Grand Manan Island Travelogue

September 3, 2019

The height of chess popularity on the island of Grand Manan, New Brunswick, Canada was probably during the fall of 1984. That's when Jim Leslie, owner of the island's Marathon Inn, hosted the Grand Manan Fall Classic--a six-person double round robin tournament won by Grandmasters Yasser Seirawan and Anatoly Lein. Since then, interest in chess has waned to the point where there is currently no on-island chess club. With a visit to Grand Manan, and a donation of chess equipment and instruction, we aim to change that.

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Russia Introduces Chess as a Required Subject in all Schools

August 31, 2019

In 2016, the Russian Senator Vadim Tyulpanov petitioned the Russian Education and Science Ministry to make chess compulsory in all Russian high schools. Following the success of chess pilot projects in Khanty-Mansiysk and Moscow schools, chess lessons were introduced in 18,000 Russian Schools in April of this year. In addition, Olga Vasilyeva, the Russian Minister of Education and Science, recently announced that beginning September 1st, all Russian first graders will study chess for at least 33 hours per year.

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In Memory: Pal Benko (1928-2019)

August 31, 2019

Legendary chess grandmaster Pal Benko has passed away at the age of 91. Benko was well know as a composer of endgames studies and problems, the creator of the Benko Gambit, and a two-time candidate for the world title. In 1969, Benko qualified for the 1970 Interzonal--a tournament to decide the challenger to the World Champion. He chose to give up his spot to Bobby Fischer which created a path for Fischer to become World Champion in 1972.

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Camden Chess Club Begins New Season

August 31, 2019

The Camden Chess Club at the Camden Public Library will meet on Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. beginning on Friday, September 27th. In addition to a place to play chess, the club offers instruction including books, studies, and videos. All are welcome and there is no need to register. We hope to see you this fall at the Camden Chess Club!

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Join ChessKid and Judit Polgar to Set a World Record!

August 31, 2019

ChessKid and GM Judit Polgar are teaming up to set the all-time record for the world's largest online chess tournament. The goal is to sign up at least 20,000 individual players! Here are the details so you can join in the fun.

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In Memory: Shelby Lyman (1936-2019)

August 29, 2019

Shelby Lyman, the chess master who hosted a popular show on live television as it followed the historic world championship chess match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, died on Aug. 11 in Johnson City, N.Y. He was 82. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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Mainers at the 49th Annual Continental Open

August 19, 2019

Four Mainers competed in the 49th Annual Continental Open held in Sturbridge, Mass. on August 14-18, 2019. contributor Elisabeth Fowlie Mock was there and submitted this report.

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Bapst Impromptu Swiss #18 & NM Juac Coaching Session

August 9, 2019

Originally from Sudan, NM Majur Juac is a chess instructor and master-level player based in New York City. On July 31st and August 1st, NM Juac held two coaching sessions for chess players in the greater Bangor area. He then took first place at the Bapst Impromptu Swiss #18. Here's the illustrated report.

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Beware of Chess Coach Scammers

August 9, 2019

Some members of the Maine chess coaching community have been receiving emails and text messages from a scammer asking for chess lessons. The scammer mails a check to the coach, then claims that he overpaid the coach and asks for the overpayment to be mailed back. Please be aware of this hoax and report suspicious activity to your local police department.

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2019 U.S. Blind Chess Championship Tournament Report

July 26, 2019

The 2019 US Blind Chess Championship was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 20 and 21, 2019. The lead tournament directors, Alex Relyea and Nita Patel, invited Maine Chess Association President Michael Dudley to serve as an assistant TD. The four-round tournament saw Jessica Lauser, the 2018 Champion, defending her title with nine other competitors from across the country.

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