Postponements, Coronavirus, and Other Chess Logistics

03.14.20 Many of you have sent in questions regarding how efforts to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak in Maine will affect chess events. Maine Chess Association president Michael Dudley writes to give you as coaches (or parents of preregistered players) an idea of where we stand with our events and make some suggestions for how to stay sharp while play is out.

Please take note of the following update from Maine Chess Association president Michael Dudley on postponements of chess events in Maine due to coronavirus precautions.

Dear Chess Coaches and others,

First, as things unfold, please check for updates, as this is where all information about planned tournaments is posted. As an aside, has other useful links to resources for coaches and tournament directors; I would encourage all of you to check it often (and daily during the busiest parts of the scholastic chess season in the future).

Per announcements made on the Events page of, the Claude E. Webber Memorial Cup, the Maine Individual Scholastic Chess Championships, and the 2020 Sidekick Quads are postponed until further notice. While many other large events nationwide, such as the New York Scholastic State Championships, have been canceled, it is much more feasible for us to reschedule an event on account of being much smaller in turnout (by about a factor of 10 in comparison to New York, for instance). Therefore, we will aim to hold these events after public health officials advise that larger group gatherings are safe. We cannot speculate when that time will be. Other events, such as the Maine State Championship, are on as scheduled for the time being. That may change as our situation in the global pandemic evolves.

Given that we are hoping to hold a postponed set of nominating championships, we won't be entertaining other options for choosing national nominees at this time. If event and school closures last for an extended period of time beyond April, we may discuss other ways to choose nominees for the Denker, Barker, and Rockefeller Championships. While it is true that it is harder to secure travel and lodging arrangements to Saint Louis the closer we get to those dates, there isn't yet a consensus on fair criteria for choosing a nominee. These criteria include, but are not limited to, rating, tournament attendance and performance, performance at Team States, and other recommending factors. It is my hope that we do not have to choose a nominee that way.

In the meantime, chess can be one of the many ways that we can stay entertained and occupied during the prolonged absence of social events. Maine Chess Association maintains a club presence on, many players across the state use, and individual club presences can be established in either place. If you're interested in connecting with a coach or tournament director who has used these resources with kids or other players, please respond and let me know (or, if you do this, respond to all of us and let us know who you are!). These sites have great resources (free play, puzzles, videos, opening catalogues, and other tools) for practice during the downturn.

It is clear now more than ever that shutting down our events and packing it in for a while is one way of taking care of one another. Maine seems to be in a good position to contain community spread of coronavirus. In closing, I am urging everyone to follow the advice of our community, state, and federal health leaders: practice good hygiene, maintain social distancing, follow public guidance, and stay posted for further news. Chess can keep us going through this tough time, and we'll be prepared to resume play when this has passed us.

Thanks again for all you do, and stay well!

Sincerely yours,

Michael C. Dudley
Maine Chess Association

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