From the Desk of the MECA President

03.13.22 Maine Chess Association president Michael Dudley updates the Maine chess community on the state of MECA and chess in Maine.

A message from Maine Chess Association President Michael Dudley


It is the day after the Maine Team Scholastic Chess Championship, held at Lewiston High School. Despite looming tough weather and the dregs of the pandemic, 246 kids, six adult players, a legion of tournament directors and many parents, families, and coaches came out to celebrate the game we love. Team States is a Maine chess holiday, and it was so good to see members of our chess community, young and old, come out to play, learn, and grow with the game of chess.

How the event has grown. The event was held at a high school, in LHS's outstanding gym, cafeteria, and multi-purpose room. Four new DGT board setups fed a live broadcast of the top four first board games in the High School Team Championship, with people of all ages watching the suspense. Fifteen tournament directors, thirteen of whom are from Maine, walked the floor and ran results. Signage and scoresheets reflected a transformed Maine Chess Association, one with a new mission and branding. Six immaculate traveling trophies, three Cunningham Trophies and three Scholastic Grand Prix trophies, adorned the awards table. And, in our final announcements to families and players, we got to talk about our biggest initiatives: the Scholastic Grand Prix, bringing free chess to all of Maine's K-12 players, and the Roger J. Morin Scholarship fund, recognizing our graduating senior and undergraduate chess players with awards to help fund their studies.

Connecting Mainers through chess, one game at a time.

Yesterday, my celebration was this: to see how far our Association has come, and how much we all have collectively achieved together. It shows in the look and feel of our flagship event, where so many people saw the true power of our game. We have grown into a stronger, more inclusive, mission-driven organization focused on chess as a focal point of community in the State of Maine. I believe Maine is the best place in the world to play chess, to be a chess player, to be a part of a chess-playing and chess-loving community. Together, we have made it happen.

It is this realization of community that makes me most proud. MECA has grown beyond my wildest dreams. How was I to know what this would become in May of 2018? It was always there, a critical mass waiting to blow, and now it is time to let it grow even further. I am looking forward to seeing a new leader bring the Maine Chess Association to new heights. While this message is a celebration of how far we have come, it is also bittersweet: I am writing to announce that I will not seek reelection for President in December 2022, and instead will help start the search for a new President to take office in 2023.

I am moving on for several reasons, which I hope will serve our chess community well. First, I wish to spend time coaching my daughter's future teams, which I got to help do this year as an assistant to Sharon Klein at Abraham Lincoln School. I am looking forward to devoting more energy to my coaching at John Bapst, leading the Crusader Chess Club through many more scholastic seasons to come. I hope to travel and work the tournaments that will help me achieve a National Tournament Director license and a FIDE Arbiter license. I want to put my small-state experience and perspective to work at US Chess. (I think our national colleagues have a lot to learn from us!) I hope to do more work with the International Correspondence Chess Federation. But, I can't let you in on all my chess dreams; some of them you'll have to wait to see.

Regardless, I will still be here, running and organizing the tournaments and events that are the core of what we do here in Maine. I am so happy that this work of leadership has been a part of my chess journey, along with every single one of you that I meet as a player, tournament director, organizer, and leader. It has been a great pleasure and privilege to serve as President of the Maine Chess Association, and I am grateful for the experience. There is still work to be done, but at the very least, it is time to begin bringing this particular work to a close.

As always, I am available to answer any questions or thoughts you might have about this announcement. Please feel free to contact me at

Yours in service,

Michael Dudley
Maine Chess Association


Wheres all the OTB Tournies? I see none.

Well done Michael! Chess in Maine has been enriched and advanced by your service. Thank you for your hard work and for all you’ve accomplished.

Congratulations Mike on a terrific run and getting Maine to where it should be for chess. I will say that asking you to replace me was the best decision I made - ha! Now I'm sure that you will find someone who can carry on the mantel that you have taken to new heights! What a terrific run you have had through some difficult times. Thanks again for all that you have done - Andy

are there any participants from North Yarmouth / Greely school system?

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