MECA Coaches' Communique: January 2019

12.31.18 Maine Chess Association President Michael Dudley shares his Coaches' Communique to end the year and ring in 2019.

Maine Chess Coaches' Communique from Maine Chess Association President Michael Dudley.

January 2019

Happy New Year!

First, I want to thank you personally for all you do to sow the seeds for scholastic chess in
Maine. Thanks to your efforts, kids find their love of the game, make meaningful connections,
and engage in powerful personal learning opportunities. We couldn't do this without you all, and
I'm so grateful for every one of you.

As you all know, our busiest tournament season is upon us, and it's time to start gearing up for
championships! I wanted to tune this memo specifically toward this part of the season.


March is Championship Month for chess in Maine, and this year our Championship lineup is set
to be massive. This information is very important, so make sure that you give this a full read!

First, the Maine Scholastic Team Chess Championships will be held on 2 March 2019 at the
Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Cars will park across the street at Hollywood Casino, and
buses will park up the hill near the Bass Park racetrack. Concessions will be sold at the venue,
and no outside food will be allowed (aside from food needed for medical circumstances).

For this year's Scholastic Team Championship, we are making some major changes. First, all
registrations will be done online through a
Google Form located at this link Many thanks to Oisin O'Searcoid at Bonny Eagle Middle School for his
expert crafting of this form, which not only catalogues your student entries, but also can look up
their US Chess rating and expiration date for us! Please use this form to register your students
for their desired section; for novice sections, no US Chess ID number is needed, so enter 'none'
in those fields when entering.

Particularly important is that no US Chess memberships will be sold at the Team
Championships this year, so it is incumbent on all players and coaches to make sure that all
entrants in rated sections have current US Chess memberships; if players do not have a current
US Chess memberships, they will not be paired in the first round. Also, all teams must have
their entry fees paid at the door before the first round commences at 9:15. Please make sure
that payment arrangements are ready. At this tournament, check, cash, and Square will be
available for payment.

Next, the Claude E. Webber Memorial Cup Championship will take place at Bonny Eagle
Middle School on 23 March 2019. This is a great opportunity to vie for the prestigious traveling
trophies offered by Bonny Eagle, and square off against the best scholastic competition in the
state. For details on this second annual cup championship, please email Oisin O'Searcoid at

Finally, the Maine Individual Scholastic Chess Championships will be held at John Bapst
Memorial High School in Bangor on 30 March 2019. This tournament will serve as a national
qualifier for the Denker Tournament of High School Champions and the Barber Tournament
of K-8 Champions, held in Orlando, Florida. At this tournament we hope that all of our
scholastic players will come out and compete for our final scholastic championship of the year!


Here is the event and tournament lineup for January and February:

○ The Bob Solinger Memorial Tournament will be held at John Bapst on 5
January 2019, in honor of Bob Solinger, a long-time coach for John Bapst and
Holbrook Middle School. Send pre-registrations to Michael Dudley at

○ The First Houlton Open of 2019 will be held on 12 January 2019 by Roger
Morin in Houlton. Email him at to preregister!

○ A twenty year tradition, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Tournament presented
by Stillwater Montessori School will be held on Monday, 21 January 2019, at Old
Town United Methodist Church in Old Town. For information and preregistration,
contact Joe Alex at

○ The first ever Maine State Blitz Championship will take place at Hermon High
School on 26 January 2019. This double-round blitz championship is the first of
its kind! Email Wyatt Hendrix at for information and


○ The Simul and Lecture with WGM Sabina Foişor is on Friday, 1 February
2019. All players under a US Chess rating of 1800 are welcome to sit at a board
in the simul. The lecture session is for participants in the Maine Women's and
Girls' Championships the following day. To reserve a board, email Michael
Dudley at

○ The Maine Girls' and Women's Championships will be held at the Bangor
Public Library on Saturday, 2 February 2019. The Women's Championship is the
first of its kind, so I hope all of our female chess players and coaches will take a
chance on participating in this inaugural event! The Girls' Championship is a
double national qualifier; the winner will receive nominations to the National
Girls' Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida, and the Susan Polgar
Invitational in St.Louis, Missouri.

○ The 2nd Annual Panther Scholastic and Openwill be held at Medomak Valley
High School in Waldoboro on 9 February 2019, and is counting on you to repeat
last year's successful showing! Email Michael Dudley at
for details and preregistration.

○ The long-running All Saints Winter Warm-up will take place at All Saints
Catholic School on 23 February 2019 in Bangor. Email Steve Wong at for information and preregistration.

All of these events can be found on the events page at, which is located at See that site for more details about the tournaments
listed here. To list a tournament, email Dan DeLuca at


This year, sponsors have come to support tournament chess in Maine, with some very
generous donations. I want to take this space to personally thank those donors for their
contributions to scholastic chess!

● Darling's Automotive Group ($500)
● Hartt Transportation, Inc. ($500)
● Handyman Rental Co. ($100)
● Amanda McKenna, Richmond, ME ($50)
● Ann Calcaterra, Fitchburg, MA ($50)
● Laurie Cartier, Orono, ME ($50)
● Clare Davitt, Bangor City Councilor ($25)
● Lois and Roger Morin, Houlton, ME ($25)

Our thanks go out to these folks, who have given to the cause of securing a new venue, paying
for trophies, arranging for educational experiences with titled players, and for ensuring our
ability to have chess for years to come! If you know of any sponsors who might be willing to give
to scholastic chess in Maine, please let us know! Also, if you are interested in a donation
yourselves, please see our GoFundMe site at or email Michael Dudley at for information about a donation. Donations are


Chess in Maine is growing rapidly, and we have you chess coaches to thank. We are so grateful
for the work that you all do to help our kids love the game as much as we do. We hope you'll
spread that joy by spreading the word about all chess in Maine has to offer to our kids. In that
spirit, I am asking you two favors this year:

First, please share this memo with any chess coaches you know around you. I have the contact
information of several chess coaches, but my list is incomplete. I know there are more folks
doing this work in our schools!

Second, please let us know if there is interest in forming a chess club or team at schools around
you. If there is any way that we can help these budding teams find leadership and solid chess
instruction, we are more than happy to help! The Maine Chess Association and the Maine
Association of Chess Coaches can also help with coordinating tournament experiences,
providing specific chess coaching, and with signing students up for US Chess memberships at a
discounted rate. Please let us know how we can help your teams form, grow, and flourish.

My best to all of you in 2019. I sincerely hope I'll have a chance to connect with you all during
this amazing chess season!

Sincerely yours,

Michael C. Dudley
Chess Coach, John Bapst Memorial High School
President, Maine Chess Association

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