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Albéric O'Kelly de Galway

O'Kelly in 1961
Full name Albéric Joseph Rodolphe Marie Robert Ghislain O'Kelly de Galway
Country Belgium
Born 17 May 1911
Brussels, Belgian
Title Grandmaster (1956)
ICCF Grandmaster (1962)
ICCF World Champion 1959-62

Albéric Joseph Rodolphe Marie Robert Ghislain O'Kelly de Galway (17 May 1911, Anderlecht - 3 October 1980, Brussels) was a Belgian chess Grandmaster (1956), and an International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster (1962), the third ICCF World Champion in correspondence chess (1959-1962). He was also a chess writer.

Chess career

O'Kelly de Galway won the Belgian championships thirteen times between 1937 and 1959. He placed first at Beverwijk 1946. In 1947 he become one of Europe's leading players, finishing first at the 1947 European Zonal tournament at Hilversum, tied for first place with Pirc at Teplice Sanov, tied for second at Venice. The next year O'Kelly de Galway finished first at São Paulo ahead of Eliskases and Rossetto. He earned the title International Master (IM) in 1950, the first year the title was awarded. He placed first at Dortmund 1951. O'Kelly de Galway finished first at the round-robin Utrecht 1961 with 6½/9, followed by Karl Robatsch second with 6 points and Arthur Bisguier and Aleksandar Matanović tied for third and fourth with 5½.

O'Kelly de Galway was made an International Arbiter in 1962 and was the chief arbiter of the world championship matches between Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky in 1966 and 1969. In 1974 he was the arbiter for the Moscow Karpov-Korchnoi match.

O'Kelly de Galway spoke French, Dutch, German, English, Spanish, and Russian well, and also some Italian. He published many books and articles, often in languages other than French.

He was descendent of Charlemagne.


The O'Kelly Variation in the Sicilian Defence: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 is named after him.


Notable games