But that’s not what this is about, sort of. You see Wu-tang member, the RZA, is widely known to “take the Queen with the Rook”. Alright, filthy minds, I meant that he like to play Chess. Geez! Anyway, it can also be said the he, along with the rest of the Clan, has all but cemented their place in the Hip Hop Hall of Fame. So why not marry the two? How about throwing a bit of social networking in for good measure? If you are curious about the mixing, head on over to Wuchess.com.
The partnership of Rza and online Chess community, Chesspark. Chesspark itself, is a site that let’s chess players from around the world share the love of the game by letting them play each other online. Casual and experienced players can pit their skills against each other. Wuchess is basically Chesspark for lovers of Hip Hop. Here, you will a community of chess players and Hip Hop heads coming together to form a more…”unique” union. Apparently, in addition to playing and socializing with other like minded folks in chess, you can make you own chess clans, compete in tournaments, practice against the computer, and get tips from pros. Also, members of the site can get access to exclusive videos and mp3 from Hip Hop artists (assumably from those associated with site, but…). Now, here comes the rub. It’s $48 a year to join (Chesspark is $40 a year). Chesspark has a free service, I believe. Honestly, I hadn’t tried either way. Here is a tour of the site, if you are interested. And here’s some tutorials, also. And you gotta love the chess pieces.
(screenshot from Crunchbase)
Admittedly, it’s an interesting idea. Rza has been trying to get more Hip Hop minded folks into chess. And this is not the first time such a combination has been tried, either. Before this even, there was a Hip Hop Chess Federation (of which part of the funds from Wuchess is going towards) formed to get the youth active in chess. Chess is a thinking man’s game. Hip Hop is SUPPOSED to make you think, I believe. Anything that can bring one to the other can’t be a bad thing. I can’t totally be mad at it. Every now and then I get the itch to learn to play. I remember hearing about an Black Grandmaster named Maurice Ashley who put his likeness and skills behind a PC CD-rom title named Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess. I still have the game, too. He also wrote a book called Chess for Success.
How about I end this with a couple of links stories about Wuchess, eh?
The Rza launches Wuchess.com – BlackWeb 2.0