Grivas on the Value of Preparation

by Efstratios Grivas
1/2/2024 – A rising star is the 17-year-old Srilankan Susal De Silva, who won the recent U18 category in the Asian Youth Championship 2023, which was held in Al Ain (United Arab Emirates). No wonder: he is a student of world-class trainer Efstratios Grivas, who tells us that "a Gold Medal is mostly welcomed, but hard work is in need and opening preparation is a value part of the success!"

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Susal De Silva [photo FIDE Chess] was born on August 2, 2006, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He began playing chess at the age of six, and quickly rose through the ranks of Sri Lankan chess. In 2017, he won the Sri Lankan Junior Chess Championship, and was awarded the FIDE Master (FM) title. In 2022 he won the Asian Youth Chess Championships in the under-16 category. That earned him the IM title. He also won the Sri Lankan Chess Championship in 2022, and finished second in the Asian Chess Championships in 2023.

De Silva is a strong all-round player, with a preference for sharp, attacking positions. He is also a strong endgame player. His favorite openings are the Sicilian and the Caro-Kann. He is a strong contender for the title of grandmaster, and could eventually become one of the top players in the world.

In the recent Asian Youth Championship 2023, which was held in Al Ain (United Arab Emirates), Susal managed to win the U18 category. But it wasn’t the only success in this championship. My other student Muhammad Shayan Noushad Ibrahim from India, become the Asian Youth U08 Rapid Champion 2023. Note that Muhammad is also the World Rapid Medallist U.08 2023.

Gold Medals are welcomed, but hard work is in need and opening preparation is a valuable part of the success! Here's an important game from Susal's tournament. Note that you can click on the notation or the diagrams below to get a separate replay board where you can start an engine to assist in analysis. 

Note that you can click on the notation or the diagrams below to get a separate replay board where you can start an engine to assist in analysis. 

Eftratios Grivas

Eftratios Grivas lives and works in Dubai. His full CV is provided at the end of this article.


Efstratios (30.03.1966) is a highly experienced chess trainer and chess author. He has been awarded by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) the titles of International Chess Grandmaster, FIDE Senior Trainer, International Chess Arbiter and International Chess Organiser.
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