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James R. F. Quirk (1958-2008)

James R.F. Quirk, a major chess organizer and tournament director in the state of Maine during the 1970s and 1980s, died of a heart attack on February 23, 1997, in Alexandria, Louisiana. He was 50.

Mr. Quirk founded the USCF affiliate Downeast Chess, which played a key role in promoting chess in Maine, especially in Portland and in the southern half of the state. He was an innovator, creating the concept of a "Maine Chess Player of the Year" award. Among Mr. Quirk's "quirks" was his insistence that all clocks face the same way in tournament play. In addition to organizing and directing, he also sold chess books at tournaments in both Maine and Massachusetts. In 1978, he was an assistant TD at the U.S. Open in Phoenix, Arizona.

He graduated from Colby College in Maine in 1965 and later earned masters degrees from the University of Southern Maine and Middlebury College in Vermont. He was a professor of computer science at USM and later taught at Radford University in Radford, Virginia before becoming a professor of computer science at Louisiana State University in Alexandria. He also coached college soccer and hockey.

He is survived by a daughter, Marie Elizabeth Quirk of North Yarmouth, Maine: and a sister, Ada-Lee Anna Quirk of Cumberland, Maine.

James R. F. Quirk - may you Rest In Peace.

Obit supplied by - George Mirijanian, Massachusetts Chess Association.