RZA, DJ QBert Among Participants for Hip-Hop, Chess and Life Strategies

 Acclaimed rapper/producer RZA will put his mental skills to the test as the newest artist confirmed to appear at this year's Hip-Hop, Chess and Life Strategies: II Exhibition.

The event, which is scheduled for May 19 at the Omega Boys Club in San Francisco, CA., will feature various rappers, martial artists and athletes going head-to-head in competitive chess competitions with area youth.

"Our purpose is to encourage young people across the country to infuse their artistic and physical gifts with chess tactics and strategies to enrich their lives for years to come," said Hip-Hop Chess Federation co-founder Adisa Banjoko.

In addition to RZA, the exhibition will feature international chess icon Josh Waitzkin.

An eight-time national chess champion, Waitzkin is noted for being a Tai Chi Push Hands world champion as well as a student of Brazialian jiu jitsu.

He has also made strides in the literary world as the author of Attacking Chess and The Art of Learning, a breakthrough on how to cultivate the mind and body.

For Waitzkin, the exhibition represents something worthwhile for youth to engage in.

"I believe that positive aspects of Hip-Hop, chess and martial arts can effectively empower young American minds," said Waitzkin, whose quest towards winning his first national chess championship provided the inspiration for the Laurence Fishburne film Searching for Bobby Fisher.

Other exhibition participants include DJ QBert, Casual and Tajai fromHierglyphics, T-K.A.S.H., Balance, Izz Thizz, Starksi, Tha Natural, award winning filmmaker Kevin Epps and DJ Kevvy Kev.

"To have RZA and Josh Waitzkin at our tournament is far beyond our imagination when we started working towards these events three years ago," said Banjoko's fellow co-founder Leo Libiran in a statement. "We are grateful to RZA, Mr. Watizkin, The Omega Boys Club of San Francisco and all of the artists and others supporting our goal of promoting chess to American youth. This event would not be possible without sponsors like Ubisoft, Chesspark.com, Onthemat.com, as well as private donations from Rakaa of Dilated Peoples, Olympic judo champion Rhadi Ferguson, Paris and others."

The event is free to the public and early registration is recommended. To pre-register, call (310) 272-3894. For details, visit: www.myspace.com/hiphopchess.

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