On April 21st, it’s going down. One of the most fierce rivalries in sports history will continue as the Chicago Chess Blitzers travel eastward to take on the Detroit Players in the Motor City. This match has been in the works work several months while the Chicago-New York match was being planned. After that match was postponed, Dee Wildman (Detroit) and Nathan Kelly (Chicago) finally completed negotiations to stage a match in Detroit.
Both cities have a long history and are regional cousins sharing many similar characteristics. After the great migration from the South to the Midwest, both industrial cities developed rich cultures for the arts and humanities. The iconic Motown Records is still one of Detroit most famous brands and Chicago’s jazz and blues scene are world-class.
In terms of sports both cities have experienced success, but are also bitter rivals (Lions vs. Bears, Red Wings vs. Blackhawks and Bulls vs. Pistons). Basketball during the late 80s and early 90s the Detroit Pistons were the foil of Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and won two NBA championships led by Chicago native Isiah Thomas. The “Bad Boys” touted toughness and grit and earned their nickname for their physical play. Jordan and Scottie Pippen finally overcame the Pistons and won six NBA championships.
The competition is less noted in chess although Michigan players are regulars in Chicago tournaments. This matchup will be the fourth for Chicago as they have beaten Memphis, Cleveland and St. Louis rather convincingly. Detroiters have visited Chicago Chess Club as FM Jimmy Canty battled Daniel X Jones in a cage match. Jones won that match and the trash-talk has already begun.
The tension is heating up. Who will prevail? The rosters have not been released, but Detroit feels they are up to the challenge. They will most likely have Canty and NM John Brooks suiting up, but will IM Atulya Shetty play for the Detroiters? For Chicago, they will have a slightly different look with IM Angelo Young now living in California. Chicago believes they’ll have enough players in reserve to close the deal. Only one team will come out on top. Who will it be?
Video update coming!