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Alberic O'Kelly de Galway
Pomar vs. O'Kelly, 1962 Olympiad  
Number of games in database: 792
Years covered: 1934 to 1978

Overall record: +227 -158 =406 (54.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (60) 
    E67 E62 E60 E69 E81
 Sicilian (48) 
    B51 B92 B73 B81 B83
 Nimzo Indian (44) 
    E21 E37 E59 E34 E33
 Ruy Lopez (40) 
    C99 C64 C97 C83 C84
 English (23) 
    A10 A15 A14 A17 A12
 English, 1 c4 e5 (20) 
    A21 A25 A26 A20 A28
With the Black pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (64) 
    E41 E54 E26 E32 E59
 Ruy Lopez (61) 
    C64 C94 C95 C70 C89
 Sicilian (58) 
    B97 B93 B28 B92 B90
 Queen's Indian (26) 
    E14 E12 E15 E17 E18
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (26) 
    C95 C94 C89 C90 C85
 Sicilian Najdorf (24) 
    B97 B93 B90 B92 B98
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   O'Kelly vs Ahlbach, 1938 1-0
   O'Kelly vs Denker, 1948 1-0
   O'Kelly vs E E Book, 1950 1-0
   O'Kelly vs J Penrose, 1962 1/2-1/2
   J Boey vs O'Kelly, 1957 0-1
   A Gulbrandsen vs O'Kelly, 1937 0-1
   O'Kelly vs Unzicker, 1949 1-0
   O'Kelly vs J Nowak, 1968 1-0
   O'Kelly vs Golombek, 1950 1-0
   O'Kelly vs Euwe, 1950 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hoogovens (1946)
   3rd World Correspondence Chess Championship (1959)
   Hastings 1953/54 (1953)
   Hastings 1956/57 (1956)
   Bucharest (1954)
   Oldenburg (1949)
   Palma de Mallorca (1966)
   Budapest (1952)
   Amsterdam (1950)
   Buenos Aires (1970)
   Palma de Mallorca (1967)
   Havana (1965)
   Groningen (1946)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   1963 Capablanca memorial by gauer
   Palma de Mallorca 1966 by Tabanus
   Hastings 1950/51 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1956/57 by suenteus po 147
   1952 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww
   3rd World Correspondence Chess Championship by Benzol
   1951 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww
   Hastings 1953/54 by suenteus po 147

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(born May-17-1911, died Oct-03-1980, 69 years old) Belgium

[what is this?]
Alberic O'Kelly de Galway was born in Brussels. Awarded the IM title in 1950, the GM title in 1956 and the GMC title in 1962, he won the 3rd World Correspondence Chess Championship (1959) - (1962). He won the Belgium championship 13 times (1937, 1938, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1959). The O'Kelly Variation in the Sicilian defence: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 is named after him. He died of leukemia in Brussels in 1980.

Wikipedia article: Alb%C3%A9ric O'Kelly de Galway

 page 1 of 32; games 1-25 of 792  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. O Feuer vs O'Kelly 1-0131934Belgian ChampionshipC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
2. O'Kelly vs P Devos 0-1271937Brussels 4 players tournamentA15 English
3. M Feigin vs O'Kelly  1-0281937Cercle L'ExchiquierD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
4. O'Kelly vs M Feigin  1-0321937Cercle L'ExchiquierD18 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
5. O'Kelly vs J Montgomerie  1-03219377th olm finalA12 English with b3
6. A Gulbrandsen vs O'Kelly 0-12819377th olm finalD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
7. Szabo vs O'Kelly  1-04719377th olm finalC12 French, McCutcheon
8. O'Kelly vs Jacobo Bolbochan  0-12419377th olm finalE17 Queen's Indian
9. Foltys vs O'Kelly  ½-½5119377th olm finalD13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
10. O'Kelly vs Prins  ½-½5719377th olm finalA04 Reti Opening
11. C H Alexander vs O'Kelly  1-04919377th olm finalC12 French, McCutcheon
12. Povilas Berkavicius vs O'Kelly  0-1421938Pan European corr - finalA28 English
13. O'Kelly vs Ahlbach 1-0161938Pan European corr - finalB54 Sicilian
14. O'Kelly vs W Hasenfuss  1-0221938Pan European corr - finalC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
15. Ludwig Steinkohl vs O'Kelly  ½-½451938Pan European corrA22 English
16. Euwe vs O'Kelly 1-0281939BEL-NEDD54 Queen's Gambit Declined, Anti-Neo-Orthodox Variation
17. O'Kelly vs Euwe  ½-½331939BEL-NEDE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
18. O'Kelly vs Vidmar  ½-½221939StuttgartD61 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack
19. K Richter vs O'Kelly  0-1371939StuttgartC00 French Defense
20. C Staldi vs O'Kelly  1-0561939StuttgartE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
21. O'Kelly vs L Engels  ½-½671939StuttgartD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. O'Kelly vs Kieninger  ½-½301939StuttgartC66 Ruy Lopez
23. T Hess vs O'Kelly  ½-½401939StuttgartC01 French, Exchange
24. O'Kelly vs Szily  1-0361939StuttgartB83 Sicilian
25. E Eliskases vs O'Kelly  ½-½381939StuttgartE13 Queen's Indian, 4.Nc3, Main line
 page 1 of 32; games 1-25 of 792  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | O'Kelly wins | O'Kelly loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-17-12  LoveThatJoker: Esteemed Alberic O'Kelly de Galway, today you are remembered!


