Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram
Link to our TikTok

Wanna Play Chess With GZA From The Wu-Tang Clan?

29 April 2023 | 10:47 am | Mary Varvaris

"The Genius of Chess" is coming to Melbourne next month for a special event.

(Pic by Azuree Wiitala)

GZA, the “spiritual head” of the Wu-Tang Clan, is heading to Australia this May for a special chess event hosted by Melbourne rye whiskey distiller The Gospel.

On Monday, 15 May, The Gospel kicks off its new event series, The Fanatics, by putting on a speed chess competition in collaboration with the music superstar. Special meet and greet with GZA and general admission tickets are now available, with the event set to take place at 75 Reid Street, Fitzroy North.

The first Fanatics event will be hosted by African-Australian rapper, N’fa, who will spin vinyl DJ sets of soul, disco, funk and hip-hop tunes from DJ Mr Lob and Deejay Mathmatics (NSW) starting at 4:30 pm.

Two rounds of eight players will run every half hour starting from 5:00 pm, with the winners of each round getting the chance to go head-to-head with GZA.

General admission tickets are available for those keen to watch the action alongside the line-up of DJ sets. A limited number of Meet & Greet tickets are also available for GZA fans.

Tickets for The Fanatics Series: Chessboxing with GZA of Wu-Tang start from $20 and are now available from The Gospel's website.

Plug into the latest music with our FREE weekly newsletter

Beyond his musical prowess, GZA has also been a lifelong chess aficionado. The game has influenced his approach to life and art, with the impact manifesting itself in his lyrics with the Wu-Tang Clan.

GZA often draws parallels between the game and the harsh realities of street life, using chess metaphors to describe the strategic moves and calculated risks he has always taken in his music career. 

As fans know well, his lines are filled with clever wordplay and complex rhyme schemes that we now know to mirror the strategies of a skilled chess player.

GZA's unique blend of music and chess has made him a true icon in both the hip-hop and chess communities, earning him the title of “The Genius of Chess” from his fans and peers alike.

“Ever since hearing the Liquid Swords album in 1995, I have been in awe of GZA’s ability to narrate with a blend of intellect and street grittiness,” Andrew Fitzgerald, the co-founder of The Gospel, revealed in a statement. “His promotion of the arts and sciences make him the perfect person to kick off our Fanatics series.”

Fitzgerald continued, “At The Gospel, we are committed to celebrating creativity, culture and community. Bringing people together from all walks of life to compete in chess is a great way to do that.”