Kevin John O'Connell (born August 28, 1949 in London, England) is an Irish chess master. He is the author of 28 books on chess, hundreds of magazine articles and a couple of thousand newspaper columns, mostly on chess but also on computing and sports psychology.
Awarded the titles of International Arbiter in 1998, FIDE Master in 2003 and FIDE Senior Trainer in 2010. Earned MSc, with distinction, in Sports Science from Essex University in 1998.
Although he did head the Irish players on the rating list at the beginning of 1993, played in one Olympiad (1998) and won a few minor tournaments (e.g. Dublin 1993), he is best known as an author, organizer and coach.
Ireland's delegate to FIDE 1977-2010, he was President of FIDE Zone 1 (1978-1994), Chairman of FIDE's Computer Chess Committee (1982-1990). A member of FIDE's Qualification Commission since 1978, he was Chairman (1990-1994) and Chairman of the Titles and Ratings Committee (1994-2002). Honorary Life Member of the Irish Chess Union 2002.
Originator, with David Levy, of the Intelligent Chess Display system which, by automatically sensing moves played on a chessboard and transferring that information to a computer system, then generating a graphical display which can be shown by large screen projection, has enabled hundreds of major chess events to be presented as spectator events. This system was introduced in London in 1986. "Revolutionizing chess as a spectator sport," Garry Kasparov.
Chairman of Appeals Committee, Chess Olympiad, Yerevan 1996. Chief Arbiter of the first European Union Chess Championship, Cork 2005.
Experienced chess coach of both teams (Great Britain team at the Chess Olympiad for the Blind, Pula 1974, Irish Women's team at the Chess Olympiad, Elista 1998) and individuals (including GM Nicholas Pert, World U-18 Champion 1998).