On Saturday, July 22, Make a Move LA hosted their South L.A. tournament at the South LA Café, where Black chess players across the community could put their moves to the test.   

South LA Café patrons and merchandise. (Denver Mackey/L.A. Sentinel)

Make a Move LA is a nonprofit organization that cites that its mission is “to bridge communities together through chess, art, and travel. Through chess and art, our electrifying chess tournament events feature a halftime show to give local talent a platform to express their art.”  

Saturday’s tournament brought in people of all ages to participate in the tournament as well as a halftime show with some Los Angeles’ most talented artists such as Kai the Violinist and Willow Corinne.  

The entertainment also featured other artists including comedian Donny, singers Alarie and El Niño, poet Propaganda, and musicians Tatiana, Olivia, Kyhree, Jaquan, Alex, and Williams. Hosted by comedian Eric Bryant, the event showcased sounds by DJ tHrobak and together they kept players energized. 

Chess players during the South LA tournament. (Denver Mackey/L.A. Sentinel)

For this specific tournament, 2nd place winners were awarded a player jersey and 1st place winners received $200, a King’s Trophy, a player jersey, and qualified for the Champions Tournament where players have the chance to win $3,000.  

Beyond the game of chess, Make a Move LA also emphasize travel with their “Youth See More” program, which aims to “to show our youth more of the world beyond their neighborhood through international and statewide curated trips,” says a Make a Move LA spokesperson.  

 Make a Move LA has hosted numerous other tournaments across the nation and the Los Angeles area including tournaments in Inglewood, Leimert Park, downtown L.A. Arts District, East L.A., Compton, Carson, Culver City, Washington D.C. at Howard University, and many youth tournaments across Los Angeles.  

Make a Move LA is a celebration of culture, chess, art, and community for people of all ages to enjoy. Visit their website https://makeamovela.org/, for more information on their programs, and follow their Instagram @make.a.move.la to stay updated on future events near you!