Cleveland Public Library Hosts Chess Challenge
By Paul Swaney   
April 16, 2013
The non-profit organization, Progress With Chess ( hosts a chess tournament for over 550 students from the Cleveland Municipal Schools Chess Program at the Cleveland Public Library. This tournament titled “Chess Challenge” has been a positive outlet for the students to come test their skills against each other for the past 12 years.

Progress With Chess not only runs the tournament, but all the participants get a free lunch, participate in simultaneous events, receive t-shirts honoring the event, receive trophies at the awards ceremony, and even play chess against local Cleveland police officers and detectives. The Cleveland Public Schools also sponsor the event by providing transportation for all the students. This year's edition took place on March 27 and 28.

The Cleveland Public Library ( is very supportive, lending the hands of their staff to help setup for the two day event. The Library hosts the event one floor below the famous John G. White chess collection that is known all over the world. If you are ever in Cleveland make it a priority to visit this collection! The library staff is friendly and will bring you any item that you wish to research! 
Some of the many displayed items from the world famous John G. White collection at the Cleveland Public Library.

This year, International Master Calvin Blocker donated his time in honor of his brother to give a simultaneous exhibition. Calvin was fun, energetic, and gave all the students one on one time after the game. A real treat for all of the students!

All of the students enjoyed having a chance to play against local Cleveland police officers!

Progress With Chess sends instructors into elementary and middle schools throughout Cleveland. These instructors go into various classrooms during the regular day time school hours to teach the finer points of the game. For more information on these successful programs please visit the website. 
Free lunches were provided to all 550 participants.

The president of Progress with Chess and the developer of the “Chess Challenge” annual tournament Michael Joelson.

The excitement and joy on all the students’ faces made this year’s event a wonderful success for everyone. I always enjoy seeing how the game of chess can bring a community and the youth together. Please take the time and visit to find out more about this non-profit organization and all of their activities.