Maine Scholastic Chess Team Championships

03.11.09 The University of Maine, Orono was the center of gravity for Maine scholastic chess on March 7, 2009 as nearly 300 young players competed in the state team championships. Here's the lavishly illustrated tournament report with all the details.

It was "all good" at the 2009 Maine Scholastic Chess Team Championships at the University of Maine, Orono on March 7, 2009.

Thanks to Ron Lewis for contributing to this report.

USCF Crosstables of these events will be posted as they become available.

The 2009 State Scholastic Chess Team Championships were held Saturday, March 7, in the Memorial Union, University of Maine, Orono. About 300 players supported by coaches and parents gathered to contest team honors in the K-3, K-6, Junior High and High School sections. Also at stake were individual achievements leading to invitation to the Individual Championships to be held at the same location on March 21. Each player competed in four games with team honors decided by total points scored for the four games or, in the case of the High School Championship, by head-to-head match play.

In the K-3 section, team honors were decided by the total of the team's top three scorers. The winning team was Deer-Isle Stonington over second place Stillwater Montessori. Top scorers for Deer Isle were Soozin Cha, with a perfect 4.0 score, and Kinsey Bartlett and Tyson Rice with three points each. Top scorers for Stillwater Montessori were: Bredan Parlee, also with a perfect 4.0 score, and Stuart MacKay and Eamon Laskey. Invited back by scoring 3 points or better were: Soozin Cha, Kinsey Bartlett, and Tyson Rice of Deer Isle Stonington; Max DeLuca Lowell of the Airline School; Ritvik Kumaran of Veazie; Brendan Parlee of Stillwater Montessori; Catherine Rudnicki of All-Saints in Bangor; and Eli Spahn of Palermo. The top scoring girl was Catherine Rudnicki of All-Saints in Bangor. The top unrated player was Tyson Rice of Deer Isle Stonington.

In the K-6 section, a tight battle developed between Cape Elizabeth, Deer Isle Stonington and the Airline School. Cape finally won out with Deer Isle Stonington taking second place. Top team scorers for Cape included: Matthew Fishbein, with a perfect 4.0 score, Wesley Parker, Matthew Real-Hatem, Jack Demeter, and Leo Rye Wing. Top scorers for Deer Isle Stonington were: Bethany Humphrey, Ivan Zembrusky, Krisfor Melanio, Reid Bartlett and Cameron Wendell. Invited back as scoring 3.0 or better were: Matthew Fishbein, Wesley Parker, and Matthew Real-Hatem of Cape Elizabeth; Anna Bryan and Laddy DeLuca Lowell of the Airline School; Bethany Humphrey, Ivan Zembrusky and Krisfor Melanio of Deer Isle Stonington; John Xiang of Scarborough; Humza Khan of Glenburn; and Langdon Holly of Stepping Stones Montessori, who also scored a perfect 4.0. The top girl scorers with 3 points each in the Elementary K-6 section were Bethany Humphrey of Deer Isle Stonington, and Anna Bryan and Laddy DeLuca Lowell of the Airline School. The top unrated player was Humza Khan of Glenburn with 3.5 points. In the Elementary Novice section, the winning team was Stillwater Montessori, with Stepping Stones School and Belfast tied for second. On tie-breaks, Stepping Stones was awarded the second place trophy. Top scoring members of the winning K-6 Novice team were: Corine Rebman, Hope Gross, Jackie Rebman, Taylor Leavitt and Cole May. The top Novice K-6 player was Christopher Thayer of Belfast with a perfect 4.0 score.

In the K-8 section, Deer Isle Stonington's depth propelled it to the championship over Cape Elizabeth. Top scorers for Deer Island Stonington were: Chelsea Brown, with a perfect 4.0 score, and Sam Grindle, Hayden Ciomei, Conor Morey and Nathan Davis, all with 3 points. Top scorers for Cape Elizabeth were: Brett Parker, also scoring a perfect 4.0, Robert Freccero, Daniel Brett, Nicholas Shedd, and Ethan DuPerre. Invited back to the Invitationals at no entry fee were by scoring 3.0 or better were: Paul Runicki of All-Saints with a perfect 4.0 score; Brett Parker, and Daniel Brett of Cape Elizabeth; Chelsea Brown, Sam Grindle, Hayden Ciomei, Conor Morey, Nathan Davis and Alec Eaton of Deer Isle Stonington; Zach Hamilton of Glenburn; and Jacob Johnson of Orono. The top girl scorer in the K-8 section was Chelsea Brown with a perfect 4.0 score. The top unrated player in the section was Jacob Johnson of Orono with 3.0 points. Belfast took first place in the JHS Novice section, with Piscataquis and the W.S. Cohen School of Bangor tied for second. On tie-breaks, Piscataquis was awarded the second place trophy. Members of the winning team were: Cameron Jack, Shannon McCoy, and Patrick Thayer. The top Novice K-8 player was Joshua Audibert of the W. S. Cohen School..

