbooks. XAVIER PARMENTIER is a chess grandmaster. BARBARA MELLOR has thirty years' experience as a translator and editor, Resistance by Agnes Humbert (Bloomsbury, 2009) being a recent highlight.