Blitz Rivalry on Tap! Chicago vs. Cleveland

The chess community is still buzzing after the Chicago-Memphis match and a number of videos of blitz battles have circulated around social media. A lot of inter-city trash-talking and sharp-witted banter has been bounced around and the result is the second team blitz match featuring Cleveland and Chicago. There was even a scouting visit by Cleveland! More on that later.

Both cities are sports towns and have their share of legends in major sports history… Lou Boudreau. Ernie Banks. Jim Brown. Walter Payton. Michael Jordan. Lebron James. Now the rivalry spills onto the chess boards for an impending August 5th bout. Tichawona Tony Troy (Cleveland Heavy Hitters) and Louie Green (Chicago Chess Blitzers) discuss upcoming “Best of the Midwest” match coming up August 5th!

Video by Chicago Chess Club
(Nathan Kelly, Lou Green)

Two Midwestern working class cities have been known for their sports fervor over the years. After agonizing for decades from Michael Jordan’s buzzer beater over Cleveland’s Craig Ehlo in the 1989 NBA Playoffs, Cleveland and Lebron James broke a 50-year city championship drought in 2016 by winning the 2016 NBA championship against the Golden State Warriors. Last fall, Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs battled for the World Series crown with Chicago breaking a 108-year championship drought.

Michael Jordan celebrates winning shot over Craig Ehlo in first round of 1989 NBA playoffs.

Michael Jordan celebrates winning shot over Cleveland’s Craig Ehlo
in first round of 1989 NBA playoffs.
Photo by Ed Wagner Jr. (Chicago Tribune)

Lebron James... 3-time NBA Champion

Lebron James made Cleveland a championship city again.
Photo Getty Images

The two cities have their pride and when they match up competitively, the gloves come off. The city of Cleveland will be looking to bring the heat to Chicago in a blitz match on August 5th. Coming off of a blistering win over Memphis, Chicago will travel to “The Land” to face off in a 15-board double round robin match on the campus of Case Western University. The stakes… pride and bragging rights. Tichawona Tony Troy crashed the Chicago Chess Club and some fierce trash-talking went down.

Video by Chess Chess Club
(Nathan Kelly, Lou Green)

So… Cleveland guarantees a “W” and Chicago vows to stay undefeated. Both can’t be right. Who will it be? Cleveland or Chicago? Stay tuned for more details including lineups and player profiles.

“Best of the Midwest” match… Chicago vs. Cleveland
it’s going down on August 5th!

Message from Cleveland Heavy Hitters…

The Chicago Chess Blitzers will take on The Cleveland Heavy Hitters Chess Team. There is a limit of 15 players for both teams. There is a $25 entry fee and all players must have current USCF membership ratings. Please bring heavy chess pieces with regulation chess sets. The match will be on the 3rd floor of Guilford- 11112 Bellflower Rd. (It’s a yellow house). Friends and family are welcome to come and spectate. This event is to help encourage the game of chess and to promote positivity. We all need to help stop the violence in Cleveland and Chicago and chess is a way to bring people together and stop the violence.


  1. All I have to say is don’t Tony remember who TOOK that World Series from them??? Uhhhh CHICAGO!!! Hahaha

  2. Love the energy flowing through out the video, nice production Nat and Lou. Maybe blitz events should be nationwide between rival cities, Philly and D.C. had a number of blitz battles. Also, this video help “brings to light” the present competitive nature of Black chess and the camaraderie among African players.
    Tichawona mentioned Calvin Blocker a few times, interestingly, I’ve played him in the national high school championship, in Cleveland.

    Side point: In 1954, the U.S. Open chess tournament in New Orleans banned African-Americans from entering the open tournament. At the time, Louisiana segregated Black and White chess players, even in chess clubs. In 1955, an African-American chess player, William A. Scott, was refused to be allowed to play in the Georgia Open chess championship.

    1. Walter Harris tells a similar about not being allowed a hotel stay. IM Anthony Saidy was with him and protested to no avail. They found another place close by.

  3. Permanent Supreme! Long time no see 🙂

    Question to Cleveland players .. it’s a little bit late notice, but would a couple of guys from Columbus be welcome to join in (some support from an hour or two south in the I-9?!), or you want all 15 to be guys from Cleveland?