In the High School Championship section, John Bapst eked out a tie with short-handed Bangor High in the final round to garner yet another State team chess title with 3.5 match points. Second with 3 match points were Bangor High and Cheverus of Portland. Bangor High took the second place team trophy on tie-breaks. Members of the winning John Bapst team were: Aaron Spencer, Zach Smith, Margaret Bryan, Kurt Eyerer, and Daniel Honeycutt. Playing for Bangor High were: Henry Chai, Andrew Audibert, Keji Xu and Scott Dennis. The Cheverus team members were: Mike Bowser, David Chandpen, Miriam Nielsen, Dakota Zinani and Tom Yates. Criteria for invitation to the Individuals were to score 3 points or better on Board 1, or 3.5 points or better on any other board. Invited back to Individuals on March 21 with no entry fee on this basis are: Aaron Spencer and Kurt Eyerer (4 points) of John Bapst; Andrew Audibert and Keji Xu of Bangor High, both with perfect 4.0 scores; Jiawei Zou of Orono; Ian Pelletier of Deer Isle Stonington; Lucas McCain of Yarmouth High; and Tien Vu of George Stevens Academy. The top girl scorers were Margaret Bryan of John Bapst, Miriam Nielsen of Cheverus and Sorel Edes of Orono, all with 3 points. On tie-breaks, the trophy went to Margaret Bryan. All three are invited back to play in the Individuals on March 21 with no entry fee. The top unrated players were John Parent of Van Buren, taking home the trophy in tie-breaks, and Tyler Ouellette of Caribou. In the Reserve section, Cheverus was dominant with Hampden second. Winning team members were: Zach Grant, Nick Couturier, Fred Bryant and Ken Martin all with 3 points. Hampden's team consisted of: Matt Stepanek, Rogan Winch and Ken Ginn. Matt Stepanek was also the high scoring Reserve player. Ethan DiNinnio scored 3 points and will be invited to the individual tournament sans entry fee. In the High School Novice section, George Stevens Academy bested Camden Hills. Members of the winning team were Tom Strehan, also the top novice player, and Katherine Doyen.

Tournament Leaders were Kathy Richards for the Elementary and Junior High Sections, and Ron Lewis for the High School. Tournament Directors were Steve Wong for the Elementary and Junior High championship sections, Lee Doucette for the High School Championship and Reserve sections, Tom Sandford for the Elementary and Junior High Novice sections and Alba Briggs for the High School Novice. Trophy awards were coordinated by Bob Solinger. These were supported by a number of other volunteers, parents and coaches.

The next event on the State scholastic chess schedule is the All-Girls championship on March 14, which will decide the Maine State representative to the Susan Polgar National Invitational. On March 21, the State chess Individual championships will be contested, with the Maine State representative to the USCF National Denker High School Invitational to be decided. A side event, the Sidekick Quads, will also be held on March 21 for adults. The proceeds will benefit Maine scholastic chess. All events will be held at the Memorial Union, University of Maine, Orono. Visit the website for information and entry forms on these upcoming events, and pictures of the team championships.

Action in the K-3 section. In the foreground Sean Adams (left) plays Soozin Cha in the first round.

Eli Spahn of Palermo scored 3.0 points.

One of the signs of a skillful chess player is skillful time management. These two K-3 players are an example to all on using their time wisely.

Max DeLuca Lowell (Airline School) along with Soozin Cha (Deer Isle - Stonington) and Brendan Parlee (Stillwater Montessori School) all scored a perfect 4.0 in the K-3 Championship section.

Deer Isle - Stonington took first in the K-3 section with 10 points out of possible 12.

Second in the K-3 section Stillwater Montessori (left to right) Eamon Laskey, Stuart MacKay and Brendan Parlee with coach Joe Alex.

K-3 third place finishers from the Airline Community School (left to right): Mia Massey, Zachary Grindal and Max DeLuca Lowell

Wesley Parker of Cape Elizabeth concentraing on his position in the K-6 championship section.

Cape Elizabeth's Matthew Fishbein plays 1.e4, the move about which Bobby Fischer once said is, "best by test."

Bethany Humphrey of Deer Isle - Stonington Elementary

Airline Community School's Anna Bryan

The critical last round game between Cape Elizabeth's Wesley Parker and Airline Community School's Haley DeLuca Lowell. Parker won this game to seal the first place title for Cape.

The winning K-6 coaches (left to right): Deer Isle Stonington's Dick Powell (second), Airline Community School's Andy Bryan (third) and Cape Elizabeth's Dan Fishbein (first) compare notes during the last round.

First in the K-6 section Cape Elizabeth (left to right): Wesley Parker, Matthew Reale-Hatem, Matthew Fishbein, Coach Dan Fishbein, Leo Wing, Will Kriger and Jack Demeter.

Taking second in the K-6 championship section Deer Isle Stonington (left to right front row): Kylee Atwood, Bethany Humphrey and Caitlyn Morey (left to right back row): Cameron Wendell, Dillan Morey, Reid Bartlett, Ivan Zembrusky and Krisford Melanio.

