Wu-Tang Clan, Ralek Gracie and DJ QBert Gather for All-Star Chess Tournament
San Francisco - August 23, 2007 - The Hip-Hop Chess Federation (HHCF), an organization that uses music, chess and martial arts to promote unity, strategy and non-violence, and Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers are proud to announce the 1st Annual Chess Kings Invitational to be held at the prestigious San Francisco Design Center on Saturday, October 13th from 1pm to 5pm.
The 1st Annual Chess Kings Invitational will kick off with HHCF's Life Strategies All-Star Panel. The Life Strategies panel will feature multi-platinum rappers RZA and GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, chess icon Josh Waitzkin, turntable wizards DJ QBert and DJ Disk and other surprise guests in a discussion about how music, chess and martial arts have guided them in their paths to success.
"We are excited to be a part of the 1st Annual Chess Kings Invitational," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "The HHCF has used the connection between hip-hop and chess to make the game not only accessible, but cool to a new whole audience. The Chessmaster series of video games does the same thing; inviting people of all ages and skill levels to engage in the timeless art of chess. It was a natural connection for us to become partners in bringing this great event to the community."
The Invitational includes an all-star chess tournament that will pit some of America's top rappers, DJs, martial artists and others in a head-to-head battle of the brains in which the winner will walk away with the HHCF Chessmaster championship belt. Competitors include RZA, award-winning MMA fighter Ralek Gracie, Casual of the Hieroglyphics, Sunspot Jonz of the Living Legends and other special guests. Rakaa of Dilated Peoples will host the event.
"We are amazed by how well we have been received since our first event earlier this year," says HHCF co-founder Adisa Banjoko. "By celebrities donating their time, it really sends a message that they care about the state of our communities. Their presence will greatly assist us in raising money to provide scholarships to local schools."
The HHCF has also invited four youth teams to participate in the Invitational's Scholarship Tournament. Players will compete for a chance to win a variety of educational scholarships, among other prizes.
Guests will enjoy multiple events throughout the day, including open chess gaming, Kung Fu films and information sessions regarding educational opportunities. Other events will include an auction featuring items donated by various celebrities, chess-inspired graffiti art created by legendary graf writers and a few more surprises. All proceeds collected from the auction will directly benefit schools in local underserved communities.
"We are proud to host an event that showcases an authentic, intelligent trend in Hip-Hop," states co-founder Leo Libiran. "Hip-Hop has always been about more than bullets and bling and the fact that so many fantastic rappers, chessmasters, martial artists and graf writers have donated their time to the children is proof of this in itself."
About the Chessmaster Video Game
Chessmaster®: The Art of Learning for the Nintendo DS™ system and Chessmaster®: Grandmaster Edition for Windows® PC will be released in October/November 2007. In both games, Josh Waitzkin, International Master and eight-time National Chess Champion, coaches players to grasp the basic fundamentals of chess and to master the game through exciting courses and tutorials.
The Hip-Hop Chess Federation, founded by award-winning lecturer and author, Adisa Banjoko and Leo "Blast" Libiran, uses music, chess and martial arts to promote unity, strategy and nonviolence. The organization focuses on giving urban youth effective life strategies to scholastic and financial success. Programs include chess tournaments, scholarship programs, mentorship, lectures and more. For more information, visit: www.hiphopchessfederation.org.
Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through a strong and diversified line-up of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. Ubisoft generated sales of 680 million Euros for the 2006-07 fiscal year. To learn more, please visit www.ubisoftgroup.com.
© 2007 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Chessmaster, Ubisoft, Ubi.com, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Portions of Chessmaster Academy instructional content, including those based on The Art of Learning, © 2007 Josh Waitzkin LLC. TM, ® and Nintendo DS are trademarks of Nintendo. © 2004 Nintendo.
For sponsorship and media inquiries, contact Me'ko Gaborski 310.272.3894.
The San Francisco Design Center is located at 2 Henry Adams Street.