(Fox News) — At first glance, 11-year-old prodigy and chess prodigy Kehinde Wiley’s chess game looks like a quaint game of strategy and strategy.
However, the youngest ever PSA chess champion wanted nothing to do with the game as a child. He explained to his mother how bad the chess players could be and how they would be held back by being around others who were bad at chess. His desire to get away from the game of life was all too real, in reality, but not the side to his personality most people know.
So, Kehinde’s mom Ritu took him to India to learn the rules and rules of the game of chess from the experts. It was in that first class and countless hours of intensive training that Kehinde and his entire family discovered they were opening their minds.
Watch the full Fox News Town Hall with Kehinde Wiley, featured in the last 2 minutes of the 6-minute montage above.
Chess guru and world chess champion Vishy Anand of India goes on to explain, “At a young age like 10 or 11, that’s when you really start to identify some parts of talent. Kehinde was 10 when I started working with him but I say he was 11 when I started working with him, when he moved from boys to girls games. And when he started asking very general questions like “what do you need, what do you want me to help you with,” we noticed this little kid’s innate talent was increasing exponentially.”
While staying in India with his family to learn chess, and training to win the prestigious Chess World Championship, Kehinde’s looks on the streets of Mumbai drew him attention from school students, who are a lot less fortunate than he and his family. It was then that he decided to reach out to underprivileged kids who had more than his passions.
He started with Just a Kid, a non-profit organization that provides needy kids a safe haven, appropriate school gear, and much more. Their goal was to unite underprivileged youth with each other as opposed to just only adults. Kehinde launched the By Khambatta initiative, which stands for Making Khambatta Primary with A Broken Heart, in 2011. He was soon competing in international championships, earning points toward life opportunities, focusing on academics while living his life in India on the streets.
Kehinde was featured as an American phenom on an episode of Amazon’s “The Grand Tour” in October. His introduction to each of the boys on the show was how much he had accomplished in chess but how many things he was willing to do to make life a little better for his fellow human beings in developing countries.
Our heart went out to the teenagers playing with him in Africa and the kids watching in Mumbai. He was smiling when he said, “Falling asleep as a child. Going to school, breaking the law. Yeah, I’ve done all those things. Being in this room, winning these beautiful individual things is a blessing to me. And to get these people out of where they were…They’re happy because they’re learning. And that’s what life’s about.”
Watch Kehinde do it all here and share in the conversation on Facebook.
Watch the full game of chess, as well as a video of Kehinde at the age of 4.