No Rapid Chess - Interview with Efstratios Grivas

by Arne Kaehler
4/29/2021 – No Rapid Interview? That's right. Grandmaster Efstratios Grivas said that he doesn't play online chess any more. In our "normal" interview, we talked about how Grivas went to eight Olympiads, published over 110 books, and became a Grandmaster despite starting with chess at the rather late age of 13. Furthermore, we talk about the largest chess club in the world, the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club in Dubai, which launches a "real" over the board rapid tournament today, and of course, the reason behind Grivas not playing online chess - he doesn't mince his words! | Photos: Efstratios Grivas

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No Rapid Interview

with Efstratios Grivas

  • 0:39 - Who are you?
  • 2:13 - You published more than 110 books?
  • 2:41 - You started playing chess relatively late, but still advanced to receive a GM title. How did you manage to do this?
  • 5:11 - You played in eight Olympiads for Greece. Which one of them was your favourite?
  • 7:45 - You stopped playing chess professionally. So, you don't play chess at all any more?
  • 8:25 - The 26th rapid tournament of your club Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club (SCCC) is starting today. What can you tell us about the tournament and your club?
  • 10:44 - You don't play online chess any more. What is the reason behind this decision?
  • 13:39 - Luckily we can play chess in these weird times, and even with integrated Video & Audio on Playchess. Don't you think this is a good way to stop cheating online a bit better?
  • 16:24 - How many members does the SCCC have?

GM Efstratios Grivas

Efstratios Grivas (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.

His main successes over the board are the Silver Medal Olympiad 1998 (3rd Board), the Gold Medal European Team Championship 1989 (3rd Board) and the 4th Position World Junior Championship U.20 1985. He has also won 5 Balkan Medals (2 Gold - 1 Silver - 2 Bronze) and he was 3 times Winner of the International ‘Acropolis’ Tournament. He has also in his credit the 28 times first position in Greek Individual & Team Championships and he has won various international tournaments as well. He was also been awarded six FIDE Medals in the Annual FIDE Awards (Winner of the FIDE Boleslavsky Medal 2009 & 2015 (best author) - Winner of the FIDE Euwe Medal 2011 & 2012 & 2017 (best junior trainer) - Winner of the FIDE Razuvaev Medal 2014 (Trainers’ education) and has been a professional Lecturer at FIDE Seminars for Training & Certifying Trainers. He has published a large number of Books & DVDs in Arabic, English, Greek, Italian, Spanish & Turkish languages. Since 2009 he is the Secretary of the FIDE Trainers’ Commission and since 2012 the Director of the FIDE Grivas Chess International Academy (Athens).

Grivas celebrating his birthday at the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club

Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club

Club description from the website:

The Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club (SCCC) was founded on 1979 (and joined the UAE Chess Federation on June 1981) with the object of spreading and development of chess as mental and cultural sport across the Sharjah Emirate and in the United Arab Emirates territory in general.

The Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club is the biggest in the world. It was established by Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah, and was officially opened its new headquarters on March 28, 2013. It covers an area of 34,000 cubic feet, including the main hall which can  accommodate  up  to  500 players.  Besides two huge playing areas there are many class rooms, library, VIP room, regional FIDE office etc. One can find here all possible modern equipment and devises invented in the chess world.

In April 2019 the Sharjah International Chess Academy (SICA) was established, as a branch of the main club, helping the expats living in the Sharjah Emirate and in UAE in general to improve and socialize via our royal game.

Under the guidance and the approval of the Club’s President Sheikh Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club is the most active and more prestigious Chess Club nowadays in the entire UAE territory!

26th Sharjah Rapid International Chess Championship 2021

1. Announcement
The Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club (SCCC) is pleased to announce the 26th Sharjah Rapid
International Chess Championship 2021, which will be held over the Board (OTB), on April 29th to
30th 2021.
2. Co-organisers
- Sharjah Sports Council.
- UAE Chess Federation
- Sharjah International Chess Academy.
3. Participation
- The participation is allowed only via request and approval. The requests are allowed up to April
25th at 24:00 and approvals will be made by April 26th. Open for UAE Residents players and
Organising Committee Wild Cards.
- Request for participation by WhatsApp to General Coordinator GM Efstratios Grivas
00306936888163 (Name & FIDE-ID).
- Forty (40) invited players (over 18 years old) will be allowed to participate by decision of the Organising Committee.

Press Conference for the 26th Rapid Tournament

PDF for all details about the tournament


Arne Kaehler, a creative mind who is passionate about board games in general, was born in Hamburg and learned to play chess at a young age. By teaching chess to youth teams and creating chess-related videos on YouTube, Arne was able to expand this passion and has even created an online course for anyone who wants to learn how to play chess. Arne writes for the English and German news sites, but focuses mainly on content for the ChessBase media channels.


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