The Best of 2016

12.29.16 We take our annual end-of-the-year look back at all things chess in Maine for the year 2016. It was a year of learning, growing, and community and it was our honor to share it with you.

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something."
--Neil Gaiman

Before we delve into Maine chess in 2016, here's two year-end videos from GoPro and Facebook.

GoPro: Best of 2016

Facebook's Year in Review 2016

Players and directors in Maine participated in twenty-three USCF-rated events in 2016. To see crosstables of all USCF-rated tournaments played in Maine this year please click here.

Winningest Players

The three winningest players in Maine for 2016 were:

Jarod Bryan and Matthew Fishbein (equal first) and Chester Young (third). For our purposes, winning a section is considered a tournament win and credit is given to all players involved in a tie. These were tournaments played over-the-board in Maine. Click on a player's name to view their USCF Member Detail page.

1. Jarod Bryan: 5 event wins

1. Matthew Fishbein: 5 event wins

3. Chester Young: 4 event wins

Most Active Player

Maine's most active player in 2016 was William Ravn who participated in twenty-nine tournament during the course of 2016. Activity is defined as participation in USCF-rated tournaments over-the-board and online. Click on Will's name to view his USCF Member Detail page.

State Champions

Congratulations the 2016 Maine State Chess Champion Matthew Fishbein! To see the names of all Maine state champions since 1942 please click here.

2016 Maine State Champions (All Categories)

Overall Champion Matthew Fishbein. is a bit older than this image shows and is a freshman at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

High School Champion Matthew Fishbein looking a bit more like he does nowadays.

High School U1200: Nathan Shemwell

K-8 Champion: Bill Hartt

K-6 Champion: Henry Penfold

K-3 Champion: Sofia Brown-Patricio

Cape Elizabeth High School: 2016 Maine State High School Team Champions!

High School Reserve Champions: Van Buren High School

High School Novice Champions: Caribou High School

2016 Maine State Junior High School Champions: Caravel Middle School!

Piscataquis Community School took first in the Junior High School Novice section.

2016 Maine State K-6 Champions: Deer Isle-Stonington!

Pond Cove Elementary School: K-6 Novice Champions

2016 Maine State K-3 Champions: Brewer Community School!

2016 Maine Chess Player of the Year

Congratulations to 2016 Maine Chess Player of the Year Jarod Bryan and to all who participated in this year-long event.

Here's the link to the Maine Chess Player of the Year page which includes the final standings for 2016.

Most Popular Stories of 2016 has received over 550,000 hits since its inception on March 11, 2006. Based on web traffic to the site this year we've determined the following stories as the most popular of 2016. Take a second look, they're worth the read!

1. State Scholastic Team Championships Tournament Report

2. Bangor Open Tournament Report

3. IM Danny Kopec Memorial Tournament Report

4. Fishbein Goes 5/5 to Win Maine Closed Championship!

5. Sergey Karjakin is the Challenger!

**The following story and video of the Deer Isle-Stonington School chess team and their coach Dick Powell is your web editor's pick for the 2016 must watch list.**

Film Screening: Chess Champs: An Island's Pride

Biggest Upsets

Congratulations to the winners of the biggest upset games played in Maine in 2016.

Here are the top five biggest upsets in USCF-rated play in Maine for 2016:

1. Jeshua Dorsey (441) defeated John Ellison (1293) = 852 points, Sidekick 2 Tournament played at the Scholastic Individual Championships

2. Nehemiah Brown (858) defeated Roger Hardison (1456) = 598 points, IM Danny Kopec UMaine Memorial

3. Ryan White (222) defeated Daniel Brower (792) = 570 points, Scholastic Individual Championships

4. Isaac Dinnerstein (627) defeated Lawrence Shuler (1160) = 533 points, Luftballons Schach

5. Nathan Shemwell (1058) defeated George Spahn (1521) = 463 points, John Bapst New Year's

Tournament Directors

Maine had nine active tournament directors in 2016. To determine the most active tournament directors, we used a summation of three factors: number of tournaments directed, number of sections directed and number of players served. Chief and assistant tournament directors are credited. Based on this criteria the following tournament directors are listed in order of their directing activity in Maine for 2016. Thanks to all TDs in Maine for their hard work, dedication, and service to the Maine chess community. Thanks also to Tom Sanford who directed the non-rated novice sections at the scholastic state championship tournaments.

1. Steve Wong 332

2. Dan DeLuca 331

3. Phil Lowell 174

4. Andy Bryan 149

5. Alex Relyea 123

6. Nita Patel 69

7. Barry Magda 40

8. Roger Morin 26

9. Dan La Vallee 16

Chess Journalists of America Award

In 2016 received an Honorable Mention from the Chess Journalists of America in the category of USCF state affiliate website.

MECA Officers and Board

We thank the following individuals for volunteering their time and energy to MECA.

Maine Chess Association Officers

President Andy Bryan

Vice President Dan DeLuca

Secretary Eric Dinnerstein

Treasurer Andrey Savov

Maine Chess Association Policy Board

Matthew Fishbein

Phil Lowell

Barry Magda

Lucas McCain

Other notable chess happenings in 2016

On January 13th established the George Cunningham Chess Brilliancy Prize Fund.

On January 31th received its 500,000th page view.

On February 1st Lois Morin was ranked second in nation for women over 80.

On March 4th we lost C. Stuart Laughlin one of the most important and influential figures in Maine chess history.

On March 11th celebrated its 10 year anniversary.

On March 18th Hou Yifan won the Women's World Championship.

On April 30th Fabiano Caruana and Nazi Paikidze became US Champions.

On May 20th the University of Maine held a retirement party for Tom Sandford after 35 years of service.

On June 12th International Master and former University of Maine professor Danny Kopec passed away.

On November 30th Magnus Carlsen retained the World Championship title.

Thanks to all who have made 2016 a great year for chess in Maine! And here's to looking forward to a brilliant 2017!


congratulations to the many successes of these fine maine players.

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