Thursday, April 22, 2010

Youth Competes in Hip Hop Chess Tournament

Looks like we can give RZA credit for yet another intellectual revolution that's trickled down to America's youth. Earlier this month, Words, Beats & Life, a nonprofit educational organization that strives to empower and spread knowledge to urban youth, held its fifth annual hip-hop chess tournament at the Historical Society of Washington.

The event, formally titled 'Bum Rush the Boards,' let 250 registered participants compete in a six round chess tournament that was broken up with hands-on tutorials in the basics of original hip-hop culture. Kids could watch and learn some classic break-dancing moves, watch a DJ scratch records or get some quiet lyric writing in between chess matches."For the creators of 'Bum Rush the Boards,' there is a logical connection between chess and hip-hop," explained Mazi Mutafa, Word, Beats & Life's executive director, in a recent interview with Ready Set DC. "Hip-hop culture, like chess, is highly competitive.

It is filled with opportunities to battle and compete to win over crowds, crews, and sponsors. By connecting hip-hop to chess, we have created a chess tournament that exposes youth to a culture (hip-hop) and a science (chess) that requires them to think ahead, manage their talent, and size up their adversary."

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