Conor Murphy, the International Master chess player from Ireland, is in flying form at the Chennai Chess Olympiad in India.
Murphy is one of the top-scoring players at the tournament so far with just two rounds to play and is still in medal contention.
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone… but having been selected for today’s round, we can confirm that Conor Murphy has officially made his 2nd GM Norm - whether he wins, loses or draws 😎 #ChessOlympiad he continues to play for a chance at a medal, his team and Ireland 💪 pic.twitter.com/Drldgdb2dg
— Irish Chess Union (@IrishChessUnion) August 8, 2022
Only three players in the open section of the competition have a higher performance than the 23-year-old Irish man. Home favourite, 16-year old Gukesh D, who was the third youngest person in history to qualify for the title of grandmaster is one of those ahead of Murphy.
For those not familiar with the sport a grandmaster is higher up the pyramid than an International Master. To earn either title a player must achieve three quality performances, each known as a norm, in tournaments meeting a strict set of regulations on the composition of the player pool.
Murphy has beaten four grandmasters - on paper stronger opponents than him - and has also made his second grandmaster norm.
— Chess.com (@chesscom) August 7, 2022
The other two players in the open section with higher performance than Murphy are Britain's David Howell and Norway's Magnus Carlsen who is the reigning five-time world chess champion. Carlsen is also well-known across the world for at one point in the 2019/2020 season being top of the Fantasy Premier League table. He went on to finish inside the top ten.
Conor Murphy on the rise
Murphy is a previous winner of the Irish Chess Championships winning the title back in 2019.
For may years he has excelled at chess, winning the London Junior Chess Championships in 2010, while still only ten-years-old.
Born to Irish parents in England he has also studied Mathematics at Cambridge University and represented them on numerous occasions.
His career has been on a massive upward trajectory recently. It was only this time last year that he became an International Master and now he just needs to fulfil one more norm to become a grandmaster.
The Chess Olympiad has a whopping $10 million budget which dwarfs another event in chess history. Over 1700 players are taking part along with thousands of support staff.