Feb-09-13  Dezaxa: I still have his book: Improve Your Chess Fast (1978). The curious thing about it is that the diagrams were reproduced from correspondence course material created earlier by O'Kelly and follow the French custom of representing the bishops as jesters.
Feb-09-13  parisattack: Assess Your Chess Fast is the companion volume. Similar formatting, identical DJ except for color.

His Petrosian book is also excellent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ...And today you are remembered as well. It happens every year.

Over the summer months I am intending to contact O'Kelly through a Ouija board used at midnight beneath a tree in the Warandepark.

If you want me to ask him anything please put your questions here.

May-17-13  Abdel Irada: Here's a link to O'Kelly de Galway's Wikipedia page:

I warn, however, that the information on this page is quite scant. And I still have no idea how he ended up with the "O'Kelly" in his name.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Wasn't Ireland settled as part of the Norman conquest. I believe that O'Kelly is actually of French origin but many of the French invaders actually went to Ireland and went native becoming more Irish than the Irish.
May-17-13  Abdel Irada: The etymology of the name is a bit uncertain, but none the less intriguing for that:

<This interesting surname, with variant spellings Kelley and Kellie, has three distinct possible origins. Firstly, it is an Anglicized form of the great Old Gaelic name "O'Ceallaigh". The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname "Ceallach" meaning "strife" or "contention". The main (O')Kelly clan belonged to Ui Maine (mid Galway and South Roscommon), and the reigning chieftain, O'Ceallaigh (circa 1351), was a renowned patron of the arts. O'Kelly of Gallagh, whose claim to the designation chief of the name is officially recognised is entitled to be called the O'Kelly.>'...

Two points about the above:

•As I understand it, the prefix "O'" specifically means "grandson of," while "Mac" or "Mc" means "son of."

•Fascinating that the geographic origin was partly in <Galway>. This may suggest that our protagonist's family at one time resided there before returning to the Continent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Abdel> Thanks for the link. Most interesting.


May-17-13  KlingonBorgTatar: Count Alberic O'Kelly de Galway belongs to the group of world class chess playing aristocrats which includes Sir George Thomas, Baron Tassilo Von Heydebrand und Von der Lasa and Mme Chantal Chaude de Silans. His book on Petrosian I believe is one of the best ever written as one could feel the deep strategies and maneuvering genius of Botvinnik's conqueror just by perusing it. The reader is not cluttered with variations. Instead, ideas are clearly elucidated such that only one or two variations would suffice. Each game is prefaced by a backgrounder which captures the drama and tension of the event and titled poetically. Andersen - Petrosian is titled "The Haunted House". On the 20th move Petrosian sacs his Kt and O'Kelly writes, " this magnificent sacrifice is made possible because White's pieces are scattered and his King's side is undeveloped. The ghosts enter the house ..."
May-17-13  Howard: O'Kelly, in fact, made the cover of the February, 1981 issue of Chess Life when he died. That's how I first heard of him.

He played Fischer at the famous 1965 Capablanca Memorial, in Havana. Their meeting wasn't exactly face-to-face though, as is well-known.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Isn't that the swimsuit issue?
May-17-13  brankat: R.I.P. GM O'Kelly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: Wikipedia gives his full name as Albéric Joseph Rodolphe Marie Robert Ghislain O'Kelly de Galway
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Portret Albéric O’Kelly de Galway:

Excellent dutch page with a full survey of his chess career & results:


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ¬¬¬
<MR O'KELLY Sr:> So What shall we call our newborn son?

<MRS O'KELLY:> Well, we are both big fans of The Ring by Wagner...

<MR O'KELLY Sr:> You mean Siegfried? Or Gunther?

<MRS O'KELLY:> Actually ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The Wikipedia article has a stupid sentence:

"He was descendent [sic] of Charlemagne."

All Europeans are descendants of Charlemagne!

