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Play chess with GZA of Wu-Tang Clan at Dunedin Brewery

The free event happens on Sept. 21.
GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan performs during Riot Fest in Chicago in 2014. He will be playing speed chess with fans at Dunedin Brewery on Sept. 21.
GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan performs during Riot Fest in Chicago in 2014. He will be playing speed chess with fans at Dunedin Brewery on Sept. 21. [ AMY HARRIS | Invision/AP ]
Published Sep. 2|Updated Sep. 13

Ask any fan of hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan and they’ll tell you that chess factors into their music just as much as martial arts. Wu-Tang member GZA, aka The Genius, has a particular penchant for the game and has been playing it against fans at events throughout the U.S.

On Sept. 21, fans and chess aficionados will have the chance to play speed chess with GZA at Dunedin Brewery. The free event, dubbed Chessboxin’ With Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, is hosted by local rapper and musician Jon Ditty and will feature performances by local artists and a cypher (a freestyle rap session). Guests who want to compete against GZA will have to arrive at 3 p.m. to put their name in a lottery for the opportunity to play five-minute matches.

Fans of hip-hop legend GZA can sign up for the chance to play chess with him for free at Dunedin Brewery on Sept. 21.
Fans of hip-hop legend GZA can sign up for the chance to play chess with him for free at Dunedin Brewery on Sept. 21. [ Courtesy of Michael Lyn Bryant ]

So how is it that a hip-hop legend would spend an afternoon playing chess in Dunedin? For 10 years, Ditty has hosted a weekly freestyle rap night called Off the Dome at Blur nightclub in downtown Dunedin, where he met GZA’s manager. Wu-Tang Clan and Nas are performing the same night at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, so the event was arranged for the afternoon as a cerebral meet and greet.

Ditty has a longstanding relationship with Dunedin Brewery as a performer. Michael Lyn Bryant, the brewery’s general manager, books all the acts there and often taps Ditty to host or open. In August, Ditty opened for rapper Devin the Dude at the Moon Tower, a newer part of the brewery’s compound.

If you go

Chessboxin’ With Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA. Free. The event kicks off at 3 p.m. for social hour. Names will be drawn for chess slots at 3:45 and the matches will start at 4 and run till 6:30, while a cypher happens from 5 to 7. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave. 727- 736-0606. dunedinbrewery.com.

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