Grandmaster and FIDE Senior Trainer Zenon Franco was born in Asuncion, Paraguay, in 1956. After living in Buenos Aires he moved to Spain, where he has lived for over 30 years. Zenon is the author of 29 chess books published in six languages and has been a regular chess columnist of the Paraguayan Hoy and ABC newspapers for the last 17 years. He also writes regularly for several chess magazines in Argentina, Italy and Spain. In 2017, he received the 2016 Isaac Boleslavsky book of the year award from the FIDE Trainers Commission.
Zenon was Pan-American Champion in 1981 (San Pedro de Jujuy, Argentina). He has participated in 11 Olympiads, from Haifa, Israel, in 1976, to Batumi, Georgia, in 2018. Zenon won the individual Gold Medal for the best result on first board at the Olympiads of Lucerne, Switzerland, 1982, and Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, 1990. He also represented Spain at the 1998 Olympiad in Elista, Russia. Zenon’s highest ever place in the Elo list was 66th in January 1982. As a coach, Zenon was director of the Escuela Kasparov Marcote de Galicia from 1995 to 1999. His most successful pupils include Grandmaster Francisco Vallejo Pons and IM David Martinez Martin, Spanish editor of Chess24.com.
In 2016, Zenon was granted an award by the Paraguayan parliament “in recognition for his invaluable and meritorious contribution to Paraguayan sport”: for his chess career and for his help in the development of chess in Paraguay.