    … It’s all good either way, we will understand; I think Nate (Naphtali Smith) would love to go up there and maybe a couple other friends;

    No matter what hope you guys have a great time and go Cleveland! Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland

    — Facebook / or “Reply”, or … Nathan (Chicago) has my contact info

  4. .. or maybe no matter what, two or three of us could try to drive up there tomorrow and at least hang out an root for Cleveland? Make some new friends?

    (Is Benjamin Al-Shimi gonna be there?!)

    1. Hey thanks for showing interest and the support. However, only players from Cleveland can play in this one. Sorry man. But maybe next time. I’m sure this will be an ongoing rivalry between Chicago and Cleveland. By the way, can anybody get in contact with Maurice Ashley for me? It would be an honor if he could show up. This match will spark the type of attention we need in the chess community. Go Cleveland. The Heavy Hitters will prevail!!!!! Anybody is welcome to come watch the match. And yes Ben will be there.

  5. Hey, okay cool, thanks for the reply. I’ll ask around, maybe we can roll up there anyway to hang out and support Cleveland! (I just realized it’s not this weekend, we still got a week to go.)

    Anyway cool, and go Heavy Hitters!


    PS say hi to Ben for me? We were in the blitz tournament at the Chicago Open ..

  6. Also great idea, Maurice Ashley … Maybe if Chicago vs Cleveland goes into a second or third brawl, over the next few months, or if we start to have a few cities …

    (I know Columbus here is gonna want to take on Cleveland and Detroit. Maybe not 15 boards, but I bet we can get 6-8 boards into a couple cars and meet up in Cleveland. And I KNOW Detroit will be down … Bronson is gonna wanna kick my ass for taking away one of his games at the Chicago Open and Young Pat has got a bunch of friends in Motor City 🙂

    … Anyway, I’ll bet GM Ashley will ASK you guys if he can get in on the love, if he can contribute his “ESPN” talent to the battles. He’s not gonna wanna Miss Out.

    1. Read my comment above. Maurice will be broadcasting. You also need to consider that he probably won’t be free. Being a high-profile professional, you’ll have to consider his time value and busy schedule when negotiating for his services.

  7. Yes, so true Daaim, GM Maurice must charge a respectable fee. I recall Philly chess players wanted Ashley to come to an event and his price was his worth. A number of player became upset, but they must realize this is his living..

    1. I talked to another guy who was hating on Maurice because he wouldn’t give a cut-rate price or do it free because it involved Black children. Maurice is not asking to do things for free.

      For Maurice to commentate 5-minute games would be difficult enough. In addition, he won’t have the technology to produce what we see in St. Louis. We have to be a bit more realistic with these amateur level events.

  8. “Best in the Midwest” Blitz Battle
    Cleveland Heavy Hitters vs. Chicago Chess Blitzers
    # Player Blitz Team
    1 IM Angelo Young 2425 CHI
    2 FM Carl Boor 2475 CLE
    3 NM Kay Kaulule 2232 CHI
    4 IM Dejan Maksimovic 2341 CHI
    5 Aderemi Adekola 2138 CHI
    6 Thomas Murphy 2173 CHI
    7 David Franklin 2185 CHI
    8 Daniel X Jones 2259 CHI
    9 IM Calvin Blocker 2399 CLE
    10 Stephen Jennings 1920 CHI
    11 Tim Donnahue 2037 CHI
    12 William Sedlar 2174 CLE
    13 NM Todd Freitag 2099 CHI
    14 Andrew Bell 1799 CHI
    15 Gwayne Lambert 1900 CHI
    16 Sedrick Prude 1981 CHI
    17 Trey Modlin 2186 CLE
    18 George David 1807 CHI
    19 Will Grandberry, Jr. 1942 CHI
    20 Jonathan Clinton 1807 CLE
    21 Tony Rotella 2043 CLE
    22 Roman Kowalysko 1903 CLE
    23 Jose Abutal 1993 CLE
    24 Adam Gerver 1853 CLE
    25 David Allen, Sr. 2200 CLE
    26 Tichawona Tony Troy 1679 CLE
    27 Benjamin Al-Shami 2109 CLE
    28 Jason Clinton 1853 CLE
    29 Felix Tapia 2091 CLE
    30 Flamando McElrath 1842 CLE
    Score: Chicago 293 -Cleveland 157

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