Maret Thorpe

I am an active tournament director, and I've worked at numerous rated and unrated local, state and national events — scholastic and open, over-the-board and online. Tournaments where you may have seen me working: the Illinois Open Championship, the Illinois Class Championship, the U.S. Amateur Team North, the Illinois State K-8 Championship, the National K-6 Championship, the U.S. Chess Supernationals, the IHSA State Championship, the U.S. Open Championship, Chicago Chess Center and many others. I am a US Chess National Tournament Director and a FIDE National Arbiter.

Since January, 2007 I have been organizer and tournament director for Evanston Chess Club, a community club I started with Tom Sprandel. The club hosted a free open chess night for adults at the Levy Activity Center every Tuesday night until the pandemic shut us down in March 2020.  I plan to resume running US Chess-rated tournaments at Levy Center in September, 2021.  I also collaborate on running tournaments with other organizers, most notably with Glenn Panner and his company Chess Weekend.

I've been an active volunteer in local scholastic chess since my twin daughters were in kindergarten (they're now adults). That's where I got my start in chess. I've known how to move the pieces since age 5 or so, but I wasn't hooked until someone at the Dewey Elementary chess club showed me the two-rook checkmate. These days I help out as a resource person for scholastic clubs in town, and I direct and help with citywide unrated scholastic tournaments we hold every year in Evanston.

I'm also a past board secretary and former webmaster for the Illinois Chess Association, the Illlinois affiliate of the United States Chess Federation (US Chess). I've maintained the ICA tournament calendar since 2006, and I've redesigned and expanded the organization's web site several times over the years, all on a volunteer basis.

In my working life, I'm a social worker/psychotherapist, occasional freelance editor, and formerly a graphic designer. 

If you're interested in working with me on a chess project, you can reach me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Running a chess tournament is like throwing a party, except much quieter. While I don't get to play, I do get to talk to everyone, and it's very satisfying in the end when everyone has had a great time and comes away with games they'll be thinking about for a while.