2018 Olympiad Selections Report

Jonathan O'Connor and John McMorrow

The ICU received the following report from the International Selection Committee following their deliberations on team selections.

International Selection Committee Report

Player Selection

The following selections were made.

Open Team:

  1. Philip Short as winner of the 2017 Irish Championship

  2. Stephen Jessel as winner of the 2016 Irish Championship

  3. Alex Lopez (WAR 2446, 57 games played in Ireland, also played 2017 Irish championship)

  4. Alex Baburin (WAR 2443, 52 games played in Ireland, also played 2017 Irish championship)

  5. Sam Collins (WAR 2443, 58 games played in Ireland)

  6. Conor O'Donnell (WAR 2313.5, 81 games played in Ireland, also played 2017 Irish Championship)

  7. David Fitzsimons (WAR 2310.5, 49 games played in Ireland)

  8. Gavin Wall (WAR 2315.5, 17 games played in Ireland, 35 international games, but played in 2017 Irish Championship)

  9. Colm Daly (WAR 2294, 116 games played in Ireland, 2017 Irish championship)

  10. Stephen Brady (WAR 2296, 32 games played in Ireland)

Ryan Rhys-Griffiths, Mark Quinn and Mark Heidenfeld are not eligible as they did not play enough games in Ireland.

By WAR, Gavin Wall should have placed higher than Conor O'Donnell and David Fitzsimons, but the difference in WARs is 2 points and 5 points respectively. Due to Conor and David's higher activity, Gavin was placed below them in the rankings.

By WAR, Colm Daly should have placed after Stephen Brady, but given the difference in activity and the fact there is only 2 WAR points, he was given the higher place.

Women's team:

  1. Diana Mirza (WAR 1878, 71 Irish games)

  2. Alice O'Gorman (WAR 1853.5, 51 Irish games)

  3. Mercedes Plaza Reino (WAR 1822.5, 39 Irish games)

  4. Karina Kruk (WAR 1723, 26 Irish games)

  5. Hannah Lowry O'Reilly (WAR 1676, 21 Irish games, 5 international games)

  6. Gearoidin Ui Laigheis (WAR 1661, 64 Irish games)

  7. Eibhia Ni Mhuireagain (WAR 1598, 26 Irish games)

  8. Dayna Ferguson (WAR 1538.5, 87 Irish games)

Ioana Miller (FIDE transfer rules), Trisha Kanyamarala (insufficient games) and Poornima Menon (insufficient games) are not eligible to be selected.


  1. Some of the ISC thought that Gavin Wall should not have qualified to play as he has only played 17 games in Ireland but the eligibility rules state: "30 rated games (at standard time controls of at least 75 minutes per player), at least 18 of which must be played in Ireland; or 24 rated games provided this includes at least one of the two Irish Championship held in the defined period above for the representative international tournament." Although Gavin would not qualify under the first clause, he does under the second.

  2. Half of the committee felt that Hannah Lowry O'Reilly should be placed lower than Gearoidin Ui Laighleis, even though her WAR is 15 points higher than Gearoidin's. The reason was due to Gearoidin's greater activity. However, the WAR difference is 3 times higher than with the open team. It also has been brought to my attention that Hannah Lowry O'Reilly has been playing regularly in the London leagues, so the activity difference may not be as great as we currently understand.

The executive were asked before ratification to confirm that Gavin Wall is eligible for selection, and that the ISC has correctly placed him below Conor O'Donnell and David Fitzsimons. The executive was also asked to decide whether Hannah should be placed above or below Gearoidin.

Captain Selections

As we only had a single candidate for each position, Carl Jackson should be appointed as captain of the Open team, and Ioana Miller should be appointed captain of the women's team.

The ISC note that neither candidate are in possession of a TRG title, although both have stated their intention to acquire the title before the olympiad.

ICU Executive Ratification

These selections were approved in their entirety by the Executive committee - we stood by the order as given for both teams. The ISC Chairperson then began the process of offering places to players while the ICU Chairperson contacted the captains to confirm they were still happy to take on the roles for which they applied.

Teams following acceptances

Open Team:

FM Stephen Jessel

IM Alex Lopez

GM Alex Baburin

FM Conor O'Donnell

FM David Fitzsimons

Team captain: Carl Jackson

Philip Short and Sam Collins declined their places.

Women's team:

WFM Diana Mirza

Mercedes Plaza Reino

WFM Hannah Lowry O'Reilly

WCM Gearoidin Ui Laigheis

Eibhia Ni Mhuireagain

Team captain: WFM Ioana Miller

Alice O'Gorman and Karina Kruk declined their places.

Created 2018-04-24 ◦ Last updated 2018-04-26 ◦ Editor JMM

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