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Movie wish granted for Maida Vale boy with brain tumour

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 March 2012

Samir with his family at the premiere of Check Mate

Samir with his family at the premiere of Check Mate

Alex MacNaughton

A 10-year-old chess champion from Maida Vale who was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour had his dream come true last week when he starred in his own action movie.

Samir Samadov, a pupil at St Saviour’s primary school, underwent surgery last July and is on a high dose of chemotherapy.

But children’s charity Make-A-Wish Foundation gave Samir the chance to grant him his wish to star as Agent 27 in his own professionally made film Check Mate.

Samir’s mother Samira, a biologist, said: “When the person from Make-A-Wish came to the hospital, the first thing Samir said he wanted to do was meet the Queen but they said they didn’t think that would be possible.

“So then he said he wanted to be recorded in a film.

“When they left I said to him ‘you do know that it’s going to be impossible don’t you’. But a few weeks later they called and said they could do it.”

Filming last month saw Samir enjoy the full movie star experience as he got to drive a speedboat along the River Thames and visit Number 10 Downing Street.

As well as starring in the film, Samir came up with the plot which sees Agent 27 attempt to use his chess playing powers to stop an evil villain Dr Capablanca who is intent on destroying the Olympics.

Following the day’s filming, the finished product was kept under wraps until a special red carpet premiere for Samir’s family and friends at Richmond Odeon last Wednesday.

“When I watched it I nearly cried,” said Mrs Samadov. “I can’t express what I felt. It looks like a real action film but then you realise it is your son.”

Having taken up chess at the age of four in his native Azerbaijan – where his family moved from in 2008 – Samir came second in the British Chess Championships in 2010.

Since then he has joined the Richmond under-11 chess team and qualified for the under-11 England Team Trial.

Samir, who says filming the movie was the best experience of his life, said the highlight was watching himself on the big screen.

“The whole thing was amazing,” he said. “I was speechless when I watched the film. I just couldn’t believe it.”

His father Elchin, who volunteers for a human rights organisation, also made a cameo appearance in the film as a security guard.

He said he couldn’t thank Make-A-Wish enough for “making Samir and lots of other children very happy”.


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