Life Above the Boards

The all-ages West Coast Kings and Queens Chess Tournament aims to be more than just a game. With its chess tutorials, martial arts exhibitions, and discussion sessions in addition to the main competitive event, organizers from the Hip-Hop Chess Federation and Bay Area Chess offer a family-friendly day with plenty of alternatives to violence — Mission District teens, especially in this particular school year, could probably use a calm day. Bay Area rap stars and chess enthusiasts Traxamillion, Ray Luv, Balance, and Big Rich conduct a “Life Strategies” panel, discussing the best decisions they’ve made as artists and individuals. The “Characteristics of the Queen” panel, geared toward young women, is led by hip-hop artists MC Melina Jones and the Conscious Daughters, along with chess empowerment pros Jean Hoffman and Marilyn Yalom (author of Birth of the Chess Queen: A History). The audience learns not only about the most regal of the chess pieces, but also what it means to think like a queen.
Sat., Oct. 10, 9 a.m., 2009

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