A King in Hiding by Fahim Mohammad


A French-Bangladeshi chess player who was a child refugee who became a world chess champion is Fahim Mohammad. Fahim is a real-life hero and showed his talent at the age of 12. It really sounds good as a king in hiding by Fahim Mohammad.


Fahim was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2000. He was moved to France in 2008 with his father. Fahim and his father both sought political asylum but their application was rejected after two years. So, he was living in France with his father as an illegal immigrant.


Fahim’s Initial Struggles to Live in France

As immigrants, Fahim and his father both face many difficulties and struggles. They did not break down and continue to show their spirits. So Fahim had to leave school at one stage and then he tried to learn the French language.


Fahim with his father: a king in hiding
Fahim with his father: a king in hiding

After three and a half years living in France as illegal immigrants, they were at risk of being deported to their native country at any moment.

But, Fahim’s father Nura Alam is a chess aficionado. So, he began to teach his son Fahim chess from a very early age. Despite all miseries, Nura Alam continued to train his son. And Fahim was noticed by a local coach after winning an under-20 chess championship.


A King in Hiding by Fahim Mohammad: Under-12 Chess Championship


So, Nura Alam took Fahim to the Tomas de Bourganeuf chess club, located in the Creteil region of Paris. And Fahim continued his training. The father-son both started living in a tent by a stream on the grounds of the club. Later, Fahim spent nights with various families.


Under-12 Chess Championship: A king in Hiding
Under-12 Chess Championship: A king in Hiding


Under the tutelage of a former coach of the French national chess team, Xavier Parmentier, Fahim starts winning chess championships one after another. Xavier was providing his protégé also with food and entry fees to play at tournaments. In 2012, Fahim won the French national Junior Chess Championship. 


Fahim with coach Xavier
Fahim with coach Xavier

When Fahim became the undefeated champion of the French national under-12 chess championship, the news went viral in the French media. This eleven-year-old Bangladeshi was crowned Champion of France. The results were incredible, Seven wins, two draws, no defeats!

Fahim got first mass attention after winning this tournament. It showed then a king in hiding by Fahim Mohammad who is coming to conquer the world chess and people’s hearts.


Fahim Became A King: U-13 World Chess Championship

When Fahim was an Under-12 French Champion at that time he remained illegal immigrants. Though an illegal immigrant Fahim represents France at different stages and several international chess competitions. 

He reached the winners’ podium on many occasions. And the following year in 2013 Fahim became champion and won World School Chess Championship Under-13.

When his life took some ordered pathway but this fairytale was tainted by a shocked, unexpected event that shook Fahim’s world. Fahim coach, faithful, reliable patron Xavier Parmentier affected by a disease called cancer. Xavier, by his side, destiny played a cruel joke.  On April 30th,  2016  Xavier Parmentier succumbed to cancer at age 52.

At this stage, Fahim became mentorless and gradually losing his hope after such a mental shocked. But, life goes on its way, and not anything waited for anyone. Here to say a famous quote from the book alchemist-

“And, When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”     

 – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


Exactly, this happened in Fahim’s life. A few months later, Sophie Le Callenec continues the legacy of her cousin Xavier Parmentier and supported Fahim to continue his success. Fahim calls Sophie his second mother. She is a writer who helped him later to keep in focus. And he continues his chess playing and later got citizenship in France.



Fahim recent photos
Fahim recent photos


A hiding king shows his charismatic performances at youth chess. Fahim is now playing for France. His fide title is Fide Master and his Std-rating: 2200, Rapid-rating: 2062, Blitz-rating: 2177. 


Book: A King in Hiding (French Name: Un roi clandestin)

A book is written about Fahim about his biography. It was written by a joint effort by Sophie Le Callennec and Xavier Parmentier which was published in 2014. It translated in many languages and including in English under the title A King in Hiding by Fahim Mohammad. 

A King in Hiding: How a Young Refugee Became a World Chess Champion. This book is available in many online stores. At Amazon, this book paperback price is $ 14.49 and Mass Market Paperback price is $ 17.81. 



A king in hiding book
A king in hiding book


This book tells complete Fahim’s stories. Here details about where he came from and how he became a chess star kid player and so on. It also describes his and his father’s struggles as refugees.  They sought political asylum and refused. In spite of all the difficulties, he continued to practice and in the end now this stage.

It also tells the stories about how a child refugee became a world chess champion. The complete journey about a successful chess player.  The book on kid’s chess champion has a total of fourteen chapters.


French Flim on Bangladeshi Chess Champion

A film is coming on October 16, 2019,  based on Fahim’s biography. This touching story about Fahim will commemorate also on the big screens. Directed by Pierre-Francois Martin-Laval. This film titled simply  “Fahim” has recently finished shooting. 

Frtench Flim on Fahim
Fahim movie Poster


The French-language film made as an adaptation of the novel, “A Clandestine King (Un roi clandestine)” a joint effort by Fahim, Sophie Le Callennec and Xavier Parmentier. 

The movie Director’s name is Pierre-François Martin-Laval as well as he is the writer also of the movie. And Asad Ahmed plays Fahim’s role in the movie. And Fahim coach Xavier’s role is playing Gerard Depardieu.

The film shots in different locations in France and India. In Paris, Kolkata and West Bengal tourist destination. At Taki which is located at the North 24 Parganas district.

The trailer of the movie published on youtube and this trailer shows the brief demonstration. Go to this link and get an idea of a full story and this French Flim on Bangladeshi Chess Champion which plot hits most due to the real-life biopic.


fahim movie
Fahim movie characters as Coach Xavier and Fahim

The story is like a fairytale and it does not happen always. The film of Fahim Mohammad inspires us to keep in faith in ourselves in whatever is the situation.

A King in Hiding by Fahim Mohammad: An Adventure Story

An incredible story. And an adventured journey. This shows settlers and refugees’ problems. How they survive? And there also have many talents. If they get the proper environment and nursing, many Fahim’s come in the limelight.

Talent is everywhere around the world. so, should find these talents and nursing in a proper way. Many kids like Fahim are waiting to show their charismatic talents you only need to support them and give them the best toy and gifts that increase their creativity.