An Open Letter to the Maine Chess Community

To chess players of all abilities and interests in the greater Portland area:

Unhappily, the Portland Chess Club (PCC) has been without a long-term meeting location for 3 years, and has not met as a club since spring of last year. As some of you may know, there are several informal groups meeting to play at a couple of coffee houses in Portland. Attendance & discussion at the Sunday morning group playing at Arabica Coffee on Free Street has led me to initiate an attempt to rebuild the PCC. With the population base in the greater Portland area, there's no reason we should not be able to develop the leading chess club north of Boston. But, as with any formal group effort, we need to put together a small group of folks willing to share the administrative duties required for such groups. To that end, I'm setting up an organizational meeting to be held in Portland on Saturday, April 22. The details are listed below. I strongly urge you to attend if possible, and to pass the word to any and all players who may be interested in our efforts. For those of you with scholastic affiliations, I encourage you to pass this information on to anyone in your area who may be interested. If you can't attend, feel free to send any comments or questions that you may want to have discussed, and I'll be sure to bring them to the group. After the meeting, I'll send everyone on this list a summary of the meeting and any action items or issues for which we may want to continue discussions. (In addition to this list, I'll be calling other players who don't have email access and distributing a flyer at the Arabica group.)

I look forward to your active participation, input, and support for chess in Portland.

Location: Acoustic Coffee, 32 Danforth St. Portland (for directions, Contact Lee Doucette see below)
Time: 10 AM-??? on Sat, Apr 22 (come early, bring a board and play a game while you wait; I'll be there @ 9AM)
Objective: Rebuild/reorganize the Portland Chess Club
Agenda: the floor will be open for informal discussion of the following issues:
- Determine if there is enough player interest & support to reestablish a formal chess club structure in Portland
- Consider potential meeting locations (a couple are already available; bring any additional sites you know of)
- Determine meeting/playing frequency & time (once a month, every other week, weekly; evening or weekend day)
- Determine/define additional member interests such as:
ladder play, rated tournaments and/or individual games, support for scholastic chess, Maine Chess Association league play
- Discuss any other issues you may wish to raise relevant to agenda items

For directions to Acoustic Coffee, or additional questions or comments, contact:
Lee Doucette Phone: 797-4215 evenings Email:

Lee Doucette
Treasurer, Portland Chess Club


Back in the 80's and 90's the University of Maine at Orono would have monthly tourneys that drew rather decent crows/participants. My Father Fred Sr.and my late brother Fred Jr. were active players at these events. With the loss of George Cunningham and Harvey Brimmer the monthly tourneys had a decided falling. With the climbing costs of gasoline do you anticipate this to contribute to the lack of interest. People from "the county" would find trips to Portland cost prohibitive as would I and my dad let alone trips to Bangor (47) miles one way.

Very respectfully,
Carl A. Larson

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