Bum Rush the Boards… Hip-Hop Chess!

Bum Rush the Boards Hip-Hop Chess

On Saturday, April 18, 2009 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Words Beats & Life (WBL) along with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation and Columbia Heights Youth Club will host the fourth annual Bum Rush the Boards Hip-Hop Chess Tournament at Columbia Heights Community Center located at 1480 Girard St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009.

The world’s first hip-hop chess tournament, Bum Rush the Boards was created by WBL in 2006 to promote the idea to the hip-hop generation of overcoming through strategic struggle. The name of the event was inspired by Public Enemy’s album, “Yo! Bum Rush the Show” released in October 1987.

There is a logical connection between chess and hip-hop considering that hip-hop, as a culture, is highly competitive. It is replete with opportunities to battle and to compete in order to win over crowds, crews, and sponsors. By connecting hip-hop to chess, WBL has created a chess tournament that exposes youth to a culture (hip-hop) and a science (chess) that requires them to think ahead, to manage talent and to size up their adversaries. WBL recognizes that these skills are not only useful in both chess and hip-hop, but in business and life, as well.

This year’s tournament will include four rounds of chess with sections for both youth and adults. There will also be workshops and exhibitions taking place throughout the day on Rocking, Toasting, Visual Arts, Poetry, Graffiti, Chess, and more.

This Event is brought to you in part by D.C. Parks and Recreation.

Take some time to register TODAY at https://www.wblinc.org/bumrushreg.html (It’s FREE!)


  1. International Master Oladapo Adu won the “Bum Rush the Boards” tournament. There was no real challenge, but his presence was a positive addition. He also tied for first in a G/60 event. More on that later!

  2. BUM rush the boards was a awsome event I live in NJ and drove down to see 200 youth chess players have fun either playing chess or attending the workshops I also had a fellow chess player (we train together in chess ) who won 3rd place with a
    3-1 record (loss to Adu )
    Adu Congrats see ya at the next chess event .
    I enjoyed the whole event
    great job WBL
    hopefully we can get MD to host a chess event with the hip hop vibe

  3. for those of you that are interested. . we are now working to host bum rush in Baltimore in September/October. We will be working with a couple of folk to also host it in Philly and New York.

    If you are in any of those places, feel free to get at me directly, as we will be looking to develop a host committee in each city. Thanks so much to the chess drum for helping get the word out in the chess community. This event was the best ever. We hope to only get better in this upcoming series.

    I will keep y’all posted on when the bum rush the boards mixtape will be available for download. We are really proud of the contributions of numerous artists to make this our first commissioned CD where artists wrote songs and produced beats for our mixtape. You can download a bonus track from the CD from this website for now. (https://newgoldenera.com/)

  4. FYI

    Words, Beats & Life (WBL) is not affiliated with the Hip-Hop Chess Federation (HHCF) although both have similar themes and both are doing great work on both coasts. It is my hope that both Mazi Mutafa (WBL) and Adisa Banjoko (HHCF)will collaborate on future projects. There is enough work to go around in the promotion of values brought about through chess.

  5. I am very proud of my team’s performance at the Bum Rush The Boards Tournament. They are called “The Ravens”…and for the second year in a row, they won the scholastic part of the tournament. Daaim doesn’t know this yet but this team has made history in many areas of chess in Baltimore, Maryland. Again, a job well done team!!

  6. Is this a school-based team or a collection of players under your instruction?

    If they are school-based, were they at SuperNationals? If not, you need to consider this in the future.

  7. This is a school-based team. I am the coach . This team attended the nationals in Pittsburgh,Pa…..But, didn’t have the funds to go to the Supernationals. There is a heavy story behind this team.

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