The Wu-Tang Opening

RZA has founded a hip-hop chess site.  No Joke. 

There is a great Times article here about it, where there's a great video of the NYT chess editor playing a game vs. RZA.

The site is pretty cool actually, except the strange new hip-hopped up pieces kind of confuse me.

I'm all for any strategy teaching websites though.

Once hip-hop touches something it seems to increase its coolness factor.  That is for most things; in American Policy debate (CEDA/NDT) people have been doing hip-hop music style arguments for years and not getting a lot of media, or other, attention.

Gary Kasparov for many years has advocated for chess to be a part of the core curriculum in elementary schools. Debate training, however, has no advocate of either person's stature supporting it.

I bet there's something here about debate's association with rhetoric and persuasion and therefore it's slimy or something like that while chess has managed to retain it's "purity" - although how quickly people forget Bobby Fischer's rhetorical moves during his Cold War matches.

The Great Debaters comes out and Denzel Washington gives $1 million dollars to the school to restart their debate team. No big NYT piece on that. What will it take to get debate the attention in the public eye that it deserves?

Grandmaster Flash? Kool Moe Dee? Big Daddy Kane? Chuck D? Where are my hip hop heroes when I need them?

Of that crew, Chuck D gets the most likely to promote debate, while Grandmaster Flash gets the "most awesome if he would" nod.