Maine Chess Association - 2022 Annual Report


I am proud to begin this message with a simple and emphatic proclamation: Chess in Maine is better than ever!

This last year had the potential to be as devastating to our game and community as 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic still shuttering events and disrupting every facet of our daily lives, Maine chess was off to a slow start. Come spring, we kicked into high gear, running the scholastic and open events that are the foundation of our Association. In short, it was due to look like a typical year in Maine chess, but just…off by a month or two.

This last year had the potential to be as devastating to our game and community as 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic still shuttering events and disrupting every facet of our daily lives, Maine chess was off to a slow start. Come spring, we kicked into high gear, running the scholastic and open events that are the foundation of our Association. In short, it was due to look like a typical year in Maine chess, but just…off by a month or two.

Yet, there was a spirit of enthusiasm and community brewing in those events. At our Maine Scholastic Team Chess Championships, we saw the single biggest enlistment of tournament directors that I can remember: twelve new tournament directors coming aboard with US Chess licensure to serve as supervisors and ensure fair online play. It was a single event that reminds me of the power of our chess community in Maine: our spirit lies not only in the love of the game, but also in the dedication to what our game provides.

That spirit rests now in our newly crafted mission, drafted and approved by the MECA Policy Board in September 2021: Connecting Mainers through chess. This is a thread that runs through our every event, club meeting, casual game, and login online. With this single statement, the Maine Chess Association endeavors not only to be a chess organization, but a community-centered organization devoted to a central cause.

At the start of my presidency, I posed a question to the Maine Chess Association membership and our chess community: what is your chess story? Over the course of these three years, I’ve taken it in from everyone I’ve met in our chess community. Your chess stories are diverse. Maybe your story is the drive to improve and challenge your mind, your energy, your faculties. Maybe it’s that moment when you learned how the pieces move. Maybe it’s the friends on your school team. Maybe it’s that big victory that helped you reach a milestone, or that loss that made you determined to improve. Maybe it’s the warm feeling of the delicious concessions at Airline Community School or Bonny Eagle Middle School. Maybe it’s learning from a mentor or a coach you admire, and how they made you a better chess player, tournament director or organizer, and in so doing, made you a better person. We all have these chess stories, and they run deep with every chess player I meet.

That is why the mission of Connecting Mainers through chess is uniquely fitting to the Maine Chess Association. We have grown to see chess as a central rallying point that unites communities of people throughout our state, from Van Buren to Kennebunk to Machias, and beyond. When you attend an event, you are building not only your chess story, but the story of others.

I hope you’ll consider building those stories with us. The Maine Chess Association has grown and expanded; the possibilities for how chess can serve our communities are endless. We’d love to hear how we can bring chess to you wherever you might be.

Here’s to bringing Mainers together, one game at a time!

See you over the board,

Michael Dudley


Maine Chess Association


The Maine Chess Association (MECA) is an incorporated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization currently headquartered in Bangor, Maine, USA. Its mission is Connecting Mainers through chess. The Maine Chess Association serves as the State Affiliate to the United States Chess Federation for Maine, and fulfills US Chess Duties and Responsibilities for State Chapters.

The Maine Chess Association seats a board of eight members: four members are elected officers and execute duties specified in the Maine Chess Association Constitution, and four members are voting directors who take on other responsibilities as directed or delegated. This board is referred to as the “Policy Board.”


As of December 31, 2021, the following MECA members are serving on the MECA Policy Board:

  • Michael Dudley, PRESIDENT

  • Daniel DeLuca, VICE PRESIDENT

  • Wyatt Hendrix, SECRETARY

  • Oisin O’Searcoid, TREASURER

  • Dr. Elisabeth Mock, DIRECTOR

  • Dr. Katherine Ervin, DIRECTOR

  • Aaron Spencer, DIRECTOR

  • Stephen Wong, DIRECTOR

MECA held one election in 2021, in which the four Director positions were open for nominations. All four of the current Policy Board directors were re-elected to their posts. Eight MECA members participated in the election, and all four Directors were elected to their positions unanimously.


In 2021, MECA had an operating income of $13,488.66, and expenses of $10,928.58. MECA currently has assets in three accounts, each appropriated as follows:

  • $5,420.58 in the General Treasury;

  • $4,416.04 in the Scholastic Fund;

  • $1,632.00 in the Roger J. Morin Scholarship Fund.

As of December 31, MECA has $3,865.00 in outstanding appropriations, which will be paid upon the completion of work, redemption of checks, or removal from appropriation at the discretion of the Policy Board. The details of these financial positions can be found in Appendix A, which gives the MECA Annual Financial Report, submitted by Treasurer Oisin O’Searcoid.


