about us

release the
warrior within


Mark has over two decades of experience as a chess coach for players of all levels and ages. Several of his past pupils have gone on to represent Ireland at Junior and Senior level including Glorney Cups and Chess Olympiads. His talent for the game, coupled with his competition experience and communication skills makes him a strong choice to guide you through all the various stages of your chess battles.

Mark made his debut for Ireland at the World Under 14 chess championships in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in 1990. He went to to represent Ireland in many World and European Junior Championships. In the ten years Mark spent in Gonzaga College, Mark was part of teams that won numerous Leinster and All-Ireland titles. He scored 7/7 on Board 1 at the Marlwood Schools Chess Championship in the UK attaining the Tournament’s Best Performance Prize, as Gonzaga won the title of strongest school team in the British Isles in 1993.

Mark made his Senior debut for Ireland at the Moscow Chess Olympiad in 1994 and has competed in seven Chess Olympiads to date: Moscow (1994), Yerevan (1996), Istanbul (2000), Bled (2002), Calvia (2004), Turin (2006) and Dresden (2008). He also played board 1 for Ireland at the European Team Chess Championships in Leon, Spain in 2001. Mark was ranked number 1 in Ireland at the age of 17. He was awarded the title of International Master of Chess at the FIDE Congress during the Istanbul Olympiad in 2000. Mark gained the title of FIDE Trainer in April 2020. As of September 2022, Mark is the Number 8 ranked active Irish player on the International FIDE rating list.

Mark holds a BA, MA and PhD from the School of English, Drama and Film where he tutored and lectured from 2005-2010. He is the author of The King of Spring: The Life and Times of Peter O’Connor which was published by the Liffey Press in 2004. Mark is co-founder of Storyrory - www.storyrory.ie, which develops original content for TV and Film.

Mark also worked as a National Tour Guide specialising in English and Italian Speaking Tours as well as Dublin Literary Walking Tours from 1999-2018.

Features Section


our portal

Each Chess Bud student receives their own login to the Chess Bud Portal. The portal includes databases of annotated games, puzzles, a game area to play friendly games against other students and a tournament area. Train anytime in a safe and secure online environment where all chat is disabled.

Annotated Games Database

Our Portal hosts a database of annotated games by Mark that gives clarity to each move.

Puzzles & Quizzes

Puzzles and Quizzes are a great way to cement your learning.

Openings Courses

Discover the Chess Bud Openings Curriculum with detailed courses.

Game Area

Play other Chess Bud friends in the Game Area anytime.


Participate in regular standard and themed opening practice tournaments.

Master the Endgame

Play through essential endings on a real board using Mark's endgames courses available in the portal.

Team Section


our team

Testimonial Section


what our students say

Blog Section


our news & media