Councilmember Austin and Filmmaker Duke Givens Present Chess Tourney at The Breakers, Supporting Youth Sports

This Saturday, at the historic Breakers building, Long Beach City Councilmember Al Austin will be hosting a chess tournament that’s open to the public. There’s a $20 entry fee, and every penny will go to support the Long Beach Jackrabbit Boxing Gym and the Ron Palmer Basketball League.

It is specifically open to men, who are required to wear a dress shirt and tie in order to participate. The Grand Prize winner will receive $1,000. The second place winner will receive an Apple iPad Mini. The event begins at 3:00PM and ends at 7:00PM.

The tournament is being filmed by Duke Givens, who is in the process of filming his second documentary film, titled Emerald in the Rough, which focuses on the importance of fathers in the lives of children.  Givens’ 2013 documentary, The Game Don’t Change (Just the Players), was praised for offering important insights into the challenges of growing up in the city’s Sixth District, where drugs and gangs were prevalent.

In this video interview, Givens speaks candidly about his own father, and being a father, himself. He also talks about how so many who lost their lives to drugs and gangs lacked a paternal presence. Chess, in the context of the film, is a metaphor for strategic thinking.

“I learned to play chess at a young age,” Al Austin said. “It made me a strategic thinker.  The game has shaped how I approach many of my life decisions. I am thrilled to be part this fun event with my friends and partners.  We are bringing thinkers together in support of a great cause.”

The Breakers is located at 210 East Ocean Boulevard in downtown Long Beach. The tournament will be held in the cafeteria, located on the second floor.

To learn more about Givens’ new project, visit

You can also watch an interview with him from 2013, where he speaks about his first film: Duke Givens: Game Changer.

There’s also a brief interview with Givens about his photography exhibition, Duke Givens: The Power of Choice.

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