Steven Dillon and Jason Spector: 2008 Maine Champions

04.14.08 Steven Dillon and Jason Spector both had 4.0 points going into the last round of the 2008 Maine Chess Championship played at the University of Maine, Orono on April 12 - 13, 2008. Agreeing to a quick draw, they clinched the championship with only Roger Morin within reach. Morin, himself the 1980 Maine Champion, could not defeat Ruben Babayan in the last round and had to settle for equal sixth place.

The Maine State Chess Championship was played at the University of Maine, Orono on April 12 - 13, 2008.

USCF Crosstable of this Event

Games form this event are coming soon.

Forty-three players turned out for the five-round, two-day Maine State Chess Championship--one of the few remaining tournaments in Maine to use the classical time control of 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by game in 60 minutes. The two highest-rated players Steven Dillon (2144) and Jason Spector (2113) finished tied for first with 4.5 points.

Tied for third through fifth with 4.0 points were Ruben Babayan (2008), Lucan McCain (1795) and Fritz Eyerer (1753). McCain and Eyerer shared the Class B prize of $100. Roger Morin (1973), Andrey Savov (1827) and Richard Fontinha all scored 3.5 points to shared the Class A prize. The Class C prize was divided four ways between Curt Brock (1579), Nicholas Parsons (1535), Michael Dudley (1486) and Max Berube (1451) all scoring 3.0. Class D honors went to the only female player in the tournament, John Bapst High School Freshman Margaret Bryan (1329) who scored 2.5 points. William Burtt (1027), took the Class E prize with 2.5 points. Kurt Eyerer (999), Jiawei Zou (970) and Yuval Boss (674) were co-winners in the Class F section with 2.0 points. Yuval Boss received the biggest upset award with his second round win over Henry Chai (1372)--that's a whopping 698 point rating difference.

Thanks to Tom Sandford for contributing to this report.

Video Scenes


Bodoin College student Jason Spector tied for first with Steven Dillon and is shown here holding the C. Stuart Laughlin Trophy. This is Spector's second straight Maine Championship title.


Steven Dillon (right) ponders his position vs. Robert Shore in round 2. Dillon scored 4.5 points to tie for the state championship with Jason Spector.


Fritz Eyerer (left) plays eventual tournament winner Jason Spector. This game was Eyerer's only loss; he tied for 3rd-5th place with 4.0 points and shared the B Class prize with Yarmouth High School student Lucas McCain.


Here's Lucas McCain catching up on some homework after his last round game.


Ruben Babayan (right) plays Chuck Cannone in round 2. Babayan scored 4.0 points to tie with Eyerer and McCain for 3rd - 5th place.


It wasn't meant to be for Joseph St. Pierre, Maine Champion for the past three years. St. Pierre finished with 3.5 points including a half-point bye in round 3.


One of the Maine Champions in 1980, Roger Morin nearly repeated the feat 28 years later! Morin had 3.5 points going into the last round vs. Babayan. A win would have placed him in equal first with Dillon and Spencer.


The last round game between Ruben Babayan (left) and Roger Morin.


Barry Magda considers the position in the Babayan - Morin game with both players absent from the board.


Babayan won a pawn early and went on to win this critical game.


Who needs pieces? Ruben Babayan (left) and Roger Morin analyze their just-finshed game on an empty board.


This last round game between Andrey Savov (right) and Chuck Cannone was the longest game of the round. The tight unbalanced game eventually wound down to rooks and an extra pawn for Cannone and was agreed drawn.


When we say "eventually" we mean it! 5:25 p.m. and the Cannone - Savov game was still going. The draw was agreed sometime after 6:00 p.m. nearly 4 1/2 hours after it started.


Richard Fontinha, here playing Margaret Bryan (the only female competitor in the 43-player field) in round 5, scored 3.5 points to tie for 6th - 11th place.


Unrated Rudy Saarheim had a strong showing in his first Maine Championship with 3.5 points.


Darrell Salisbury (right) scored 3.0 points. Here he is playing Nicholas Parsons in round 2.


Daniel Weissbarth (1904) also scored 3.0 points.


Perennial contender Phil Lowell


Barry Magda (1704) during his last round game.


Curt Brock (1579) suffered a first-round upset at the hands of...


...Kurt Eyerer (999).


Nicholas Parsons


Michael Dudley during his last-round game with Kurt Eyerer. The game looked as though it was drawn, Dudley having king and rook vs. Eyerer's advanced rook pawn. After much maneuvering the rook prevailed and Dudley forced resignation.


Is that GM Fabiano Caruana? Nope, it's up-and-coming talent Max Berube of Cape Elizabeth.


Here's the real Fabiano Caruana playing in Budapest, Hungary.


Murray Bridges (foreground right) plays Andy Bryan while Hoty Briggs (background right) takes on J. Paul Ciarrocchi.


William Burtt (1027) scored 2.5 points and took the Class E prize.


At 72 years young Maine Chess Association Vice President Jon Malev is still going strong.


The youngest tournament competitor: nine-year-old John Paul Kenneway


Mark Maynard studies his position.


Bangor High School student Andrew Audibert (left) plays Daniel Weissbarth in round 2.


A la Harry Nelson Pillsbury: Roger Morin takes up a nonchalant posture.


Round 2 as seen reflected on the mirror in the back of the tournament room.


Barry Magda (in hat) points out a square in an involved post mortem while (clockwise from Magda's left) Keji Xu, Joseph St. Pierre, Andrey Savov and Cullen Edes look on.


John Jones admiring the C. Stuart Laughlin Trophy.


Chess wife and mom Beth Bryan reading The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCal Smith while waiting for results from the tournament room.


We thank the University of Maine, Orono for hosting this year's Maine Championship.


And a big "thank you" to Tom Sandford for directing the event.


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