Conor O’Donnell (S6C) is currently in Baku, Azerbaijan representing Ireland in the 42nd World Chess Olympiad – the highest team tournament in chess. No fewer than 16 of the top 20 players in the world are playing, including world-champion, Magnus Carlsen (Norway). Conor is the 4th ranked player on the Irish team, which consists of only 5 players. The Irish team is led by Grandmaster Alexander Baburin.
Ireland were seeded 69th out of 150 countries. After 9 rounds they are currently in 33rd-53rd place (50th on the various tie-breaks). Conor has played against Bolivia, Vietnam, Madagascar, Wales, Namibia and Iraq. He stands on 3.5/6, having won his last two games. To represent Ireland at the Olympiad is the highest international honour. We send our congratulations and good wishes to Conor.
Ireland play Austria today in the penultimate round. The games can be followed live here: www1.bakuchessolympiad.com/content/92. Games begin at midday (Irish time).
The Gonzaga chess club is thriving. French team captain, GM Sebastian Mazé (World No. 134) has joined the club team. He flies in for several weekend matches. FM Stephen Jessel, No. 2 on the Irish Olympiad team, and Killian Delaney have also joined the squad.
At the City of Dublin tournament (an open tournament for all) this weekend, Hugh Byrne (S4A) won the U1200 Section. Dermot Nolan (S4C) went one better winning the U1600 Section. However, Henry Li (S2D) upstaged everyone by becoming the youngest City of Dublin Masters’ winner in the competition’s long, long history. Well done to everyone who participated. The collective results were probably Gonzaga’s finest in a weekend tournament.
The Gonzaga school team is getting ready for international duty. Next weekend, we will play in the Eton College Rapidplay – our first time to do so. Early in October (7th-10th), we will be looking to defend our Millfield title. 1st Years, Seán Hunter (S1C), Liam Ó Laoide (S1D), Hugh Moran (S1D) and Stephen Higgins (S1C) will all be making the trip to Somerset. We are vying for our 5th Millfield title since 1992, which would bring us to equal first on the list of all-time winners alongside Manchester Grammar School and Royal Grammar School, Guilford. There’s a lot at stake!