Spectators crowd around this interesting game in round one of the K-6 section.

First and second in the K-6 Novice section (left to right) from the Stillwater Montessori School: Hope Gross, Corinne Redman, Jackie Redman and Taylor Leavitt and from Stepping Stones Montessori School: (left to right) Gabe Gervais, Issac Bell, Bridger Holly and Joshua Bell.

Christopher Thayer of the Belfast Free Library received the trophy for top scoring K-6 player in the novice section.

Action in the K-8 section

Sam Grindle playing for Deer Isle - Stonington

Orono Middle School's Jessica Chen received the top female trophy in the K-8 section.

Also from Orono Middle School, Jacob Johnson won the Top Unrated player trophy in the K-8 section.

Winners in the K-8 Championship section Deer Isle - Stonington (sitting left to right): Andy Turner, Connor Morey, nathan Davis and Sasha Zembrusky (standing left to right): Nick eaton, Hayden Ciomei, Chelsea Brown, Sam Grindle, Alec Eaton, Tyler Bartlett and Whitney Brown.

Cape Elizabeth's second place K-8 team (left to right): Anthony Freccero, Nick Shedd, Ethan Dupree, Brett Parker and Danny Brett

Action in the K-8 section

Here's an interesting scoresheet from the K-8 section: White is "Me" Black is "Not me"

First place in the Junior High School Novice section Belfast Free Library (left to right): Shannon McCoy, Patrick Thayer and Cameron Jack.

Darren Weeks Jr., Kristen Weeks and Ben Maines took second for Piscataquis Community Middle School in the Junior High School Novice section.

Playing without a fifth board Bangor High School (back right to front right): Henry Chai, Andrew Audibert, Keji Xu and Scott Dennis nealry went home with the first place trophy in the K-12 Championship section.

Winning the High School section John Bapst Memorial High School (left to right): Coach Yuri Riabkov, Zach Smith, Kurt Eyerer, Daniel Honeycutt, Aaron Spencer and Magaret Bryan

Happy to get second place with 4/5ths of a team Bangor High School (left to right): Henry Chai, Andrew Audibert, Keji Xu, Scott Dennis and Coach John Dearing.

Top scoring female in the Hign School Championship section: Margaret Bryan.

Presque Isle High School sporting some nice blue tie dyes.

Henry Chai under the watchful eye of Coach Dearing.

Ian Pellitier playing for Deer Isle - Stonington's High School Team

George Stevens Academy (left) takes on Orono High School

Van Buren High School (right) tangles with Bangor High School.

Yarmouth High School (right) and John Bapst High School play in round three. Top board for Yarmouth Lucas McCain is the highest-rated high school player in the state. His opponent in this game Aaron Spencer is the second highest.

Current Girls Scholastic Champion Sorel Edes and Avery Cole play for Orono High School.

The entire Orono High School team (right to left) Gabe Borland, Avery Cole, Sorel Edes, Ryan Vienneau and Jawei Zou with coach Rudy Saarheim.

First in the High School Resevre section Cheverus High School (left to right) Coach Dan LaVallee, Zach Grant, Ken Martin, Fred Bryant and Nick Couturier.

Hampden Academy took second in the High School Reserve section (left to right) Coach Ben Johnson, Matt Stepaneck, Ken Ginn and Rogan Winch.

Matt Stepanek was the highest scoring player in the High Scool Reserve section with 3.5 points.

Katherine Doyen and Tom Strehan of George Stevens Academy took first in the High School Novice Section

Camden Hills Regional High School team (left to right) Hanna Robitaille, Sarah Leidinger and Ashley Goff finished second in the High School Novice section.

Take a close look at this comparison of a UMaine dorm room in 1923 and today. Can you spot an interesting activity taking place in the top photo?

You guessed it!

Nicole Bernhardt of Erskine Academy having some fun stacking pieces.

A sampling of some chess garb from Deer Isle - Stonington...

Yarmouth High School

John Bapst High School

Van Buren High School

Cape Elizabeth

George Stevens Academy

and back to Deer Isle - Stonington!

Chererus Coach Dan LaVallee trying his hand at air hockey.

Sam "The Hustler" Grindle takes on all comers at the billiards table.

An event this big requires lots of planning and volunteerism. A big thank you to Ron Lewis...

Tom Sandford

Lee Doucette (left), Steve Wong and all those who made this event, the largest chess event of the year in Maine, possible.

We bid you adieu and hope to see you at the Girls Tournament (March 14th) and the Individuals Tournament (March 21st).


It's such a pleasure to look through these photos. Your affection and respect for everyone involved shines through, Dan. You have helped preserve important memories for many families, including mine. Thank you.

Stephanie Cotsirilos (Gabe Borland's mom)

What a wonderful report! The pictures are simply terrific!

Dan, as usual a great report of the meet. While I was a little disappointed Orono High School didn't have a better showing (as an involved dad), it was very cool to see the kids (many of whom have been playing against each other since grade 1) have a lot of fun with it. Congratulations to everybody.

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