As of December 31, 2021, MECA has 79 members in good standing. Twelve of these members are life members, and the remaining members pay yearly dues. Yearly dues are currently $12 for adult members, $6 for student members (defined as being enrolled in a K-12 institution, whether public or private), and $240 for life membership. As membership is required to enter, several members join upon entering the Maine State Championship. In 2021, a membership drive by email was undertaken. Memberships also tend to be sold occasionally throughout the year and at other MECA events.

MECA members are now entitled to email addresses and access to the Google Workplace that is linked to, a new domain under full MECA ownership. More on can be found in the Online Presence section of this report.


MECA currently interfaces with membership and the public at large through two websites: (stylized as and This section contains a breakdown of the purposes and messaging on the two sites. is owned by Vice President Daniel DeLuca, and has served as MECA’s official site since March 11, 2006. The site features tournament synopses, houses a running clearinghouse for chess events in Maine, and posts other news of relevance to the chess community at large. has been recognized several times for its journalistic contributions to the chess community by the Chess Journalists of America. In his readership report on, Dan DeLuca describes the patterns of readership and visitor access on the site since its inception; he notes that the site has served as a hub of information and crosstable synopses since its inception. The text and figures of his report are found in Appendix B of this report. is a new online presence owned and operated directly by the Maine Chess Association. The site is a domain linked to a Google Workspace, which offers Google Suite functionality to an unlimited number of users. Currently, is serving as a portal for tournament information, payments for membership dues and entry fees, and as a source of official information on the state of MECA and its organizational structures. Furthermore, the domain and Google Workspace allows MECA to offer unique email addresses within the domain, and gives access to the Google Suite of tools for its members. Finally, the Google Workspace is a functional repository of documentation, databases, and graphics that can be accessed by members of the Policy Board and designated tournament organizers and directors. Finally, serves to host the New England Chess Clearinghouse, a regional clearinghouse for tournament coordination administered by the New England Chess Association.

The Policy Board has not made a motion or decision on the relationship of either site to each other or to MECA as a whole. However, both sites will continue to serve MECA members in separate ways as functional online presences: is where the Maine chess community, and the worldwide chess community at large, go for news about chess in Maine, and is where the Maine chess community can access MECA’s functions and organizational information. An important agenda item for the Policy Board in 2022 is to formally delineate the purpose for each online presence.

Currently, MECA does not maintain any other formal online presence on social media. While accounts on Twitter and Facebook exist in the name of “ChessMaine”, these are the private property of separate owners and are not formally managed by the Policy Board in any capacity.


The Roger J. Morin Scholarship Fund is maintained by the Maine Chess Association. Its goal is to award scholarships to graduating Maine high school seniors and current undergraduate students who are members of the Maine chess community. MECA membership is not required to apply.

In 2021, the first Morin Scholarship awards were given. A formal committee, consisting of Nita Patel, Thomas Sandford, and Anna Thomas, developed criteria through which scholarship applications would be evaluated and awards given. After deliberation, the committee focused on the following criteria for selection:

  • The amount and duration of the applicant’s engagement with the chess community;

  • The nature and depth of the applicant’s artistic and creative pursuits;

  • The nature of the applicant’s involvement with community service;

  • Other considerations that are deemed important by the committee as expressed by the applicant.

With these criteria in mind, the committee chose Wyatt Hendrix, Isaac Dinnerstein, and Zachary Brislin for awards, totaling $250.00, $150.00, and $100.00, respectively.

The primary fundraiser for the Morin Scholarship Fund is the Roger J. Morin Memorial Tournament, held this year at the University of Maine on September 11, 2021. At this tournament, $660.00 in proceeds were raised to benefit the fund. The goal is to continue to raise money through this means and others, and grow the size of the fund and the amount of the awards themselves. Currently, the Roger J. Morin Scholarship Fund has $1,632.00, and awards for 2022 are set to be appropriated at the Quarter 1 Policy Board meeting.


The Maine Chess Association has made an investment in three new trophies to honor the winners of the Maine Team Scholastic Chess Championship. Created by Andrew DeMaris, these trophies are a tribute to George Cunningham, a University of Maine professor who organized and directed chess in Maine for decades, and served as executive director of US Chess in 1972. These trophies are made in white pine and oak, and incorporate elements of the previous Cunningham Trophies. These trophies represent MECA’s commitment to investing in quality awards that will travel to host schools and serve as symbols of scholastic chess achievement.


In 2021, the Maine Chess Association planned several major in-person events that served to fulfill its duties as a US Chess State Affiliate, and to fulfill its organizational mission. The execution of these events also reflects the status of the Maine Chess Association as the sole planner and coordinator of scholastic championship chess competition in Maine. This section contains a breakdown of those events, and the purposes they serve.

The Maine Scholastic Team Chess Championship for K-8 and K-5 was held on April 10, 2022 over The tournament was held online, with an incredible effort from several Maine coaches who became US Chess Club Tournament Directors in order to enforce a high standard of play. The tournament had 69 players from 14 Maine schools. In the K-5 section, Captain Albert Stevens School in Belfast, led by coach and tournament director Jacquie Gage, won their first state title. In the K-8 section, Cohen Middle School in Bangor, led by coach and tournament director Sharon Klein, also won their first state title.

