Alexander E. Baburin, professional chess player, coach, chess journalist, author and publisher, was born on 19th February 1967 in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod). He has been living in Dublin since 1993. Alexander is a chess Grand Master and has won many international tournaments. From 1996 to 1998 he was ranked one of the 100 strongest chess players in the world. Alexander Baburin represented Ireland in Chess Olympiads in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. He joined the Irish Olympic team at the Chess Olympiad 2012 in Turkey.
Alexander Baburin always welcomes any opportunity to share his knowledge with others. He currently teaches chess in 20 schools in Dublin and the surrounding areas – about 400 Irish children are his students. Alexander regularly organizes chess tournaments for children, which are attended by hundreds of young chess players from all over Ireland. The GM also continues to participate in Irish and international tournaments in order to “keep fit” as he puts it.
At Dublin’s Russian Festivals, which take place every year in February or March, Alexander traditionally stages a simultaneous chess challenge, playing against dozens of people at the same time. Every chess lover has a chance to beat the GM, but this is no easy task as even the former world champion, the Bulgarian “super grand master” Veselin Topalov lost to Baburin when he played in Dublin against the Irish team.
Chess is not a hugely popular sport in Ireland (it is not even recognized as a sport here). But there are chess clubs in almost every town. The country also hosts several international tournaments. The biggest are held in Bunratty (County Clare) in February and in Kilkenny in November. A frequent guest of the Bunratty tournament is the Russian grandmaster Peter Svidler, while the honorary president of Kilkenny chess tournament is the legendary Boris Spassky.
Chess clubs in Ireland can be found on: www.icu.ie