GZA was in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday (May 16) to perform at Nashville’s City Winery. Hours before, the Wu-Tang Clan legend stopped by Bastion restaurant and bar to indulge himself in another one of his passions — playing speed chess. But the Genius likely didn’t expect to be bested by a 10-year-old.
Among GZA’s challengers was Kyan Washington, a student at Nashville Chess Center. During the match, Washington stood up as he made his moves, which his mother Bonita said was “his beast mode.”
GZA shared a photo of the match to his Instagram account on Tuesday (May 17) and wrote, “Can’t win them all!! I was honored to challenge this young man and the outcome was critical. He defeated me twice.”
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GZA sent out an invite to all those interested in taking him on in speed chess, also known as blitz chess, last week. Dubbed “Chessboxing with GZA,” the event gave fans an opportunity to watch the master work and “learn the way of the Wu,” a rare opportunity for any chess aficionado.
According to the Nashville Scene, Washington has been participating in the tournament since he was 7. He told photographer Ray Di Pietro once he stood up, he already knew he was going to win.
GZA has been a longtime fan of the game and had album called Grandmasters, a title awarded to chess players by the world chess organization FIDE. But while Washington may have beat him twice, GZA did win the majority of the games.