This event is unique in Maine’s chess history, as such a coordination of so many new tournament directors across distances has not been taken in Maine’s history. Those tournament directors are Oisin O’Searcoid (Bonny Eagle Middle School), Jacquie Gage and Jean Lawlis (RSU 71), Kate Ervin, Justin Mazur, and Samantha Mortlock (Camden-Rockport Elementary School), Bruce Haffner (Lincolnville Central School), Sharon Klein (Cohen Middle School), Nathan Tefft (Brunswick School Department), Ryan Tripp (Orono Middle School), Tom Coleman (Glenburn School), Mary Penfold (Deer Isle-Stonington Middle School), Jeffrey Borland (Longfellow Elementary School), and Pavel Sulyandziga (Boothbay Harbor Elementary School).

The Maine Scholastic Team Chess Championship for High School was held on May 22, 2021, at the United Technologies Center in Bangor. This tournament marked a return to over-the-board play for many high schoolers, and was attended by ten teams and 45 players. This year, Orono High School took marks as the top high school team in the state.

The Maine Individual Scholastic Chess Championship was held on June 5, 2021 at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor. This tournament serves as the nominating tournament for the GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions, the Dewain Barber Tournament of 6-8 Champions, and the John D. Rockefeller III Tournament of Elementary School Champions. To align with these three national invitational events, the tournament was held in three sections: High School, 6-8, and K-5. In the High School section, Benjamin Mock of John Bapst Memorial High School earned the Denker nomination. In the 6-8 section, Gabriel Eaton of Brunswick Middle School earned the Barber nomination. In the K-5 section, Miles Kaplan of Camden-Rockport Elementary School earned the Rockefeller nomination. All three players traveled to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, to represent Maine in their respective tournaments.

The Kathy Richards Maine Girls’ Chess Championship was held at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor on June 12, 2021. This tournament serves as the nominating tournament for the WIM Ruth Haring National Girls’ Tournament of Champions and the Susan Polgar Invitational. The Polgar Invitational was cancelled this year on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving only the Haring nomination available. Delia Hill of Hampden Academy won the Richards Championship and the nomination, and traveled to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, to represent Maine in the Haring National Girls’ Tournament of Champions.

The Maine Women’s Championship was held parallel to the Richards Championship on June 12, 2021, at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor. The tournament was a three-player round robin between Sharon Klein, Kate Ervin, and Lisa Oliver. Sharon Klein won the tournament and is the current Maine Women’s Champion.

The Maine State Championship was held from July 16-18, 2021, at the Waterville Grand Hotel in Waterville, Maine. The tournament hosted 46 participants and represented the largest championship tournament turnout in several years. This year, Max Berube of South Portland won the tournament’s open section, and is the current Maine State Champion.

At Maine Craft Portland, a collaborative event between MECA and the Maine Crafts Association was held to commemorate an exhibition called The Craft Maker’s Gambit. At this exhibition, Maine Craft Portland featured chess sets made by craft artists in various media. To celebrate this exhibition, MECA enlisted WGM Sabina Foisor, the 2017 US Women’s Chess Champion, to give a lecture on Thursday, December 2, 2021, and a blitz exhibition on Friday, December 3, 2021. Dan DeLuca, Wyatt Hendrix, Aaron Spencer, and Michael Dudley of MECA teamed up with Maria Wolff, Sadie Bliss, and other Maine Craft Portland staffers to bring the event into fruition. The latter event was held in conjunction with Portland’s First Friday Art Walk. The lecture on Thursday drew around 15 participants, and the blitz exhibition on Friday drew 14 players and a steady stream of observers, both in the Maine Craft Portland space and outside the building, where the games were projected on the facade of the building.

These major events represent the presence of MECA on the competitive and community chess scenes in Maine. Several of these events occur yearly, and are planned to continue in 2022. In particular, MECA was able to administer these events safely by consistently adhering to CDC guidelines for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19; to the best of our knowledge, no participants have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as a result of attendance at a MECA event.


The Maine Chess Association aspires to the following goals for 2022, all of which are aligned with the mission of Connecting Mainers through chess:

  • Improve outreach to the community at-large through the pursuit and execution of collaborative community chess events;

  • Grow scholastic play through the continued funding and development of the Scholastic Grand Prix initiative;

  • Continue to run flagship MECA events;

  • Improve relationships with school organizations and coaches as the state administrator of scholastic championship play;

  • Establish Financial and Strategic Planning committees that will continue to develop MECA financial policy and long-term goals;

  • Draft bylaws that reflect MECA’s mission, vision, and scope of operation;

  • Continue work on bidding for major regional and national tournaments;

  • Foster opportunities for the mentorship and growth of US Chess tournament directors and chess coaches in Maine.