Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Art of Chess Boxing

The most effective means of avoiding actual work is online chess. No matter what you're doing, chess has the ability to make all else feel insignificant, which is what you want in a good distraction. It looks RZA has gone ahead and for real started an online chess club for the hip hop set, Wu Chess. The site went live last week and looks decent (although the snapshot of the chess pieces looks terrible). According to their website, Wu Chess is a part of a larger initiative by RZA to popularize chess with the youth, and the populace in general.

Now, I ain't trying to hate, especially on a brother doing something positive, but I wonder about this business model. The one-year membership costs $48(!), which seems kind of senseless. The best thing about a site like Yahoo chess is that you can play a lot of different players for free. People aren't used to paying money for stuff online, so I'm wondering who's is the target audience for this? And what happens to my one-year membership if (when?) the site closes down in three months? And it says you will have the opportunity to learn from "REAL chess masters". I'm wondering who this will be. Suddenly I have an Old Dirty Bastard flashback: I teach the truth to the youth. I say, "Hey, youth, you better start wearing bullet proof.

But, I wouldn't necessarily bet against the RZA. If he can go from Prince Rakeem to Bobby Digital, anything is possible.


Rion Amilcar Scott said...

Yeah, I hate to second guess the RZArector myself, but when I saw the $48 price tag I kind of rolled my eyes. Especially since one of his goals is to get poor kids into chess. Where are they going to get $48 for a chess web site? I think the black grandmaster is involved (I don't remember his name, but there is only one, I think).

Abdel Shakur said...

I think earlier I heard that Maurice Ashley was going to be involved, but I didn't see anything about it on the site. I'm assuming they couldn't get him to commit. Do you play?

Rion Amilcar Scott said...

Yeah, I play a bot, but I'm not very good. I need more practice. Maybe Wu-Chess can help me out. lol.