Lucas McCain Wins Maine State Championship

08.23.10 Lucas McCain got off to a strong start at the 2010 Maine State Closed Championship, played at the University of Maine at Orono on August 21-22, and never looked back. McCain, a former Yarmouth High School student and current sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, won his first four games and agreed to a quick draw in the final round to clinch the title.

A happy and daresay relieved Lucas McCain after winning the 2010 Maine State Closed Championship.

Twenty-six players competed in the 2010 Maine State Closed (open to Maine residents, college students residing in Maine and Military personell stationed in Maine) Championship--twenty in the championship section and six in the U1650 section.

McCain, who had stated before the tournament began that he was out of practice and not in great form, played the tournament of his life defeating in succession: Aaron Spencer (1718), John Brady (1743), Darrell Salisbury (1863) and David Plotkin (2116) before agreeing to a final round draw with Steve Abrahams (1940).

Trailing McCain and scoring 4.0 points to tie for second were Abrahams and Ruben Babayan, who defeated David Plotkin in the final round.

Philip Lowell finished in sole possession of fourth place with 3.5 points after defeating his former student Matthew Fishbein in an exciting final round match up.

Andrey Savov scored 3.0 points and tied with John Brady and Derrick Crocker who shared the top U1800 prize.

Scoring 2.5 points were: David Plotkin, Darrell Salisbury, Matthew Fishbein, Gregory Shields and Matthew Reale-Hatem.

Barry Magda, Aaron Spencer, and Wesley Parker put up 2.0 points.

Tom Sandford, Maggie Bryan and Brett Parker each scored 1.5 points.

Gabe Borland and Benjamin Hansel brought up the rear with 1.0 point apiece.

In the four round U1650 section, Jose Lugo took first scoring 3.5 points. MECA president Andy Bryan held Lambert to a last round draw to score 3.0 points and win the second place prize. Jasper Hansel won the top U1200 player prize.

This tournament was directed by Lee Doucette and organized by the Maine Chess Association. Thanks to all who participated and to the University of Maine at Orono for hosting.

USCF crosstable of this event

Maine Closed Championship
August 21-22, 2010

Round 1
Lucas McCain (1970) - Aaron Spencer (1766) 1-0


Round 2
John Brady (1774) - Lucas McCain (1970) 0-1


Round 4
David Plotkin (2159) - Lucas McCain (1970) 0-1


Round 4
John Brady (1774) - Aaron Spencer (1766) 1-0


Round 5
Steve Abrahams (1944) - Lucas McCain (1970) 1/2


Round 5
Aaron Spencer (1766) - Gabe Borland (1561) 1-0


The critical fourth round game between David Plotkin (left) and Lucas McCain. McCain prevailed.

The game to decide the 2010 Maine State Champion between Steve Abrahams (left) and Lucas McCain begins. They played fourteen moves of the French Defense Exchange Variation when Abrahams offered a draw which McCain accepted.

Tied for second: Steve Abrahams

The other second place finisher, Ruben Babayan, contemplates the first move in his last round game with David Plotkin. (1-0)

Phil Lowell scored 3.5 points to take fourth place.

Youth (Matthew Fishbein on the left) vs experience (Philip Lowell on the right).

Experience prevails...this time.

Andrey Savov scored 3.0 points ...

with the help of this last round win over Darrell Salisbury.

John Brady also scored 3.0 points and shared the U1800 prize with...

Derrick Crocker

Crocker has a most unusual tatoo on his right forearm. How cool is that!? Do you recognize the position from this famous game? The answer will be revealed later in the report.

David Plotkin scored 2.5 points with wins over Tom Sandford and Derrick Crocker and a draw with Matthew Fishbein.

Darrell Salisbury scored 2.5 points along with...

Matthew Fishbein

Gregory Shields and

Matthew Reale-Hatem

Barry Magda defeated Brett Parker and Aaron Spencer to score 2.0 points.

Maine representative at the Denker Tournament of High School Champions and first year student at the University of Maine at Orono: Aaron Spencer

Wesley Parker

Tom Sandford

The tournament's only female player: Maggie Bryan

Former Maine High School Champion: Gabe Borland

Brett Parker (left) on the move in his game vs Tom Sandford. (1/2 - 1/2)

At USCF 1031 Benjamin Hansel was the lowest rated player in the championship section. Bravo for the courage to "play up".

Winner in the U1650 section Jose Lugo scored 3.5 points in four rounds.

Andy Bryan scored 3.0 points to take second place in the U1650 section.

Jon Malev scored 2.0 points in the U1650 section along with...

Dan Fishbein

Still dangerous after all these years: Fred Irons

The tournament's youngerst player: Jasper Hansel

A view of the tournament hall during the penultimate round

Philip Lowell (left) vs Darrell Salisbury (1/2 - 1/2)

Jose Lugo (right) vs Fred Irons (1-0)

Dan Fishbein (right) vs Jasper Hansel (1-0)

Maggie Bryan (right) vs Barry Magda (0-1)

Jon Malev (left) vs Andy Bryan (0-1)

Andrey Savov (right) vs Steve Abrahams (0-1)

Oh! The agony! Aaron Spencer soulsearching.

Gabe Borland (right) vs Gregory Shields (0-1)

Derrick Crocker and Matthew Fishbein analyze after their game.

What better way to wind down in between rounds? Play more chess! Clockwise from left: Benjamin Hansel, Aaron Spencer, Gabe Borland, Matthew Reale-Hatem and Wesley Parker

The MECA brain trust (from left): Tom Sandford (Policy Board), Steve Abrahams (Policy Board), Andy Bryan (President), Maggie Bryan (Vive President), Lee Doucette (Secretary) and Jon Malev (Policy Board).

Ruben Babayan (left) vs David Plotkin (1-0)

Wesley Parker (right) vs John Brady (0-1)

The command center: Tournament Director Lee Doucette at the helm

A harbinger of fall on the UMaine campus

Thanks again to the University of Maine at Orono for hosting this annual event.

The tatooed position is from "The Immortal Game" played by Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky in London in 1851. Kieseritzky, playing the black pieces, has just made his seventeenth move 17...Qxb2. Anderssen went on to checkmate his opponent thusly: 18. Bd6 Bxg1 19. e5 Qxa1 20. Ke2 Na6 21. Nxg7+ Kd8 22. Qf6+ Nxf6 23. Be7#


Thanks for the photos of a well run tournament. In spite of the low turn out competition was very tough and Lucas earned his victory the hard way. Maine needs more two day events of this nature to keep our players in top condition.

Congrats Lucas!

Congratulations Lucas on a great win. Now you can really impress all the GMs at the Chess Center of St. Louis with that giant trophy!

The picture of agony is priceless. I strongly related to that feeling in my last two games as they were hard to accept as losses.

A very strong line up indeed.A heart felt congratulations to you Lucas,Maine's new and deserving champion.You played so well that you only needed 4 rounds to accomplish your task.roger

Great work on all your reports
and photos and scenes: Another
thing we have in common is
bursts of enthusiasm in the
wee hours of the morning.....Jon

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