George Cunningham Trophies Reimagined

11.26.21 George Cunningham was a titan of the Maine chess community in many ways. A professor at the University of Maine, George Cunningham worked to organize chess in Maine and briefly served as Executive Director of the United States Chess Federation, helping to save the Federation from organizational calamity. In Maine, the George Cunningham Chess Club at the University of Maine and the George Cunningham Memorial Trophies are named in his honor. Those trophies, meant to honor the Maine Scholastic Team Champions every March, have been given a fresh new look, thanks to master woodworker Andrew DeMaris and a generous sponsorship from Hartt Transportation.

The beautiful, new, reimagined George Cunningham Memorial Trophy image: Linh Nguyen

The trophies have been remade for our Elementary (K-5), Middle (6-8), and High School sections (9-12), and will feature elements of the previous Cunningham Trophies. In discussing his inspiration for the trophies, Andrew DeMaris tried to capture the spirit of George Cunningham himself; the trophies are modeled after Carnegie Hall on the campus of the University of Maine, and the winners will have their names engraved on the nameplates that hang within the trophy walls. Made of oak and white pine, the trophies are meant to withstand the test of time and be passed along to Maine championship teams for years to come.

The Maine Chess Association wishes to thank Andrew DeMaris for his time, effort, energy, and enthusiasm in executing his vision for the Cunningham Trophies. MECA also wishes to thank Hartt Transportation for their generous sponsorship of these awards!


The new trophies are beautiful and an enduring tribute. I have many fond memories of George so I am pleased to see he will continue to be honored.

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