From the Desk of the President

01.05.22 Maine Chess Association president Michael Dudley shares the state of MECA and chess in Maine with his letter From the Desk of the President.

MECA President Michael Dudley updates the Maine chess community on the state of MECA and chess in Maine with his letter From the Desk of the President.

January 3, 2022

At a presentation to the US Chess Delegates in August 2021, Boyd Reed, the Director of National Events for US Chess, gave an honest and candid opinion of what he foresaw for the next year: "I have no idea what the hell will happen." I think we all know what Boyd meant. With the pandemic taking a drastic turn and society looking significantly different than it did two years ago, so many of us have been forced to adapt and overcome. While 2021 marked the return of several over-the-board events and saw a solid wave of participation in chess, it also was met with challenges. The Maine Chess Association is poised to adapt to them and overcome them, and deliver on a positive year for the Maine chess community in 2022.

First, my congratulations to our four directors, who have been reelected to the Board of Directors for another term: Dr. Kate Ervin, Dr. Elisabeth Mock, Aaron Spencer, and Stephen Wong!

You may notice that MECA has a new mission on its images and messaging: Connecting Mainers through chess. This new mission, approved by the MECA Executive Board at the September 2021 meeting, better reflects the nature of MECA as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that emphasizes chess work as a means of community service and engagement. For example, MECA lived out its mission in December, where we collaborated with the Maine Crafts Association to bring about a series of chess events celebrating The Craft Maker's Gambit, with WGM Sabina Foisor visiting as our esteemed guest once again. The lecture and blitz events held at Maine Craft Portland brought together Mainers of all levels of chess proficiency, from state champions to those who did not know that MECA existed. This is but one way we endeavor to connect Mainers through chess. I want to commend Dan DeLuca for his leadership, and Aaron Spencer and Wyatt Hendrix for their technical expertise and streaming chops. My thanks also go out to the folks at Maine Crafts Association, and in particular, Maria Wolff, the manager of Maine Craft Portland, for bringing about such a successful community collaboration.

I am pleased to announce MECA's new Google workspace and domain at, and express thanks to Treasurer Oisin O'Searcoid for bringing it about. Among other benefits, gives MECA the ability to offer unique email addresses to members, with links to the suite of tools and programs Google is famous for. If you're a member, there's an account on this domain for you! will contain updated MECA information, and serve as a portal for event registration and coordination, paying dues and entry fees, and posting critical information about long-term events. will remain our source for news, tournament summaries, event announcements, and other items of interest to the Maine chess community, maintained by our Vice President, Dan DeLuca.

You'll also see that MECA has funded a major endeavor in Maine's scholastic chess community: the Scholastic Grand Prix. This initiative funds 300 US Chess memberships for Maine's K-12 players, and works to make entry to certain tournaments free for these players. Already, as a result of this initiative, several tournaments have seen high turnout with players from school clubs that did not exist before, including clubs at Kennebunk, Lewiston, South Portland, and Lee Academy. We're excited to see new players come into the fold for the first time, both for over-the-board and online tournaments.

Moving into 2022, we look forward to plenty of over-the-board action. The Maine Open State Championship is due to return to its traditional date in April 2022 after two years of pandemic displacement. The Maine Scholastic Championships, the Webber Cup, and the Richards and Maine Women's Championships are all coming up in February and March. These tournaments will incorporate all precautions required to combat the spread of COVID-19. I am confident that we can continue the trend of keeping the virus out of our tournament settings with continued diligence and attention to masking, keeping appropriate distance, keeping our hands clean, and refraining from play when exhibiting symptoms of illness.

I cannot pretend to know what challenges 2022 will bring to the Maine chess community. The last two years have not been without obstacles. Regardless, the Maine Chess Association is ready to meet those obstacles, adapt to them, and overcome them. We hope you'll come aboard and support us in our journey in 2022, either by joining or renewing your membership, donating, playing in or volunteering at an event, or by joining a MECA committee. There are so many ways you all can join us in fulfilling our mission; no matter how, we hope you'll be there to help us connect Mainers through chess.

See you over the board,

Michael Dudley
Maine Chess Association

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