Wu-Tang rapper/producer The RZA walked away as the winner of the Hip-Hop Chef Federation’s 1st Annual Chess Kings Invitational Champion Belt last week in San Francisco.
The Staten Island bred emcee won the tournament on October 13, maintaining an undefeated record by defeating the GZA and by beating Wu-Tang affiliate Monk in the first round.
“The children are the real winners today” Hip-Hop Chess Federation co-founder Adisa Banjoko told AllHipHop.com. “The undeniable success of the Chess Kings Invitational is a powerful testament to a new era of philanthropy within Hip-Hop.”
The Hip-Hop Chess Federation’s Kings Invitational was launched help to benefit under privileged schools in the area.
The event also featured discussions on the connection between Hip-Hop, chess and martial arts.
Chessmaster and author of The Art of Learning Josh Waitzkin, RZA, Dr. Daaim Shabazz of The Chess Drum and Rakaa from Dilated Peoples covered how Hip-Hop, chess and martial arts have elevated them beyond their respective disciplines.
Through the efforts of the participating celebrities and The Hip-Hop Chess Federation, the benefit helped raise $10,000 in educational scholarships, which were awarded to the participants from Oakland’s Unity High, Youth Uprising, San Francisco’s O’Connell High and Muhammad University of Islam.
“We are honored that this fantastic group of chessmasters, musicians and martial artists gave their time to the HHCF, the children of the Bay Area and their families” co-founder Leo Libiran added. “Too many times people are gathering around the negative issues involving American youth. We wanted to give everybody something positive to gather around- and it worked!”
With his successful win over the benefit tournament and success of this event, the HHCF has also decided to name RZA the Director of Development.
The RZA will oversee many of the HHCF community outreach efforts to troubled youth.
In February 2008, the HHCF is scheduled to host the All Queens Invitational, centered on bringing more young women into chess.
For more information on the HHCF please visit: www.hiphopchessfederation.org.