Jan-13-16  john barleycorn: This beautiful game is missing here.
A. O'Kelly vs O. Barda (1954 Dr. Dyckhoff tournament)

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bc3 c6 7.e3 b6 8.cd5 cd5 9.Bd3 O-O 10.Ne2 Nc6 11.e4 Nh5 12.e5 f5 13.h4 Qc7 14.Qc2 Qf7 15.Be3 Na5 16.g4 fg4 17.Bxh7+ Kh8 18.f4 Qe7 19.Bg6 Rf5 20.Bxh5 Rxh5 21.Ng3 Rf5 22.h5 Bd7 23.Qd1 Rc8 24.Bd2 Rcf8 25.Qxg4 Nb3 26.Ra2 Be8 27.Nxf5 Rxf5 28.Be3 Qc7 29.Rg1 Bxh5 30.Rh1 Qf7 31.c4 1-0

Mar-05-16  Granny O Doul: We may all be descendants of Charlemagne, but only one of us is rightful ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
Mar-05-16  Howard: Glad that I'm finally getting the recognition that I deserve ! Thanks, Granny O Doul, for enlightening our fellow chess fans.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <Sixty years ago, in summer 1956, Albéric O'Kelly de Galway was awarded the Grandmaster title>, after winning the 6th Ostend 1956

Three players were new Grandmasters that same year in 1956, cp. a note in: Hastings (1955/56)

Alberic O'Kelly de Galway was obviously the first Belgium Grandmaster, and <he became the first Grandmaster of over-the-board and correspondence chess in 1962> as winner of the 3rd World Correspondence Championship (1959-1962).

An International arbiter of note, O'Kelly was chief arbiter in the two world championship matches between Petrosian and Spassky (1966 and 1969) plus the de-facto wc match between Karpov and Korchnoi (1974).

A talented speaker and polyglot gentleman, Alberic O’Kelly de Galway spoke perfectly eight languages.

O'Kelly started chess late at 12 and won his first major tournament at 26 and his first Belgian Championship at age of 27. He improved his play, thanks to regular visits to the world class player Akiba Rubinstein from Poland, later living in Belgium, who taught him the magic of chess :)

Mar-27-16  Yopo: renewing the postage

[Event "?"]
[Site "corr Dyckhoff mem"]
[Date "1954.??.??"]
[White "Alberic O'Kelly"]
[Black "Olaf Barda"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E20"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 d5 5. a3
Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c6 7. e3 b6 8. cxd5 cxd5 9. Bd3
O-O 10. Ne2 Nc6 11. e4 Nh5 12. e5 f5 13. h4
Qc7 14. Qc2 Qf7 15. Be3 Na5 16. g4 fxg4 17. Bxh7+
Kh8 18. f4 Qe7 19. Bg6 Rf5 20. Bxh5 Rxh5 21. Ng3
Rf5 22. h5 Bd7 23. Qd1 Rc8 24. Bd2 Rcf8 25. Qxg4
Nb3 26. Ra2 Be8 27. Nxf5 Rxf5 28. Be3 Qc7 29. Rg1
Bxh5 30. Rh1 Qf7 31. c4 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Count!
May-17-16  Hodor: Hodor!
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Remembering Albéric O'Kelly de Galway:

Winner at Brussels Quadrangular 1937, <Beverwijk (Hoogovens) 1946> (ahead of Stolz), he won the first ever Zonal tournament, played at Hilversum 1947 (ahead of joint Pachman and Trifunovic), Teplice-Sanov 1947, Rio de Janeiro 1948, <Sao Paulo International 1948> (ahead of Eliskases, Rossetto, Engels, Sanguineti, Medina, 14 players), Saarbrücken 1950, <Dortmund 1951> (Prequel, 2nd-3rd Fuderer, Milic, on 7th place Bogoljubov), Dublin 1954, Southdean 1954, Cork 1955, Dublin 1956, <Ostende (6th) 1956> (ahead of Donner, Golombek, Lehmann, Bernstein, etc.), multiple winner at Open Festival of Bognor Regis, in West Sussex on the south coast of England: (4th) 1956, (8th) 1960 (with Darga), (9th) 1961 & (13th) 1965, Ghent 1956, Tarragona 1957 (ahead of Rossolimo), Paris (Christmas) 1959, <Zürich (Nimzowitsch Memorial) 1960> (ahead of Dieter Keller, Fuderer, Gereben, Dückstein, Van den Berg, Paoli, Kieninger, etc.), Eastbourne 1960, Terrassa 1960, <Utrecht (PAM tournament) 1961> (ahead of Robatsch, Matanovic, Bisguier, Langeweg, Donner, etc.), Paris (Christmas) 1961, 1962 & 1963 (shared with Darga), thrice winner at the Costa del Sol series, played in Torremolinos or Malaga: namely Costa del Sol (III.) 1963, Costa del Sol (VI.) 1966 (shared) & Costa del Sol (VII.) 1967, the inaugural edition of the classic <Palma de Mallorca in 1965> (shared with Pomar Salamanca and Darga), twice winner at Olot, Spain 1967 & 1969 (ahead of joint runners-up Marovic, Ivkov, followed by Pomar Salamanca). In addition, O’Kelly finished three times in a row as clear second at Beverwijk from 1951 to 1953.

As mentioned above, O’Kelly played eight Olympiads from 1950 till 1968 and was 13 times the Belgian Champion. A big success came when O’Kelly de Galway won the title of ICCF (3rd) Correspondence Chess World Champion in 1962.


Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Count Alberic.
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